Drawing on everything from punk rock to sludge metal, the 11 songs on ‘Kavanak’ whistle by in a mere 26 minutes. Auckland three-piece Ginzu And The Steak Knives might pride themselves on “loud and disgusting riffs”, but their first full-length release reveals a whole lot more than just volume.
Drummer Omar Al-Hashimi’s double kicks and frantic beats reign supreme throughout, and with the help of renowned producer Dave Rhodes, guitars (Jonathon Gray), bass (Hamish Henderson) and drums are all crystal clear in the final mix.
The vocals, shared by Gray and Henderson, range from furious on 36 second-long Destination Fucked to downright pretty (The Hive), and despite the brevity of most tracks, nothing here feels abrupt or undercooked. Valhalla is a classic example, morphing from lurching stoner metal to pummelling thrash and back again in a little under three minutes.
With barely a wasted note to be found, ‘Kavanak’ is a brutal and substantive statement of intent. Fans of heavy music will find plenty to sink their teeth into here. Like contemporaries Beastwars and HLAH, Ginzu ATSK combines ferocity with just the right amount of melody.
For the moment, heavyweight Kiwi guitar music is in safe hands.