Maple Syrup (featured in NZM February/March 2016) is Wellington’s latest indie-punk band with an energetic sound influenced by and likely to tear up the country’s thriving independent gig scene. Lead singer Vera Ellen Williams fronts the band with clear and concise songwriting, the debut EP like a more punky version of Courtney Barnett’s laid back vocal style. Heavy punk riffing on tracks like King Is Dead call back to pop-punk bands of the mid-2000s, while guitar lines wander through the album with a Flying Nun-esque clarity. Jittery drum rhythms spice things up a bit, adding excitement to the band’s straightforward sensibility. Maple Syrup has a sound that’s becoming more and more popular, and while not much new territory is explored here the group’s honest enthusiasm wins out. The recordings by Adele McArtney and David Trail at Tsunami Studios are fresh and tight. They sound lively and full, a complete sound that new bands often fail to achieve on a debut release.