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Reviewed by Kat Waswo

The Hollow Grinders: Surfin’ Taniwha

Reviewed by Kat Waswo

The Hollow Grinders: Surfin’ Taniwha

Who would’ve thought a legendary local surf band could be born in a non-coastal town? Popular city-surf rockers The Hollow Grinders have brought the beach to Hamilton with their new full-length album, ‘Surfin’ Taniwha’. Guitarists Andrew Dean and Otis Uh, Greg Locke (bass) and Dr Dirk Thrust (drums) have been rolling with the gig tides since the turn of the century.

Released late in 2018, this upbeat 14-track collection succeeds in bringing memories of summer road trips past back to the living room any time of year. Though the recording location is undisclosed, you can almost sense the salty sand squishing between your toes. With little tasters of progressive punk drumming mixed with the origins of swing-surf guitar, this second album from the instrumental Waikato foursome fails to disappoint.

Even though the surf music genre provides a strong theme throughout the album, each song brings different flavours and moods. Mazda Boyz sticks out as a favourite dance-alonger, while Double-O Surfin’ brings the bass and traditional ‘60s surf-rock jives. Blue Otis sounds like it was designed for an opening sequence of a vintage Californian gangster film. Surfin’ Taniwha warrants being the title track, standing up as the best display of talent and energy that this band can bring.

Easy to imagine this collection as the soundtrack to a nostalgic monster boat party, the album art which offers us “The Hollow Grinders plays The Surfin’ Taniwha and other monster hits,” shows that these guys have hit the nail on the head with the perfect fusion of bright beach and creepy retro. Colourful, impacting and completely understated, this supernatural creature is a true local treasure and belongs in any fun-loving collection.