This has been awhile coming, but it’s here now, so calm down everyone! I’m a busy guy (not really). Kerretta are a New Zealand experimental-rock act that take the angrier sides of instrumental tunes and crank them up with some musical cocaine. Pirohia is their third album and sounds every bit as refined, punchy, energetic and enthralling as you’d hope these guys to sound.
Kerretta have a very interesting mixture of sounds going on, they sound kind of like: Karnivool, Muse and sometimes The Ocean. However, take away the vocals from the acts, because Kerretta are mostly instrumental, expect for some strange sampled track from the song Kawea Tātou Ki Ngā Hiwi.
I’m comparing them to the former two bands, mainly because of the threatening tone that both of these bands have taken up. Pirohia is full of strong tracks that leave no room for prisoners of musical war. Kerretta’s music on this album is as striking and destructive as it’s ever been, with some quirky little flairs hidden up their sleeves.
If you want the best example of these guys mixing and matching their tones, the track Iron Hail is insanely brutal at points, but that doesn’t stop it from changing gears unexpectedly. The intro to this track is heavy and to me, almost sounds like Themeta by Karnivool, which is killer, because dat intro is phat. But then they pull out some strange synth stabs with the heavy chords and it goes so well, it’s mind-flipping.
Obviously there are other heavy songs on this album, but it doesn’t seem like any of the others match this level of raw intensity that’s put forward in Iron Hail.
In my opinion, this release has a lot of staying power; the tracks don’t rely on simple song layouts and instead travel different places and they grow along the way. Like a student on a gap year. Ossenin Trail is a really twisty bugger, although it relys on a relatively simple bit of guitar play at the start, everything flourishes around it and layers are added. Pair this with the stopping and starting these guys do and you have some memorable and powerful tracks.
Again, I’m going to mention the track Kawea Tātou Ki Ngā Hiwi. The track uses that backing vocal track to thicken out the sound wall, which is massive in this song, especially during the end when everything gets all monstrous. I just think that songs like Kawea Tātou Ki Ngā Hiwi and The Roar, exhibit this wonderful versatility to the sound of Kerretta.
This effortless style and movement seems to characterise a lot of the tracks on this album. I mean, Sister Come Home, starts out with some stabs of synth (I think) and gently saunders through with some energetic drumming and some effect driven guitars. It’s just a nice piece to listen to, until it turns ugly, in a decent way, of course!
As at home as these guys seem with the fragile, they seem at ease and on third-date basis with the ugly and the heavy. As I’ve said, Iron Hail is brutal, His Streets Of Honey, Her Mouth Of Gold has a groovy riff in the middle and the riffing that goes on at the end of The Roar, is insane. They regularly flex their riff muscle with their gritty guitars and basses and how better to do it? Both these instruments are brought out in the production with every chord, note and strum sounding wonderful.
Pirohia is a compelling listen that offers listens a gold mine of musical treasures to explore; we have the dangerous monsters on the inside and the moments of outer beauty protruding from the heavy rocks. Kerretta have created something that is worth your time, your money and your ears, so give them a listen and see what you think.
Pirohia is out on the 5th of September through Golden Antenna Records. Prepare to be enthralled.