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T54 - Drone Attacks (Ally)

3 September 2022

Before he found semi-fame with Salad Boys, New Zealand singer/guitarist Joe Sampson fronted grungy trio T54. Stylistically more akin to Bailter Space (or their predecessor the Gordons) than the scruffy jangle for which much of NZ rawk is known, the Christchurch act debuted with their debut EP Drone Attacks, originally released in 2011. Finding that sweet, sweet spot between chaos and order, “Birds,” “Singer in Mouth” and “Julie K” blend noise rock drone, grunge dynamics and singalong vocal melodies in a way familiar to many, but still oh so satisfying. Though a mere six songs in its original incarnation, the musclebound, mesmirizing Drone Attacks is expanded here into a double album, with further sides of live-in-the-studio tracks (cf. the roaring “CR Model”) and home recordings (check out the shoegazer “Choose Your Own Ending”) that attest to the band’s power and vision. Though T54 followed up with their first proper full-length Brush Park, released on the venerable Flying Nun label in 2014, the band didn’t make as much of a mark as it deserved and everyone moved on to other projects. Thankfully, though, Ally Records won’t let T54 die, and this new edition of Drone Attacks is well worth rediscovery.