Brought to you by The Corner and NZ On Air, Awesome Feeling 7 is an online event running through NZ Music Month 2013, culminating in the release of a free downloadable compilation of 20 New Zealand songs and the words written about them. Each weekday for 20 days we’ll post streaming+downloadable tracks from emerging local artists, accompanied by artist and track profiles authored by Corner contributors.
Legendarily the sound of Black Sabbath was inextricably tied to their grim, industrial hometown Birmingham and its steel mills and heavy industry. Accurate or not, for me that never adequately manifested in their recordings. If I’m permitted on the other hand to romantically fantasise about the heavily-pedigreed* It Hurts: (1) members Angeline Chirnside, Beth Dawson and Claire Mahoney came up in the industrial back streets of Onehunga, and (2) It Hurts’ unsettling punk rock buzz is a marriage of their bugged-out bass, beats, waves and wails to the racket of sheet metal plants, engineering workshops and boat builders.
While that may not all necessarily be true, to my mind it’s a much more successful execution of the notion than Sabbath’s. Indeed, one of the things which makes ‘Hawkland’ so aesthetically striking is that it appears to have been recorded in some kind of factory — I like to imagine it’s a steel foundry — WHILE THE PLANT WAS OPERATING. Or maybe in a hangar, ’round behind a small jet air-plane, while its turbines were spinning-up.
I struggle to differentiate between the sounds of It Hurts’ instruments and the sounds of mechanised industry, and I don’t want to. I try and fail to tell when the distressed painful cries of a dying, injured metalworker end and the vocals begin — but I don’t need to. And it does hurt. I anguish about the rise of libertarianism and the death of local manufacturing. I worry about the seemingly irreversible transition of ‘Hawkland’ into an insatiable primate city. I fret about the youth, and the labour movement, and whether anyone will ever be able to properly organise again. Why is my power bill twice as much as it was this time, last year? As our society slides almost accidentally into a fascist state, I spend my days exchanging precious time from my ever-dwindling reserves for barely enough money to get me through to the end of another fortnight. I spend my evenings in self-medicated mental turmoil. My back hurts. My head aches. It all hurts. It really fucking does.
*Jane Austen, Futurians, Currer Bells, Zombie?Fuck!, Rise of the City Cat Cult, Windups, Maltese Falcons, Children of the Suntan Lotion, Tea Dust, …
Download previous Awesome Feeling compilations: