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Review: ROIDZ – Fight Night

Gwyn Morgan

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Following a two-year hiatus, New Zealand punk recording project Roidz returned to the music scene last month with their new album, FIGHT NIGHT. The album is a departure from their
previous work in purpose and sound, combining gritty garage punk and dreamy indie pop to convey what songwriter Daniel Smith described as New Zealand’s hostile male culture.

“There is a male culture existent that is insidious and poisonous,” said Smith, “boys being boys largely means, getting wasted, getting violent, and shutting the fuck up when it comes to talking
about anything with more emotion than a rugby loss. I wanted ROIDZ to turn to this side of male culture, and to talk about both the emotion and the violence of being a young man in New Zealand.”

Inspired by groups such as 90’s indie rock band Brainiac and punk rock band Idles, Roidz does just that. Each track, told from the perspective of men encountering toxic masculinity, pairs
violent sounds with deeply felt criticism.

In “IT’S SO EASY,” a catchy pop melody compliments aggressively sung lyrics that speak to a young man’s confusion over love and rejection. Roidz sings, “I was thinking about/the time we
made out/in the morning I had to hide from your mom/I was thinking about/how much it hurts me now/that I’m not the kind of boy that you could love.” While the protagonist lyrically admits
he’s hurt, the sound of the track emphasizes his apathy in the realm of romance.

The same societally inspired apathy is criticized in “CHARLIE”, a classic garage punk track. With lyrics like “You told me nothing’s alright/but everything’s ok,” Roidz speaks to the
unquestioned toxicity of New Zealand’s male culture. Fueled by a powerful message, FIGHT NIGHT serves as a great comeback for Roidz, showcasing development in sound and lyrical meaning. Whatever comes next from the band is sure to pack a punch.

RIYL: The Garden, Brainiac, The Replacements, Idles
REC TRACKS: 1, 2, 5

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Review: ROIDZ – Fight Night