In the early to mid 1990's, Rob Mayes' Failsafe Records released the best music coming out of Christchurch, including Love's Ugly Children, Pumpkinhead, 147 Swordfish and Cinematic. Following a hiatus overseas, Mayes has again been releasing the garden city's melodic guitar music for the last few years, including Degrees K's first album before they moved to Australia.
Now we have Hooster's debut album Rotate. This three-piece has been around since 1998, releasing just one EP over that period. Their driving melodic rock is less subdued than standard Failsafe material, while retaining a distinctive Christchurch sound. It's something to do with the pacing of the songs, which hark back to late 80's English indie pop, though in Hooster's case the distortion has been turned up a notch, but not quite to 11. The length of time they've been doing it shines through, as the song writing is pretty damn polished. Overdriven pop gems abound here, including 'Floatin', 'Pullover' and the title track. This deals with New Zealand band's efforts to get attention, something that Hooster are very familiar with. Although they don't have too much to complain about, having won a number of radio and internet competitions. One of these, an internet fan poll, saw the band win the chance to open this year's Big Day Out. With that kind of support and these kinds of songs it surely won't be too long before further successes come Hooster's way.
 Gavin Bertram


 Hooster are the up-and-coming future of Kiwi rock. The big, sweeping guitars and thrashing drums will stick in your head. The album features their debut single and title track Rotate, and new single Throw. The standouts on the album are the beautifully upbeat Pullover and the guitar work on Over You and One More Day. This is 37 minutes of excellent music, watch out for these guys in the near future. And apparently, they're New Zealand's Stone Temple Pilots. Thanks for that one, Mary Lambie.
Dan Morrow