Piano punk rockers hit Queenstown

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Auckland musician Dave Hine always struggles with the genre tick-box when uploading his work to the web. 

None of the options really go close to describing the piano-punk-rock swing-stomp music produced by his band theMurderChord. 

Hine – who runs Puppy Killer Records and was drummer for Auckland underground punk champions Missing Teeth – finds it tricky enough to categorise his music verbally. 

“There’s straight up punk rock, there’s really swingy stuff, and other songs that somehow defy description,” he says. 

“I’ve heard a lot of bands say ‘oh, we’re indefinable, blah-di-blah-di-blah’, and then they sound like everyone else – but I actually genuinely think we are a little bit different. 

“When I get to the little box that defines a genre I just go ‘ah, crap’. I pretty much call it swing punk rock.” 

Duo Hine, 32, and new drummer Simms Ross, 31, are currently touring theMurderChord’s fourth Global 
Swarming EP, which follows full-length album The Blunt Cut. 

The unusual sound is a result of their shared influences – Ross drummed for Auckland punk band We Dunno – but Hine is the creative force. 

“It’s pretty much just the result of my life. 

“I learnt piano as a kid and got, you know, too cool for it when I hit high school and started playing guitar and eventually moved on to drums, got into punk rock. 

“I realised piano is still fun to play and got back into it but by that time it was too late, I was already into punk. 

“I record a lot of bands and I get a little bit sick of hearing guitars because I do it for a job. Every single band has got one so doing something different keeps me sane.” 

The band has been touring since 2008 and plays Queenstown next Thursday. 

“It’s not going to be horribly loud with just us chewing our music out if the night is kind of quiet, whereas at the same time if there’s a whole bunch of metallers standing at the front, it will be.”

See theMurderChord at Red Rock Bar & Cafe on Thursday, September 6, from 8pm. Admission is free