Drenched in the storied history and traditions of post-punk, noise pop, shoegaze, lo-fi, and punk rock, Charm. Offensive. is the sound of a thousand different nights played out in dingy bars, ramshackle DIY venues, and decaying concert halls around the globe. It’s also the sixth full-length album from Die! Die! Die! Charm. Offensive. features their rousing new single ‘How Soon Is Too Soon (It’s Not Vintage It’s Used),’ a telling reminder of why they’re one of the most enduring and unapologetic bands to emerge out of New Zealand in over a decade
In that time, Die! Die! Die! has racked up a touring history as blurry and battle scarred as the busiest of musical road dogs of their home country. Along the way, in risky pursuit of not so much punk rock dreams, but punk rock memories, they've forged a robust relationship with many of the D.I.Y musical undergrounds scattered throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australasia. Show by show, Die! Die! Die! have focused themselves into a captivating and dependable proposition, and time and time again, set the well-trod circuits they’ve carved out for themselves alight. In testament to this, in September, they will tour across China with Beijing-based noise-rockers Birdstriking, before heading to the UK, Europe and Russia for more shows in November.
Their first album since 2014's S W I M, Charm. Offensive. began in 2015 when Die! Die! Die! spontaneously hired a recording studio in Byron Bay for the day while gigging around Australia. What quickly poured out was a series of fun and unaffected demos, the kind that makes you realise you've just broken out of a rut you didn't even know you were in to begin with.
Part of this creative explosion can be credited to their newest misfit, English musician Rory Attwell. Previously best known for his contributions to cult UK dance-punk trio Test Icicles, in recent years, Rory has been recording and producing for the likes of Yuck, Male Bonding, and Palma Violets. He works out of Lightship 95 Studios, located on a 550-tonne ship, permanently moored at Trinity Buoy Wharf, East London. Rory recorded Die! Die! Die!'s 2015 EP What Did You Expect at Lightship. Not long after, he took over bass guitar duties so he could continue the fun with band founders Andrew Wilson (guitar/vocals) and Michael Prain (drums). When Rory started hanging out, they began to take on more of the angular sonics of the UK scene.
After studio sessions at Port Chalmers' Chicks Hotel, Lightship, and Whanganui's Spacemonster, those rough demos expanded into a set of muscular but light-footed songs. Die! Die! Die! has long had a talent for burying earworm melodies and classic pop sensibilities inside heaving, fuzzy noise and drone, but with Charm. Offensive. they take these instinctual impulses further, delivering musical catharsis with a black eye or two and a wincing grin, the kind that comes with pushing yourself well beyond your boundaries.
Since recording their first album with Steve Albini in Chicago in 2005, Die! Die! Die! have worked with producers like Shayne Carter, Nick Roughan (The Skeptics), Chris Townend (Violent Femmes), writing and recording records in New York, Dunedin, and rural France.
Their memorable songs, in-your-face live show, and devil-may-care attitude continue to drive their connection with audiences across the globe. Die! Die! Die! have done – and continue to do – the hard yards, while making sure they still stop and have a laugh along the way, which is part of what sets them apart, and why, bruised and battered as they are, they’re still standing 12 years in, and more than ready to slug it out for another round.