Coridian, Napier New Zealand, 2022

Coridian

2nd September 2022
Paisley Stage, Napier, New Zealand.

Review by Rob Harbers. File photograph by Doug Peters.

And so I find myself back in the increasingly familiar surroundings of the Paisley Stage – this time for a taste of metal. Coridian are touring the motu, with companions East York, and inviting select bands from each area where they’re playing to fill the opening slot – on this occasion the honour fell to local heroes Come To Dolly.

Come To Dolly served up a solid set of songs that warmed things up nicely – frontman Luke Tither, in particular, giving his all for the art! This is a band with a long heritage, and it shows, with tight and cohesive playing and a palpable dedication to delivering their best – I’m not certain whether or not I’ve actually seen them before, but will be looking out for more opportunities to do so.

East York then took their place, delivering an interesting package of funked-up hard rock, following an impressive entrance to the stage. Their brand has a swagger that gets people moving, topped with heavy guitar and mixed vocal stylings – making for an overall blend that is about as multi-faceted, and hard to define, as their origin story (three Kiwis and a Canadian who met in Melbourne, and now split their time between Aotearoa and Oz!). But in the same way that having multiple elements to the origin story can have its uses (you can be defined as being from a different place depending on how it may affect the narrative of the story being told, for example), such a diversity of sound has the capacity to draw in a wide-ranging audience (come for the beats, stay for the bombast!) and could carry them far, fate willing – definitely worth checking out.

And so to the main act: Coridian. Their name, they openly admit, means nothing – being the result of a brainstorming session that settled on something they all liked the sound of – but to my ears, there are two things it draws to mind, one being corrosion, the other perhaps a type of medication or supplement (“Coridian – will elevate your brain and calm your nerves!”). Both of these are appropriate – corrosion is an ongoing process that eventually will break down what stands in its way – famously, Rust Never Sleeps! While a substance that soothes is something that many would benefit from in these trying times. Similarly, Coridian could persistently, and slowly, break through to the parts of your brain where other stuff just can’t reach! With a sound that goes heavy when needed, but isn’t afraid of the quiet either, mixed with intelligent and probing lyrics delivered in a style that soothes in its embrace of clean.

Such is their diversity of sound that it’s hard to single out individual tracks – as disparate as the songs, or their component parts, may be, they mesh together to construct a complete performance. Having said that though, perhaps this diversity is best encapsulated by, of all things, their choice of a cover song. At this same venue a fortnight earlier, In the Shallows incorporated Chris Isaak’s David Lynch-ian hit “Wicked Game” in to their set, giving it a new depth of sound, and tonight it received another airing! Must be some truth to its description as “perhaps the most influential love song in modern music”, it would seem. But in any case, in the hands of these guys, it gained a whole extra level that I’m sure would never have been imagined when it was first written over 30 years ago now! While the verses were played relatively straight, the breakout was another thing entirely – a textbook example of the quiet/loud concept.

Sadly though, as with all good things, the end had to come, and after a session that covered a far wider range than might be expected from a simple categorisation into the genre of metal, it was time to leave the second home and step out back in to the real world, soothed but challenged, enervated but rested. A top night, indeed, and one that can still be repeated as the tour continues to wind its way across the land – coming to a venue near you!

Were you there at Paisley Stage for this dynamic metal performance? Or have you seen Coridian perform live somewhere else before? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Setlist:

Coridian Set List, Napier 2022

Note: Ambient Light was provided a pass to review this concert. As always, this has not influenced the review in any way and the opinions expressed are those of Ambient Light’s only. 

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