Like a projectile from a cannon, Voodoo Bloo‘s ‘MMA’ blasts out with indiscriminate intent and an ultimate sense of hedonism and thrills. It’s wild and anarchic, visceral and unhinged and such a relentless piece of anarchy, you’ll be on pills for your nerves after one listen. And then you’ll want to play it again.
Voodoo Bloo are from New Zealand – always a fantastic promise of quality – but unlike the exports we’ve come across (with the exception of The Datsuns, of course), there is no delicacy or restraint in ‘MMA’: it’s a careening piece of music that blisters along with intensity and verve. Fantastic, cathartic fun it may be, there are darker themes lurking within. According to singer/songwriter Rory McDonald:
MMA was also originally going to be called ‘moshpit martial arts’, and is all about those drunken idiots who in an effort to make themselves look cool end up making regretful decisions that don’t mean much until they wake up the next morning. I feel everyone has let something fall through the cracks that shouldn’t have when intoxicated.
There’s a rollicking no-brakes rockabilly drive to the vocals that whoops its way throughout the blistering guitars and pounding drums:
Full blown and full of attitude: this is delicious. Out through Plastic Groove Records, ‘MMA’ is available now here and is off Voodoo Bloo’s forthcoming album ‘Jacobus’ which covers a sobering territory. According to McDonald:
Last July, a close friend of mine for many years, took his own life while I was away overseas. This was obviously a massive shock to myself and the people around me but being isolated from my friends while in a different country led me to writing a lot of lyrics during one of the strangest and scariest points in my life. The writing of “Jacobus” was a very cathartic process at a time when I didn’t have many people around me to talk to.
And Voodoo Bloo’s is commitment is clear. New Zealand currently has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the world and recently the band played multiple charity shows for Lifeline Aotearoa (an organisation focused on suicide prevention and mental health treatment).
MMA has been worked on by Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers / Super Furry Animals / Bullet for My Valentine) as mix production adviser. The track was mixed by Scott Seabright (Mumford and Sons/ Broods/Passenger/Neil Finn).
McDonald, originally from Sheffield, now resides in Wellington, New Zealand.