PREMIERE: P.H.F. / Roidz - Split

Kelly Kirwan

Auckland, New Zealand-based acts Roidz and P.H.F. (formerly Perfect Hair Forever) have had similar genre-origins. Both have roots in the lo-fi arena, carving out their own styles of bedroom pop that continually veered into fuzzy, fevered paces. P.H.F.’s punk-inclined creator, Joe Locke, would let his tracks pass through the process of reinterpretation—giving bands his melodies for them to flush out for a richer performance. At the same time, Roidz was transitioning from Daniel Smith’s solo-project to a four-man band, sharing stages with the likes of the eminently chill Mac DeMarco. It’s no wonder that these two outfits have now intersected, stitching together a split EP that celebrates their stylistic harmony. That is, Roidz reworked "Fearless Summer," a Joe Locke original, while P.H.F. took a crack at the single formerly known as Roidz's "Loneliness is Lame."

Roidz opens their cover with a bluesy strum and languid unrolling of lyrics. It periodically breaks into a thrash of harsher notes worthy of a mosh-pit underground, the vocals muted in the haze of head-banging riffs. It’s a high-amped interlude that feels like an homage to the song’s original form. Then there’s "Loneliness is Lame," which opens with an explosion of riffs and heavy drumming—the kind of clashing, about-to-burst interplay that’ll have sweat lining your brow and your teeth gritting from giddy intensity. P.H.F. ends it with a tenuous spin-out from the guitar, as if it were dropped on stage and the amp was holding onto its last stream of reverb. The new lens on these songs points only to the malleability of the two groups and their melodies. They’ve both got this fever pitch—an itch to deliver a track that'll spike your heart rate. Out via Danger Collective Records in the US, this is a crossover to tune into.