New Zealand has been home to some of the greatest pop bands of the last few decades. Lately, bands like Die! Die! Die! and Cut Off Your Hands have been touring internationally and reminding us that Kiwi acts always seem to bring an impressive degree of imagination and creativity to their music. On the surface, this crew might remind some listeners of Interpol or, in certain moments, yet another band inspired by the Smiths. But really, the group's specialty is indie pop that's more inspired by the likes of the Bats and the Straitjacket Fits. Beyond the sparkling, expansive melodicism, this music has an energy and drive that is at once refreshing and affecting. Don't be fooled by the name: There's nothing dire about this foursome.
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