HALLELUJAH PICASSOS: Rewind The Hateman
By Simon Sweetman
This is an important document. For all the talk of New Zealand music – as a genre, or ideal – there really are not that many unique, innovative bands. The Hallelujah Picassos created their music from an international brief – sure – taking hints from hardcore and punk, from dub and reggae, casting the net far and wide – but it was certainly a shot of energy to the local music scene. The group’s live performances were exciting, unpredictable – and the music has, for the last decade and a half, all but disappeared. Unfortunately the punk/hardcore material does sound a bit dated, but the reggae-tinged songs still sound fresh, rewarding. There’s a lot to take in here and though, stylistically, it can feel like it’s all over the place, it’s nice to have it all in one place. I’ve been enjoying cherry-picking from it; reminding myself that, at their best, this was one hell of a band.