Feature

Nastiriff burst onto the scene with a video for genre-bending debut “Suck It”

Upon first glace, new Cape Town-based rock band Nastiriff can’t help but be compared to early Fokofpoliesikar. Their style is fresh, their attitude is massively anti-establishment and their choice to combine English and Afrikaans music is genius. But that is where the comparison must end, and their debut single “Suck it” is the perfect introduction.

Lead singer Gavin Willmers defines the genre as something other than punk, saying, “Some of the dudes in the band are really not keen on calling it punk. Because punk has got a very specific sound to it. Which we don’t quite fall into.”

He continues, “It’s not straight up rock ‘n’ roll either. It really borrows from a lot of different genres, and I think we have actively tried to avoid any sort of specific category, in fear of limiting what we do. I mean fuck, some of our songs are almost completely jazz. And some songs lean more toward metal.”

It’s not often you have a band defining their own genre, but what are the origins of such a balsy move?

“Lloyd (Mckeen, bassist) came up with a kind of name that he felt best encapsulates our style called ‘riot riff rock’,” says Willmers. “The riffs are very melodic, and I try to write them in a very catchy way. Instead of trying to over-complicate the melodies and beats. Try and keep it simple and clean, but fucking filthy and memorable. Hence the name Nastiriff. It comes from the face you pull when you hear a nasty riff.”

Inspired by a rebellious spirit, the video sees the band performing a series of interesting and brash acts, clearly aimed at pulling a tongue at the establishment. Shot in Cape Town, it’s well worth a watch, as is the single which is catchy AF.