There's the sound of knives sharpening. Then the bass takes over, relentless throbs that combine to sound like a wrecking ball slicing through a machete shop. Finally, the hook delivers the final blow, a shout-it-in-a-mate's-face-as-loud-as-you-can adrenaline rush, one that will make sure it soundtracks every rugby big-hits compilation package made until 2020. At least.

When SWIDT released Player of the Day, one of the biggest bangers on their debut album, which is chock-full of them, they'd already released a series of four astounding songs: Alfred & Church, a Saturday night tour through the streets of Onehunga; Little Did She Know, a hilarious throwback to sneaking out for school parties; Close One, a grimy ode to near-death experiences; and Tonight, a surprisingly sweet tribute to 90s R&B sex jams.

They confirmed what many had been suspecting for a while, that something special was brewing in the midst of SWIDT, a five-strong crew of school friends - Spycc, Boomer, INF, Smokey and Jamal - who were born and bred in Onehunga.

But Player of the Day, released just two weeks ago, is something else, a song for the ages, one that instantly demands you stop what you're doing and absolutely lose your shit. That's no easy feat.


But here's the thing: Stoneyhunga is full of moments just like that. There's Out the Gate, a clattering, chest-beating mission statement. Every Weekend takes Skrillex-style drops, distorted vocals and slabs of synths and turns it into a bruising basement brawl.

Then there's RIP Shirt, the best Mobb Deep song Mobb Deep never wrote, a brilliantly timed cluster of battle raps that ends with Spycc delivering the album's best line: "See / This is a tangi / Put him in the dirt like a hangi." As they repeatedly holler during their woozy ode to the wrestler on Ric Flair: "Woo!"

You probably came for the bangers, but there's plenty else going on. All Night is two-step throbs and 2am tales, Kelz Garage is a supercharged reggae instrumental screaming out for more, Mine is indie-rock with falsettos and guitar solos and Before Tears Dry, the album's closer, is just piano and guitars and a funereal tone. "Tears running down my jacket / In front of everybody." It's a deep end for an album that constantly dives for more.

Skits are interspersed throughout Stoneyhunga, but rather than becoming wearying, they add to the music, expanding their sense of humour, and making you feel closer to SWIDT's world. That's the best thing about Stoneyhunga: crucially, they're not just showing off their gang, they're bringing you in, making you feel like you're part of their inner circle.

Inclusion isn't something rappers are often credited for, but SWIDT pulls you into the huddle and lifts you up with them. Players of the day, indeed.

SWIDT - Stoneyhunga

Label: Dawn Raid
Verdict: Onehunga five-piece's debut is one for the ages