Musician Matt Edmonds has turned the spoils of his victory at this year's Whanganui Musicians Club's songwriting competition into a new seven-track release for his indie outfit, MeanOwls.
The band's self-titled debut came out on Friday, not far off a year since it formed.
His song, "Wheelie on My Bike", won Edmonds three days of recording, mixing and mastering at Palmerston North studio Creative Sounds- The Stomach.
The band took 12 songs to Manawatū at the start of July.
"In August last year we came out of lockdown and got the band together," Edmonds said.
"Our first gig was in October, which, funnily enough, was at the Musicians Club."
The band had a busy time after that - playing around 20 shows.
"We ended up having a much busier summer than most bands would expect in their few months together.
"Basically, we took the set we'd been playing for the summer into the studio with us."
One twist in the band's set-up is the deployment of two bass players, Bunny Beckham and Edmonds himself on bass and vocals.
It's rounded out by Edmonds' wife Georgie Ormond on drums and Dave Griffiths and Thomas Garrett on guitar.
Of that set, there were seven songs worthy of spending more time on and getting finished, Edmonds said.
"The whole set up at The Stomach is bloody great, and the engineer there, Nigel Mauchline, just got straight out of the blocks. By Jesus, he was good.
"He liked our music, and quickly interpreted what we were jabbering on about and wanted to do, which was to capture ourselves live.
"Nigel set the studio up and we just let rip."
Mauchline cut his musical teeth in Whanganui, and the band's online distribution was organised by another former local, Andrew Hoggard, of digital aggregation service DRM.
The songs themselves make up a set that jumps from punk to indie to reggae to country.
"We're not slotted into any one thing, Edmonds said.
"It all sounds like MeanOwls, though."
He said the band had "winged it" a little bit during the recording process, with some songs not having a definitive beginning and end before they entered the studio.
"Everybody in the band has got a pretty good pedigree, so while it might sound like a shambles, it's actually an educated discussion, if that makes sense.
"It's nice to be mature enough to say 'that's okay'. Some of the other members might have been freaking out a little bit, but they weren't allowed to show it."
Having two bass players in the band made for some interesting dynamics, Edmonds said.
"With Bunny being a reggae player and me being a punk player, we start at different ends of the musical phrases. That has been really great to put together."
It led to a distinctive sound set up on Ormond's tribal drum sound, he said.
"The bass thump comes in behind it, and we can work on where the key notes are and both arrive at the same point."
MeanOwls will be playing in Whanganui next month, and Edmonds said the band's hometown reared its head throughout the new release.
"We've had a couple of people say 'Christ, you sound like the town you're singing about'.
"It's a little bit feral and a little bit rough, but compelling as well. You've got to keep an eye on it or it might bite you."
"Wheelie on a Bike", and the rest of MeanOwls new mini-album is now available on Spotify and other major music platforms.