Wellington band The Dims have released two EPs in the past six months, with the latest installment entitled No Chemical Ills. Drawing inspiration from cult Kiwi acts like The Gordons and The Dead C, the trio condense their sound into distorted songs best described as ‘noise-punk’, and lasting only a couple of minutes.
My favourite at the moment, from New Zealand, which also gave Lord of the Rings its set. That was the best thing about the film, which as far as I can make out, was about some midgets trying to offload a ring. Apparently it took them ages: three movies to be precise. And they had […]
My favourite record label, the New Zealand-based Flying Nun — home to seminal acts such as The Chills, The Bats, The Clean, and The Verlaines — has been reinvigorated recently with the return of the label’s founder, Roger Shepherd, to steer the reigns and return this wonderful low-fi cottage industry back to its rightful glory. […]
When I was teenager, I was obsessed with the bands that seeped out of sleepy Dunedin, in New Zealand’s ruggedly beautiful South Island. There was an absolute contrast back then between those acts on the Flying Nun label, presided over with paternal wariness by the godfather of low-fi pop, Chris Knox, and the slicker bands […]
The Chills were the first band I ever saw. Well, actually, they were the first band I never saw, despite my best intentions. I was fifteen at the time, and my friend got word that the seminal Flying Nun act, who hailed from the deepest, darkest trenches of Dunedin, New Zealand, were to play a […]
New Zealand-born, globe-trotting, communal-living, psych rockers, The Datsuns, have a new album, a relatively-new drummer and a new living set-up, so expect something fresh from the Anitpodean ex-pats. ‘The new record has a lot of different styles and influences’, says The Datsuns guitarist and vocalist, Christian. ‘When we were doing this record a great thing was that we could try different things that we hadn’t done in the past’, he says, thanks to the addition of new drummer, Ben, offering as an example: ‘The last track on the record is an eight minute psychedelic song; it was a pop song but we turned it psychedelic. We said to Ben ‘play psychedelic drums’ and he did. It was completely improvised. He enabled us to do anything we wanted to do’.
This live performance of Liam Finn’s Second Chance is the reason why music cuts so deep to the soul. The guy is giving it everything, and then a little extra on top. And, no, I’m not talking about the beard.
Oh man, what I wouldn’t give to be able to sing like Neil Finn. His voice rasps with all the sincerity and integrity of a thousand heartfelt melodies. Heck, I’d probably trade my prized collection of Archie comics for just the chorus on this song. Driving Me Mad? You betcha(dupa). This man is a treasure. […]
Back in the day, New Zealand pop absurdists, Split Enz were the finest damn Australasian band around. This track, I Walk Away, off their final album — Spellbound — is their ultimate moment: a hefty dose of pure melodic majestry, wrapped around the aching lyrics and quirky arrangements of genius frontman, Neil Finn.
I spent the formative first six years of my life in Wellington, New Zealand, a beautiful windswept city framed by a magnificent harbour in one direction and a stunning collection of green, rolling hills in the other. It was here, on a return visit many years later and deep amongst the clipped accents and ruddy faces of the weather-beaten locals, that I stumbled upon the vast catalogue of the then Dunedin based record label Flying Nun. And what a roster of acts they housed — The Chills, The Bats, The Clean, Tall Dwarfs, The Verlaines, and my favourite guitar-pop band, Straitjacket Fits.