Archives for category: International Pop Underground
Too Tone NZ Music Month

NZ Music Every Godzone Month! sign from Too Tone Records in Dunedin.

Our New Zealand Music Month song for day #21 is from the excellent album “Tenterhook” which brings new songs from Beat Rhythm Fashion 36 years after the last single of their brief but atmospheric early 1980s run. Here’s the opening track “Hard as Hell”.

Beat Rhythm Fashion were part of the Wellington Punk/ New Wave scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The band contributed two spiky post-punk songs – “None in the Universe” and “Not Necessary” – to the now rare and sought after * * * * (Four Stars) sampler released on Sausage Records in 1980.

Brothers Nino and Dan Birch, later with Caroline Easther on drums, went on to release 3 distinctive and coolly atmospheric singles as Beat Rhythm Fashion – 2 on Bunk Records and the final single “No Great Oaks” on Epic in 1982. The songs from this era are compiled on the Bring Real Freedom compilation.

That was it… until last year when “Tenterhook” brought Nino Birch and Caroline Easther back together (Dan Birch died in 2011) with Rob Mayes on bass. The BRF story then to now is set out in an excellent interview with Nino Birch.

 

 

Advertisements
Too Tone NZ Music Month

Shop display of re-purposed NZ Music Month poster at Too Tone Records (2010-2017) in Dunedin.

Our New Zealand Music Month song for day #20 is from “Floating Being”, the debut album from Wellington heavy doom-rock duo Earthtongue. Here’s the opening track “Microspcopic God”.

Earthtongue’s music is built around thick gooey low-frequency fuzzy riffs. It’s a bit too weird in an agreeably psych-rock/ prog-rock kind of way to be doom-metal, but it certainly shares some of the ominous frequencies of that genre at the same time as being a convoluted and interesting feast of restless rhythms, riffs and melodies.

Earthtongue are guitarist/ vocalist Gussie Larkin and drummer/ vocalist Ezra Simons. Larkins is also one third of Mermaidens and some of Earthtongues fuzzy shapes and sounds add intriguing texture to the latest Mermaidens single too.

Too Tone NZ Music Month

Shop display of re-purposed NZ Music Month poster at Too Tone Records (2010-2017) in Dunedin.

Our New Zealand Music Month song for day # 17 is from Christchurch noise rock trio No Broadcast and their most recent single “WASTE”:

No Broadcast hail from Christchurch and evoke the spirit and sonic fury of High Dependency Unit/ HDU in the way they use sonic guitar textures combining elements of noise-rock, post-rock, shoegaze and post-punk into a frenetic stew of noisy but melodic guitar rock.

No Broadcast are Josh Braden (Guitar and Vocals), Thomas Isbister (Drums) and Kieran Colina (Bass) and are an impressive and powerful live act as well.

Too Tone NZ Music Month

Shop display of re-purposed NZ Music Month poster at Too Tone Records (2010-2017) in Dunedin.

Our New Zealand Music Month music for day #15 is “Rainbow City” from the recently re-issued Micronism album “inside a quiet mind”.

“Rainbow City” is busy and restless compared to most of the album, but it still demonstrates the odd kind of organic hyper-world of “inside a quiet mind”, which was re-released on double LP in 2017 by Loop Recordings. The initial album release was a limited CD run in 1998. Micronism was/ is Denver McCarthy and the recordings were made from 1996 to 1998 when he was in his late teens and early 20s and developing his sound, influenced by Detroit techno and the burgeoning electronic music scenes of the 90s. Twenty years on and “inside a quiet mind” still sounds… different and hard to pin down. A world of sound to explore for a long while yet.

Too Tone NZ Music Month

Shop display of re-purposed NZ Music Month poster at Too Tone Records (2010-2017) in Dunedin.

Our New Zealand Music Month song for day #14 is the title track from the new Aldous Harding album “Designer”*:

If you found the first two Aldous Harding albums a bit impenetrable and uncomfortable with their heavy mannerisms, wilful oddness, and dark horror (as I did) then “Designer” is the album to help you make peace with Harding’s music. It’s a glorious album of beautifully rendered often minimalist and haunting pop songs.

If songs like “Designer”* here sound a bit like Cate Le Bon that could be because the album shares a few musicians in common with Le Bon’s usual recording band. There’s still a sense of other-worldly oddness with “Designer” but it’s a subtle and considered experience this time. The songs, their musical arrangements and Harding’s lyrical flights and glorious voice keep it accessible and welcoming even when the strange word puzzles make you think twice about what’s really going on in the songs.

[NOTE: *As you may have noticed, despite attempting to embed the song “Designer”, the embed code for the song defaults to “The Barrel”. It’s another fine song from the album, but not the one I wanted to share here to highlight the album. I guess that serves me right for wanting to share something here from an already popular album on a major-ish label. So it’s back to obscure artists on labels which haven’t disabled track embeds from their Bandcamp page for the rest of the month!]

Too Tone NZ Music Month

Shop display of re-purposed NZ Music Month poster at Too Tone Records (2010-2017) in Dunedin.

Our New Zealand Music Month treat for day 13 is the fuzzed-up guitar splendour of Christchurch band Wurld Series. Here’s “TY Duncan” from their recent digital single:

“TY Duncan” is an out-take from the “Stately & Befrothed” sessions. Wurld Series have had a morphing line-up obver the years but this song predates the current line-up of guitarist and vocalist Luke Towart with Adam Hattaway (lead guitar), Emma Hattaway (bass) and the ubiquitous Brian Feary (drums), so substitute Abi Macilquham for Emma, and Ben Woods for Adam and you have last year’s “Stately & Bethrothed” ear model. Confusing? Well, that’s rock’n’roll, Christchurch style.

What stays consistent with Wurld Series through the line-up changes is the loping nonchalant off-kilter melodic fuzzy guitar wonderfulness.

Too Tone NZ Music Month

Shop display of re-purposed NZ Music Month poster at Too Tone Records (2010-2017) in Dunedin.

Our New Zealand Music Month day #11 song is from Superette’s 1996 debut album “Tiger”, which was re-issued as an expanded edition (including double LP)  in November 2018. Here’s “Touch Me”:

Superette was formed in 1993 by members of Jean-Paul Sartre Experience and Fang – Ben Howe, Dave Mulcahy and Greta Anderson. The “Tiger” re-issue includes bonus material, including their Rosepig EP and some songs from a never-released second album.