Archives for posts with tag: fuzz guitar

Na NoiseWhile pondering one of life’s imponderables – “how come everyone publishes ‘best albums of the year’ lists in early December when the year hasn’t finished?” – memory of a recent Bandcamp-generated e-mail alert about a new single by Auckland duo Na Noise resurfaced. Na Noise are the Auckland duo of Yolanda Fagan and Hariet Ellis (from Echo Ohs), warping 1960’s beat-group-pop culture through a stylistic blender and time-machine into the 21st century. Here is “Bad Dreams”:

“Bad Dreams” is “Na Noise’s second candied tune to be released.” It was released on 6 December, so it’s too late for any not-quite-end-of-year lists by those who treat the year as if it has only 11 months at most.

Fortunately Na Noise’s first “candied tune”, called “Then Who” was released in August, and it will certainly be on PopLib’s list of best singles/ songs of 2019, when that list is created. Which will probably be mid-January 2020 if at all. Because a year has 12 months, 52 weeks with a Friday release day for official release-day types, and 365 days on which non-aligned free souls can release new music.

“Bad Dreams” may not be as immediately catchy as “Then Who” but it is glorious in different and darker ways. It does a similar thing of combining different familiar styles and pop-culture tropes together and creating something wholly fresh and a little bit odd. We’ve all got time for another bad dream.

There’s a bit of slow twangy Tex-Mex cowboy-gun-slinger-in-a-B-movie guitar with that quivering Nuggets/ Pebbles psychedelic garage rock tremolo and vibrato fuzz lead guitar. And there’s those two voices, combining in harmony in a spooky mono-tonal possessed-sounding incantation. It’s simple, and it’s very effective. “Another bad dream” indeed.

Na NoiseIf you enjoyed the treat from French trio Juniore here recently (and who wouldn’t?) then here’s some fuzzy garage rock from the opposite side of the world – Auckland to be exact. It’s a single from Na Noise called “Then Who”:

Na Noise are Yolanda Fagan and Hariet Ellis (from Echo Ohs) warping old-style 1960’s beat-group-pop through a stylistic blender and time-machine into the 21st century.

The song is built on a catchy George Harrison-styled note-bending guitar lick like an out-take off an early Beatles recording, with soulful smoky Ye-Ye style vocals, a whiff of T. Rex in the chorus vocals and rifferama perhaps, some surf music reverb & twang, and then towards the end, the lead guitar goes into a quivering Electric Prunes toned solo over more Kaylan & Volman style falsetto outro warbling. Get it on indeed.

“Then Who” is musically and stylistically all over the place and it’s totally great. Even with all these oddly combined elements the song sounds neither imitation nor pastiche, just 100% cool, fun and timeless fuzzy beat-pop goodness. Let there be more, please.

Kool Aid saturated mirrorIs the Christchurch music scene only about a dozen musicians who are all interchangeably members of all of the vast multitude of fine fuzz & jangle guitar bands sprouting regularly from the South Island’s largest city?  Kool Aid provide further evidence to support this theory via their new single “Family Portrait Revisited”

Kool Aid (thankfully now shortened from a formerly longer variant involving the name of a self-styled NZ bishop and cult-leading bigot I won’t bother naming) include Jamie Stratton, Violet French, Luke Towart (Wurld Series, Adam Hattaway & The Haunters), Ben Dodd (Ben Dodd & His Organ), the ubiquitous Brian Feary (drummer in every Christchurch band this decade*), and Spencer Hall.

On the strength of “Family Portrait revisited” Kool Aid may well be the best of the bunch. Recorded at The Dogshit Factory in Christchurch, “Family Portrait Revisited” manages to combine the essence of David Kilgour’s nonchalant strum and twang with the melodic laid-back psychedelia of Rain Parade.  The more I listen to the song the more perfect it becomes. Looking forward to hearing the whole EP set for release 11 July on prolific Christchurch label Melted Ice Cream.

*Bands Brian Feary has played in include X-Ray Charles, Wurld Series, Shacklock Meth Party, Dance Asthmatics, Salad Boys, Christian Rock, and probably dozens more I’ve forgotten about or don’t know about, and if he hasn’t played drums in a band he has recorded and/or mastered their recordings and/or designed the artwork for their release. He’s the Mikey Young of the Christchurch underground scene and deserves a medal.

Wurld Series Live to AirDay 20 of our 31 Days of May New Zealand Music Month marathon comes from Christchurch lo-fi fuzz pop specialists Wurld Series and the opening track of their “Air Goofy” album. Here’s “Second Hit”

“Second Hit” is a good introduction to the Christchurch band if you haven’t discovered them before. A blast of fuzzy guitars with a bit of tremolo and a lot of 3Ds style wild guitar shredding solos, all recorded on a 4-track cassette portastudio is mostly what we associate with Wurld Series.  However the album also unfolds with unexpected twists and turns into more experimental psychedelic pop and odd sound-collage pieces.

As an added Wurld Series bonus, here they are caught live on Lo and Behold.

As an extra added bonus, here’s their recent Live-To-Air session on Dunedin’s Radio One: