Archives for posts with tag: Melted Ice Cream Records

Our Day 25 song for 31 Days of May Madness, attempting to post a New Zealand track every day of the month of May, is “Moat” by Wurld Series:

It’s hard to pick just one song from the glorious album “What’s Growing” to represent it. But “Moat” mixes some of the sweetest soaring lead guitar lines (courtesy of Adam Hattaway) with woozy mellotron atmosphere.

That combination of brilliant lead guitar lines and the pastoral psychedelia of the mellotron is as good a sonic calling card for the wonky guitar-pop/ psych-folk of Wurld Series. Then there’s the enchanting songwriting and Luke Towart’s bemused delivery of skewed elliptical philosophical lyrics.

It may initially sound to be under the influence of Pavement and Guided by Voices (Tobin Sprout era), but the more you play it, and the more thoroughly this set of songs embeds in your subconscious, the more this takes on a charming homespun form of its own.  

“What’s Growing” is one of the highlights of 2021. Every home should have one.

Here’s the second single shared ahead of the March release of the Wurld Series album “What’s Growing”… something from the other side of the Wurld Series universe. “Supplication” reveals a surprise pastoral psychedelic folk side of the Christchurch band:

Wurld Series has been creating little gems of EPs for a few years now. Previous releases were generally on the lo-to-medium-fidelity end of the spectrum; perfect for the DIY melodic pop with fuzzy wandering lead guitar lines.

This time their “Pavement-y” influence is less of the slacker pop style and more the wonky melodic psych-folk element of that band (and a bit of Brit-Psych-Folk too). The loopy off-kilter lead guitar is replaced by various mellotron and flute sounds. It’s charming and different and sounds like there’s more of this once the full album is released next month:

“The songs contained in What’s Growing are submerged within reeling guitar, hypnotic mellotron and meditative drones. Lyrical themes include post apocalyptic living, extraterrestrial visitation, TV game show monsters and the workplace as a dreamlike medieval dystopia. At times traces of Tall Dwarfs or The 3Ds can be heard. More obvious American 90’s indie rock influences are also evident, alongside a clear strain of unsettling, pastoral British psych folk that runs throughout the album. What’s Growing is a compact statement of intent; a collage of full-noise indie rock recordings and minimal, psychedelic, and homespun artefacts.”

There are still some LPs available to pre-order but it may be best to pre-order soon if you want to make sure you get a copy of the LP in March.

Cowboy Machine are from Christchurch and part of the wide (and wild) Melted Ice Cream Records family. As the name suggests this band is part cowboy (in the loosest sense of the word, which doesn’t involve prairies, horses, wide-brimmed hats, yodeling, or indeed cows) and part machine (in the rowdy guitar plugged into a noisy amp sense of the word). Here’s the emotionally cathartic “Sand Dunes”:

Cowboy Machine is guitarist and vocalist Mikey Summerfield (The Undercurrents), Marcus Winstanley (The Undercurrents, Minisnap) on bass, along with drummer Thomas Isbister and organ (not keyboard) player Josh Braden, the latter two formerly of the frenetic prog-noise merchants Butterflies Welcoming Spring and even more experimental Hermit Permit. Brian Feary (who else) recorded, produced and mastered the recording which is not unusual, but he does not also play in this band, which is unusual, as he plays in so many Christchurch groups.

Cowboy Machine sound more like an Australian guitar band than a New Zealand one, although Christchurch is the Australia of New Zealand in a way (or maybe just the Melbourne and Brisbane of NZ).

It appears a somewhat rough and tumble interpretation of what a city slicker might imagine “Country Music” should be, if played like rock music, but it’s not country punk or anything like that.

Instead there’s something immediately loveable (in a roguish charmer kind of way) about this song, maybe from the melodic flights it takes, or Mikey’s wild but sometimes extraordinary vocals (like when he does those falsetto parts), or the kind of Stoned tumbledown beauty of the guitar thrashing, or the combination of all these slightly ramshackle parts into a piece of oddly affecting soul music. It’s not the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses” but it’s a feral beast of it’s own peculiar NZ/ Australasian breed.

Cowboy Machine also appeared on the Melted Ice Cream compilation CD “Sickest Smashes From Arson City” a year of so back, with a song called “To The Border”. It’s another great ramshackle tune, and the video – which consists of Mikey and the band doing a lot of wandering around and pointing at things – is also a bit of loose’n’light fun in the Christchurch sun.

adam hattawayNot sure how I missed this Adam Hattaway And The Haunters album “All Dat Love” when it was first released on Melted Ice Cream just before Christmas (although that timing may be why). Anyway, turns out this album is a stone cold classic of restless guitar-fuelled pop and rock and soul, as “Turn Around” shows.

The album travels through many moods without straying far from its twin squalling guitar approach. There are so many beautiful songs here and so much thrillingly noisy guitar playing it’s hard to pick just one song as a kind of representative entry point.

“Turn Around” features Adam Hattaway on Vocals and guitars, Emma
Hattaway on bass Elmore Jones on drums and Ben Woods on keyboards. The two Hattaways, Ben Woods and either Jones or Ryan Chin on drums are the nucleus of the band.

“All Dat Love” is expertly rendered in grainy realistic mid-fi from recordings made by Adam and mixed on 4-track by Melted Ice Cream stalwart Brian Feary.

Melted Ice Cream says “Recommended if you like: The Band, Ariel Pink, The 3Ds, Neil Young, Toy Love.” I’d add to that eclectic list:  Velvet Crush, Ty Segall, White Fence, Wurld Series and Matthew Sweet (his classic 1991 “Girlfriend” album with those twin duelling guitar parts from Television’s Richard Lloyd and former Voidoid Robert Quine comes to mind).

There’s an excellent single-shot video for “Turn Around” here too:


Ben Woods

Fuzzy guitar pop aficionados look out! Here’s the excitable and great-tasting “Lozenge” with a very sticky melody and a very economic 1 minute 53 second running time.

Woods is a guitarist – and multi-instrumentalist – from Christchurch and you’ve probably seen him play in half the bands you’ve seen from that city (if you live in NZ, which you probably don’t, and go and see bands, which you hopefully still do – it’s good for you!).

He was in (at last count) River Jones, Fran, Wurld Series, Salad Boys and probably a bunch of others that never made it to Dunedin. Top guitarist, and “Lozenge” is his first outing on his own  and under his own name and it’s a winner. What’s not to like about a fuzzy lo-fi melodic pop gem under 2 minutes?

Woods is touring NZ at the moment, along with another PopLib favourite Motte. They play the Captain Cook in Dunedin tonight. Read all about the tour here.

Wurld Series Live to AirChristchurch fuzz-pop band Wurld Series are back with a six song EP called “Stately and Befrothed” which is coming out on cassette (and digital download) on 4 July. Here’s one of two songs shared ahead of the release – “Slow Going”

They say “This is the new EP by Wurld Series of Christchurch, New Zealand. It follows last year’s album ‘Air Goofy’” and describe the EP as “a sprawling, post-debut-album short form exploration continuing in the tradition of Lilys’ ‘A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns’ or ‘Watery, Domestic’ by Pavement.”

We say this is exactly what we’d like to hear more of. The tone of that fuzzy, tremolo guitar is like, well, music to our ears. The song has a relaxed walking pace, good natured melody and certainly carries off that woozy Pavement-esque vibe with a bit of je ne sais quoi of its own.

Given that Pavement were hugely influenced by South Island NZ guitar pop back in the day, this kind of re-filtering into the local vernacular of true-life Christchurch DIY recordings is admirable cultural re-appropriation.

It’s out on Melted Ice Cream and that cassette sure looks like a collectible analogue thing, so don’t dilly dally.


Day 23 of NZ Music Month is from Christchurch band Wurld Series & the budget psychedelia of “Still in the Pool” from their side of a split cassette shared with Jim Nothing.

“Still in the Pool” builds on the strummed guitar, voice and percussion, adding an bottomless pool of reverb guitar in the background. It’s this modest but perfect little experimental touch which gives the song it’s captivating atmosphere.

Their whole side of that (sold out) split cassette is pretty wonderful and varied. There’s a strong bedroom psych-rock experimental pop thing going on and their DIY (cassette?) recording is warm and true. There’s some quite beautiful things on there I wasn’t expecting, like “Stone Door” too.

Hex wavesDay 20 of NZ Music Month is another Hex/ Witch themed release, this time from Christchurch doom-drone band The Hex Waves and their “Witch on a Motorcycle”

This one song – a demo recorded to a computer via one microphone they say – was released a few years ago and there’s been rumors ever since of a proper EP length release. If you are in Christchurch and going to the Better Living event at the Darkroom this Saturday night you can ask them about the whereabouts of these recordings.

“Witch on a Motorcycle” has an agreeable repetitive drone thing happening with psych-rock space-guitar, and reverb-washed vocals. There’s also an unexpected injection of twangy desert-noir guitar at times which propels it into a very cool Wooden Shjips and Spaceman 3 jamming with Calexico kind of space.

Invisble threadsDay 18 of NZ Music Month is a lovely slice of weirdo psychedelic drone rock with synths from Auckland band Invisible Threads. The song is “ZS”:

Tremendous. It starts out as a kind of fuzzy alternative stoner-psych-rock with almost conversational laid-back vocals. Then the guitar goes a bit super-nova with effects and finally that synth in the background bursts out, everything lurches into a lurching progressive sludge-metal freak-out battle between guitar and synth and it’s over!

Only two and a half minutes long, but what an intriguing mini-symphony of ear-popping oddness those two and half minutes contained.

Invisible Threads headline the “Better Living” event at Christchurch’s Darkroom this coming Saturday.

This “Better Living” event will not about stuff you can do with plastic, but is instead presented by Melted Ice Cream Records so it’s more about “Better Living” through being Glad all over with the joyful communal experience of a good night out listening to bands make a life-enriching noise.

The event information states: “INVISIBLE THREADS are about to release a brand new album through Melted Ice Cream and on their second ever visit to Christchurch they are bringing down a whopping fifteen modular synthesizers to all make wonderful, faster-than-average-tempo-for-your-average-band-of-punks, geek trash, good shit-zonk. Essential listening: A new single from their upcoming album ‘Oxide’ which WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT THE GIG!”  –

The album “Oxide” was released yesterday and you can find it here.