Archives for posts with tag: Melted Ice Cream

…And while we are in Ōtautahi Christchurch, and still with Melted Ice Cream Records, here’s something completely different from Local Tourist, also released last month. “Colors” is the opening track from a quiet album of introspection called “Other Ways of Living”:

“Other Ways of Living” also features the bassist on the previously featured Best Bets album, Joe Sampson. He’s more familiar as a guitarist, cranking out sublime noise with a variety of Christchurch bands (T54, Salad Boys, etc.) and it’s as guitarist and bassist that he appears here, but in a more subdued, reflective mood.

US born songwriter Erin Umstead was living in Christchurch, New Zealand and frequenting local live music venue Darkroom where she met bassist/guitarist Joe Sampson (Salad Boys, T54) and drummer Rory Dalley (Ben Woods Group). Local Tourist formed, However, the pandemic and visa complications halted any chance of extensive touring and Umstead was forced to leave her adopted home, but not before the group recorded this album, over her last few days in New Zealand.

The album is an immersive listen. If you are familiar with the work of Wellington’s WOMB, and American Analog Set, then you will understand the power of introspection.

Posted this song “Nap Gate” last year when it was released as a single, but now it is the first track shared ahead of the March release of the Wurld Series album “What’s Growing” so here it is again, as a fitting semi-psychedelic-Sunday aural feast:

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.

Sure, they have always had a “Pavement-y” kind of slacker guitar pop vibe, as much from the low key singing of Wurld Series songwriter/ guitarist/ vocalist Luke Towart. But the music also weaves in a bit of the loopy off-kilter style of lead guitar that local 90s legends the 3Ds were known for (and who arguably influenced Pavement) as well as the fuzzy melodic feel-good factor from Teenage Fanclub’s “Bandwagonesque” album.

“Nap Gate” is less lo-fi than some of the previous recordings but packs all the familiar ingredients. The lead guitar parts here – from Adam Hattaway – are spectacular too, which should be no surprise if you have listened to the Adam Hattaway and the Haunters album “All Dat Love”.

The Wurld Series band is from Christchurch, NZ (the original home of Flying Nun Records) and has always had a revolving line up from release to release. Towart now sees Wurld Series as “less of a band and more of a music-making guild, with a changing line-up that depends on who is present for recording sessions at the band’s lock-up space in the industrial suburb of Woolston.”

Roll on the release of “What’s Growing” in March in a limited LP run. Here’s what they say the album contains:

“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.”

It’s an understatement to say “What’s Growing” promises a diverse range of intriguing sounds. Based on the reliability of every previous Wurld Series release it’s definitely worth considering pre-ordering now if you want to ensure a copy of the LP in March.

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.

Too Tone NZ Music Month

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

Our New Zealand Music Month day #28 song is from Christchurch guitar band The Salad Boys and the jangling 12-string drone of “Exaltation” from their 2018 album “This is Glue”:

Salad Boys is led by guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Joe Sampson, once of noisy Christchurch trio T54. Salad Boys is the more reflective side of Sampson’s considerable guitar-playing and songwriting talent – which “Exaltation” showcases perfectly – though the album still packs plenty of over-driven riff-rock.

Much has been made of their local influences from that cold damp city 5 hours drive south of their quake-munted Christchurch home. But as much as you can maybe hear a bit of The Clean/ Great Unwashed in the strum and jangle of “Exaltation” here, the varied guitar styles and noisy pop hooks comprising much of “This Is Glue” is actually much more in the style of  the recent crop of fine Australian guitar bands (The Stevens, Twerps, Woollen Kits et al.) who also seem to have assimilated that same perfect odd-combo of ’80s kiwi drone jangle and more polished North American guitar pop.

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.

wurldseries2019Continuing on from yesterday’s stellar album by Christchurch’s Adam Hattaway And The Haunters, here’s another new – and closely related – release from the Melted Ice Cream stable from Wurld Series. It’s a new single “Nap Eyes”.

[Note: The single release this post originally linked to has been taken down, so this is the track on the “What’s Growing” album announced for release March 2021]

There’s a bunch of familiar names from yesterday’s post. Joining guitarist and vocalist Luke Towart is Adam Hattaway (lead guitar), Emma Hattaway (bass) and the ubiquitous Brian Feary (drums).

“Nap Gate” – which will feature on the second Wurld Series album later this year – is one of the best sounding Wurld Series tunes to date. It’s less lo-fi than some of the previous recordings but packs all the familiar ingredients. Hattaway’s lead guitar parts here are spectacular too, which should be no surprise if you listened to the song from his solo album featured in the previous PopLib post yesterday.

The B-Side is an out-take from the “Stately & Befrothed” sessions. Both songs on this single are typically glorious slices of the fuzzy guitar-driven pop we’ve come to expect from Wurld Series.  Roll on the release of “What’s Growing”.

Brian Tamaki and the Kool Aid KidsMelted Ice Cream is a record label from Christchurch. A pretty cool one (ha!). The City, on the east coast of the South Island, five hours drive north of Dunedin, was shaken apart by a series of earthquakes in 2010/2011 and much of the city centre was demolished in the aftermath. But from the rubble grows resistant weeds of underground music. “Sickest Smashes from Arson City: Legacy Edition” is a compilation celebrating those musical weeds. Here’s the first track – “Tunnel Vision”

It’s a fitting first track for the compilation album because (a) it’s a wonderfully great song, and (b) the ‘Brian Tamaki’ of the band’s name is a religious cult leader and bigot who infamously claimed the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010/2011 were ‘God’ punishing Christchurch for sins, including supporting same-sex marriage. Jerk.

It’s a great compilation, heavy on the scrappy melodic punk and bite, with a bit of experimental weirdness folded in towards to end.  Very Christchurch.

Here’s the Melted Ice Cream blurb: “Now that it’s sufficiently obsolete, MIC have decided to revive this antiquated music format, in the most proper way possible: buy this 20 track, NZ-Pressed CD and receive a 12-page booklet with extensive liner notes including bios and photos of each band, a map of Christchurch musical places, a network map of Christchurch band members featured on the compilation, extensive credits and a foreword lovingly written by Hannah Herchenbach. This is intended to be a document and keepsake of the 2018 Christchurch indie music scene. “

In the words of BTATKAK on their Fakebook page – “its a fucking banger, go buy the cd…”

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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:

wurldseries_2016_ben-woodsChristchurch guitar-botherers Wurld Series are back with a full-length album called “Air Goofy”, fittingly available on cassette. Here’s the second song “Rip KF” for you:

It’s ‘fittingly’ on cassette because it was recorded on cassette, via a Tascam 424 4-track cassette recorder, staple of a generation of bedroom DIY artists in previous decades, and it seems again today.

As we’ve heard from previous tunes and EPs and songs like “Orkly Kid” and “Rabbit” which are both included here, the spirit of early rough-genius Pavement is undeniably strong in Wurld Series at times – twisting fuzzed out guitars and stream of unconscious life lyrical flights.  But so is the spirit of the 3-Ds from closer to home, who arguably influenced Pavement with their eccentric lead guitar shapes and angles atop lurching fuzzed out guitar skronk-pop.

If “Rip KF” – complete with shared lead vocal between guitarist/ vocalist Luke Towart and guest vocalist Tyne Gordon – represents the more middle-of-a-rough-road-to-nowhere melodic guitar pop side of “Air Goofy” then there’s much variety on either side of that median. Check out the thrilling “LT’s Struggle” for an alternative example.

Another great addition to both the Wurld Series and the Melted Ice Cream label catalogues. Don’t just take PopLib’s word for it. UK music blog Did Not Chart has also been singing the praises of this rough diamond.

 

 

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Here’s some unholy lo-fi psych goodness in spades from Christchurch band Wurld Series and their “Orkly Kid” single.

“Orkly Kid” comes across with the sweetly melodic fuzzed up charm of early Teenage Fanclub via Pavement as recorded on a 4 track cassette (I’m guessing).

It’s a bit grainy and lo-fi but that super-psych heavy tremolo-fuzz guitar sound is messily wonderful.

The B-Side “Rabbit” is also great. Looking forward to hearing these one day on “the forthcoming ‘Anthology’ to be released through Voyager Golden Records (Portland, USA)” and on “a full length LP to be released in the NEAR FUTURE.”

Wurld Series also appeared recently on this (sold out) split cassette with Jim Nothing on Melted Ice Cream. Pretty sure that Jim Nothing is also in Wurld Series but they are refreshingly obscure (no FB page!) and I like it that way.

[PostScript: Wurld Series advise “Sorry but we got a FB page after all…” They also say Jim Nothing left a while back but “is forever an honorary member of Wurld Series.”]