Archives for posts with tag: post-punk

Negative NanciesNegative Nancies are a noisy pop ensemble from Dunedin and “Candy Milk” here is from their debut 12″ EP “You Do You” which is released on 23 November on Christchurch arts&crafts label CocoMuse Releases.

“Candy Milk” has all the lurching anti-pop anarchy of Scottish post-punks Fire Engines, as it morphs from in-yer-face singalong punk blast, through spooky psych experimental zones, adding a dash of helter-skelter computer game soundtrack keys, and back again, to add up to one of the best unconventional pop hits to emerge from Dunedin.

In their own words: “Debut EP from Dunedin’s finest. Anxious polka-punk. Alt-fizz. Subgressive fun-time fantasiangst.”  The band seems refreshingly free of much in the way of online/ ‘social media’ presence so what you hear is what you get. And that’s plenty to chew on for the time being until the EP arrives and the remaining tracks are available.


Bitumen_2018.jpg“Twice Shy” is from the first album by Melbourne post-punk band Bitumen. “Discipline Reaction” was released a few weeks ago by Melbourne label Vacant Valley.

As noted here last year when the band released two songs on a split cassette, Bitumen present beautifully crafted post-punk – a hint of the ice-cold pummeling sound of Clan of Xymox and the ice-storm guitar skirl of Skeletal Family but Melbourne has been the home of this kind of industrial futuristic pop music for even longer than Germany or the UK.


Glasgow 5-piece Hairband -which features members of groups Spinning Coin, Breakfast Muff, Lush Purr and Kaputt – has just released a self-titled first 12″ EP last week. Here’s “Bubble Sword” from the EP –

When “Flying” by Hairband was featured on PopLib back in April the song came to notice via a charity fund-raiser compilation of music by an eclectic cast of Glasgow artists. “Flying” intrigued because of its unique style – that rare phenomena of something that sounds fresh and different while still indisputably part of the family tree of ‘pop music’.

Happily it was the advance rider of this 5 song 12″ EP, via their local Glasgow record shop label Monorail Music, released last week. The self-titled debut release from Hairband includes “Flying” and, as should be obvious from the wonderful “Bubble Sword” here, finds 4 more ways to bend the rock and pop ‘rules’ and delight.

“Bubble Sword” is constructed on restless post-punk funk bass and drums, with some avant-garde counter-point guitar patterns over top, emulating a re-purposed Afro-beat kind of rhythmic propulsion, then with a more straight forward noisy sing-a-long chorus.  It doesn’t sound like anything from the halcyon days of post-punk, but it does capture the possibilities of that era for music to go in multiple different directions – sometimes in the same song.

That rhythmic push and pull is at the musical heart of the EP. Each song is a different and distinct thing; related but separate musical events. Each song weaves and braids the band’s instrumentation and voices in different patterns of melody, tone and rhythm. Everything contributes to the whole, and more often than not the instrument that leaps out with something unexpected and audacious is one of the three guitar parts. Listen to “White Teeth” in particular for some sublime guitar interplay.

More than anything else the EP transmits the exploratory joy of a group of friends collaborating apparently without fear, and without self-imposed restrictions tying the music or playing to any particular style or genre. Whatever the chemistry or methodology is here, Hairband have clearly found something that works for them. And also, happily, for us as listeners.

for the quailDay 30 of PopLib’s 31 Days of May marathon for New Zealand Music Month is “Election Drinking Party” by Dunedin post-rock/ post-punk/ post-everything trio For The Quail.

For The Quail are Evan Sunley James (Guitar, vocals), Karl Bray (bass, backing vocals) and Samdrub Dawa (Drums). The song was written, recorded and released to mark New Zealand’s 2017 General Election, and captures an essence of the squabbling frustration of the 3 year political cycle of blame and claim, truth and lies and mis-use of statistics. Enough to drive anyone to drink.

The second half of the 8 minute epic goes off into space in a pretty wonderful way with delay guitar looping back on itself over and over to provide a noisy blanket of swirling sound as the percussion starts to become motorik and mechanical and steadily disintegrate and it ends in a kind of apocalyptic ambience.


ThisisDEAFDay 10 of our 31 Days of May for New Zealand Music Month marathon comes from Wellington band DEAF and their darkly atmospheric post-punk stunner “Truancy” –

“Truancy” is earworm pop – a gloriously constructed and recorded piece of freakishly hummable oddness, built on monstrous chorus bass, subtle arpeggio guitars, foggy synth washes and intriguing vocals delivering a chorus that may or may not be be “what I want to be, when I finally grow up, is a clown.”

Former Sunken Seas guitarist Luke Kavanagh is the distinctive vocalist here. It’s a winning vocal performance that makes the song, reminiscent of the slightly unhinged nocturnal otherness of say Fad Gadget, or Gary Numan, and perfectly matched to the dark-yet-accessible melodic post-punk of “Truancy”.

DEAF are comprised of former members of Sunken Seas and Tiddabades. In addition to Luke Kavanagh’s guitar and vocals, DEAF consists of Hayden Ellis (bass), Craig Rattray (drums) and synth players Mat Machray & Jarrod Crossland.  “Truancy” is a very promising introduction and taster for an EP expected later in the year.

Only at Day 10 of our NZ Music Month trawl through the uncharted waters of New Zealand music on bandcamp. Songs you won’t hear on any mainstream radio station (or Spotify playlist for that matter) in NZ Music Month or any other month but all well capable of being the soundtrack to our lives if we take the time to explore and listen beneath the surface.

Mermaidens_2018Day 5 of PopLib’s New Zealand Music Month 31 days of May madness marathon is “Fade” from Wellington’s Mermaidens.

“Fade” closes Mermaidens’ excellent 2017 album “Perfect Body”. It’s typical of the album’s sinewy mix of post-punk, ‘shoe-gaze’ and psychedelia, building through initially fairly minimal interweaving of guitars, drums and voices into a mesmerising maelstrom of sound in the finals few minutes.

“Perfect Body” is released on Flying Nun Records and is available on LP from Mermaidens via Bandcamp or from Flying Out

The ExThe Ex are from Amsterdam, forming in 1979 and still going strong judging by the rhythmic and sonic exploration evident on their latest album “27 passports” from which we have “Silent Waste”.

While the reference point from the year of their formation is Post-Punk, the album “27 Passports” exhibits mutated Afro-Beat rhythmic virtuosity and has just as strong a link to the exploratory experimental rock of early Can – around their “Monster Movie” album.

It’s a thrillingly different and challenging sound in today’s polished and accessible alternative music universe. The polyrhythmic drumming from Katherina Bornefeld (vocalist on this track, along with guitarist Arnold de Boer) is a standout of the album, driving and twisting these songs into unconventional shapes and providing a platform for the three guitarists to battle, churn and weave noise, melody, rhythm and chaos.

Time to explore their substantial back-catalogue now…