Archives for posts with tag: The Terminals

Minus 2 were an off-shoot of long-running Christchurch band The Terminals, made up of guitarist and singer Stephen Cogle, bassist/ cellist John Christoffels and keyboard player Mick Elborado. They recorded a couple of albums in the early 2000s, released as limited CD-r runs on small underground labels. This song “Crocus” is second of these Minus 2 albums “Joy of Return”:

Minus 2 recorded “Joy of Return” album about 2002 or 2003, but it wasn’t released until 2009 on 50cc Records. It has recently been made available again via Mick Elborado’s ‘Melbo’ Bandcamp as a free download. I would have happily paid generously for this – it’s an extraordinary collection of dark swirling folk-pop-noir.

The mix of keyboard and a weaving lead guitar line here means “Crocus” sounds like a demo for a mid-period Felt song, from the Ignite The Seven Cannons And Set Sail For The Sun album, the only to feature both guitarist Maurice Deebank and organist Martin Duffy. But instead of Lawrence we have the distinctive ominous vibrato baritone proclamation of Stephen Cogle.

Whereas The Terminals were often a multi-instrument wall of sound, the percussion free space of Minus 2 gives a different kind of setting for Cogle’s voice, and the resulting music has a character of its own. The whole album is glorious, and the epic title track closing the album – a duet with Nicole Moffet – is particularly wonderful:

tidalravepromo2Our day 19 song for New Zealand Music Month 2020 is a song from the recent album “Heart Screams” by Wellington six-piece Tidal Rave. Let’s go with the “Speed of Sound” –

Tidal Rave do the dark garage guitar and keyboard thing that New Zealand is world famous for really well. With three guitarists, and also as many alternating vocalists their music is full of melody as well as the busy churn and lyrical themes fuelled by anxiety and resentment.

Anyone into those peculiarly dark and brooding Christchurch bands that were on Flying Nun Records in the 1980s (Pin Group, The Terminals, Max Block, Scorched Earth Policy, and their later post-FNR offspring Dadamah) will recognise the uneasy listening claustrophobia lurking in Tidal Rave’s music.  Which is odd, because the band is from Wellington with at least half its members originally from Dunedin.

NZMM 2020

Tidal Rave FOMOWellington band Tidal Rave are back with a great new single “FOMO”:

Their EP last year had a churning claustrophobic feel, reminiscent of the dark garage rock of 1980s Christchurch band The Terminals.

“FOMO” is lighter – there’s more space around the three guitars to let the song breath – and the combination of keyboard with those three guitarists brings to mind the wry chamber pop of another 1980s/ 90s Flying Nun band The Able Tasmans, or perhaps even the Sarah Records pop of bands like Even As We Speak.

It has a distinctive Australasian feel to it. Maybe it’s the way we strum guitars down here, but it’s also in that distinctively Antipodean conversational vocal delivery and storytelling from Emmie Ellis, who takes the lead vocal here, and says of the the song “An ode for the excitable drunk who never wants to go home. Maybe based on real-life events.”   

Tidal Rave_Bronwyn Haines

Tidal Rave – photo by Bronwyn Haines

Tidal Rave are a 5-piece band from Wellington. Their first EP continues a grand New Zealand tradition of darkly compelling guitar-driven rock.

Tidal Rave may not have heard of The Terminals or predecessors Scorched Earth Policy who were both part of the gloomy disaffected Christchurch contingent on Flying Nun Records in the mid 1980s. But the music and lyrical focus of the EP evokes memories of both bands.

In part it’s the churning unsettled dense weave of the three guitars and bass backed by insistent drumming with primal floor-tom pulse. Add the character provided by the distinctive vibrato on the vocals – reminiscent of the ominous baritone proclamations of The Terminals’ Stephen Cogle – and it’s possible to imagine this EP as the product of another era.

There’s something slightly claustrophobic about the nature of all the songs and the often sombre lyrics on the Tidal Rave EP which sets the group apart from much of the contemporary scene in NZ. Here’s hoping the worldwide audience for NZ’s darker guitar music discovers Tidal Rave.

Tidal Rave

Bad Sav_all_TEMPORARY release

Bad Sav at Chick’s Hotel

“Dressed like a kinetic housewife” is a line which makes not much sense. But this is Bad Sav so we are talking about one of the incorrigible and obstinately non-conformist bands to come out of Dunedin’s “Pop Underground” in recent years.

“Making Love” was recorded back in 2012 and it’s been out in the world for a while, so posting this song is really just an excuse to alert Dunedin residents to Bad Sav’s next live performance next weekend on Saturday 12 March. Even if it this particular song is unlikely to be on their set list.

Anyway, it will be one of your last chances to experience live music at Chick’s Hotel, plus you will get to hear a rare performance from legendary band The Terminals and hear Wellington’s MarineVille.

“Making Love” is unusual in the Bad Sav cannon in that drummer Mike McLeod takes the lead vocals – rapping (yup). You may be more familiar with him as the honeyed voice fronting psych-gaze rock trio The Shifting Sands.

Bad Sav’s Bandcamp is a collection of excellent and noisy miscellany released over several years. Despite existing for 10 years now Bad Sav has only two official releases to its name. Both are tracks on compilation albums. There was “Ruiners” on the Radio One double CD “A Century of Seasons” (2009) and “Buy Something New” on the TEMPORARY compilation (2014).

The lack of career goals for Bad Sav thus far is completely understandable. All three members have been busy in various alternative guises over the years. Above-mentioned drummer Mike has been running Chick’s Hotel live music venue and leading The Shifting Sands while also completing a Master of Philosophy degree. Guitarist Hope – who provides the thrilling wall-of-guitar melodic churn that defines Bad Sav – also currently plays in Death and the Maiden with bassist Lucinda and is busy with her own solo sonic explorations as Birdation.

But in recent years there seems to have been a hardening of resolve. The accumulation of quality songs and live performances of crushing sonic grandeur has increased exponentially. Whether this will culminate in something as unlikely as an album release is still anyone’s guess, but it’s a happy thought to cherish during dark and troubled times. In the meantime there’s always the breadcrumb trail offered by the songs collected on their Bandcamp.