Archives for posts with tag: Wellington
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MarineVille from the cover of their “Face” 7″ from 2012 on Epic Sweep Records

MarineVille hail from Wellington and play a raw and distinctively New Zealand version of “driving rock” music. “75 Watts Frosted” is the opening track from their 4th album “Penguins Ate My Chips” which is out in a few weeks on LP on Zelle Records.

The line-up of the band which recorded “Penguins Ate My Chips” is led by guitarist/ vocalist Mark Williams and includes a few names folks may remember from some other NZ bands. Denise Roughan (Look Blue, Go Purple, 3Ds) plays bass, Greg Cairns (The Renderers, The Verlaines, Constant Pain) plays the drums, and Jeremy Coubrough (Tlaotlon) plays  keyboards.

“75 Watts Frosted” is a rip-snorting opening track. Part motorik beat, part wild fairground ride. Imagine Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” mixed with The Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” played by the Able Tasmans and you are on your way to understanding the loopy genius of this classic slice of urban New Zealand storytelling rock and roll.

“Penguins Ate My Chips” was originally self-released by Williams in 2015 on cassette. The LP version (out 15 March 2017) on Austrian label Zelle Records, which specialises in Southern NZ sounds, is a suitable acknowledgement of an album that fits comfortably into the beer and sweat-stained fabric of the NZ alternative rock underground.  The download also contains the live album 15 Wax Tears, recorded in 2011 and originally released on cassette in 2012.

earth-tongue_photo-sarh-burton

Earth Tongue [photo: Sarah Burton]

Earth Tongue are a heavy-psych-rock duo from Wellington and their debut EP is a monster-truck loaded with solid riffage. Here’s the title track “Portable Shrine”:

Gussie Larkin from Mermaidens and Ezra Simons of heavy-doom-prog band Red Sky Blues are the two Wellington musicians behind Earth Tongue.

There’s a fair bit of early Black Sabbath about this song – the rumbling density of synchronised bass and overdriven guitar, the chugging swing of the riffing repetition, and the human-robot vocals (a distinctive pairing of Gussie and Ezra’s voices).

There’s even some Iommi-esque guitar squwaks as excalamtion marks on the end of the rumbling riffs to provide just the right amount of icing on the sludge cake. All of this is very fine indeed, as is the whole EP.

You can read a bit more about Earth Tongue and the inspiration behind the EP here.

 

 

Womb 2016

There’s been a steady stream of new songs on the Bandcamp page for Wellington minimal psych-folk artist Womb. Some, like “Feeling Like Helium” here are annotated as (demo).

It’s more pop-oriented than the songs on last year’s self-titled album but the languid minimalism of this song continues to occupy an almost weightless slow-motion liminal zone between reality and dreams which was a feature of previous recordings.

Of the four new tracks “Fucking Close to Water” and “Kissing in the Dark” are the most intriguing, each being wordless atmospheric ambient pieces combining voices, instruments and sounds.

No idea if these are an indication another album is on the way, but if it is, it promises to add some fine new experimental textures and ideas to the mix.

Estere

Day 28 of NZ Music Month is a re-mix of a track from Wellington producer/ composer/ vocalist Estere. Here’s the heavily atmospheric “Culture Clash (Encouragement Remix)”

This remix takes a completely different approach to the rhythm and atmosphere of the original song on Estere’s 2014 album. It is more of a dance plus ambient re-imagining and it works on so many levels from club banger to atmospheric soundscape while retaining the soulful heart of Estere’s vocal.

All the remixes on this “New Species Remix EP” are adventurous re-interpretations, so if you enjoyed Estere’s self-titled 2014 album, explore this further.

Garbage and the flowers 1992

Garbage and the Flowers, 1992 (photo: David Welch)

Day 22 of NZ Music Month is from obscure-only-in-NZ early 90’s group The Garbage and The Flowers and their “St Michael of the Angels”

“St Michael of the Angels” is from an album “The Deep Niche”, an upcoming Grapefruit Record Club (re)release.

The Garbage And The Flowers were a band which formed in Wellington in the early 1990s. It has that familiar flutter of (cassette?) tape recording and the kind of wilful DIY oddness that clearly turned heads overseas, if not in NZ.

I had never heard of The Garbage and The Flowers or heard their music until I was at a friend’s place in Glasgow last year and he played me a cassette by them. He looked to me for signs of recognition and probably some revelation I’d seen them play live or knew them and could fill in the missing knowledge about them he was seeking. I said “I’ve never heard of them”.

I’ll post the label’s release notes below. I was clearly not “a certain type of music fan”…

“If you were a certain type of music fan in the mid-nineties, you may have heard tell of this incredible, incredibly hard to find, double album by The Garbage & The Flowers. Each jacket was hand-painted, and all 300 copies sold out in a flash. Thankfully, the great Bo’Weavil label reissued Eyes Rind As If Beggars in 2013. If you haven’t heard it, please do listen…ok, you heard it now? You’re welcome!

It turns out the group was Helen Johnstone, Yuri Frusin, and Paul Yates, an inspired trio who emphasized lyrical collaboration and sound manipulation as part and parcel to their melodies.  They didn’t last long as a group, but luckily, they got a lot of their songs recorded.

The Deep Niche is music they made before Eyes Rind and it is every bit as revelatory.  Johnstone sings over raucous and raw instrumentation. It’s real rock, the real real thing.

Torben Tilly joined just in time to contribute some keyboard to the track ’29 Years,’ although he mostly was their guitarist. Just in time, too, because The DeepNiche presents a band fresh to playing with some massive tools, them being, natch, The Tools Of Rock. These songs are every bit as powerful as what you hear on Eyes Rind As If Beggars. Believe it.”

Here’s a video of them playing live in Wellington in 1992:

HEXDay 19 of NZ Music Month comes from Wellington’s doomy spell-casting trio HEX and the self-explanatory “Witches of the Hex”

“Witches of the Hex” is from the 5 track mini-album “Calling to the Universe” which is tagged, with some precision, as ‘pagan, folk, metal’.

There’s a bit more to it than that, as you’ll discover on this song, where they stir in some shoegaze and the sublime Gothic dream-pop of that exultant chorus to add to the power of the concoction.

HEX is GG Van Newtown, Kiki Van Newtown and Liz Mathews. As Kiki explains: ““Calling to the Universe” is heavy, but with lots of layered vocals. Our riffs tend towards Black Sabbath, but our vocals are more like Enya.”

Read more from the Noisey interview here.

 

 

 

WOMB

Day 11 of NZ Music Month is the lucid “Cosmic Dreaming” from the innermost cosmos of Womb.

Womb is part of a healthy Wellington underground folk scene. The scene loosely aggregated around low-key Wellington label Sonorous Circle is not your everyday, traditional folk. It’s odd-folk, weird-folk, Gothic-folk, cosmic-folk…

“Cosmic Dreaming” is a great starting point to explore the self title debut album by Womb (Charlotte Forrester).

There’s a hint of the elegiac melancholy of Sufjan Stephens’ early music about this song and the way it drifts gently upon melodic waves of spectral voices over sparse acoustic instrumentation.