wellington sextet with a long history in jazz and rock circles, ex-mutton bird david long, six volts steve roache and brotherly duo david and anthony donaldson, and the new wave of ricki gooch – trinity roots and toby laing of the black seeds.
a multi-faceted 6-piece driven by the shuffling, dynamic drumming of anthony donaldson, the labcoats are well accustomed to delving into any number of musical styles with heavy dub, reggae, electronic, jazz, pop, funk, soul and even avant garde influences creeping into their music palette. with only gooch and laing not actually a part of new zealand jazz heavy weights the six volts (who are known in rock circles as the backing band for the front lawn‘s excellent debut), their debut on braille promises to be a tight and dynamic debut.
picks in bold
- acid and alkaline [2004 braille]
la gloria original surfaced as the debut lp of empirical – aka marcel bear. this was a well-liked drone-piece contructed around bear’s unusual shimsaw – an amplified aluminium saw that creates a streaming, shimmering drone when played with a bow. eventually though, la gloria became essentially the alias of one dave coventry, with bear side-lining into a complimentary backing musician.
picks in bold
- jeremiad [1999 freedom from FF0070]
wellington based 4-piece formed in 1996, the letterbox lambs were paul trigg, anton wuts, julian desmond and oscar wuts – a power-rock outfit from wellington, sharing some of shihad’s spotlight (they shared ep releases and constantly toured with their older brothers). through-out their life-span the letterbox lambs always showed a lot of potential, but after taking 4-years to release their full-length debut (eventually released on desmonds own stinkbuzz label), the band eventually just ran out of steam and disbanded in 2002.rn2005 saw the posthumous release of their self-titled 2nd album, a studio recording that contains most of the bands live ouevre from the tail end of their career.
picks in bold
- box of fluffies cassette ep 
- not a private joke [2000 stinkbuzz records]
- leterbox lambs [2005 destroy records DR4111]
Christchurch 4-piece with a heavy Birthday Party flavor comprised of Mark E Smith-channeling vocalist Janus Currie, Nick Cave look-a-like guitarist Herbert Palmer, drummer Kris Taylor and bass-playing Karate enthusiast Rush Jopson.
These guys exploded onto the local scene in late 2004, claiming an unlucky 3rd place in the annual RDU Round Up band competition at the Dux de Lux behind excellent wall-of-sound propagators Happy Palace in 2nd and under-performing victors Chickenyard, before anybody had ever heard of them.
Somehow they managed to emerge fully-formed, with a tight and effective rhythm section, some killer guitar and top notch off-kilter vocal spasms (say Mark E Smith meets a kiwi accent). I wrote a length piece on them for A Low Hum back in 2005.
Basically the band started when some friends of ours came to NZ after living in Europe for a few years and decided to put on a country gig.
Stupidly drunk last Christmas, Janus and I said we were in a band and we would play, so we had 2 weeks to write a few songs and perform them.
At first we had a different drummer but he was shit so Kris joined and after playing a bit, Rush (who used to be in another band called Spankdirt) asked if we wanted a bass player. So the full band has only really been together for a few months.
– Herbert Palmer
The group spent a couple of years garnishing a loyal local following before the various members splintered off to different cities – on a couple of occasions Chris Andrews (i.e. me) filled in for Jopson on bass whilst he was overseas.
Their last shows were fund-raising events that packed out both Creation and Wunderbar – terrific events and a testament to the popularity the group had built in such a short time.
The group made a couple of reunion appearances at Wunderbar and Goodbye Blue Monday in 2009.
- Janus Currie (Vocals, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
- Herbert Palmer (Guitar / Accordion, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
- Kris Taylor (Drums, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
- Rush Jopson (Bass, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
- Chris Andrews (Bass, 2005)
- Soft Machine (2004, Self-Released)
the band that came to represent the krkrkrk label in the mid 90s, leonard nimoy were a high profile christchurch experimental, but essentially rock outfit comprised of label founder david khan, apoplexy founder and major krkrkrk contributor peter wright, tracey pagey and mikel goodwin. as a successor to tma-1, leonard nimoy were confrontational and aggressive, a cult band from the kind of city (what could be more middle-class and conservatively white than christchurch?) where such bands thrive – though their home-recorded productions we’re never exactly big sellers.
picks in bold
- the screaming cage cassette / cd-r [1997 krkrkrk KRK078]
unsigned but productive auckland rock outfit (named after the fridge!) comprised of james clark (vocals), mark stebben (bass / vocals), matt barnett (guitar / vocals), erik johansen (guitar – recently departed for spain) and andrew parkin (drums). been around since the late 90s making fairly by-the-books rock, and enjoyed a bit of commercial radio success thanks to channel z and their single ‘paul weller’.
picks in bold
- the, how does that one go? ep [1998 self-released]
- looking up ep [2000 self-released]
- an implied desire [2003 self-released]
initially a solo project for johnathon ogilvie (yfc) the material that appears on the south compilation was recorded by ogilvie on 4 track at rob mayes’ gilby street house. ex yfc drummer micheal daily also happened to be in christchurch at the time and so daily laid down drum tracks for these sessions as well. ogilvie, a bass player for yfc borrowed a cheap guitar from expressway label man bruce russell and laid that down over the rythm tracks. ogilvie returned to australia and continued to work under the moniker leadleg, a name he coined from his experience on a trip to china where, while sitting at an out door cafe a militant exploded a bomb at a near by table, injuring ogilvie and partner. ogilvie’s legs were penetrated by hot lead shrapnel from the bomb. leadleg became more of a band project in australia and recorded and self released and 12″ ep salt. the line-up for this band was ogilvie – bass/vocals, daily – drums/ programming, alfred solti – trumpet/samples/piano, micheal jefferis – guitar. jefferis was later replaced by peter johnson.
a seven inch single followed – ‘loaded in total darkness’, which was packaged in a used 16mm film canister and contained the tracks, world satellite and this town. the band then completed a second new zealand tour on which the band recorded 9 songs with failsafe. the band returned to australia and fell apart and the album was never released. ogilvie has continued to work with music as a music video director, making award wining clips for the likes of the headless chickens.
picks in bold
- salt ep [1990 between two thieves BT001]