Surfing USSR

Greg Malcolms’ excellent kletzmer surf guitar 3-piece. Featuring Malcolmg on guitar, the odd vocal warble, floor guitar and a huge beavy of toys (he prides himself on being able to put on a show for under $5 from the Warehouse!), along with local heavy-duty muso’s Matt Gibb (who plays with several jazz groups) on drums, and Marc Howe (a music tutor, and a player in the Christchurch music scene since his teens originally with the C) on bass.

They put on a pretty damn good show, with all sorts of tricks and whatnot to spice up their bizarre homages to bond films, beatles songs and ‘traditional hungarian folk songs’ (which often turn out to be Iron Maiden covers..). the album is a pretty good reflection of their live sound, taking in all the usual tracks – though its of course the visual element that makes their gigs so lively. they kinda disappeared in 2003, with malcolm putting together two separate solo approaches, but resurfaced in mid 2004 with new drummer Chris O’Connor (formerly a pivotal figure of the wellington avant-garde and jazz scenes) whom Malcolm played with during a European excursion.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Surfadelic [2001 Proper Music]

See-Also

Surge

Julian Dixon, Matt Hay, Mike Jansen and Steve Cournane.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Then Again [1995 Riff Raff Riff01]

See-Also

Surplus Sons Of A Factory Nation

Zane, Rob Groats and Dave.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Surplus Sons Of A Factory Nation Ep [1995 Yellow Bike Bike021]

See-Also

The Swingers

Phil Judds short-lived pub band turned superstar outfit. With Counting The Beat they became an overnight sensation, a stripped down successor to the punk bands that came before them (The Scavengers and Suburban Reptiles), The Swingers were Judd and ex-punks Bones Hillman and Busters Stiggs – a rough around the edges rock outfit with the most familiar guitar intro in New Zealand music (its now the soundtrack to a million K-Mart ads..) and a killer riff. They eventually went through rough times, with Ian Gilroy and Andrew Mclennan eventually drafted into the line-up. Their popularity soon waned, with Judd’s interest going into other projects.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • ‘One Good Reason’/’All Over Town’ 7″ Single [1980 Ripper Rpi002]
  • Practical Jokers [1981 Ripper Rpr004]
  • ‘Counting The Beat’/’One Good Reason’ 7″ Single [1981 Ripper Rpi012]
  • ‘It Ain’T What You Dance It’S The Way That You Dance It’/’Flak’ 7″ Single [1981 Ripper Rpi015]
  • ‘One Track Mind’/’Distortion’ 7″ Single [1981 Ripper Rpi019]
  • ‘Punch And Judy’/’In The Middle Of Nowhere’ 7″ Single [1982 Ripper Rpi022]
  • Starstruck [Soundtrack 1982 Mushroom]

See-Also

Straitjacket Fits

Dissonant kiwi pop-rock that at times verged on shoe-gazer (the band were known for incredibly loud live performances), often hiding their delicate melodies and concise, heartfelt lyrics behind a wall of feedback. Based around Shayne Carter and Andrew Brough (who eventually split from the band after the Melt tour to form Bike) both on guitar and vocals, David Wood filling the bass role, and John Collie at the drums. Shayne Carter was always the man in the spotlight, he had come from Dunedin band the Doublehappys and was known as a bit of an enigmatic front-man, as well as being quite the temperamental artist type. Andrew Brough however (formerly of the Orange), represented the quiet and caring, under-appreciated side of the band – his single ‘Down In Splendor’ is one of the best examples of melodic kiwi pop, a fragile, love song with a killer sing-a-long chorus.

But Carter is one hell of a songwriter also, practically carrying the first album (the classic Hail) with his singles ‘She Speeds’ and ‘Life In One Chord’. During the first two albums, the Fits were at the fore-front of kiwi rock, challenging the Chills and the Headless Chickens for the most popular of local bands, and along with the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience as the pick of the New Zealand underground scene. When the Melt tour wound down in early ’92, Brough decided it was time he formed his own band, as little of his material seem to work its way into the Fits cannon. He was replaced by Mark Peterson for the disjointed album Blow, released later in ’92.

Although Blow contains some excellent pop singles in ‘Done’, ‘Cat Inna Can’ and my personal favorite, and an excellent moot point for The Fits – ‘If I Were You’, the album was too inconsistent to support an attempted break into the burgeoning American market, and the band broke up to persue their own interests.

Carter now performs under the Dimmer moniker, releasing the brilliant, decade in the making I Believe You Are A Star last year to unanimous critical acclaim, and with a follow-up to be released shortly! Brough’s band Bike made one of the great New Zealand pop albums of the mid 90s, drawing a great deal of radio play for what was basically an all-hit album.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Life In One Chord 12″ Ep [1987 Flying Nun Fn080 / Fne25]
  • Hail [1988 Flying Nun Fn105]
  • ‘Hail’/’So Long Marianne’ 12″ Single [1988 Flying Nun Fn108]
  • ‘Hail’/’So Long Marianne’ 7″ Single [1988 Flying Nun Fn114]
  • Hail [1990 Extended U.S. Edition Flying Nun Fn142]
  • ‘Sparkle That Shines’/’Grate’ 7″ Single [1990 Flying Nun Fn151]
  • Melt [1990 Flying Nun Fn174]
  • ‘Bad Note For A Heart’/’In Spite Of It All’ 7″ Single [1990 Flying Nun Fn175]
  • ‘Bad Note For A Heart’/’Skin To Wear’/’In Spite Of It All’/’Hail’ (Live) 12″ / Cd Single [1990 Flying Nun Fn176]
  • ‘Down In Splendour’/’Seeing You Fled’/’Missing Presumed Drowned’/’Cave In’ Double 7″ Single [1990 Flying Nun Fn180]
  • Down In Splendour Video Cassette [1990 Flying Nun Fn D16011]
  • Done Ep [1992 Flying Nun Fn242]
  • Blow [1993 Flying Nun Fn251]
  • ‘Cat Inna Can’/’Sycamore’/’Satellite’ Cd Single [1993 Flying Nun Fn265]
  • ‘If I Were You’/’Brother’s Keeper’ (Demo)/’Burn It Up’ (Demo) Cd Single [1993 Flying Nun Fn285]
  • Best Of Double-Cd [1998 Compilation Flying Nun Fn406]

Awards Etc
Rianz Awards 1990


  • Music Video Of The Year – Bad Note For A Heart
  • Cover Design Of The Year – John Collie

Rianz Awards 1993


  • Album Of The Year – Blow
  • Top Male Vocalist Of The Year – Shayne Carter

See-Also

The Strange Girls

Cja, Sugar Jon, Motty “Kat” Smokehouse, Kraus.

Discography (picks in bold)

See-Also

Strangeloves

Rex Bourke, Joanne Kickoff, Maria, Liz Cohor, Rebecca Shanahan, Noel Ward, Tim Mahon and Tane Tokona.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • ‘When Judy Gets Out’/’She Said Let’S Kiss’/’You Cure Me’ 7″ Single [1987 Flying Nun Fn089] Rn
  • See Your Colours [1991 Flying Nun Fn179] Rn
  • ‘Turn Your Lights On’/’John Lennon’ 7″ Single [1991 Flying Nun Fn186] Rn
  • ‘She Knows Whats Happening’/’Little Sickie’ Cassette Single [1992 Flying Nun Fn230] Rn
  • The True Ep [1992 Onset/Offset]

See-Also

Stout

Christchurch punk-ska.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Beer Pressure EP [199?]

See-Also

The Stoutfellows

Christchurch Celtic Rock. Dan, Nick, Peet, Scott.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Stout Fm [2000]

See-Also