Opossom

The Auckland-based psych-pop group Opossom were originally the creation of ex-Mint Chicks front-man Kody Neilson (vocals, keyboards, drums), though some Opossom recordings we’re also performed by Kody and Bic – Neilson alonside girlfriend girlfriend Bic Runga (drums, vocals, guitar, keyboards). This duo were eventually joined by Neilson’s former Mint Chicks band-mate Mike Logie (bass) to create a touring 3-piece group.

The group experienced significant positive press on the release of their debut album ‘Electric Hawaii’, and the single ‘Blue Meanies’, in late 2011 / early 2012.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Electric Hawaii [2012 Dark Summer Records]

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Opossom and T54 at Darkroom

Joe Sampson of T54
Joe Sampson of T54

There was a great buzz around this show, well before either group had taken to the stage. Rumours of an early sell-out end up filling Darkroom’s limited capacity several hours before the show had the begun. With a bustling trade the venue was humming, the room warm with eager music fans packed wall to wall, downing craft beers and sheltering for a chilly night in Christchurch.

It was left to T54 to get things started, and the slick local 3-piece we’re just the ticket, drowning the audience in volume with thick, rolling bass, rollicking, snappy drumming and the soaring guitar-work of frontman Joe Sampson. I caught bassist Sam Hood next store at Galaxy records before the show and he was picking up a copy of the new box-set of rarities from German group Can – the flowing, organic vibe of the 1970’s Krautrock mainstays gives a pretty good indication of where some of T54’s many influences lay.

Bic Runga of Opossom
Bic Runga of Opossom

Speaking of Influences, it’s pretty tangible the impact the likes of the Zombies and other 60s/70s Psych-rock groups have had on Opossom’s Kody Neilson. The former Mint Chicks frontman now envelops his songs in a sunny West Coast of the USA haze that sounds particularly wonderful when you have the likes of Bic Runga and Mike Logie as your support band. Runga surprised me with her immense talent as a drummer, pulling of slinky rolls and driving the groups opening 3 songs. F in Math / Die! Die! Die! and former Mint Chicks bassist Mike Logie has altered his own sound to fit the retro sound of Opossom, gorgeous plucked bass rhythms that had the room jumping. With Kody and and Bic sharing vocal and instrument duties the group flew through an infectious array of songs which I wish didn’t end – thankfully their debut album is a ripper!

Check out more photos here

[Published in the Christchurch Press 06/07/2012]

Die! Die! Die! announce new album and New Zealand tour

DIE! DIE! DIE! [updated artist biography]
Brand new album Harmony and NZ tour.

Die! Die! Die!
Die! Die! Die! – with new bassist Michael Logie

July 6th 2012 sees Die! Die! Die! release Harmony, their fourth studio album recorded at Blackbox Studios, France. Harmony brings together the raw energy and emotion from their live shows, encapsulating the savant pop elements within their DIY punk philosophy. Produced by Chris Townend (Portishead, D12, Violent Femmes), and bringing back Shayne P. Carter on vocals, Harmony is set to be THE album of 2012.

Bringing on board bassist Michael Logie (The Mint Chicks, F In Math, Opossom), Die! Die! Die! will tour their face melting shows this July, continuing to evoke fierce loyalty in fans and burn as many bridges as they cross.

Hamilton
Thursday 12th July – Static

Auckland
Friday 13th July – Winchester (95bFM Private Function)

Tauranga
Saturday 14th July “Die Die Die Booze Cruise on the Luvboat” – SOLD OUT!!!

Dunedin
Wednesday 25th July – Crown Hotel

Port Chalmers
Friday 27th July – Chicks Hotel

Christchurch
Saturday 28th July – Dux Live

Wellington
Friday 3rd August – Bodega

TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM UNDERTHERADAR.CO.NZ from Monday 25th June

Campus A Low Hum 2011: Day 2, Part 2

The Coolies
The Coolies at Campus

Hey back to the camp reports! missed a whole heap of bands on day 2 – Nudge, Royal Headache, the usually fantastic Sam Hamilton and No Zu before catching a little bit of Karl Stevens’ new bluesy outfit the Drab Doo Riffs.

Bachelorette got a great crowd as she played a set with Hamilton robot band the Trons. things took a while to get going but it was a choice set; including a fantastic cover of the Tall DwarfsNothings Gonna Happen‘.

Glass Vaults were totally chill in the pool, but I missed Rat vs. Possum on the main stage. Unfortunately i’ve lost track of a bit of what went down, some renegade shows went down (including my fellow camper Jos playing a chip-tune set, and the always entertaining Cosbys – both in the renegade room) and there was much revelling…

The Cosbys
The Cosbys at Campus

Things really kicked in to gear next, the Coolies absolutely ripping shit to shreds in the barn. Main their new material rules, totally free form, creative and brutal – I LOVE the new generation Coolies, can’t believe i haven’t got the new LP yet…

Parking Lot Experiments
Parking Lot Experiments at Campus

Parking Lot Experiments played to a big crowd in the pool, completely overwhelming and yes fun once more -these guys really were one of the highlights of Campus for me, and I even managed to catch one of their shows when I got back home to Christchurch.

My Disco
My Disco at Campus

In previous years and in previous A low Hum tours I’ve been front row centre for My Disco. However I’m one of those lame ‘I like your early stuff better’ kind fans as I reckon their earlier LP ‘Cancer’ is their best – it’s so minimal and sharp, I just go nuts when they play that stuff… So yeah their new material doesn’t really sit so well with me. The guys are still amazingly talented, but they’ve lost a bit of that minimal, incredibly tight sound…

Disasteradio!
Disasteradio! at Campus

Luke Rowell is an A Low Hum legend; and he showed it with a stonking, chock-a-block Disasteradio! set in the pool, surrounded by laser lights and stage-invading fans. Oh man, total love-fest of cheezy awesome synthy sounds. Great fun.

The Sneaks
The Sneaks at Campus

Again I missed a couple official outfits – Dunedin kids TFF and the Wilberforces, PlusF in Covers, Blinks DJ Set and All Black Wolf at the party stage, but the Sneaks MORE than brought the party. Those guys are seriously my favourite party band of all time – i was jumping around like mental in the stage area of the Renegade room as Dansey was climbing all over the crowd and letting himself go. There are few bands with so many great songs (Kuzai Heart You Girl, North Shore Pussy, No Sex, Thowback etc etc) that bring such joy and fun to their shows… Thats what camp is ALL about!

Die! Die! Die!

Die! Die! Die! are a three-piece Auckland-based band formed by Andrew Wilson (guitar, vocals) and Michael Prain (drums), with Michael Logie (The Mint Chicks, F in Math, Opossum) their current bassist. Prain and Wilson have been playing in groups together since early attending Logan High School together in Dunedin – notably the Smoke-Free Rockquest winning Carriage H (with Tiddy Smith – who would go on to form Idiot Prayer), and then Wellington group Rawer (with Ricky French on Bass). Die! Die! Die! play a dynamic brand of Punk, with military-precise drumming, huge fuzzy bass and guitar that can vary from melodic to cathartic noise.

In 2003 the core duo relocated to Auckland and brought in Kane Goulter (Xanadu) as their next bassist, finally settling on their current name. This line-up was known for playing incredibly rapid sets, touring up and down the country with the likes of the Mint Chicks and Batrider. During 2003 and 2004 the group’s reputation had grown to the point where they were now (rightfully) being dubbed the best live act in New Zealand. Nick Roughan (of the Skeptics) produced several songs with this line-up, which then appeared on various early A Low Hum samplers and other releases in early 2004.

Later in 2004 Goulter gave way bass duties to Henry Oliver, and the group then recorded their debut self-titled EP with Dale Cotton. In 2005 and 2006 they undertook their first of many US and European tours, recording their debut LP with Chicago-based producer Steve Albini (Big Black, The Pixies, Nirvana etc) and mastering the results at Abbey Road in England.

In 2006 Henry Oliver moved on to be replaced by the Australian-born Lachlan Anderson, signed to Tardus Music in New Zealand (their 3rd record label in as many releases), and released their follow-up ep ‘Locust Weeks’. Anderson had been playing in the Brisbane group the French Horns, who had toured with Die! Die! Die! and made a considerable impression on the group. Oliver eventually opened D.O.C. Bar in Auckland.

With Anderson on board the group put together the landmark album ‘Promises, Promises’, their finest collection of songs yet committed to vinyl – with Dunedin music legend Shayne Carter (Bored Games, Double Happys, Straitjacket Fits, Dimmer) producing and mixing the album. A complex, emotionally driven album it shows the group expanding their sound, and solidified their position as one of the best rock acts in New Zealand.

However, it would be over 2 years before the group released the follow-up album ‘Form’ – Nick Roughan returned to produce, and the album is the group’s sole release on the legendary Flying Nun label, which had just been re-established by original founder Roger Shepphard. With their previous album the group had developed a strong template, and although the new album didn’t expand on this you can still consider the album on the great New Zealand rock releases. A fine mix of explosive rhythm and guitar, and again highly emotive vocals.

Anderson eventually left the group in 2011, though he does appear on several tracks from their 4th album ‘Harmony’, to be released on the groups own ‘Record etcetc’ label and distributed via Rhythmethod. Michael Logie was eventually brought in for bass duties in 2012, appearing on several of the album’s songs and augmenting their live line-up.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Die! Die! Die! Ep [2005 Unstable ApeUAR041]
  • Die! Die! Die! [2005 Capitol Recordings CREC1034, Pet Piranha Records PP020, SAF RecordsSAF15]
  • Locust Weeks Ep [2006 Targus MusicTAR010]
  • Promises, Promises [2007 Tardus Music / Etch and Sketch / SAF RecordsSAF20]
  • At the Echo Live EP [2007 Kufala RecordingsKUF0187]
  • Form [2010 Flying NunFN504]
  • Harmony [2012 Records Etcetera]

Music Videos

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