Substandard – Low Electric City Pulses EP / Global Research Centre

2002, Failsafe Records

Two wonderfully hand-packaged releases from local 3-piece Substandard.

Best described as an instrumental band with involving guitar textures (Danny Bare), driving bass guitar (Gareth Heta) and funky drumming (Andrew Robbins); they been highly prolific around town this year, and their release party at The Dux was the icing on the cake.

There’s the 3 (+1 hidden track) EP from earlier in the year, and the full-length debut ‘Global Research Centre’ which expands on the earlier release with a fuller, more fleshed out sound. The end result is actually pretty close to their live performance, with some stunning subtle guitar drenched in echo and reverb.

Coming from the Hiss Explosion / High Dependency Unit school of guitar-workmanship (creating wonderful cascades of sound from a plethora of toys), its quite evocative stuff. Perfect driving music, the album sweeps from gentle willowing numbers right up to powerful, full-tilt rockers reminiscent of the (now defunct) Subliminals. Highly recommended.

Carriage H

Biography

Now defunct Dunedin guitar-texturalists (in the High Dependency Unit vein) that created loud, driving rock that tread the line between post-rock and heavy-metal while still in their mid teens. The group consisted of Tim ‘Tiddy’ Smith and the duo of Andrew Wilson and Michael Prain.

Great live act – I witnessed their last Christchurch gig in which parts of drum kit and amplifiers were smashed…

After winning the 2001 Smokefree Rockquest and recording the Power of Grey Skull album, Wilson and Prain moved to Wellington and enlisted Ricky French on Bass (Wilson switched to guitar and vocals) before the core of Wilson and Prain moved further North to Auckland, forming the long-standing punk trio Die! Die! Die! with Xanadu bassist Kane Goultier replacing French.

Members

  • Tim Smith (Guitar/Vocals, 1999 – 2002)
  • Andrew Wilson (Bass, 1999 – 2002)
  • Michael Prain (Drums, 1999 – 2002)

Discography

  • Power of Grey Skull (2002, Turbine Records, TURBINE001)

Links

 

High Dependency Unit

dunedin sonic 3-piece (tristian dingermans, dino karlins and neil phillips) in the mold of a louder, younger mogwai, born out of metal influence and small-town frustration, their startling sophmoric higher ep [1997] was given the remix treatment sound after release, resulting in the expanded and thoroughly dynamic higher++ album the following year, singalling a new change in focus.
what happened is that the bands sparse, thundering tones were processed and reformed by local producers to a more melodic and soothing end, in particular Soundproof’s remix of ‘lull’ becoming something of a hit, an intense epic of a song that fluctuates with great beauty and shimmering gleam. this trend continued with the diverse follow-up cross-channel multi-tap, which even caught the ear of veteran us producer steve albini, who took the band under his wing for 2001s us debut fireworks.
discography
picks in bold

recommended songs
download from mp3.co.nz

  • lull (soundproof remix)rn
  • the shark and the pilot fishrn

Operation Rolling Thunder

Tight instrumental (drums and guitar) outfit in the High Dependency Unit or Jakob vein based around Dunedin-born brothers Rob and Adam Falcolner. 2 years after the release of their debut EP ‘White Light’ in 2005 the group recorded a 3 day session with Dale Cotton, which eventually surfaced 3 years later as their vinyl/download only full length ‘III’.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • White Light EP [2005 Monkey Killer Records]
  • III [2010 Monkey Killer Records]

See-Also