Substandard – Low Electric City Pulses EP / Global Research Centre

Failsafe [2002]
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.

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