- Reading The Stones – Ragamuffin Children
- Walking From The House To The Car And Going Camping The Next Day – Black Market Art
- Look Out Sos – Ruby Suns
- Half The Right Size – Lawrence Arabia
- Hazy Blue- Lindon Puffin
- –Ad Break–
- Naughty Holidays – Connan And The Moccasins
- At One Fell Swoop – So So Mode
- A.T.T.I.T.U.D – Die! Die! Die!
- Don’T Turn Me On Just To Turn Me On – Mint Chicks
- Time Mismanagement – Bang Bang Eche
- Computer Graphics – Disasteradio
- Scratchy Sled – The L.E.D.S
- –Ad Break–
- Expectations – Cut Off Your Hands
- Elliot – Little Pictures
- Blood On The Keys – Grayson Gilmour
- I Love You But I Hate You – Tiger Tones
- Ebb And Flow – Alec Bathgate
- Jolene – Darcy Clay
- Tooth And Nail – Good Laika
- Delight – Bic Runga
- –Ad Break–
- Smartest Kid – Pine
- Creatures Of The Night – Le Mot Cafe
- Treetop Harmonies – Pop Hits City
- Playing Guitars And Smoking Cigars – The Insurgents
- –Ad Break–
- Penny Knife – The Eastern
- Baby -The Brunettes
- Hansel And Gretel – This City Sunrise
- Can’T Get High – The Libra Accord
- Days Of The Beautifully Strange – Dead Flowers
The Hit-Machine are a quirky 4-piece rock outfit from Christchurch, comprised of four jokey friends with strong ties to the local underground scene of the late 90s and into the 00s. With Steffan Van Soest up-front, the rest of the band is made up of Simon Nunn (Drums), Paul Glubb (Bass) and Matt ‘Hatt’ Bullimore (Guitar) – a solid trio who encompassed the spin-off group the Excercise Machine when without Van Soest.
The group went through major changes with the departure of Glibb and Bullimore for overseas sojourns, Van Soest and Nunn performing then performing under the U.S.S. Hit-Machine moniker as a reduced power-duo (though they have played shows with various other replacement members).
The group are a bit of an enigma in the local scene – they managed to win the RDU (college radio station supported) Round Up band competition, using the funding for a production run on their Here Comes.. album, but otherwise the group has stuck with small cd-r releases. Their albums are full (and i mean full – with very little throw-away filler) of great, catchy and utterly bizarre pop songs, built on huge metal riffs, comical ballads and glorious (and gloriously silly) harmony vocals.
Live the group can vary from a complete triumph (such as 2005’s excellent reunion show at the Dux De Lux) to a complete sham – but they’re always entertaining.
Later in the 2000’s guitarist William Daymond joined the group, and with Nunn now playing gigs professionally, ‘Heavy Metal’ Simon McKenzie became the permanent drummer, although Nunn occasionally plays as a guitarist or bassist, depending on who’s in town – Daymond has also now relocated, joining Glubb in Wellington. A more recent spin-off of the group is Monsta Machine featuring prosthetic wizard Chester ‘Grubby’ Dextar on vocals.
Discography (picks in bold)
- Night Stingers [Self-Released]
- Here Comes… [Self-Released]
- Ocean Safari CD-r[Self-Released]
- Golden Age Of Piracy CD-r [Self-Released]
- West Up Holmes EP [Self-Released]
Brilliant 90’s Christchurch sludge-rock outfit comprised of Brett Lupton, Daryl Kirk and Mike Brassell (Hiss Explosion).
Released a series of warped, discordant guitar albums, based around Brassell’s excellent guitar-work and an inventive, lo-fi and somewhat sloppy (in a good way) approach to recording songs.
The group was formed by Brassell, Lupton and Original Drummer Andrew Meier (aka ‘Hat’ – who would go on to have an involvement with Flying Nun and as station manager for Christchurch’s RDU radio station), with the original line-up recording and releasing a cassette on Peter Mitchell’s Flat City label.
After Hat’s departure in 1993, Darryl Kirk joined the line-up – the line-up that would record the bulk of the bands output. In their last line-up Pete Mitchell became the new drummer, whilst Vaughen Watson (The Undercurrents, Pumpkinhead) joined as bassist.
- Michael Brassell (Guitar/Vocals/Bass, 1992 -1996)
- Brett Lupton (Guitar/Vocals/Sampler, 1992 – 1996)
- Andrew Meier (Drums, 1992)
- Darryl Kirk (Drums/Keyboards, 1993)
- Peter Mitchell (Drums, 1993 – 1996)
- Vaughen Watson (Bass, 1993 – 1996)
- Feeding The Cround Cassette (1992, Flat City)
- Whip Me Honey EP [1994, Failsafe Records, SAFE027)
- Mastermistakemaker [1995, Failsafe Records, SAFE028)
- Spastic Sarcastic [1996, Noseflute)
Young, exciting and eclectic Christchurch indie-pop group that emerged during 2006 to dominate the local scene alongside popular screamo act Not So Experimental. Led by talented guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Mark Holland, the group have a funky, dancy rhythm section in Ashlin Ross (bass and initially a little keyboards and vocals) and Andy Frost (drums). The group soon won the annual RDU Round-Up band competition, sneaking through the semi-finals as a wildcard to take the final.
After their ground-breaking victory the group took a swift turn – with Mark switching to keyboards permanently, guitarist James Grant was brought in in a hurry. Immediately the group took on an even more exciting, groove-orientated sound. Grant quickly became a big piece of their sound as their songs fleshed out and developed. After a period of lessened activity, the group released their debut (self-produced) album on Christchurch’s own Pinacolada records.
In 2010 the group fractured, with Grant leaving the line-up, and the remaining members relocating to Auckland. Tiger Tones gave way to Holland’s new recordings as Fistful of Gems (under the performing alias Mark Wundercastle), which is more electronic than the original group. Ashlin appears on the new groups recordings (singing under the pseudonym Dawn Marble).
Discography (picks in bold)
- Tiger Tones EP [2007 Self-Released]
- RDU EP [2008 RDU]
- Tiger Tones [2008 Pinacolada]
Excellent instrumentalist trio from the garden city formed by Matt Craw (Guitar), James Musgrave (Bass), and Jared Kelly (Drums) in early 2005. Taking cues from a variety of informed directions, the group were prolific features of the local live scene, and attached themselves to both R18 and all-age crowds with varying success. Playing an involved instrumental sound heavy on dynamics, the group enlisted ex-Substandard bassist Gareth Heta as a 2nd guitarist for a short period before reverting back to their original configuration. However, this was soon broken when Kelly left to play with the Pickups full-time, so Cam Walker was recruited to carry on where Jared left off.
Throughout later 2005 and early 2006 the group had a strong association with fellow garden city instrumentalists Coal, with Walker sitting at the throne for both groups for a period – however this was halted by problems with the tendons in Walker’s wrist, which caused him a great deal of pain during a show with the touring groups Jakob and American outfit No Funeral.
After losing Walker, Craw and Musgrave added Thomas Lambert (synth/guitar – aka i.Ryoko) in order to create a fuller sound than the rock trio lineup. Through him they found a great replacement drummer in Adam Jack, who picked up the groove of the songs quickly and added his own heavy hitting style. At this time, Gareth Heta again showed an interest in being part of the band, so he was recruited on guitar (and bass when James swaps to guitar). These changes have lead to further creativity within the group, with new songs eventuating at the start of 2007 (including for the first time, a song with vocals provided by Musgrave).
More live shows followed, a highlight being a gig with The Enright House, Pandora’s Bucket, and Wellingtonians Donatello. Towards the end of 2007, A Flight To Blackout entered the RDU Roundup band competition without any expectations of success, and came away with 2nd place, pipped by the more RDU-friendly (but by no means lesser) Bang! Bang! Eche!
As seemed to be the rule by now, Jack left the group at the end of 2007 to travel to Canada, and Lambert left for Wellington. This allowed the remaining members to focus on the tracking of their debut release, which is currently being mixed and produced by Thomas for release on his and partner Matt Faisander’s Sonorous Circle label before the end of 2008.
In early 2008 Hayden Williams and Josh Black (both also of Neil Robinson) made fine replacements on drums and synth respectively, their first show with the band being the farewell/fundraiser of friends The O’Lovelys.
- Matt Craw (Guitar, 2005 – 2008)
- James Musgrave (Bass/Vocals/Guitar, 2005 – 2008)
- Jared Kelly (Drums, 2005?)
- Gareth Heta (Guitar/Bass, 2005?, 2007?)
- Cam Walker (Drums, 2005? – 2006?)
- Thomas Lambert (Keyboards/Guitar, 2006 – 2007)
- Adam Jack (Drums, 2006 – 2007)
- Hayden Williams (Drums, 2008)
- Josh Black (Keyboards, 2008)
Wellington based electro-synth rockers Charlie Ash were formed around the Christchurch-grown duo of bassist/keytar player Mailee Matthews (formerly of Maestro Cooltone and the Phantasmasies) and vocalist Rosie Rigger, and play a variety of fun, schlocky pop with a great deal of sass. Both we’re heavily involved with local radio station RDU.
The group convened when Matthews moved to Wellington in 2004, and were completed by Jean Pompey, Dave Prendergast and Benny O.
- Mailee Matthews (Bass/Keyboards)
- Rosie Rigger (Vocals)
- Jean Pompey (Drums)
- Dave Prendergast (Guitar)
- Benny O (Synth)
weird 3-piece punk outfit, originally from nelson who relocated to christchurch, won the dux band competition (charming the crowd with such stunts as throwing meat at the audience..), and using the profits to record and release their own debut (2001’s the cantankerous mainstream). the clowndog boys were frontman spanky (guitar, vocals), sherbert (bass), and pants (drums). they ended up becoming regulars on christchurch’s rdu college radio station, even getting their own show before disappearing again in 2002. during their lifetime the band produced 4 (5?) self-released eps, and somehow got away with high profile support slots for breathe and even bic runga!
picks in bold
- who’s eating the dead fish? ep [1996 self-released]
- soggy/saggy ep [1998 self-released]
- mystery meat [2000 self-released]
- clowndog lathe-cut 10″ ep [self-released]
- the cantankerous mainstream [2001 self-released]
The very last Mixtape Connection @ Capitol bar + Onanon @ the Wunderbar [01/12/06]
So the night i got back from Auckland was a hugely busy night in Christchurch. After picking up a PA from the Jetset and dropping off some posters at the Bats show at Al’s bar, the Mixtape Connection was the destination, a couple hours spent sipping back drinks on RDU’s tab as the Mixtape finished up in a super-fun way.
However the good folk from Dunedin known as Onanon were playing a late show all the way over in Lyttelton at the Wunderbar (missed the Undercurrents), so we had to make the trip. good idea too, great poppy rock with cool songs like ‘Uri Geller’ and some cool stuff from the new EP.
See more photos from this show at flickr
Self-releasing seems to be the way to go in New Zealand at the moment.
Minisnap have finally put out their long awaited ‘In My Pocket’ EP, the title track of which has been garnishing RDU playtime for quite a while now. It’s a nice production, 4 original sparkling pop gems (which includes a hidden bonus track) and the obligatory dance remix, produced by fellow Christchurch native Jolyn Mulholland (aka Gasoline Cowboy).
Featuring Kaye Woodward’s distinctively upbeat vocals and guitar and the fine rhythm backing of Paul ‘Superbass’ Kean and Malcolm Grant on the drums. Expect thick grooves, off-kilt rhythms and some lovely flowing guitar, just in time for summer.