Through-out the mid to late 90s there was no debying that a skinny 4-piece from Wellington called Shihad was new zealand’s most popular band. Big guitars, short solos and simple drumming the order of the day, Shihad was built around Jon Toogood’s minute frame, and supported by Phil Knight, Tom Larkin and Karl Kippenberger (one of the few New Zealand bands to retain their original line-up through-out a long career).

A change did come though when Shihad became Pacifier – as their original moniker was thought to be a little too close to comfort for the boys to attack the United States (who were reeling in the wake of September 11th, and ‘Jihad’ was being thrown around a little too regularly). Unfortunately their name wasn’t all that was changing – over the years Shihad’s sound has been streamlined, condensed into an on/off faucet of a-typical ‘rock’, losing much of the raw, punky edge they once possessed (the Derail EP being a stand-out for me) – one might say ‘Pacified’ by their ambition to break american audiences.

In September 2004 Pacifier reverted to their original moniker, finally seeing the error in their ways while preparing their latest album.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Devolve Ep [1991 Pagan Pag1073]
  • Churn [1993 Wildside 30968]
  • Derail Ep [1994 Wildside 11687]
  • You Again Ep [1995 Wildside 11]
  • Kiljoy [1995 Wildside D31340]
  • Gimme Gimme Ep [1995 Wildside 11983]
  • Happy Families Ep [With The Sml And Head Like A Hole 1995 Noise 0258-3]
  • Shihad [1996 Wildside]
  • B-Side Ep [1996 Wildside]
  • ‘Flaming Soul’/’Gates Of Steel’ 7″ Single [1996 9ir] Rn
  • Blue Light Disco Ep [1998 Wildside]
  • The General Electric [1999 Wildside]
  • Pacifier [As Pacifier 2002 Wildside]
  • Live Compilation Double-Lp [As Pacifier 2004 Warners 2564611272]



The SML was the combined forces of Shihad (later to become Pacifier) members Jon Toogood and Tom Larkin, with Head Like A Hole vocalist Nigel Regan – a combo that released an album, EP and split a release with their parents band, and made appearances on both bands european tours in the mid 90s.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • ‘Mixdown’ Cd Single [1995 Wildside D693]
  • Is That It? [1995 Wildside D31374]



Former Rip It Pp editor Murray Cammick formed Wildside in 1991, releasing material from Wellington acts Freak Power, Second Child and Rumblefish, but didn’t really become the icon of Wellington hard rock it was in the mid 90s until both Head Like A Hole and Shihad (who later changed their name to Pacifier then reverted back again) released their Wildside debuts.

With 2 of the biggest names in New Zealand rock under their belts (not to mention the likes of the Dead Flowers, and Christchurch act Pumpkinhead), Wildside cruised through the 90s, with album after album of high-quality hard rock.

Compilation Discography
Picks In Bold

  • Raw 1 [1995]
  • The Best Of Wildside [2002]

Contact Details

  • Wildside Email [Contact Email]
  • Wildside Records
  • Po Box 7012
  • Wellesley St
  • Auckland
  • New Zealand [Postal Address]

147 Swordfish

One of the crop of great bands to surface for 1992’s Operation Music Storm competition 147 Swordfish made the finals coming second and impressing judges and audience with their well crafted sound and strongly melodic undercurrent. Songs like ‘love’ are upliftingly pop while other tracks such as ‘Hang’ drive solidly with it’s distorted bass backbone and deep ringing guitars. 147 Swordfish are melodic and smooth or poundingly tough depending on where in the song you catch them – definitely dynamic. The band consisted of David Wernham (Guitar/Vocals), Mark Tyler (Bass), Dave Deacons (Drums).

The band cut an unusual shape live with the wiry frame of Tyler standing motionless to the right, Deacons animatedly enjoying playing drums, and the hulking figure of Wernham looming over his guitar, usually extruding rivers of sweat. The band recorded 7 songs with Rob Mayes and Failsafe records for the Avalanche and Good Things project. 2 songs were left unfinished and one track remains unreleased. The band were recorded live which included a version of sublime new song ‘Freeze’, also unreleased.

Dave Wernham was at times a difficult character to deal with, but there was no denying his deft hang with a cool melody and driving song. The band were performing a number of excellent songs before they gave up 147 Swordfish for other projects, Tyler and Deacon to Salmonella Dub and Wernham to his sound engineering, eventually touring with bands like Shihad. As good a live engineer as Dave Wernham is it’s a loss to the pop world that he hasn’t pursued his song writing any further. the bands last performances were in 1994.
-Rob Mayes (Failsafe)

Discography (picks in bold)