Sheep Technique [01/07/2008]

My very last Sheep Technique (kiwi music show on student radio station RDU); with Paul, and with an aborted interview with Cindy (previously known as Sandra) from former Flying Nun single band 25c.

Bible Black – Hell of a Woman
The Renderers – Low to the Ground
The Clean – Point that Thing Somewhere Else
25c – The Witch
Front Lawn – A Man and a Woman
25c – Don’t deceive me
The Good Housewives – Concerto in D Minor
The Stones – See Red
Spacedust – Too Much Action
3Ds – Outer Space
Steffan Van Soest Hit-Machine – Woman By My Side (Mexican Man)
Ticket – Mr. Music
Shaft – The Downhill Racer
Scorched Earth Policy – Sunset on the Loading Zone
Scavengers – Mysterex
Toy Love – Bride of Frankenstein
Reduction Agents – Urban Yard
Blam Blam Blam – There is No Depression in New Zealand
Pop Art Toasters – What Am I Going to Do
Tomorrows Love – 7 and 7 Is
King Loser – 76 Comeback
Straitjacket Fits – Life in One Chord
Palace of Wisdom – Found and Lost
Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos – All of This
the Bats – Block of Wood
Snapper – Snapper and the Ocean
Bitch – Wildcat
Die! Die! Die! – Sideways Here We Come
The Androidss – Auckland Tonight
Lawrence Arabia – Half the Right Size

Straitjacket Fits

Dissonant kiwi pop-rock that at times verged on shoe-gazer (the band were known for incredibly loud live performances), often hiding their delicate melodies and concise, heartfelt lyrics behind a wall of feedback. Based around Shayne Carter and Andrew Brough (who eventually split from the band after the Melt tour to form Bike) both on guitar and vocals, David Wood filling the bass role, and John Collie at the drums. Shayne Carter was always the man in the spotlight, he had come from Dunedin band the Doublehappys and was known as a bit of an enigmatic front-man, as well as being quite the temperamental artist type. Andrew Brough however (formerly of the Orange), represented the quiet and caring, under-appreciated side of the band – his single ‘Down In Splendor’ is one of the best examples of melodic kiwi pop, a fragile, love song with a killer sing-a-long chorus.

But Carter is one hell of a songwriter also, practically carrying the first album (the classic Hail) with his singles ‘She Speeds’ and ‘Life In One Chord’. During the first two albums, the Fits were at the fore-front of kiwi rock, challenging the Chills and the Headless Chickens for the most popular of local bands, and along with the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience as the pick of the New Zealand underground scene. When the Melt tour wound down in early ’92, Brough decided it was time he formed his own band, as little of his material seem to work its way into the Fits cannon. He was replaced by Mark Peterson for the disjointed album Blow, released later in ’92.

Although Blow contains some excellent pop singles in ‘Done’, ‘Cat Inna Can’ and my personal favorite, and an excellent moot point for The Fits – ‘If I Were You’, the album was too inconsistent to support an attempted break into the burgeoning American market, and the band broke up to persue their own interests.

Carter now performs under the Dimmer moniker, releasing the brilliant, decade in the making I Believe You Are A Star last year to unanimous critical acclaim, and with a follow-up to be released shortly! Brough’s band Bike made one of the great New Zealand pop albums of the mid 90s, drawing a great deal of radio play for what was basically an all-hit album.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Life In One Chord 12″ Ep [1987 Flying Nun Fn080 / Fne25]
  • Hail [1988 Flying Nun Fn105]
  • ‘Hail’/’So Long Marianne’ 12″ Single [1988 Flying Nun Fn108]
  • ‘Hail’/’So Long Marianne’ 7″ Single [1988 Flying Nun Fn114]
  • Hail [1990 Extended U.S. Edition Flying Nun Fn142]
  • ‘Sparkle That Shines’/’Grate’ 7″ Single [1990 Flying Nun Fn151]
  • Melt [1990 Flying Nun Fn174]
  • ‘Bad Note For A Heart’/’In Spite Of It All’ 7″ Single [1990 Flying Nun Fn175]
  • ‘Bad Note For A Heart’/’Skin To Wear’/’In Spite Of It All’/’Hail’ (Live) 12″ / Cd Single [1990 Flying Nun Fn176]
  • ‘Down In Splendour’/’Seeing You Fled’/’Missing Presumed Drowned’/’Cave In’ Double 7″ Single [1990 Flying Nun Fn180]
  • Down In Splendour Video Cassette [1990 Flying Nun Fn D16011]
  • Done Ep [1992 Flying Nun Fn242]
  • Blow [1993 Flying Nun Fn251]
  • ‘Cat Inna Can’/’Sycamore’/’Satellite’ Cd Single [1993 Flying Nun Fn265]
  • ‘If I Were You’/’Brother’s Keeper’ (Demo)/’Burn It Up’ (Demo) Cd Single [1993 Flying Nun Fn285]
  • Best Of Double-Cd [1998 Compilation Flying Nun Fn406]

Awards Etc
Rianz Awards 1990


  • Music Video Of The Year – Bad Note For A Heart
  • Cover Design Of The Year – John Collie

Rianz Awards 1993


  • Album Of The Year – Blow
  • Top Male Vocalist Of The Year – Shayne Carter

See-Also

Bike

andrew brough was the unwanted third wheel of the straightjacket fits. he had never been in a ‘rock’ band before the fits, but had established a reputation (as the frontman from the relatively unknown the orange) for being a solid guitarist with a great sense for melody and ryhthm. while this initially fit in well with shayne carter and the fits chaotic, ackingly beautiful early albums, it became quickly apparent that their was pressure in the group to release brough. carters a very dominant front-person, and with the dismissal of brough (they issued a press release that stated ‘yah!, no more slow songs!’) the fits went on to rock harder than they ever had, before finally self-combusting.
brough however, had found himself in a rather profitable posistion – the exposure the fits gave him, along with his classic fits swan song ‘down in splendour’ being declared something of a down-trodden, whimsical masterpiece — had led to the prospect of a promising solo career.
though he did put together a band (with bassist tristan mason and drummer karl buckley), bike was absolutely a vehicle for his own soothing, cheerful and sunny solo material. automatically gaining television interest with debut singles ‘old and blue’ and the majestic ‘save my life’, brough set about creating possibly the most consistantly gorgeous album in new zealand pop history.
take in the sun was eventually released in 1997, including the early singles as well as new highlights ‘circus kids’ and ‘take in the sun’ into a solid, aptly titled debut. the album gleems with a light layer of guitar feedback and brough’s hushed vocals – barely slipping into 2nd gear throughout the entire album, its no wonder the album has become something of a regular as television backing music. the pop melodies shine, the keyboard and guitar sends shivers down your spine. it’s not clear whether brough will continue the bike name, but i look forward to any future releases he see’s fit to release.
discography
picks in bold

  • ‘save my life’/’old and blue’ 7″ single [1996 flying nun FN369]
  • ‘save my life’/’old and blue’/’undone’/’don’t cry’ cd single [1996 flying nun FN369]
  • ‘circus kids’/’messed around’/’in the dark’ cd single [1997 flying nun FN390]
  • take in the sun[1997 flying nun FN401]

recommended songs
download from mp3.co.nz

  • old and bluern
  • take in the sunrn
  • save my lifern
  • 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

    See-Also

    dimmer

    Biography

    Dynamic, flowing rock with electronic influences and dark musical overtones. basically the one-man project of former Doublehappys / Straightjacket Fits frontman Shayne Carter, Dimmer spent the best part of 5 years living off the expectations that their solitary debut EP Crystalator produced (as well as Carters’ impeccable previous track record).

    In 2001, the catalyst of this seclusion was finally released – I Believe You Are A Star – and its a stunner.

    Carter followed up in 2004 with You’ve Got To Hear The Music, expanding his sound with an all-star list of contributors (some even in the pop field) and toured the album with Ned Ngatae on guitar, Mike Hall (Pluto/Sola Rosa) on bass, Andy Morton on keys, Willy Scott (King Kapisi / Sola Rosa) on drums, and Anika Moa on backing vocals.

    Other guests on the album include, SJD who added production wizardry on ‘case’, Graeme Downes of the Verlaines, who arranged and conducted strings on ‘Only One That Matters’, Nick Roughan and Andy ‘Submariner’ Morton kept things appropriately phat in the beat and production department, while Dimmer tickman and animated video genius, Gary Sullivan, added his own trademark sly touch. Anika Moa appears on a number of tracks bringing a new dimension to Carter’s voice, and teams up on ‘Happening’ with Bic Runga with a spine-tingling effect.

    From Festival Mushroom’s promotional blurb

    Members

    • Shayne Carter (Vocals/Guitar/Bass, 1995 -)
    • Peter Jefferies (Drums, 1995)
    • Lou Allison (Bass, 1995)
    • Gary Sullivan (Drums, 1999 – 2009)
    • Nick Roughan (Guitar/Bass/Drum Programming, 2001 – 2006?)
    • Andy Morton (Keyboards/Drum Programming, 2001 – 2006?)
    • Ned Ngatae (Guitar, 2003?)
    • Anika Moa (Vocals, 2004)
    • Bic Runga (Vocals, 2004)
    • James Duncan (Guitar/Bass/Keyboards, 2009)
    • Kelly Steven (Bass/Flute/Vocals, 2009)
    • Dino Karlis (Drums/Percussion, 2009)
    • Michael Prain (Drums, 2009)

    Discography

    • Crystalator ‎(7″) (1995, Sub Pop/Flying Nun Records, SP326/FN310)
    • Don’t Make Me Buy Out Your Silence Single (1996, Flying Nun Records)
    • Evolution Single (1999, Columbia, 668560)
    • I Believe You Are A Star ‎(2001, Columbia, 5024222000)
    • Getting What You Give Mini-Album (2003, Columbia)
    • You’ve Got To Hear The Music (2004, Festival Mushroom Records)
    • There My Dear (2006, Warner Music)
    • Degrees Of Existence ‎(2009, Warner Music, 5186551402)

    Links

     

    Doublehappys

    Biography

    A phenomenal band with an excruciatingly short discography, the Doublehappys were the reunion outfit of high school chums (and both former Bored Games members) Shayne Carter and Wayne Elsey, along with their temperamental drum machine Herbie Fuckface.

    They toured the best part of continually through-out 1984 and early 1985 – recruiting John Collie to take over on the kit, releasing just a duo of EP’s before (former leader of the brilliant, faultless Stones) Wayne Elsey was tragically killed in a freak accident on a train.

    Collie and Carter soon formed the Straitjacket Fits and the rest is history. Flying Nun later compiled all their recorded material along with live documents of their other songs on the fantastic Nerves CD – which is highly recommended.

    Members

    • Shayne Carter (Vocals/Guitar, 1983 – 1985)
    • Wayne Elsey (Guitar/Vocals, 1983 – 1985)
    • John Collie (Drums, 1984 – 1985)

    Discography

    • Double B-Side 7″ Single [1984 Flying Nun FN026]
    • Cut It Out 12″ EP [1985 Flying Nun DH002]
    • How Much Time Left, Please? EP [1991, Avalanche, ONLYMLP012]
    • Nerves Compilation [1992, Flying Nun, FNCD196]

    Links

     

    The Orange

    Andrew Brough’s pre straitjacket fits rock outfit, much in line with his later dreamy guitar outfit Bike. The Orange were popular in Dunedin during their brief tenure in the mid 80s, though they were over-shadowed by the likes of the Chills and the Verlaines, who constantly received country-wide approval. The Talented song-writer Brough was supported by Jonathan Moore and Peter Bragan.

    Discography (picks in bold)

    • fruit salad lives 12″ ep [1986 flying nun FN047]

    See-Also