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Sharpie Crows

Mostalgia Kills

    Since first presenting their symptoms to the public five years ago, Sharpie Crows have become that band, the disorganised and slightly frightening sick musical cousins. Where others of their generation try to recreate the sprightly joys of their older brothers' record collections, Sharpie Crows prefer to burp and regurgitate the sinister side, the unwashed arse-side of popular music.

    This is music with intent: never strum, never flatter, never coast, don't sing a single word that hasn't insisted in a drunken dream on being sung. Nostalgia Kills is not just a manifesto, it's a long-playing record. It collects tracks previously distributed at shows by the band themselves on home-printed CD-Rs with titles like 'Greed' and 'Mass Grave/Golf Course'. It's one of the few contemporary local records that will make your future children think you must once have been cool. You will not hear acoustic guitar, disco hi-hats, or cute winks to pop history. You will hear a recklessly propulsive band in love with rhythm and noise.

    Astute observers rightly distinguish the scent of Skeptics, The Fall, the Birthday Party; what they smell is postpunk's determination to make every song an unrepeatable anomaly. To have seen them play or listened to their records is to have peered through a crack into a murkier world. Sharpie Crows don't have what you want, but they have what you probably need - a cure for boredom.

    Pin Group

    Ambivalence

      “The Pin Group’s short career was the perfect escape act—they produced a small but peerless body of work in adverse circumstances and in almost complete obscurity, and then evaporated before anyone could get a hook into them. A doubly impressive trick, when you consider that they also made the first record for Flying Nun, a label that was to define underground rock music for an entire generation. For many of us the thing that made The Pin Group so unforgettable was that their genius had existed right beneath our noses—and we’d missed them. “I can clearly remember hearing the black-on-black Ambivalence single when it came out in the midst of the 1981 Springbok Tour. I impatiently dismissed it as ‘too murky.’ It was not to be until early the following year that I heard the Go to Town EP... and then my mind split open. If ever I get my genie in a bottle I will be back in a flash to the Gladstone in December 1981 to see the five-piece Pin Group with Mary Heney covering ‘Lady Godiva’s Operation.’ For my money, that’s the absolute ne plus ultra of Velvet Underground cover-version match-ups. “A big part of their mysterious appeal—apart from their unparalleled understanding of the ultimate drone-rock magic trick of how to hold one chord just too long—was their masterly visual presentation. From that first blackest-ever single it was apparent that not only were they New Zealand’s ultimate VU-inspired band (a palm for which moreover the competition was unspeakably intense in those days)—but they even had their own Warhol, in the person of Ronnie van Hout. For that first delirious year he was a one-man design tsunami for Flying Nun, but it was his covers and posters for The Pin Group that represented his most perfectly-realized ‘total artwork.’ “A big part of my wanting to see Flying Nun get off the ground again in a new century was to get the chance to re-marry the sonics of The Pin Group with Ronnie’s ‘silver Factory’ visual vibe of Brillo boxes and black helicopters. And this is it: a legend that defies time. Now you too have the chance to experience The Pin Group’s irresistible blend of the puritanical with the libidinal—wrapped in a point-perfect distillation of proto-hipster psychedelic reference-points from the dawn of postmodernity. “They were right—our youth was soon past. But this endures.” - Bruce Russell, September 2011.

      High Dependendecy Unit

      Metamathics

        It has been nearly two decades since High Dependency Unit's music first reverberated from a drafty warehouse practice space in Dunedin. Their sound is an abrasive wall of rock punctuated with serene, expansive moments reminiscent of krautrock, electronica and film soundtracks.

        Originally released on Freak the Sheep Records in 2003, Metamathics showcases stunning aural landscapes built from a solid foundation of damaged guitar riffs and breathtaking dynamics. From the expansive "Tunguska" to the stark beauty of album closer "Wish We Were Here," the secret of Metamathics lies in affording each element the proper level of care and distinction to create a mesmerizing whole. Reissue of 2003 album from veteran New Zealand band.

        Six tracks (clocking in at 43 minutes) mixing abrasive guitar rock with elements of krautrock and electronica. Includes a free digital download of six remixes by a selection of New Zealand artists. The band recently reformed for a series of New Zealand shows as part of Flying Nun's 30th anniversary celebrations.

        Mermaidens

        Look Me In The Eye

          Dancing in the lively afterglow of Perfect Body, Mermaiden's internationally acclaimed Flying Nun debut, a new flame burns. The Wellington-based trio now approach 2019 with an eagerly awaited follow up. Enter the depths of their new album, Look Me In The Eye.

          Earmarked by the trio's April split single release ?You Maintain The Stain / Cut It Open, the group (made up of friends Lily West, Gussie Larkin and Abe Hollingsworth) are in new terrain. Exploring power and control in a confronting new lens, the trio are focused on the gatekeepers and dominators of the world; dissecting their power, one song at a time.

          Recorded with long-time Mermaidens collaborator, audio engineer James Goldsmith, Look Me In The Eye sees the band pushing new sonic boundaries in a body of work that is as severe and progressive as it is vibrant and exhilarating.

          At the heart of the record lies the thematic exploration of female voices, as co-lead vocalists Larkin (guitar) and West (bass), with dynamic support from Hollingsworth (drums) expose embedded motifs of exterior masks, human relationships and power dynamics with unflinching fervour. The voices and perspectives of both frontwomen give shape to the record with equal footing, creating a dialogue around female collaboration and friendship in an ode to the complexities of the human experience. 

          Bressa Creeting Cake

          Bressa Creeting Cake

            All too rarely does a musical group come along with all the right bits intact and just enough of the wrong bits there to make you sit up and really take notice. Emerging on the Flying Nun label in the late 90s, Bressa Creeting Cake was heralded as a young band "brimming with ideas". Their self-titled 1997 debut album - made up of 15 tracks swinging between psychedelic and progressive rock (including single 'Nervous Wreck') received acclaim. Having already made serious wobbles in the airwaves over student radio with a string of demo recordings. Stretching their prodigious talents into a full album's worth of tunes, this young band revel in the chance to show us exactly what they're capable of. And that, my friends, is a lot. Right from the calypso swing of 'Palm Singing', Bressa Creeting Cake kick into the playful pop inventiveness that stands as the album's major mood.

            The vast array of styles on the album include plenty of psychedelic tinges and a hint of progressive rock, but the band don't get stuck in any one place for long over fifteen songs. And those frivolous moments like 'Rocky Mountain' are balanced out by more earnest tracks such as 'You and I' and 'They Write Words To People Who Are Dead'. Lyrically, both Edmund Cake and Geoff Creeting string words together with no small amount of flair. Whether it be the Hungarian/Mongolian hybrid language in 'Zenax', the imaginative leaps of syntax and imagery in 'Rocky Mountain' and 'Egyptian Tanker', or the strange tales told in the likes of 'A Chip That Sells Millions' or 'An Early Microscope', the use of words and meaning adds depth to the tunes here. Geoff Maddock (then going by the stage name Geoff Creeting) and Joel Wilton, went on to form pop-folk band Goldenhorse alongside Kirsten Morelle. Ed Cake has released a solo album and produced Don McGlashan, Neil Finn and The Brunettes. 

            The Courtneys drift back to the sound of the early ’90s, drawing from strong influences including Teenage Fanclub, Pavement, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, and The Clean. Courtney Loove's dreamy guitar riffs add a timeless powerpop element to the punk backbone formed by Sydney Koke's driving basslines, while drummer/lead singer Jen Twynn Payne delivers heartfelt lyrics with a powerful vocal style. These components come together through a passionate collaborative song writing process to deliver a special blend of fuzzy “artisanal grunge”.

            The first Courtneys album (self titled) came out in 2013 on small independent label, Hockey Dad Records, based in the band's hometown of Vancouver, BC, Canada. They have since worked with a number of independent labels including Conquest of Noise in Australia and Waterslide Records in Japan, as well as Burger Records and Gnar tapes in the USA. They have released a number of singles and music videos, and toured throughout Canada and the USA, including spots supporting Tegan and Sara and Mac Demarco. In 2015 The Courtneys made their way to Australia and New Zealand, where they were hosted by Flying Nun Records. Influenced by the legendary label from early on, the group are honored to now be able to call it their home. 

            Zen Mantra

            Zen Mantra

              Dreamy, psychedelic pop songs seem to be the signature of New Zealand musician Zen Mantra (Sam Perry). And this, his self-titled second album, is filled with shimmering psychedelic lo-fi rock, and reverb drenched guitar melodies. Following on from his 2013 debut album 'How Many Padmes Hum' the 10-track album sees the 21-year old bedroom producer joining the Flying Nun roster and expanding his focus to incorporate all forms of pop music from ethereal shoegaze to walls of psychedelic distortion. Taking cues from his fellow indie dreamers like DIIV and Wild Nothing, Zen Mantra has a pure pop energy, an expansive sound and plenty of hooks. Simply put Zen Mantra will make you feel warm and fuzzy.

              "Sam Perry brings to mind everything that made Gross Magic so exciting a few years ago, his songs are riff-laiden beats packed with asthmatic choruses" NME Magazine.

              "The lo-fi, kaleidoscopic scene out in Australasia is booming. Zen Mantra…..is the latest enrollment into the continents already stellar alumni." VICE magazine (UK).

              David Kilgour's second solo album, Sugar Mouth, is one of the sweetest slices of timeless guitar pop you can taste. Released on Flying Nun in 1994, the album is now re-issued again on gatefold 12" LP and CD. The re-issue also includes 10 bonus tracks and demos from the original recording featured on the CD and download.

              David Kilgour is something of a cult figure, as the guitar and voice of left-field trio The Clean and a slew of fantastic solo albums – he’s up to 9 now – he has written the blueprint for New Zealand indie music and many bands to come. Kilgour’s talent for writing furiously catchy pop music with an understated Kiwi-style aura of ‘60s psychedlia is well-documented. A musician with a timeless way with guitar and song, just like his terrific debut, Here Come The Cars (1992), Sugar Mouth is laden with mesmerizing guitar melodies and shimmering pop brilliance.

              However, like all his work there is the tilt of sunny melancholy, at times swapping out the guitar fuzz for a touch of acoustic strong’s and piano. And, like all his career, it’s ear-catching from the start with No No No, Fallaway and Filter perfect examples of his knack for well-crafted but deceptively simple songs. Before rollicking on through to the quietly graceful closer, Never End. Sugar Mouth is a stunning record both glistening and honest, and is yet another reason he can make claim to being one of New Zealand’s best musical treasures. 

              Nun

              Nun

                NUN - one of the most powerful bands Melbourne has ever produced, presents their dark-yet-somehow-vibrant vision of electronic pop with their debut self-titled album.

                Nun’s sound flows from sinister drone-orgy and hyperkinetic synth-punk to saturated new wave worship by incorporating huge, gnarling basslines, shimmering analogue synthesiser, punishing drum machine and the most malevolent vocal presence since the Dalek.

                From the first few seconds of opening track ‘Immersion II’, it is clear that the lean minimal buzz of their debut 7” Solvents (on cult Melbourne label Nihilistic Orbs) was merely one sparkling facet of a much more monstrous body of work. Their debut album veers from perfectly crafted electronic pop to intense industrial noise, with singer Jenny Branagan’s scathing lyrical vision always rising to occupy the central point of focus.

                Song structures are simple, considered and direct - everything is fine-tuned to ensure maximum sonic devastation. Synthesisers spit juddering sequences over a dark melodic backdrop that alternates between sinister atonality and serene melancholy, while insistent percussion cracks time beneath Branagan’s formidable vocals which range from sweet 1980s pop and detached gothic intonation, to a terrifying yell as the music requires.
                Nun’s unrelenting aesthetic sense penetrates every aspect of this record, resulting in a remarkably cohesive work of art. The music is danceable and poppy, it’s sad and incisive, it’s fun, aggressive and heavy as hell. Most impressive of all is its immense force; the effortless delivery belying an overwhelming sense of something very heavy and unpleasant looming just beneath the scintillating pop surface.

                Recommended If You Like: Chrisma, Kas Product, Total Control, New Order, Second Layer, Grauzone, Black Bug.


                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Ltd LP Info: First pressing 500 copies Black vinyl ONLY with EXCLUSIVE FREE POSTER.

                Ye Nuns

                Nun More Black

                  On paper, Ye Nuns are a tribute band. An all-girl celebration of The Monks, proto-krautrock garage punkers formed by a gang of American GIs stationed in Germany who legendarily sported tonsures and nooses on stage. But Ye Nuns are more than a tribute band. Formed by seven London ladies in 2006, Ye Nuns send witchy, six-part harmonies crashing over scratchy guitars, layer on evil fuzz bass and add pounding drums. Lead vocals screech and soar. Electric banjo hacks relentlessly. Vintage keyboard sounds stab. Yet it’s still music that puts grins on faces and gets feet moving.

                  In an arena where youth is often prized above talent, a band of seven women north of 35 is virtually unprecedented. Their experience and assured poise shines through on stage. There’s no need for faux-sexy posing or cute apologetic stylings. Members’ other bands include Curve, Mambo Taxi, Thee Headcoatees, Gay Dad, The A-Lines, Echobelly, Joanne Joanne, The Werewandas and The Priscillas.

                  Debut album Nun More Black grinds, grooves and assaults. Recorded in two days flat on old-fashioned tape at Gizzard Studios, there are proper tunes, moments of astonishing avant-garde sonic assault and lashings of righteous ire which you can dance to. Again, Ye Nuns are more than a tribute band. “I love watching Ye Nuns! It was fun watching you guys do this! I love Ye Nuns!” Eddie Shaw (original member of The Monks)

                  “Conceptually, it’s perfect: an all-female tribute band who play the songs of The Monks while dressed as nuns.” Stool Pigeon

                  “The music has a simple, visceral effect delivered with such joy that the crowd in the packed tent are in motion from the first banjo twang to the last organ parp. The Monks’ warped genius has passed by musical osmosis to this unholy sisterhood.” SoundsXP

                  “Bad ass garage rock and roll, played with flair, experience and total confidence, and with unexpected psychedelic twists and turns.” TheGirlsAre.com

                  Bird Nest Roys were a six piece guitar pop band formed in Auckland, New Zealand in the mid 1980’s. Despite a large geographical distance between their home suburb Grey Lynn and the depths of the south Dunedin, Bird Nest Roys were associated with the ‘Dunedin Sound’ wave of bands that kick started Flying Nun Records. It is Bird Nest Roys knack for off-kilter Kiwi pop and quite literal layered guitars (out of the six person line up, four were holding guitars) that assured the band’s popularity in New Zealand.

                  In their short existence of four years, the band produced an EP, full length LP, and a single 7’’, as well as the platform for members to later become pivotal members of The 3D’s and Snapper. Re-issued for the first time is the band's entire previously released discography, as well as unreleased/ unrecorded live material. Presented in a 2xLP gatefold with previously unseen posters, flyers and emphera, as well as on CD.

                  Grayson Gilmour

                  No Constellation

                  So, perhaps we could tell some romantic story about a kid who turns to music during their early teens in an effort to save themselves from the boredom of swampy small town New Zealand. A couple of albums later they pack their bags for the big smoke, chasing the dream, etc etc... Add a few more releases, four or five years and now we have "No Constellation from Grayson Gilmour".

                  Hailing from Palmerston North, Grayson Gilmour began his solo recordings at age 16 and has now teamed up with the re-launched Flying Nun for his fifth album "No Constellation". As one quarter of New Zealand band So So Modern, Grayson has spent the last years juggling between playing and recording with the band and his own 'bedroom/studio recluse' projects. All up "No Constellation" is a culmination of ideas built up over the last two-years - much of which he spent touring overseas with So So Modern. With a pile of praise in his home country and the New Zealand Herald declaring it; 'a clear contender for local record of the year.'



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