Show Preview: New Faces at Wild Rose

Marilyn wept, New Faces is playing Wild Rose tonight – that’s Saturday May 9th – at about 11 pm.

Be there early.


Show Preview: The Endeavors @ the Sunset, Friday May 8th

The Endeavors are holding their CD release party/show at the Sunset this Friday, May 8th.
I hear there will be free EPs at the door.

photo by Dagmar

photo by Amelia

photo by Amelia


Album Review: The Mint Chicks – Screens

The Mint Chicks


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May is New Zealand Music Month, and what better time to review the latest release by local darlings of troublegum-infused noiserock, The Mint Chicks?

Following on from prior releases Fuck The Golden Youth and the critically acclaimed Crazy?  Yes!  Dumb?  No!, the Auckland boys decided it was time to relocate; planning their onslaught from a new base of operations.  Upon taking flight, the kiwis settled in Portland (What is it about this part of the world that’s so alluring?) to record the new album, mixing it in four separate studios under the tutelage of Jacob Portrait and in the wake of such bands as The Dandy Warhols, The Shins and Modest Mouse.

Listening to Screens is a little like joining the circus, which is not an inaccurate comparision if you’ve ever seen the trio live – vocalist Kody Neilson is infamous for jumping off of PA stacks, dangling upside down three or four stories off the ground, and engaging in other death-defying acts – never missing a beat during such a display.  When supporting YYY in 2006, their set was so loud it caused part of the ceiling to crumble, injuring concert goers.

Screens is a step back from Crazy?  Yes!  Dumb?  No! – the band lighten things up a bit, and embrace a less grungy, lo-fi sound without fear.  By no means does this reduce them to an acoustic trio – the resulting sound is bouncy and disjointed, yet strangely catchy.

Guitarist Ruban Neilsen deadpans, “We made this record for creepy teenaged girls with one glass eye…”.  Indeed, the driving force behind this thirty-minute album seems to be some sort of vocoder-wielding mecharobot, spazzing about in a schizophrenic mess.  It’s a carnival of curiosities, from the ‘lalalalala’-ing of the hazy ‘What A Way’, to the highly distorted dancetrack which gives the album its name.

‘Enemies’ is a glorious, thundering track, and clocking in at 2.53 is one of the longest on the album.  ‘Sweet Janine’ is an irresistible pop ditty, fuelled by playful synths and the earnest tugs of pliant heartstrings.  The inevitable handclaps are unleashed on ‘Don’t Sell Your Brains Out, Baby’, a twisting work of demented pop-rock.  The carousel may get a little dizzying at times, but the boys have made a valiant effort in expanding their sound.  Ka pai!

The band are currently playing a series of gigs in Portland – here’s hoping they’ll stop by our way soon.

Screens is out now on Flying Nun Records.

Nicky Andrews


Photos: Rocco Deluca @ Neumos

Rocco Deluca played at Neumos last night. I think he’s an impressive artist who is fascinating to watch live – photographer Alex Crick took some beautiful and really classy photos of the show. I saw Deluca open for Keane a couple years ago and it’s super to see him out touring as a headliner. Right now he’s touring in support of his new album, Mercy, which features the brilliant I Trust You to Kill Me. Alex says the show was great.


Paul Banks is Julian Plenti

Interpol’s Paul Banks has a solo project under the name of Julian Plenti.

photo by Matthew Salacuse

This is intriguing – I can’t wait to hear it.