Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Surf City












It’s funny how parts of Flying Nun’s classic 80s’ roster influenced 90s' American college rock so profoundly, yet seemed to have so little impact on the subsequent New Zealand music scene.

It was probably a case of NZ bands in the 90s rebelling against domestic legends; now, though, a new quartet has embraced The Clean’s primitive pop melodies, basic garage rhythms and seductive noise. OK, by name Surf City are obviously declaring a kinship with the Mary Chain, but they augment that three-chords-and-a-distortion-pedal trick with classic Flying Nun influences.

Kudos draws from the west coast pop and theatrical atmospherics of The Chills (think Pink Frost) and the relentless riffing of Straitjacket Fits; Dickshakers Union fuses poetry and punk with lively electric squalls like The Verlaines; and Records Of A Flagpole Shaker, with its insistent guitar and organ mix, is doggedly fuzzy around the edges like – well, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in fact an outtake from The Clean’s Vehicle sessions.

Surf City’s self-titled ep came out last year in New Zealand, but Berlin’s Morr Music have just issued it for all us tardy outsiders. It’ll probably tear up the American college radio charts sometime soon…

3 comments:

toby said...

with the likes of surf city, the box elders, and the nodzzz, it's nice to see that flying nun sound making a comeback of sorts.

FireEscape said...

Box Elders claim they're not named after the Pavement song, although Pavement owed much of their sound to Flying Nun... Nodzz - I took that as a reminder to buy their album which has just come out. Thanks!

brogues said...

What a find! Listening to their myspace tracks now and LOVING what I hear. 2008: what a year!