the chills

Recent content on Elsewhere by Graham Reid tagged as the chills.

The Verlaines: Corporate Moronic (Dunedin Sound/Yellow Eye)

The Verlaines: Corporate Moronic (Dunedin Sound/Yellow Eye)

The problem with writing songs which have a political intention or address social issues is that these complex matters cannot easily be reduced to lyrics, and so you end up with songs which are slogans (Power to the People) or full of posturing pomposity (the court calls U2). It's in the nature of a three or four minute song that everything...

The Soft Pack: The Soft Pack (Pod/Inertia)

The Soft Pack: The Soft Pack (Pod/Inertia)

And we thought Shihad had a controversial name post-9/11? This alt.pop four-piece based in Los Angeles – which has toured with the Breeders, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party -- used to be called The Muslims. The flipside of their first single was Walking With Jesus. So let's give them points in their efforts to get a headline....

GRAEME DOWNES OF THE VERLAINES INTERVIEWED (2003): Such brave, flawed diamonds

GRAEME DOWNES OF THE VERLAINES INTERVIEWED (2003): Such brave, flawed diamonds

If there were awards in local rock for candour beyond the call of duty, then Graeme Downes, linchpin of the formative and formidable Flying Nun band the Verlaines (1981-97), would be saying “Thank you” at the podium more than most. Always a straight shooter, Downes settles over lunch to chat about the long overdue...

THE VERLAINES; REISSUED AND RECONSIDERED (2010): Listened to Mahler, look over my shoulder . . .

THE VERLAINES; REISSUED AND RECONSIDERED (2010): Listened to Mahler, look over my shoulder . . .

Quite why anyone thought there ever was a "Dunedin sound" is bewildering -- without even hearing a note of the music all you had to do was look at the cover of the famous "Dunedin double" album of mid '82 to see how each of the four bands -- the Stones, the Chills, Sneaky Feelings and the Verlaines -- thought of...

Grayson Gilmour: No Constellation (Flying Nun)

Grayson Gilmour: No Constellation (Flying Nun)

We shouldn't feel too sorry for the profoundly talented Grayson Gilmour -- but I do sympathise with him at the moment: being the first act signed to the resurrected Flying Nun label means that has become the story and not this quite superb album. I have heard and seen Gilmour interviewed repeatedly and most of the time has been taken up with...

Tono and the Finance Company: Fragile Thing EP (Border)

Tono and the Finance Company: Fragile Thing EP (Border)

One of the nicest things about small indie artists is the care they lavish on the presentation of their low-key albums. Witness the delightful Tokey Tones albums or even the more rough-hewn albums on Flying Nun where the art was a signifier of the contents. And so it is with this terrific, confident, witty and repeat-play six-song EP which...

Surf City: Kudos (Arch Hill)

Surf City: Kudos (Arch Hill)

Possibly because this young Auckland four-piece have all that rolling energy of early Flying Nun acts (the Chills and the Clean especially) but turn it up to 11 and make it fat, it has hijacked my stereos (home and car, I take it for drives). They deliver such a thrilling racket it's hardly surprising they've been picked up by college radio...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Dear Time's Waste: Spells (DTW/Isaac)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Dear Time's Waste: Spells (DTW/Isaac)

The previous EP in '08, Room for Rent, by this Auckland singer/writer Claire Duncan was notable for its droning and hypnotic qualities (guitar washes) alongside delicately realised folk, and you detected a talent which could stretch in many directions, from a constrained Bjork-meets-JAMChain to slightly disconcerting meditations on love . . ....

Surf Friends: Confusion (SF)

Surf Friends: Confusion (SF)

Auckland two-piece Surf Friends -- guitarist/singer/drum machine handler etc and bassist/keyboards/singer Pete Westmoreland -- are starting out in almost exactly the same place as the early Clean and Chills whose sound they effectively hijack completely for some tracks on this interesting . . . and eventually quite convincing album. Produced...

Ghost Wave: Ghost Wave (Arch Hill)

Ghost Wave: Ghost Wave (Arch Hill)

With some of the momentum of their labelmates the Clean, urgent droning vocals and pure psychedelic guitar jangle, this debut EP by the Auckland-based three-piece touches a lot of familiar places – you could add JPSE and some of the Manchester guitar bands to those reference points – but they do it with such economy and style it...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: David Kilgour

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: David Kilgour

The new bio for David Kilgour starts with an arresting claim, "David Kilgour is a guitar god for guitar atheists". The evidence for this is of course his work in the Clean, with his band the Heavy Eights or on albums under his own name. Kilgour redefines a kind of electrifying electric-pastoral psyechedleic sound which can equally...

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights: Left By Soft (Arch Hill)

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights: Left By Soft (Arch Hill)

For his defining guitar playing in the Clean and beyond, David Kilgour has inspired two generations of acolytes: the first being the generation of Flying Nun followers in the Eighties and Nineties, and more recently young bands and Arch Hill labelmates like Surf City and Ghost Wave. Kilgour -- who has answered the Famous Elsewhere...

The 3D's: Early Recordings 1989-90 (Flying Nun)

The 3D's: Early Recordings 1989-90 (Flying Nun)

Inspired by everything from the Pixies and Neil Young's El Dorado EP, sonic noise and folk music, the 3D's were a Flying Nun band which inspired passionate loyalty for the visceral power of their sound and often weaving, beguling melodies (from singer Denise Roughan as well as the guitars). The re-release last year of their early albums...

The Vietnam War: The Vietnam War (Round Trip Mars)

The Vietnam War: The Vietnam War (Round Trip Mars)

Despite the explosive connotations of their name, Auckland's Vietnam War are far from an incendiary rock outfit. Rather, they are in that country rock lineage which reaches back to the Byrds (there's a little pre-Sweethearts Byrdsean jangle in the mid-ground of the opener High Window) and runs through the Band, and to the early Renderers and the...

The Close Readers: Group Hug (Austin)

The Close Readers: Group Hug (Austin)

From the literary suggestion of the band name and the chief songwriter here – Damien Wilkins – you could guess some serious lyrical chops. Wilkins is founding editor of the literary magazine Sport, and teaches creative writing at Victoria University in Wellington. He also has some small music credentials though. In the early...

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Mirror Traffic (Domino)

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Mirror Traffic (Domino)

The previous album by Malkmus (formerly of Pavement) with the Jicks was the very trippy Real Emotional Trash. But here, after touring again with Pavement, he gets into the studio with Beck Hansen as producer for 15 focused songs which place emphasis on, if nothing else, audability. His words -- droll, slightly self-torturing and...

Cut Off Your Hands: Hollow (Speak N Spell)

Cut Off Your Hands: Hollow (Speak N Spell)

Frankly, when I first encountered Cut Off Your Hands two things struck me: First, how do you do that? (You get one off and then . . .), and more importantly how their bouncy pop-rock would travel. When I heard they were going to the UK I thought, "coals . . . Newcastle". I understand things didn't entirely work out over there and...

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