It appears to have been out for a couple of years now, but this “BRAVE WORDS – NZ INDIE 1980-1995” fanzine, put out by one April Welsh, is a great DIY overview of New Zealand’s flourishing underground of rocknroll/pop during that era. Flying Nun primarily, not Xpressway nor the long tail of 80s NZ bedroom weirdos we worship over here.
Definitely recommend this article on the “Phantom Billstickers” blog that explores how Tom Lax came to be the world’s premier archivist of New Zealand’s underground sound. His Siltbreeze Records, which has been putting out weird art, punk, noise and trash from NZ (and points elsewhere) for over 25 years, is in the throes of a pretty deep New Zealand excavation programme right about now.
Here’s something wiry, compelling & brand new from a Tempe, Arizona band called NUMB BATS – totally in league with Flying Nun-style Velvets jangle and much of Barbara Manning’s work w/ World of Pooh, removed of most traces of sheen and left with a pleasant lo-fidelity and left-of-center candy core. The song’s called “Doctor 5”.
Go get it at their Bandcamp page once you decide how much you like it here.
SILTBREEZE magazine’s “picks” from Issue #8, which, judging from the records they most loved, came out in about 1988. This is a tame, almost-SFW photo compared to the rest of the issue’s marginalia. Damn those fellas had some good taste, though, hunh?
XPRESSWAY were the darker, more experimental record label cousin of New Zealand’s Flying Nun. Operating out of Port Chalmers on the South Island, Xpressway was originally a late 80s/early 90s cassette label and later branched into singles and LPs. They were a real cult taste there for a while, putting out early moody, shape-shifting sounds from the Dead C, Alastair Galbraith, the Terminals and more.
This ad came from Siltbreeze magazine #6 around 1990 or so. (Yes, before Siltbreeze was a raunched-out music fanzine before it was a label).Tom Lax from Siltbreeze was probably Xpressway’s biggest US-based champion; I’d certainly never heard of the label before he started yakking about them and running cool ads like this one.