Posts Tagged ‘Gold Medal Famous’


AND SO HERE WE COME, to a time of consumerism and a mythical figure from a frozen land who is on the dole 11 months of the year. If Christmas is getting to you, relax, put on your slippers, tuck into a chocolate ginger, stick the music mags in the recycling bin and wallow in the Ultimate Guide to 2014 … Porky’s choicest cuts of the past 12 months, in no particular order. Oink oink.

Bill Pritchard: A Trip to the Coast Pritchard 1

We said: Bill Pritchard, English eccentric extraordinaire, the Midlands equivalent of Morrissey and the Go-Betweens with songs about “tea on a Friday morning” and “watching the sun leave the sky”. A pleasantly endearing record that my local library saw fit to buy.

Morrissey: World Peace Is None of Your Business Morrissey

We said: There are snippets of The Smiths, and of Morrissey in his embryonic solo days, but I can safely say this is a typical Morrisssey album, scathing, insightful, illuminating, occasionally humourous, but rarely dull. I’m trying hard to think of other albums released this year, or the past four, that would elicit the same emotions. I fail. Morrissey is an enigma.

Bis: Data Panik bis

What we would have said: Bursting with juicy, punky, in-yer-face, indie disco floorfillers, bis return after a sabbatical or a dozen, with an instant masterwerk that keechs all over their wannabe pretenders. Bouncy, pacy, sparkly, cutting edge and contemporary … if bis were a football team they would be Glasgow Celtic FC.

Gold Medal Famous Free Body Culture (Powertool records)

Gold Medal FamousWe said: Agitating for a vote against the odious National Party at this year’s election, You’re So Outrageous tackles the affronts against the constitution the ruling junta (surely democratically elected government? – ed) has carried out, by using urgency in parliament to push through bills deemed essential, and thus avoiding public scrutiny. Using a hypnotic dance beat and eerie vocals, Gold Medal Famous prove there’s a way of make a political point in this drab cultural era. Free Body Culture, named after a German nudist movement, is varied, playful, angry, and esoteric; it is the band’s finest effort yet.

xBomb Factory: No NO

We said: There is no escaping our dark world, where the worst type of unemployment is the unemployment of the mind. “They’re on the sofa, my life is over,” is the eerie revelation of how the Idiot Box has taken over. NO is not an easy ride, but it is a fulfilling one. The clatter can be overwhelming, and the bleakness stultifying. But I often felt like that after the Gang of Four’s Entertainment. Among the anger and the cynicism is a manifesto for a better lifestyle and an empowered mindset, the two precursors for a better world. Free your mind and your ass will follow someone once sang (it wasn’t Justin Bieber).
Towns: Get By

TownsWe said: Get By doesn’t fit in with the terribly pompous and, quite frankly, staid British music scene of the moment. For one thing, there’s a bit of a swagger about them; not for them the mean and moody look, with songs about lost love and how their beard is growing because they’re too miserable to trim it. There’s a lot of guitars, and effects, and yes that old chestnut, shoegazing is being trotted out by lazy, hazy journalists. Is it 1990 all over again? Well yes, to an extent but it could also be 1967.

Pete Fij and Terry Bickers: Broken Heart Surgery Broken Heart Surgery

We said: It’s Porky’s personal desire for an album to be upbeat, jaunty, to contain songs I can hum or whistle along to while making breakfast; so slower, more intense tracks like Sound of Love don’t quite catch the ear in the same that Breaking Up would. But one man’s meat etc, and I know a man in East Anglia who would say the exact opposite to me.

Broken Heart Surgery is a touching critique of modern love, noting the distractions technology and communication can have, removing some of the personal aspects of an affair. It’s written in the manner of the mood swings that love brings and takes, but often with delectable irony.

The Moons: Mindwaves

The MoonsWe said: Mindwaves is an attempt at the Great British Album, hence the deft psychedelic touches of Syd-era Pink Floyd, the overblown orchestration, reminiscent of ‘about to call it quits’ Beatles, and, of all things, glam rock. Fever begins with a rehashed riff from a long-forgotten Sweet single, and Heart and Soul oozes Ziggy Stardust period Bowie, with dutiful drops of mash-up-the-beats Kasabian circa 2004. There’s something for everyone.


The Primitives: Spin-O-Rama Primitives

We said: The opening title track sets out its stall early: pounding riffs, gorgeous vocals and the sound of a band glad to be together again; there’s hints of Crash in the pace and jollity of it all and it shouts for attention from the roofs. Hidden In the Shadows has the trashy, edginess of one of the 1986/87 singles, complete with frenetic verses and a rousing chorus. This is pop at its finest.


Trick Mammoth: Floristry (Fishrider records)

Trick MammothWe said: The opening tracks, Baltimore and Pinker Sea, have Millie Lovelock’s dreamy voice at the forefront, but by the third Adrian Ng is sharing vocal duties, and takes on more of such responsibilities as the album progresses. It’s a combination I am unsure of; Lovelock alone gives a breathy atmosphere to Baltimore; Ng’s soft but forceful timbre is apt for Days of Being Wild, but sometimes I am left with the feeling that he should be doing this, and that she should do that, and maybe both of them should be doing the same thing. Or differently.

Trick Mammoth are strong believers in love, happiness, the beauty of flowers, the glory of youth and a deep devotion to music, and its role in the hearts and knees of the world’s pre-middle agers.





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PORKY HAS an election erection. Bring it on. We will cheer, on September 20, as the bad guys (National, ACT, United Future and the Conservatives), parties that care little for child Election EPpoverty, worker’s rights, the environment or the unemployment rate, battle the forces of good (Greens, Mana, Internet Party, maybe Labour though they’ll always be cunts for introducing Thatcherism in the 80s).

Powertool Records think likewise, and have timely released the Election 2014 EP, which follows the label’s issue of Jordan Reyne’s subtle dig at Prime Minister John Key, on the Crone EP (reviewed in the previous blog), and also the stoush over Darren Watson’s Planet Key – read about that here:(http://everythinggonegreen.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/planet-key.html).

The EP begins and ends with Gold Medal Famous’ diatribe on our glorious leader. 2011’s John Key Is A Dick (“20% of children live in poverty”), is now John Key Is Still A Dick. Crude, yes, schoolboyish funny, aye, but also one of the few real critiques of Team Key in a country that seems to view his/ their attributes as ‘safe pair of hands’ and ‘trustworthy’, while they treat people having to rely on state benefits as vermin, and allow oil companies to destroy the seabeds.

In the update, GMF note that Key can’t recall what side of the fence he was on during the volatile Springbok tour of 1981, and splurges money on the rich man’s championship, The America’s Cup.

George Henderson and Matthew Bannister note how New Zealand is subservient to America, and is happy to have Kim Dotcom extradited; River’s Edge bemoan the influence of the downright greedy, and Glum implore people to show their dissatisfaction at the increasing divide, on Vote Positive!, coincidentally the campaign slogan of the Labour Party.

But while this is all sounds like part of the “left-wing conspiracy theory” which Key has been droning about, the mash-ups of the party posters mock them all, left, right, centre.

And if you wish to read about whether New Zealand has become more unequal in the past decade, read this incisive article from Radio New Zealand http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/20146761/insight-for-24-july-2014-the-big-election-issues

 Election EP 2


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Once upon a time, in the good old days when there were no wars or disease, record labels would slavishly supply reviewers with CDs. Gold Medal FamousThe pig sty would light up when these packages arrived, though most of the items inevitably ended up in the charity shop.

Now, most labels just sent off stuff digitally and it’s no coincidence at all that all you hear on the news now is war and conflict and disease and pestilence and Australian success in cricket.

But those good folk at Powertool Records are doing their bit for world peace, and boy have made a cracking start to the new year, with a clutch of new releases designed to make us all feel happier and more likely to go on an exercise regime.

First out of the envelope is Gold Medal Famous, an avant-garde electro-indie outfit out of Wellington, the 17th most expensive city in the world to live in. Apparently. Porky’s reader (surely readers? – sceptical editor) will be more than familiar with them as we’ve reviewed their past two albums. (100% Pure, Gold Medal Famous)

Free Body Culture is a seven-track mini album of strangeness, bleeps, mutated narration and a sense of freedom and the art of living sensibly. They are, the press release informs me, 21st century subversives. A bold statement indeed.

But they make a decent claim to  this on Meat Lovers’ Pizza, which despite its’ misleading title, revolves around a quote from Prime Minister John Key, said around the time he was allowing for further spying on New Zealanders: “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to fear.” North Korea’s state news agency was taking notes at that point.

Agitating for a vote against the odious National Party at this year’s election, You’re So Outrageous tackles the affronts against the constitution the ruling junta (surely democratically elected government? – ed) has carried out, by using urgency in parliament to push through bills deemed essential, and thus avoiding public scrutiny. Using a hypnotic dance beat and eerie vocals, Gold Medal Famous prove there’s a way of make a political point in this drab cultural era.

Meanwhile, Out for the Night celebrates the art of the piss-up, in a manner that is reminiscent of the Human League or the Younger Younger 28s (Google them). “It only costs five bucks to get in, the bands come all the way from Hamilton,”

Free Body Culture, named after a German nudist movement, is varied, playful, angry, and esoteric; it is the band’s finest effort yet.

Label mate Matthew Bannister is a man on a mission, If he’s not playing live around New Zealand like a madman he’s recording Changing SameBeatles albums (last year’s Evolver, Evolver) and releasing EPs with his band of merry men, The Changing Same. Make Up My Mind is a brief and delightful four-track recording that continues Bannister’s love of the 1960s, with the influence of a certain Liverpool act much in abundance.

Could Be Anyone is a tale of how life could change if those lottery numbers come in, and Slow Down with its gorgeous strings mingling with pleasing riffs, is a plea to live life another way: “Lay your burden down, let your garden grow, the way to Tinseltown is not the way to go.”

And the harmony-heavy title track is the anthem for all those who can’t make decisions, nor take responsibility for their life: “Which way to go is the devil you know/ This is the way that I feel every day/ Revolving doors, stranded in between floors.”

Meanwhile, Seeds of Orbit, are similarly hooked on the decade of love, but are more Jimi than John. Lead by Mark Petersen who Seeds of Orbitwas for a spell in Straitjacket Fits you know that the amps will be cranked up really high.

Their debut self-titled EP contains the most hallucinogenic cover since 1972, and is five tracks of full-on rock’n’roll meets psychedelia. Make Up of Moments contains the softest of touches they’ll put down but still pounds out a delirious slew of guitar riffs. Oh Long John is two parts Sabbath, one part Deep Purple. Sure it’s all been done before, probably a lot better in fact, but it’s fantastic fun and I imagine they would be immense live.

All recordings available via: http://powertoolrecordsdotnet.wordpress.com/


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Those good people at Powertool Records deserve an Outward Bound badge without doing the course for their tireless promotion of all things Kiwi and obscure in this dismal climate for independent record labels.
The latest release out of New Lynn in Auckland is by Transcendental Learning Collective. With that name I guess I won’t be telling you anything new by describing them as guitar-heavy psychedelic noiseniks in the same vein as Suicide, HDU, and perhaps even Spacemen 3. You will have a picture of TLCmultiple guitars, maximum repetition and minimalist vocals. Just what your local DJ, bored of Rihanna and Lady Gaga, is looking for. There’s only five tracks on their debut Shift, and the first one is eight minutes long. There’s a touch of dub as well to alleviate any suggestion it’s one never-ending cacophony of anti-rhythm. I’m pleased to say it’s also quite excellent, and best played in the car with your windows open while stuck in a traffic jam as a boy racer and a National Party voter sidle alongside in the other lanes.

Powertool records labelmates Gold Medal Famous did a tour of New Zealand tunnels with various other acts, one of which had the ‘hilarious’ moniker The Josef Fritzl Family Jamboree, at the enmd of last year to unleash their second album 100% Pure.
It is a curious beast, swinging from electro lo-fi to lo-fi electro, with slices of goth-rock and experimentalism. Its title is a celebration, if you will, of the now infamous tourist slogan that became a liability, basically on account of the fact that claiming New Zealand is pure, clean and green is a fantasy as anyone who has been told they can’t swim in a river because their genitals will swell up will concur.
100% Pure begins promisingly with the near-singalong Never Get Bored and the theremin-driven We Have Contempt For You, but The Buried Life is so tedious and ear-prodding that I’m tempted to book a holiday to Hawera as part of my escape. If there is anything positive to say about this drone it is that it sets up Everyone Hates Boy Racers quite neatly. It’s true, everyone does hate, nay despise, boy racers, even boy racers themselves, partly because they’re having fun. “Slow down you cunts/ I’ll kick you in the nuts,” is an opening line so good I would fully expect Morrissey to steal it. As standouts go this is pretty excellent, but it’s usurped by I See You At The Point, which easily matches anything by Bowie tribute acts like Suede and Moby have done. It’s a strange mix of unlistenable dirges and great pop tracks, and I can’t help but think that band ‘daddy’ Vorn Coglan has done better, and quirkier, stuff on his solo albums.
Gold Medal Famous AND Vorn album reviews here https://craighaggis.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/lowdown-on-the-new-32-pure-s-c-u-m/



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Who: S.C.U.M 
Title: Again Into Eyes

Label: Mute

Tell me more: Gosh, what a arresting name: the  name of militant feminist Valerie Solanos’ Society for Cutting Up Men manifesto.
The Lowdown: Putting on this CD without reading up on them, I anticipated, given their moniker, plenty of invective and angst-ridden posturing. But, boy, it’s a misleading name as this album has nothing of those emotions. Rather, S.C.U.M have a longing for psychedelia, space-rock, avant-garde and ambience. There’s a spiritual element to the five-piece as they ponder the essence of life, as on Sentinal Bloom: “What I hold as time/ Nothing without you/Buried ‘neanth the water.”

There are deep and meaningful thoughts, set to a soundscape of epic, swaying guitars and moody bass, reminiscent of shoegazing, My Bloody Valentine and Radiohead in reflective mood. The single, Amber Hands, is a triumphant, multi-layered cascade into pop’s bitterest tendencies. It takes some practice to master the art of S.C.U.M, but, equally, there is a limit to their often one-dimensional material, with some tracks drifting into a black hole of emptiness. Some tracks lack substance and diversity but the beauty of Days Untrue, Amber Hands, and Cast Into Seasons render them obsolete. I find the more I listen the more goodness I uncover.

Who: The Kooks 

Title: Junk of the Heart

Label: EMI

Tell me more: The Kooks began releasing records in 2005-2006, when their pop/folk/ Beatles outlook was at odds with the Franz Ferdinand-led revival of all things 1981 and post-punk and Art Rocker was essential reading. But the public wanted more beyond noise annoys and two million copies of The Kooks’ debut album Inside In/ Inside Out made its way out of the shops and the internet sellers’ warehouses.
The Lowdown: That debut contained childish moments like Jackie Big Tits, but thankfully, the Brighton band are a little more grown up, and the themes reflect that maturity. But with maturity and progression through their 20s, comes the defection of the naivety and innocence that was an attractive part of The Kooks. The Great Pop Songs that made Inside In/ Inside Out so captivating are few, replaced by more solemn affairs such as Time Above The Earth, which never really takes off. However, in Rosie the love of a good ol’ rock out remains, and Petulia, despite its corny lyrics, sounds like the ideal soundtrack to the start of a summer barbecue. I just can’t figure out what the objective of Runaway is, while Killing Me has a riff that could have come from a 1980s Big Hair Californian chart hit. Junk of the Heart has apparently taken three years to complete, but it may be that this has been too long, with no doubt plenty of changes haven taking place in that time, many of them perhaps a hindrance rather than a help. But I have no intention of writing the Kooks off yet, and I am sure they can bounce back, if they put the junk aside.

Who: Gold Medal Famous

Title: Gold Medal Famous

Label: Powertool records

Tell me more: I know nothing about them. The release came without a press release and the copy itself has little more than two photos of a glam-friendly band and a range of thanks, including codfish island, immunisation, left-wing politicians and “people who like to read books that aren’t crap.” On that basis alone, how could you not love ’em?

The Lowdown: Don’t’cha just love toilet humour and songs about sexual prodigiousness? Gold Medal Famous certainly do, with the track Justin Bieber referencing female private parts while I Want To Make You Come, is well, I think you get the idea. To be honest neither has any depth, and they feel like appeals to the lowest-common denominator, but at least they add some variety to the album. Porky is no prude, in fact, he wallows in the stuff every day. I mentioned variety there, and there’s plenty of that, from the electro-pop clamour of They’re Drinking My Punch, the gloriously space-cadet instrumental Party Theme and the Goldfrapp-esque synth and sexy vocals that is All The Shining Lights. To add to the ubiquitous, adventurous nature, there’s also the 70s-rock of Don’t Just Text Me, Call Me while Chemo Heavy Hard Core features inane chanting and a drum’n’bass beat.  It’s like The Fall meets The Go!Team.

Who: Vorn 

Title: Down For It

Label: Powertool records

Tell me more: Vorn Coglan has been busy. He’s also a member of Gold Medal Famous. Porky loved his previous effort, Vorn’s Modern Classics, with its tales of nights out in Wellington’s party central and waiting at a railway station as a body is scooped up from underneath a train.  Chris Wilson of GMS is also heavily involved in this, as the Wellington music scene shows its incestuous nature.
The Lowdown: Vorn has a fondness for catchy songs, and equally snappy song titles, as Stop Making Bedroom Albums and You Don’t Have to Hate Yourself to Sleep With Me (But It Helps) attest. I have bought albums purely on the basis of alluring song titles, and this is one that might have caught my eye in a record store, if there were any left. Vorn tells tales about the embarrassment of going for free condoms at the family planning centre, of a Pavement fan who has worn the same band T-shirt since ’97 and living on the dole after chucking a job in. Even if his pseudo-rap on Formula doesn’t work, Down For It is charming and intriguing. This is New Zealand’s version of Chris T-T.

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