Sunday, November 23, 2008

Night Of Chill Blue

Been a bit quiet, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy burning useless mixes.

Can't say I've listened to a whole lotta Chills lately, but, ah, back in the day... For those who blinked and missed 'em, the Chills were part of that holy triumvirate of wonderful postpunk bands from New Zealand who appeared on the Flying Nun label back in the early and mid 1980's, alongside The Clean and The Bats. Where the Clean were pure garage band rawk with a healthy dose of the Velvet Underground in the mix, and the Bats were a more acoustic, poppy band reminiscent of mid-period Feelies (and thus, also, with a touch of the VU to them as well), the Chills dosed that lofi sound with some keyboard-driven melancholy and melodicism. (Other fine bands of the era included the Verlaines, Straightjacket Fits, and Look Blue Go Purple.)

Their early ep's, captured on 1986's fantastic Kaleidoscope World collection, are pretty amazing and age well. Their first full-length, 1987's (now out of print) Brave Words, had a few more great songs, though some of the pop songs got buried in a very murky mix. They cured that with 1990's (also out of print) Submarine Bells, a catchy indie pop album that blended well with what was dominating the pre-Nirvana alternative radio/MTV 120 Minutes airwaves; the lofi garage sound was gone, and while it may have been a bit too polished, there were a handful of truly catchy tracks. I kinda lost sight of them after that, eventually picking up 1992's Soft Bomb but not their 1996 swan-song Sunburnt. Anyway, all the highlights are here, reminding me of this band's unique charm. They're still apparently kicking around, returning after a decade-long hiatus with an EP (don't have it) and maybe some more on the way.


Post a Comment

<< Home