Today is my birthday, so here is yr prezzie: the debut of this comp, TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE! I'm very excited about this; having been sitting on it for far too long, it's time to share.
Very, very tasty tracks here, blended and rolled up for you by a true connoisseur, the inimitable Mr Andrew Schmidt. Here's his words:
Teenagers From Outer Space – Thirteen Christchurch Odds ‘n Sods – 1980 – 1983
Ballon D'Essai – False Projections – 1983
Three D covers, vividly coloured screenprints, insert comic books - Ballon D'Essai records were an arty treat. And while the music didn't always live up to the packaging both of their EPs threw up some worthy sounds. The most interesting of which is False Projections. Written by Stephen MacIntyre, you can hear early hints of his work with All Fall Down in the slow prowling beat and VU-like serpentine lead that evokes Mainly Spaniards, and predates Flex era JPSE. The Christchurch sound anyone? Simon Says from the same EP is also worth checking out giving the best example of their later funky post-punk sound.
The Builders – Alien / Bedrock Bay – 1982
Bill bounced these two from EST’s Songs From The Lowland after the first run which we had. Two rocked up versions of Alien and bedrock Bay that showed Bill coulda been a (left field) mainstream rocker if he wanted.
The Gordons – Quality Control / Mengus Fugit - 1984
This is The Gordons that dare not speak its name. The second Gordons - John Halverson (guitar), Vince Pinker (bass) and Brent McLaughlin (drums) – that emerged out of Sheep Effect to record The Gordons’ Second Album. Unavailable still its tracks are a fairly pale version of the Parker-era Gordons bar Quality Control, a wired must-hear Gordons rocker and Mengus Fugit, which is equally relentless but less linear twin. Two of their best.
The Great Unwashed - Bad News For Jesus – 1983
The Great Unwashed with Peter Gutteridge on board in Christchurch with an E chord strummer full of the same infectious swing he'd bring to his masterful contributions to Singles in 1984. Taken from The Clean/ The Great Unwashed - Oddities 2 – 1987. Check the lyric. "Bad news for Jesus today, God got married, and had another son. "Zombies at the door, zombies at the door, all dressed up, in Sunday chains, there's Zombies at the door."
The McGoohans – Psychedelic Texas - 1983
Christchurch pean to Pebbles heartland, Texas, that few would have recognised back then. Only available on 20 Krypton Hits (Onset Offset Records tape) - 1984
The Newtones – Christchurch Part 2 - 1981
The Newtones EP debuted on the NZ pop charts at number 19, sold out its first pressing quickly then dropped out the next week. This popular Christchurch trio, who featured ex-Vauxhall/Streets Of Flowers guitarist Mark Brooks on bass and vocals, and Vandals/Aliens/Streets of Flowers singer Tony Peake on guitar and vocals, needed no gimmicks on the fuzz propelled rocker, China, a Tony Peake song echoing the aggression of the punk years and hinting at Peake’s love of sixties psych. The flanged pop/ rock of Christchurch part 2 is a deliberate and effortless Christchurch anthem.
The Newtones – My World – 1982
More flat street pop from the prolific Newtones. My World is a Mark Brooks song taken for a long stroll by Brooks’ bass, Martin Archbold’s drums and Tony Peake’s guitar. Second Top 50 single from early 1982.
The Pedestrians – Looking Out My Window – 1982
The Pedestrians – Kevin Stone, Stuart McLachlan and Peter Wood - were a Napier power pop trio who moved to Christchurch in 1981 then hit their stride in 1982 after picking up drummer Lloyd Morgan. This lineup played regularly at new club PJs, the Gladstone, and the Star and Garter, and released the only Pedestrians single. Guitarist McLachlan’s spry pop stroll down a cracked Napier street, Looking Out My Window, backed with bassist Stone’s Jam-ish The Boys and The Girls. Lisa Bouillir sang in a late version of the group.
The Terraces – A Place Like This - 1982
The spooked sound and feel of a chill bright morning rapping over the Canterbury Plains. Roland de Beer (vocals/ drums), Brendan Cheyne (vocals/ guitar), and Peter Brennan (bass) were The Terraces, a post-punk trio who later added sax. Flipside on The Terraces’ only single from 1982.
The Vauxhalls - Teenager From Outer Space - 1980
Thank god The Vauxhalls managed to get into Christchurch’s Orley Studios in late 1980. That the recordings included a song this good is a bonus and real meat to the myth. Unfortunately by the time they got to record The Vauxhalls were minus Scott Brooks, the bass player so Mark Brooks plays bass and guitar. Martin Archbold drums. On the best track Teenager From Outer Space Mark Brooks lets rip ‘bout a quarter of the way through a wild chunk of garage R&B lead that burns the carpet. Unreleased.
The World – Mystery - 1983
You don’t hear much about Christchurch’s The World (Charles Heyward/ Allen Meek/ Malcolm Grant/ Andrea Cocks/ Bridgit Mulcahy) these days but it seems John Campbell in his haste to big up the Scottish originals has overlooked a Kiwi Orange Juice. Wrap those ears around the first track here, John, Mystery, it’s an upbeat funky joy with scratchy VU guitaring. The World released a tape in their own right in 1983 from which this track was sourced.
When the Night Gets Long