The debut album by Opposite Sex has been a huge success for
the band and label Fishrider Records. Photos supplied.
For Dunedin micro-independent record label Fishrider
Records there might never be another year quite like this one.
Tonight at Chick's Hotel, the label, which promotes itself as
a home to "occasional albums of literate, melodic underground
psych-pop, no wave, and whatever else takes our fancy", not
only celebrates its sixth year of existence, but also the
first anniversary of its most successful release to date: the
debut album from Gisborne-Dunedin trio Opposite Sex.
Launched by musician, writer and, most importantly,
passionate music fan Ian Henderson in 2006, Fishrider Records
was initially founded as a vehicle for Henderson to release
Spill Your Heart, an album from Dunedin guitar-pop
band the Dark Beaks.
Describing each successive release as somewhat of an
accident, in the intervening period since, Henderson has
released albums from his brother George Henderson's band, The
Puddle (for whom he has played drums since 2007), and the
Shifting Sands, as well as developing a reciprocal
distribution deal with United Kingdom-based independent label
It's the debut album from off-kilter ramshackle trio Opposite
Sex, however, that is proving the jewel in Fishrider's
already loaded pop crown.
The self-titled album, recorded by Henderson himself in
Fishrider Records HQ - his home basement - has gained
significant traction in both local and international music
scenes since its release almost exactly a year ago.
As Henderson told me via email, "what started out as a
curiosity of an album from modest origins, and something we
believed strongly in but wondered if we could persuade others
to give it a listen, has had a remarkable year".
"It sometimes seems frowned upon to celebrate achievement in
New Zealand and in Dunedin, in particular, but I think it is
important that people know that the world is sometimes
interested in some of the strange and interesting things we
do down here."
Included in the praise and accolades the album has picked up
are two enthusiastic reviews from respected UK music
publications Q and Uncut, heavy play from BBC
radio DJ Marc Riley and playlisting on 145 college and
non-commercial radio stations in the United States and
On a local level, the trio also completed a national tour
with ex-Dunedinites Die! Die! Die! earlier this year, and had
their track Master/Slave included on the New Zealand
Music Commission's sampler CD distributed at the CMJ music
event in New York City.
It's deserved attention too, the album being a challenging
and engaging pop record packed with hooks and surprises to
keep the listener off guard.
Happily, neither the band nor the label have altered course,
Fishrider continuing to focus on the idiosyncratic, the
creative and the craft, as opposed to the commercial.
And that's the beauty of the whole operation, really.
• Fishrider Records presents The Puddle with
Opposite Sex and Scattered Brains of the Lovely Union.
• Tonight, Saturday, November 10, at Chick's Hotel,
Port Chalmers, 9pm.
• $10 on the door, or $5 with your 2012 91Club Card.
• There will be a return bus available on the night -
details on Chick's Hotel Facebook page.
• Follow Fishrider Records online at www.fishriderrecords.com/