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Contrary to what your dad says there's actually more good music now than ever, which leads to tragic cases where amazing stuff slips by unnoticed. Never before has the quality of the music been so detached from its popularity and monetary worth ... So here's a selection of just some of the great stuff coming out of the Dunedin underground recently. The value of this music doesn't come from it's number of streams or monetisation potential, but it's artistic merit. Find them on bandcamp.
GOLD MEDAL FAMOUS - GOLD MEDAL FAMOUS
Split between Wellington and Dunedin, Gold Medal Famous have been making pop-adjacent music since 2008. On this, their last album before their impending hiatus, they explode numerous sonic avenues with pleasing results. It's hard to stick a single genre on this latest release, possibly even more so than their previous releases, but it's not a genre compilation like 2011's iconic John Key is a dick (versions for different markets). Instead, it's a cohesive whole, a single, thoughtful and honest artistic expression.
WILLIAM HENRY MEUNG - 'FMERROR' LP
This was released a while back, but just recently got picked up and re-released by Australian noise/experimental cassette label Chemical Imbalance. There's a melodic core to each song (although it's sometimes deliberately left empty), and rhythmic elements are used in strange and inventive ways. It's avante garde, but not abstract, it's adjacent to pop music and demonstrates an affinity for the structured "song" but isn't bound by it, it's haunting and melancholic and beautiful.
WHISKEY AND THE WENCH - AFTER ...
Solidly folk-punk and unapologetically anarchist, they've been playing gigs sporadically for a good few years now and have finally released an album of recorded material. It's got banjo, flute, accordion, washtub bass, gang vocals, one of those slappy box things, presumably a lot of whiskey, and a healthy dose of societal angst which all adds up to satisfyingly raucous and cathartic experience. "We'll stop making a living and start living instead, and the yuppies' grass will grow tall when civilisation finally falls."
L$D FUNDRAISER - L$D SPENDENSAMMLER'S ACID HAMMER
This latest release from the legend of the Dunedin underground continues his infinite exploration of the sonic textures available through the electric guitar. It's uneasy, unnerving, and creates an intense feeling of dread, like everything is unravelling and you're powerless to stop it. Full release available on cassette or as excerpts online.
- For more from Fraser Thompson, go to Dunedinsound.com