Sunday 4 March 2012

The Max Block

This was a band Brian Crook was in after Scorched Earth Policy and fuck me they are just as brilliant! They recorded just the one Self titled EP for Flying Nun in 1986. Slow burning dark post punk psychedelia. 15 minutes of  jolly urban intensity gone haywire. More girl/boy vocals and good guitaring. Also includes insidious organ (played by Maryrose Crook, Brian's wife) and crackin' rhythm section to help push things right over the edge. More Christchurch gold.  A mini masterpiece!

The Max Block - The Max Block EP (1986)

The Max Block
Psychic Discharge

The Max Block
Burn David Burn

*Mr and Mrs Crook went on to form The Renderers who are quite possibly still around.  Mr Crook also plays guitar/vox in the fabulous Terminals.

**I was over at Mess+Noise and Slazza alerted me to this compilation coming out on the reactivated Flying Nun label. It contains The Max Block, Scorched Earth Policy, The Victor Dimisich Band as well as other arcane legends like The Gordons and The Bilders. Plus the usual suspects The Chills, The Clean, Tall Dwarves etc. The Axemen however are absent once again. This would be a good guide to this sort of gear as it is compiled by an authority of the subject Mr Bruce Russell (of the band The Dead C and the head honcho of the Xpressway/Corpus Heremeticum record labels)  There is even a couple of tunes I've not heard. Bruce's track record for compilations is an exemplary one so despite being familiar with most of the material it will probably be a (un)cohesive record like the two pictured below. Lookin' forward to the vinyl.

Masterpiece Compilation!
compiled by Bruce Russell.
One of the greatest compilations ever
compiled.  Onya Bruce!

***Speaking of Flying Nun there is a 6 part documentary on Radio New Zealand which you can download on the interweb.  Just finished the third part today.  There is a little too much focus on the business side of things but otherwise some good interviews and insight into the milieu. I might even give Look Blue, Go Purple another chance.

****There was a dude in Melbourne whose name I've forgotten but he had a fanzine of his own and also wrote for Woozy in the early to mid nineties. Woozy was a load of crap really except for this guys knowledge on the NZ underground. Anyway he had me trackin down stuff like This Kind of Punishment, The Axemen, The Dead C, The Puddle, The Cake Kitchen and even non NZ stuff like This Heat. I used to wonder why there was hardly any NZ bands touring at that time. There would have been an audience for it, I guess there were no cluey promoter types around at the time. By the sounds of it from that doco, Mushroom seemed pretty clueless about the acts they got from signing a deal with Flying Nun. Even the well known Flying Nun bands rarely toured, it was weird. Xpressway stuff was all over 3PBS when I moved to Melbourne in early 91. It was the most exciting label to my ears at the time, I still love it. It lasted just 5 or 6 years then it shut up shop, perfect. There were even more underground labels I think. I have a vague recollection of a band called Muttongun who were maybe pretty good, never found their record though. 

*****I don't know if I could bring myself to listen to anything Shane Carter was involved with ever again though.

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