Tag Archives: popmatters

Thanks to everyone who helped make 2012 a special year for Fishrider Records!

Happy New Year! Unexpectedly 2012 was a strange and eventful year for Fishrider Records. Our accidental underground label became a bit more like a real one. We had a lot of help from Marc Riley at BBC 6Music and Nick Halliwell at Occultation Recordings in the UK in that. And we also had a huge amount of support from fans and customers around the world for which we are very grateful.

On January 1 2012 the only plan for Fishrider for 2012 was to release The Puddle album ‘Secret Holiday/ Victory Blues’ and try to find ways to persuade people to listen to that odd album by Opposite Sex we released late in 2011.

By the middle of the year we had released The Puddle album, and also The Shifting Sands “Feel’, a UK co-release of the Opposite Sex album (after the NZ release sold out by April), and also a co-release of a 10” mini-album ‘New Sacral’ by The Fall/ Blue Orchids founder Martin Bramah’s band Factory Star. We could not have made that up in our wildest dreams at the start of the year.

The year started with Marc Riley in January describing the Opposite Sex album as ‘absolutely brilliant’ and playing it regularly for 4 months. He revisited it in one of his pre-Christmas best-of-the-year shows a few weeks ago saying “I did say at the beginning of the year when I started playing that, that I would be very surprised if it didn’t end up in the Top 5 albums of the year for me, and it is there, it really is, it’s a great record…”

Positive reviews and more radio play in the UK, Europe, USA and here in NZ followed throughout the year with the album even making an unlikely brief appearance in the CMJ Top 200 for college/ non-commercial radio station play in North America in August. US website Popmatters even listed Opposite Sex as one of their “Best Hopes to Break Out in 2013″. All a bit weird for an accidental and unplanned album resulting from some demos recorded quickly in a Dunedin basement by a band no-one had heard of ouside of their small hometown of Gisborne.
Opposite Sex in Auckland, July 2012

The albums by The Puddle and The Shifting Sands and Factory Star were also well-received here in NZ and overseas with reviews and radio play. Wonderful videos from Jim Cooper (The Shifting Sands’ ‘Pixies’), Pat O’Neill (The Puddle’s ‘Decline to Fall’) and Dan Wagner (The Puddle’s ‘Secret Holiday’) helped to spread the word on these releases too.

Many thanks to all those who have helped – to all the songwriters, musicians, recording engineers, video makers, video editors, supporters, writers, music organisations, websites and especially to everyone who has bought an album or shared music or helped spread the word about the label and the bands – you all make what we do possible.

What do we have planned for 2013? Absolutely nothing yet. But there are a few things floating in the aether at the moment and no doubt this time next year we’ll be looking back on another busy year. Thank you for keeping the music alive and all the best for the year ahead.

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Opposite Sex album reviews

Update… June 2012
Here’s some print media reviews of the album, from Uncut, Q, 247 Magazine and Dunedin’s newspaper the Otago Daily Times.

Marc Riley (BBC6 Music) summarises the charms of the album here:

Here’s a detailed song-by-song long-form essay on the album from California based webzine Caught in the Carousel.It also features an interview with Lucy & Tim from the band afterwards.

Review highlights from around the world…
UK
“The new wave of New Zealand pop begins here….it’s remarkable, leaping from sea-sick waltzes and crunchy post-punk to ADD-pop (see the hyper opener “La Rat”)” 4 stars (out of 5) Uncut

“The kind of half-melted, buckled pop that suggests they’ve just re-entered earth’s atmosphere after a long strange trip away… enough freakily discordant clatter to ensure indie tweeness is kept at bay, too, ensuring that Opposite Sex attract rather than repel.” Q Magazine

“truly pure and slightly feral…You’ll find yourself really touched by their dreamy, wonky lop-sided songs which have the original wild NZ spirit in spades” 5 stars (out of 5) Norman Records

“It’s all highly addictive, the sort of record that gets into your machine and refuses to budge… “La Rat” is two minutes of insidiously catchy indie pop, the sort of thing reputations were forged on in the ‘80s” Leicester Bangs (UK)

“Enthused, witty, arty, risk taking, & with a conspicuous lack of pose, Opposite Sex sound near perfect to me right now. And Peel would’ve adored them, most definitely.” I Love Total Destruction

“a wonderfully spontaneous album… Sitting somewhere between oddball pop and disjointed 1970s No Wave, the album…It’s a debut album that contains all the elements you desire…” 8/10 Kicking Against the Pricks

USA
“…one of those amazing pieces of ragged art that must simply be heard to be believed…Get it.” 9/10 Popmatters.com Popmatters.com

New release of the day: OPPOSITE SEX s/t CD (Fishrider), “the next wave of swoony Dunedin New Zealand pop.” WFMU Radio New Jersey

“They impart a certain freshness that is untouched by current musical trends… this potpourri of musical lo-fi twists and turns is set against a ragged landscape, yet manages to stick to your insides and crawl inside your mind… an unexpected shot across the bow from the next generation of Kiwi popsters.” The Big Takeover

“Exciting and fresh and adventurous and youthful and eager and multi-faceted and very dazzlingly good indeed…one beautiful little miracle of a record. Be excited, be very excited, this one’s worth it.” Caught in the Carousel

“off-kilter pop of the finest order” Dagger ‘zine (USA)

Sweden
“A very promising band that has everything necessary, originality bursting from their fingertips and their first album has by far exceeded all expectations.” Band of the Day – Festivalrykten

“blending French ye-ye pop with classic ’77 artpunk, sugary sweet vocal delivery and tons of waltz. Truly a unique band with a sound completely their own” Art is the Enemy (Sweden)

“Opposite Sex is the most charming thing you’ve heard….We thank New Zealand for this gem.” Our Favourite (Sweden)

Netherlands
“Thirteen razor sharp power pop pieces, sounding simply great… A brilliant and odd record.” Vital Weekly

France
“Opposite Sex…have synthesised the whole epic story of post-punk into one rather tousled album… It’s all done with the kind of nonchalance, jubilation and candour you’d expect from people their age.” Les Inrockuptibles

Spain
“Opposite Sex are brave and adventurous… they’re incapable of respect for the canon or of paying any attention to structural standards when they write songs. This inclination often creates something unusual and lasting, wonderful aberrations, and this record is one of them.” Rockdelux

Italy
“songs with strong influences from post-punk, but always marked by a festival of weirdness that makes them very original… an album full of surprises, brave and full of vitality. It sounds so charming and completely out of the ordinary.” Beatbear

New Zealand
“possesses the vitality of music made outside of any established scene… The band chases the muse along undulating melodic paths, making pop music that is mercurial, naive, ambitious and unaffected… 13 utterly original tracks.” 4 stars (out of 5) Otago Daily Times

“weird and fantastic… Opposite Sex is one of the most infectious local debuts of recent years.” 8/10
http://www.undertheradar.co.nz

“head-nodding, chanting strangeness – the same eerie shimmer that bands like Black Tambourine and The Raincoats achieved.” Volume #15

“Where pop and anti-pop collide… wonderfully curious and weird.” Cheese on Toast

“a manic, ever-progressing experiment of peculiar pop. A perplexing, disarming but ultimately fascinating listen.” The Corner

““File this Dunedin alt-pop trio under “slightly odd but endearing” – they scatter a variety of musical flavours over a base of punkish pop and lo-fi simplicity.” Nelson Mail