The middle of August saw the release of the second instalment in a compilation series from Melted Ice Cream; an independent music label and collective, based in Christchurch. Titled Sickest Smashes From Arson City: Legacy Edition, the compilation serves as a document and demonstration of the thriving Christchurch indie music scene in 2018; and does an excellent job in doing so. If you’re into music of the garage rock variety, you’re bound to find something of interest amongst the 20 tracks featured on this album.
Opening with the swamp rock vibes of “Tunnel Vision” by Brian Tamaki and the Kool-Aid Kids, this compilation proceeds to take us through an exhibition showcasing the varying forms of indie rock that Christchurch has to offer. We are provided with tastes of catchy indie pop-rock (“To The Border” by Cowboy Machine, “More Or Less” by The Teasers), punk (“Vitamins” by Nervous Jerk, “Aerial Photograph” by Best Bets), and moody alternative rock (“Egg Nog” by Avon Dads, “Venturi Effect” by The Hex Waves), as well a sampling of Riot Grrl inspired rumination (“Mopeds” by PGX). The album closes with a subdued organ cover medley titled “Ray Columbus” by The Waltham Home Organ Society, which is a fitting conclusion to the affair.
While each individual track has their own production credits, the overall album production is that of a DIY/no-frills one. But don’t let that put you off; levels are balanced, and each instrument easily sits within its own space in the mix. The style is quite suitable for the genre and purpose of the album. The talent of the artists is what matters here, and this compilation demonstrates that super-slick production isn’t what makes a song connect with the audience. In addition to this, the track sequence has been well thought-out; breaking up the moodier tracks with more “pop-friendly” ones, and vice versa.
Whether you’re a fan of indie music, or just curious to hear a sample of what Christchurch’s independent music scene has to offer, this album is definitely worth a listen. You’re likely to discover a few artists to investigate further, or add to your live gigs radar. Sickest Smashes From Arson City: Legacy Edition proves that one thing is for sure; Ōtautahi is far from lacking in musical talent!
Brian Tamaki and the Kool-Aid Kids | Bandcamp | Facebook |
Best Bets | Bandcamp | Facebook |
Wurld Series | Bandcamp | Facebook |
Nervous Jerk | Bandcamp | Facebook |
The Ruling Elite | Bandcamp | Facebook |
PGX | Facebook |
Salad Boys | Bandcamp |
Adam Hattaway | Facebook |
Les Baxters | Bandcamp |
Hex Waves | Bandcamp | Facebook |
Jim Nothing | Bandcamp | Facebook |
The Teasers | Bandcamp | Facebook |
Pavlov’s Puss | Bandcamp |
Dogfish | Bandcamp | Facebook |
Motte | Bandcamp | Facebook |
The Waltham Home Organ Society
Produced by Melted Ice Cream