24 Nov 2015

Classic Kiwi Reissues - The Exponents, Hello Sailor and Darcy Clay

From The Sampler, 7:35 pm on 24 November 2015
The Exponents

The Exponents circa 1992 Photo: Supplied

Nick Bollinger celebrates the vinyl reissues of a few Kiwi classics.

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 The Exponents finest album originally came out in 1992, an era of Fairlights, sequencers and drum machines, and what now makes Something Beginning With C seem timeless is that the Exponents employed none of these fashionable tools. It’s just the sound of a four-piece band, raw and ready, crammed together in a room and going for it. But the album’s greatest strength is Jordan Luck’s songs, which include anthems like ‘Why Does Love Do This To Me?’ ‘Who Loves Who The Most?’ and ‘Whatever Happened To Tracey?’(so many questions!) as well as less celebrated beauties like ‘The Nameless Girl.’

Songs played: Please Please and Thank Yourself, Who Loves Who The Most, Why Does Love Do This To Me?, Nameless Girl

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Hello Sailor’s 1977 debut was a milestone: a local album with something approaching the grit and groove of the records coming out of London or New York. Yet it also had a whiff of the South seas in the Ponsonby reggae of ‘All Around This Town’, the Polynesian strum of ‘Gutter Black’, the strut and sway of ‘When Your Lights Are Out’ and the palm tree reverie of ‘Lyin’ In The Sand’. This reissue is an opportunity to replace those scratched and beer-damaged copies, or appreciate for the first time what a breakthrough this was. And with both Graham Brazier and Dave McArtney no longer with us, it also stands as a fitting memorial.

Songs played: When Your Lights Are Out, All Around This Town, Watch Ya Back

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‘Jesus I Was Evil’, Darcy Clay’s raw yet unquestionably vibrant slab of one-man, four-track rock’n’roll, was the weirdest kind of ear-worm, but it’s nervy riffs and tormented vocals did just what they were supposed to. Sadly, a little more than a year after it was a hit, Darcy (real name: Daniel Bolton) was dead. But the small amount of music he left behind has continued to make its way in the world. ‘All I Gotta Do’  – from the excellent, just-reissued Jesus I Was Evil EP – was covered not long ago as a B-side by the British rock band (and Darkness offshoot) Hot Leg, while the damaged country rock of ‘And It Was Easy’ could have been cut yesterday.

Songs played: Jesus I Was Evil, All I Gotta Do, And It Was Easy