Trouble in the rubble, seductive wallpaper, a Möbius strip of Kiwi rock, over the top, the tide is high, and extreme doppelgängers.
Boys and knives, wet wet water, rough rock, storage locker war, pulp fiction.
Down at the hall, a mild winter, cats eyes, dramatic silhouettes, coloured dots, and a ghostly wander around Wellington.
In the pages of a gossip magazine, a club full of makeup, small town New Zealand, little girls, and big fat tropical rain.
The year of the dead, furry fiends, the cleaners go to work, imperial phase Seeds, psychedelic layers, blue blood, and fluoro fun.
Bleak and comforting, singing and flirting, a letter to a friend, and a post-apocalyptic ferret.
Continue reading February 2008: Streetwise Scarlet, Ted Brown, The Checks, The Rabble, Young Sid
Racing car action, flaming flames, a marionette, animated bands, extreme close-ups, and some punks.
Continue reading August 2005: Pluto, Recloose, Sarah Brown, Sola Rosa, Steriogram, The Checks, The Phoenix Foundation, The Rabble, Tyree
I saw the Checks perform live in 2005, at the Grey Lynn bowling club on a Sunday afternoon. Most people had gone outside because these whippersnappers with their rock ‘n’ roll were too loud, but I stayed inside and was blown away. Even though it was a virtually empty room, they still rocked out. And there was a sense that, whoa, these guys are going to be huge.
Did they get huge? They enjoyed some successes, but I think they just kept doing what they wanted to do, and eventually that turned into the dreaded artistic differences and the Checks were no more.
But back in 2005, they were bursting onto the scene with their debut video. “What You Heard” is almost mocking vintage style, having the film look yellowed and scratched. This isn’t a band trying to emulate earlier decades; instead they’ve been trapped in amber, regenerated to bring some rock ‘n’ roll to the tail end of the early ’00s rock revival.
The song lyrics are virtually meaningless (“I feel like a motor police parade!”), but then the chorus comes along with “Drunk man’s word is what you heard” and suddenly there’s a teen totally schooling you on life. So the video just goes for style, with the band looking sharp and moving with swagger. It’s a good debut.
Best bit: the mysterious messages on the marquee sign behind the band – “Empty cans of diamond sauce”.
Directors: Summer Agnew, Dylan Pharazyn
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… special golden boy.