Believe it or not, curating as poorly written & seldom updated a blog as this one still doesn't deter cheerfully demented folk at obscure "austerity measure" record labels from sending me -albeit very occasionally - gratis copies of their latest releases. I choose to ignore them on the whole, as I don't want to waste time & space writing about music I'm not 100% enthusiastic about, but Opposite Sex's eponymous debut is simply way too good to let slip by without a mention (huge thanks to "micro independent" Fishrider for the promo copy).
From Gisborne NZ, Opposite Sex's unorthodox, accidental pop songs have already acquired the unguarded approval of Marc Riley, so chances are you may have heard a song or 2 by them already, providing you're Radio 6 inclined (I'm not). Musically, they're informed & motivated by Rough Trade's fertile 1978-80 period, & the entire LP is a glorious kaleidoscopic collision of many of the principal Peel-endorsed bands from that first "D.I.Y. aesthetic" era. The influence of The Raincoats, The Homosexuals, Mo-Dettes, Delta 5, Flowers, & Family Fodder is particularly evident, but they also hark back to the Flying Nun-instigated Antipodean underground too - particularly the brilliant Shoes This High, & lesser known Marie & The Atom - while, elsewhere, their faltering melodies & stumbling rhythms suggest a more than passing knowledge of the C-86 movement's unkempt angularities (e.g. the Ron Johnson junta). Several tracks sound like Dolly Mixture grappling with a thrift shop copy of the Cabaret soundtrack - faintly bizarre, but rather magical - Weimar influenced songwriting is that last thing I would've expected a Kiwi post-punk band to indulge in, frankly! Semi-randomly, Opposite Sex's general disposition reminds me of The Shop Assistants devil-may-care dash through their untutored cover of Mötorhead's "Ace Of Spades" (from their November '88 Peel session) - i.e. a band totally undaunted by it's lack of conventional "ability", eagerly playing to absolute limit of it's talents in a triumph of catalytic amateurism. 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.
A loose trio, formed around Lucy Hunter's tumbling basslines & unaffected vocals, Opposite Sex's ingenious bricolage of skewed guitar mauling (Fergus Taylor), frenzied drumming (Tim Player), & Nuggets-style organ scree (dunno) scrambles along, raw & unfettered, with a pulsing naiveté borne of a remote & hurried gestation. Following a brief exploratory visit south to support The Puddle, Lucy & Tim have since moved islands, relinquishing Gisborne's Northern seclusiveness for Dunedin's less remote, & far cooler (in both senses of the word) Southern climes. Fingers crossed, their relocation won't infringe on the guileless "home made" simplicity (& relative lack of expertise) that makes this debut LP so outstanding?
The album has been picked up by Occultation for British release. No chance of live dates here just yet however, according to Fishrider the band are so skint they can't afford to travel back to NZ's North island for gigs, let alone the U.K. - another reason why you should buy the LP & not just rip it off from some dodgy blog.
You can listen to the album here: oppositesex.bandcamp.com