The 3Ds meet the D4

How is it possible that a nation, where sheep outnumber people 12:1, continues to produce as many notable alternative music groups as New Zealand? The only logical explanation, besides the country’s geographic isolation, is that there are quite a few bored teenagers and young adults with nothing better to do then start a band. I’ve already written about: The Clean, Straitjacket Fits, Bike, Bailter Space, Dissolve, The Dead C and Look Blue Go Purple, but those are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Other notable New Zealand groups include: the Able Tasmans, Tall Dwarfs, the Bats, the Chills, The Cakekitchen, The Muttonbirds, This Kind of Punishment, the 3Ds and the 4Ds; all who have had a hand in helping to shape New Zealand’s rock sound both past and present. 

the 3Ds

Formed in mid 1988 The 3Ds took their name from their founders: David Saunders, Denise Roughan and Dominic Stones. Along with David Mitchell these former members of such notable New Zealand groups as Look Blue Go Purple and the Exploding Budgies

achieved a nearly perfect amalgam: brash, head-butting guitar lines that shape themselves around irresistible hooks and colorful song structures supported by burly rhythms.

The seven songs on the band’s debut release, 1990s Fish Tales, are driven by the aggressive, melodic guitar lines of Saunders and Mitchell while vocal duties alternate between Saunders, Mitchell and bassist Roughan.

Swarthy Songs for Swabs, released in 1991,

begins with the aptly named exuberant "Sing-song," one of the band’s finest moments

while "Ritual Tragick" hints at the influence of Pavement, minus “Pavement’s lazy "Range Life" vibe.” A cd containing both vinyl EPs also includes two songs recorded with bassist Rachel King of the Cakekitchen.

The band’s first full length, 1992’s Hellzapoppin, was  an attempt by the the band to cash in on the burgeoning market for alternative music in the US. The album opens with "Outer Space," which with its punchy guitar and sing-songy vocals

perfectly captures the group’s spastic energy and crisp melodicism.

The album’s two other pop songs, "Hellzapoppin" and "Hairs," though enjoyable are not the equal of "Outer Space." Hellzapoppin, however, is not just a pop album; as the surly "Sunken Head," the beefed up guitar sound of “Ugly Day," and the lurching melody and distorted vocals of "Leave the Dogs to Play" should make abundantly clear.

1993s The Venus Trail, the follow-up to Hellzapoppin, suffers in comparison to that album. The Venus Trail documents a band in transition.  Only the angry "Hey Seuss" manages to match Hellzapoppin’ s energy level, but that’s only for two minutes. "Beautiful Things" 

applies a quieter setting to a familiar 3Ds song structure …  while the duets on the mellow, electric "The Young and the Restless" and the somber, acoustic "Spooky"

indicate a possible new musical avenue for the band.

In 1994 the band toured America in support of Pavement and Superchunk. Upon their return to New Zealand they recorded and released the four song Caterwauling EP and then largely dropped out of sight; resurfacing in mid-1996  with the release of Strange News from the Angels. 

On Strange News from the Angels the shift in musical direction that began with The Venus Trail is now firmly in place. The predictable result being

one that changes them from being aggressively fun and special to being just there, a competent indie-rock band more than anything else.

With no lead vocals by Roughan and Mitchell’s lack luster vocals and instrumentals missing

the edgy spark that earlier records provided

Strange News from the Angels can best be described as “pleasant, inoffensive, and indistinct.” Hardly a fitting end for so talented a group.



Fish Tales (12") (Flying Nun Records) 1990  
Swarthy Songs For Swabs (12") (Flying Nun Records) 1991  
Fish Tales / Swarthy Songs For Swabs (Cass, CD) (First Warning Records) 1991  
Fish Tales / Swarthy Songs For Swabs (CD) (Festival Records, Flying Nun Records) 1991  
Hellzapoppin (Cass, CD, MP3) (Flying Nun Records, Festival Records) 1992  
Outer Space (7") (Flying Nun Records) 1992  
Outer Space (Cass EP) (Flying Nun Records, Festival Records) 1992  
Beautiful Things (7") (Merge Records, Flying Nun Records) 1993  
Beautiful Things (CD EP) (Flying Nun Records, Festival Records) 1993  
The Venus Trail (CD, MP3) (Flying Nun Records, Festival Records) 1993  
The Venus Trail (LP) (Flying Nun Records) 1993  
Hey Seuss (7") (Merge Records) 1994  
Hey Seuss (CD Single) (Flying Nun Records, Festival Records) 1994  
Hey Seuss (7") (Flying Nun Records) 1994  
Caterwauling (CD EP) (Flying Nun Records) 1995  
Dust (CD EP) (Flying Nun Records) 1996  
Dust (7") (Flying Nun Records, Festival Records) 1996  
Strange News From The Angels (CD, LP) (Flying Nun Records)1997  

Tracks Appear On:

"Meluzina Man"  XPRESSWAY PILE=UP (A Compilation Of NZ Music) (Cass, CD, LP) (Avalanche Records) 1990  
"Sing Song" Flying With Brashs (Cass) (Flying Nun Records, Festival Records) 1991  
"Sing Song" Pink Flying Saucers Over The Southern Alps (CD, LP) (Flying Nun Records, Festival Records) 1991  
"Outer Space," "Sunken Heads" 12 Hours Fast (CD) (Flying Nun UK)1993
"Beautiful Things" MAD: White Records Feb 1994 (CD) (White Records) 1994
"Beautiful Things (Single Version)", "Man On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown" Something For The Weekend (CD) (Flying Nun UK) 1994
"Hey Seuss" Collision 3 (CD) (White Label Records) 1995
"Vector 27" 15 (CD) (Flying Nun Records) 1995  
"Ritual Tragick (2-track Demo)" Star Trackers (Cass) (Spunk) 1995
"Mamma Mia" Abbasalutely (Cass, CD) (Flying Nun Records, Festival Records) 1995   
"Mamma Mia" Abbasalutely (LP) (Flying Nun Records) 1995  
"Mamma Mia" Abbasalutely (CD) (Sony Records) 1995  
"Dust" Pop Eyed (CD) (Flying Nun Records) 1996   
"Hellzapoppin" But I Can Write Songs Okay (3xCD) (Yellow Eye Music) 1996 
"Strange News From The Angels" Kiwi Rock (CD) (Kiwi Rock Publications) 1996   
"Arnie Ginsburg Theme"  Cruisin’ 1961 – Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsburg – WMEX, Boston (CD) (Increase Records) 1996  
"Hey Seuss", "Spooky", "Animal" Topless Women Talk About Their Lives (CD) (Flying Nun Records) 1997   
"Outer Space" Scarfies (CD) (Flying Nun Records) 1999 "Beautiful Things" Old Enough to Know Better: 15 Years of Merge Records (3xCD, Digital) (Merge Records) 2004
"Hey Suess" Very Short Films (DVD) (Flying Nun Records) 2004  
"Sing-Song" In Love With These Times / Pink Flying Saucers Over The Southern Alps (2xCD) (Flying Nun Records) 2004 
"Outer Space" Second Season (DVD) (Flying Nun Records) 2004 
"Philadelphia Rising" 25 Years (4xCD) (Flying Nun Records) 2006 
"Beautiful Things", "The Golden Glove", "Hey Seuss" SCORE! Twenty Years Of Merge Records (Box Set) (17xCD, Digital) (Merge Records) 2009      

3Ds – Hellzapoppin (1992)

Playing Time: 41 minutes 16 seconds


the 3ds - hellzapoppin

1. Outer Space (3:22)
2. Ugly Day (2:55)
3. Sunken Head (3:49)
4. Swallow (2:49)
5. Sunken Treasure (3:53)
6. Hellzapoppin (2:27)
7. Leave the Dogs to Play (3:24)
8. Hairs (2:44)
9. Something in the Water (2:29)
10. Homo Necans (3:28)
11. One Eye Opened (2:36)
12. Teacher is Dead (3:14)
13. Jewel (4:06)

Buy Hellzapoppin from Flying Nun Records

the d4

Formed in 1998 by Auckland, New Zealand natives Dion and Jimmy (guitarists and vocalists for the band Nothing at All) the D4 also included Beaver (drums) and Vaughn (bass), no last names, thank you very much. Their self-titled, self-released 1999 debut EP was “a ruckus of AC/DC/Motörhead-fueled garage-punk.” 

2002’s 6Twenty also adds to that mix the music of the Seeds, Standells, Amboy Dukes, some Stooges proto-metal and the early Brit pub-punk of Eddie & the Hot Rods. It’s not as if this music hasn’t been done before, it’s just that D4 are doing it louder and faster. With its nasal, half sung/shouted vocals, simplistic choruses and hooky guitar riffs their music is perfect for the ’60s garage rockers in all of us.




Ladies Man (CD Single) (Flying Nun Records) 2000  
Ladies Man (7") (Not On Label) 2000  
Ladies Man (7") (Infectious Records) 2003  
Ladies Man (CD Single, CD1) (Infectious Records) 2003  
Ladies Man (CD Single, CD2) (Infectious Records) 2003  
Girl (CD, Single) (Flying Nun Records) 2000  
6Twenty (CD) (Flying Nun Records) 2001  
6Twenty (CD) (Infectious Records) 2001  
6Twenty (LP) (Infectious Records) 2002  
6Twenty (CD) (Flying Nun Records) 2002  
6Twenty (CD (Infectious Records) 2002  
6Twenty (CD) (Hollywood Records) 2003  
Rock ‘N’ Roll Motherfucker / Running On Empty (7") (SDZ Records) 2001  
Party (7") (Infectious Records) 2002  
Party (CD) (Infectious Records) 2002  
Get Loose (CDr Single) (Infectious Records) 2002  
Get Loose (CD Single, CD1) (Infectious Records) 2002 
Get Loose (CD Single, CD2) (Infectious Records) 2002 
Get Loose (7") (Infectious Records) 2002  
Get Loose (CD Single) (Infectious Records) 2002  
Come On! (CD Single, CD1) (Infectious Records) 2002 
Come On! (CD Single, CD2) (Infectious Records) 2002 
Come On! (7" Single) (Infectious Records) 2002  
Sake Bomb (CD Single) (Flying Nun Records) 2004  
What I Want (7" Single, Part 1) (Poptones) 2005  
What I Want (7" Single, Part 2) Poptones  2005  
What I Want (CD Single) (Poptones) 2005  
Out Of My Head (CD) (Flying Nun Records UK) 2005  
Out Of My Head (CD) (Flying Nun Records NZ) 2005  
Out Of My Head (CD) (Flying Nun Records NZ) 2007

Appears On:
"Girl" Export Gold NZ Music 2001
"North Shore Bitch"  Under The Influence (CD EP) (Flying Nun Records) 2001

"Party" Rock Sound Volume 53 (CD) (Rock Sound) 2002  
"Get Loose" The Best Of 2002 (CD) (Kerrang! Magazine) 2002  
"Exit To The City" Weekender (CD) (Kerrang! Magazine) 2002  
"Get Loose" (Enhanced Video) Music With Attitude Volume 41 (CD) (Rock  Sound) 2002
"Exit To The City" Music With Attitude Volume 38 (CD) (Rock Sound) 2002  
"Party" The Cornerstone Player 036 (CD) (Cornerstone Promotion) 2002  
"Get Loose" (Alternative Version) The New Rock Revolution (CD) (New Musical Express) 2002 

"Party"   Kerrang!⁴The Album (2xCD) (Universal Music TV) 2002  
"Get Loose" The Cornerstone Player 038 (CD) (Cornerstone Promotion) 2002 
"Exit To The City" Playlist: Volume 4 (CD) (HMV) 2002  
"Party" Pukkelpop 2002 Sampler (CD) (PIAS Benelux) 2002  
"Rocknroll Motherfucker" Satisfaction Guaranteed (2xCD) (PIAS France) 2002

"Get Loose"  HVY.9.Sumosonic 2002
"Get Loose" (Exclusive Xfm Session) X-Ray CD#01 (CD) (X-Ray) 2002  
"Invader Ace" High Times: The Soundtrack To Your Summer (CD) (Kerrang! Magazine) 2002

"Come On!" Miller Genuine Draft (CD) (Flying Nun Records) 2002  
"Joe 90", "Get Loose" Under The Influence – 21 Years Of Flying Nun Records
(2xCD) (Flying Nun Records) 2002
"Rock’n’Roll Motherfucker" Homebake, Volume 6 (2xCD) (Hello Cleveland) 2002

"High Voltage" Garage Days S/T (CD) (Mushroom Records) 2003
"Get Loose" ESPN Presents Stadium Anthems: Music For The Fans (CD) (Hollywood Records) 2003  

"Exit To The City" Speed Of Sound (CD) (Flying Nun Records) 2003  
"Get Loose" X Games IX (CD) (Not On Label) 2003  
"Get Loose" Skate To Hell – The Extreme Skaterock Collection (2xCD) (Warner Music UK Ltd.) 2003 
"Ladies Man" Kerrang! High Voltage (2xCD) (Universal Music TV) 2003
"Party" The Prince & Me S/T (CD) 2004
"Come On" Burnout 3: Takedown S/T (CD) 2004
"Get Loose" Second Season (DVD) (Flying Nun Records) 2004  
"Rockn’Roll Muthafucker" Get A Haircut – 31 Of The Best New Zealand Rock’n’Rollers Ever!
(CD) (Zerox) 2004  
"E" Very Short Films (DVD) (Flying Nun Records) 2004
"Invader Ace" I Love Guitar Wolf … Very Much (CD, MP3) Ki/oon Records) 2004
"Party" Homebake ’04: 10th Anniversary Edition (2xCD)  
"Omerta"  Gloria International Garage Rock Club (CD) (Wagram) 2005
"Sake Bomb" Unleashed 2005 (CD) 2005
"Sake Bomb" (English Version) 25 Years (4xCD) (Flying Nun Records) 2006  
"Party" Ox-Compilation #48 (CD) (Ox Fanzine) 
"Come On" Beerfest S/T (CD, MP3) (Element Records)2006
"Get Loose" Buzzbands: Winter 2002-2003 (CD)
"Exit To The City" Channel Z: The Best Of, Volume 3 (2xCD)


D4 – 6Twenty (2002)

Playing Time: 43 minutes 47 seconds


the d4 - 6twenty

1. Rock n Roll Muther Fucker (2:01)
2. Get Loose (1:56)
3. Party (2:40)
4. Come On (2:24)
5. Invader Ace (2:47)
6. Exit to the City (3:40)
7. Heartbreaker (4:29)
8. Running on Empty (3:12)
9. Ladies Man (3:48)
10. Pirate Love (3:40)
11. Little Baby (3:09)
12. Rebekah (3:38)
13. Mysterex (3:57)
14. Outta Blues (2:26)


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7 responses to “The 3Ds meet the D4

  1. I’m with you on the last couple of 3D’s being diminishing returns, but it’s worthwhile tracking down the two discs by Ghost Club that Mitchell & Roughan made after a move to London. It’s some of the rougher lo-fi edges expanded

  2. Heya, just stumbled across this blog and it’s great! I’m a NZer and constantly seem to be finding great Flying Nun bands that I try to track everything down for, onto the D4 atm and this discog will be invaluable!

    Noticed with your earlier Bike listing (brilliant band that I love like a child btw) that you’re missing a couple of releases, there was a self titled ep, Circus Kids single and a track on the Scarfies soundtrack that doesn’t appear anywhere else. All CDs. :-)

  3. It’s asking for a password when I try to extract the files in the Hellzapoppin download. What’s the password?

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