The 3Ds, Hellzapoppin, 1992


In 1992 I saw The 3Ds in concert at least fifteen, maybe twenty, times. And it became something of a cliché way back then to point out that on record The 3Ds failed to capture the full three dimensions of their live presence; their anarchic pop songs just didn’t translate to CD. A cliché perhaps, but rooted in reality—not the songs per se, but the sound. For some reason it just never sounded anywhere near as good on a stereo. True of much music, I suppose, provided the live soundstage and venue have good acoustics, but especially true of The 3Ds in my memory.

In my mind, Hellzapoppin was their ‘biggest’ album with its ‘hits’ played across New Zealand on student radio—their debut album—the album that broke them. Not only that, but I still think of it as their most melodic effort. So, for Flying Nun’s 30th anniversary…

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