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coverpic flag New Zealand - Full Moon 220 - 08/10/14

The Chills
Molten Gold b/w Pink Frost
Fire Records

This is a 'Hello!' and 'Welcome back!' to the legendary, glorious NZ kiwi pop band The Chills, created and steered by singer/songwriter Martin Phillipps, who ruled the 80s and early 90s. Well, it is also a hello and welcome back to "Molten Gold", which was released (digitally) last year on Phillips' 50th birthday (July 2, 2013), as the first new song for some years. Now, a year later the song appears on vinyl, backed with the legendary "Pink Frost" - one of The Chills' most famous songs ever. Hooray!

"Molten Gold" sounds very guitar pop-rock from the early 1990s, just like it could've been: Yes, it could've been written and launched somewhere between their last two albums, the excellent Soft Bomb (Slash 1992) and the indeed decent Sunburnt (Flying Nun 1996). The band had their modest indie break-through with their debut album, Brave Words (Flying Nun 1987). I can still recall the disappointment when they cancelled their Norwegian tour when their scored grand reviews in the British music press. I was arranging one of those gigs... However, "Molten Gold" works fine, but it's the flipside who is the winner - that's the real gold. Still. Pink is gold. This "Pink Frost", AKA "Pink Frost 13" has gotten a minor makeover. The moody "Pink Frost" was originally recorded in 1982 (released as a single in 1984) and the song has been performed at nearly every gig the band has played in their time. Phillips gave the track a new intro, but that's about it. He didn't mess with the song. It's perfect as it is... as it was. The new guitar intro takes about 1:20 before the classic guitar line pops up. It's a claustrophobic song, about angst, death and loss. Fear that produces 'pink frost'. Probably some drug-related noia, as it's no secret that Philips has had some tough times over the years.
'What can I do if she dies? What can I do if she dies?
What can I do if she's lost?
Just the thought fills my heart with pink frost'

In May 2010 The Chills played two shows in Australia. This spring and summer the band have toured New Zealand, Europe and the UK. Maybe we will see some more new songs soon...? It has been ten years since they put out the mini-album, Stand By (Flying Nun). At that time, Phillips wrote in the liner notes: "I am preparing to take the band in quite a new direction on the next album. And on that we will begin work shortly." Well, 'shortly' is about time, right?

Copyright © 2014 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Chills articles/reviews: Kaleidoscope World (Deluxe Reissue), Silver Bullets, The BBC Sessions.

© 2014 Luna Kafé