Pop Mechanix

June 25, 2018 - 903 views
Genre new wave, New Zealand, rock, 80s, male vocalists

Pop Mechanix were a New Zealand pop -rock band that played from 1979 - 1988.
They had a number of high profile fans during the course of their career, notable championed by fellow NZ band Split Enz. Their career was fraught with line up changes and legal suits which slowed one of NZ's hardest working acts down somewhat. Their genius is recognised with one of their songs being considered a New Zealand classic ('Jumping out a Window' number 87 out of the top 100 of all time for APRA NZ, and number 12 in the all time top 50 for The Press)
The Band was involved in a precedent setting law case involving an Australian act called Popular Mechanics who took the NZ act Via their major Record Label WEA to court over the use of their name in the Australian Territories. The Bassist For The Australian act was a lawyer by trade and eventually won the case forcing Pop Mechanix to change their name, first to NZ Pop, and then to Zoo. The band eventually returned to New Zealand and continued work there under their original name.

The band has a large but sporadic discography.Starting with 3 classic and collectible 7" singles in 1980 and 81 Now/Radio Song(Ripper Records), Ritz/Brains Are Dumb/Talking (RCA) & Jumping out a Window/Way I Dance/Private Military(on the XSF label XS001) before moving to Australia and hitting issues with their name. A further Single Texas/Cowboys and the Single Holidays/Ritz under the name NZpop were released before Singer Andrew Snoid left the band to join The Swingers who were at the top of the charts in Australia and New Zealand with their Hit Counting the Beat. The remaining members continued on under the name Zoo and released the Album Cowboys and Engines. The Band abandoned their Australian ambitions in 1983 and returned to NZ where they regrouped with Singer Snoid and restarted their career. Keyboardist/Guitarist Chris Moore leaving to pursue a solo career and Guitarist Brent Williams joining. A four song Ep Virginia Purple/Here She Comes Again/Eyes of Love/No Surprise, and a 7" single of Here She Comes Again was released in 1985 on the Hit Singles label. The last single with this line up was Celebration of The Skin/Land of Broken Dreams in 1986. One final single 'Pale Sun/Alright Here was released in 1988 with a Peter Warren and Mark Bell replacing drums and guitar. The band called it quits after this release.

In April 2005 Failsafe Records released 5 discs covering 4 phases of the band.

♦ Now - Singles and Demos 79 - 81 (SAFE067CD)
♦ Zoo - Lost in Australia - 81 - 83 (SAFE068CD)
♦ Acceptance - Reform Restart, Redirect - 85 - 86 (SAFE069CD)
♦ Alright Here - Make or Break - 87 - 88 (SAFE070CD)
♦ Live Kicks - Live Performance kicks 1985 - 86 (SAFE071CD)

In March 2010 Failsafe released a Compilation of the bands singles from the 81 - 86 period.
♦ Now:Then - One Hit Windows

Two disc remain in the series.
2010 - Splash Alley - Lets Get Started 1979 - 80 captures the Richard Driver period of the band comprising one concert at Auckland's Mainstreet venue and Drivers version of the band's first single "Now".
Lost Tapes - Parallel Universe - 1982 contains the lost Australian album featuring Andrew Snoid's original vocals is scheduled for release in mid-2010. Many of the tracks on this disc were re-sung by Bassist Paul Scott when he took over lead singing after the departure of Snoid to join Fellow NZ band The Swingers; plus 3 tracks which didn't make the Cowboys and Engines Album.

Line Up:
Kevin Emmett - Drums/Backing Vocals 1979 - 1986.
Paul (Ace) Mason - Guitar - 1979 - 88.
Chris Moore - Guitar/Keyboards - 1979 - 1983.
Paul Scott - Bass/Vocals - 1979 - 88. Lead Vocals 82 - 83
Andrew Snoid (Mclennan) - Vocals - 1980 -1981 1985 - 88.
Richard (Dick) Driver - Vocals 1979 - 80.
Brent Williams - Guitar - 1985 - 87.
Mark Bell - Guitar - 1987 - 88.
Peter (Rooda) Warren - Drums 1987 - 88

bandcamp | discogs


Top Tracks

Jumping Out a Window 1

Jumping Out a Window

Now 2


Jumpin' out a Window 3

Jumpin' out a Window

The Ritz 4

The Ritz

celebration of the skin 5

celebration of the skin

Radio Song 6

Radio Song

Ritz 7


Talking 8


Steel Town Paralyse 9

Steel Town Paralyse

Way I Dance 10

Way I Dance

Top Albums

It's Bigger Than Both Of Us (NZ Singles 1979-82)
It's Bigger Than Both Of Us (NZ Singles 1979-82)
APRA Top 100 New Zealand Songs Of All Time
APRA Top 100 New Zealand Songs Of All Time
It's Bigger Than Both of Us (NZ Singles: 1979-82)
It's Bigger Than Both of Us (NZ Singles: 1979-82)
30 tracks