For the beginner just delving into the Australian underground universe of the last twenty years, seminal New Zealand (and later Australian) legends The Garbage And The Flowers, are an important first step to acquiring a higher appreciation of the subtle arc of inspiration of this overlooked era. As one of Australia's most well-known cult bands, TGATF formed in the late 1980s in Wellington, NZ when Yuri Frusin and Helen Johnstone met while still in high school, where they quickly formed a mutual appreciation for the Velvet Underground, along with free-form jazz influences like Ornett Coleman, as well as the latter phase of the Flying Nun bands.
As a band that really didn't hold their 'career' in too high of regard, playing only sporadic shows and only releasing records when they felt the urge, the mark The Garbage And The Flowers have left on the Australian underground at this point is just as influential as Eddy Current Suppression Ring or anyone else that's managed to rise into the public consciousness, and with their barbed-wire pop noise baggage, that's truly an accomplishment. Balancing the delicate viola-drone with a cacophonous wall of noise isn't a new approach to anyone familiar with the VU, but the way TGATF orchestrate their mainstream malevolence into a steady stream of beautiful, visceral and atmospheric sedation that needs to be experienced firsthand.
Fire Records has stepped up to reissue the debut 2LP, Eyes Rind As if Beggars from The Garbage And The Flowers, originally released in a scarce edition of only 300 copies in 1997 on The Now Sound, and hardly really available outside of a close circle of fans. Along with the original double album, also included is a bonus CD of an entire extra LP's worth of bonus tracks, which completes the total package quite nicely.
As part of the Noise in My Head: Voices from the Ugly Australian Underground book, The Garbage And The Flowers offer up one of the book's most influential spots, forming a link between both the modern world of Australian underground music, all the way back to the seminal NZ sound that's echoing throughout today's obsession with that magical era. And you really won't want to miss one note.
Check out a live clip from 1992 HERE: