Having at least one band member with a first name beginning with ‘D’ almost seems like a prerequisite for bands on the great Flying Nun label from NZ, or maybe it’s just a ‘David’ thing. Whatever, there’s been a David in The Clean, a David in the Straitjacket Fits, two Davids in JPS Experience… and, before anyone starts looking any further, the Bats are the exception that proves the rule, okay?
And then there’s the four people who make up The 3Ds—Dominic Stones (drums, tea), Denise Roughan (bass, vocals), David Mitchell (guitar, vocals), and David Saunders (guitar, vocals). The group formed in Dunedin in May 1988, when Auckland refugees Dom (ex-Bird Nest Roys and Snapper guitarist) and Dave Saunders (a young veteran of forgotten teen garage popsters, the Battling Strings, and Dunedin ‘supergroup’ Mr Big Nose) joined with Denise (formerly of Look Blue Go Purple) to spend their weekend afternoons in mayhemic noisemaking. Guitarist Dave Mitchell (another former Aucklander, having lent his axe-mangling talents, twisted lyrics and record cover art, and straining vocal chords to Flying Nun’s Exploding Budgies and Goblin Mix before moving to Dunedin and playing in Xpressway’s leading lights, Plagal Grind) joined soon after.
The 3Ds are the type of band who’d prefer that their bio listed the four members’ occupations as drunken sailors, and then make claims like they all met in port after jumping ship or staging mutinies on the high sea. They’d like to see their influences listed as Herge, Clive Barker, and a New Zealand beer called Mac’s Gold washed down with cups of strong tea. But that still wouldn’t account from the joyful excesses of melody and noise you’ll find on any one of the their great albums, EPs, or singles.
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