Screaming Meemees

If This is Paradise, I'll Take the Bag

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Existing from 1980 to 1982, the Screaming Meemees were probably New Zealand's biggest pop band of the post-punk and new wave era. The quartet of Tony Drumm, Yoh, Peter van der Fluit, and Michael O'Neill initially dealt in the three-chord power pop derivative of the Buzzcocks.The debut single, "Can't Take it," on Ripper, is the sole document of this period of the band. The follow-up EP, See Me Go, was released in a limited 12" edition, and "Sunday Boys" was also a hit single. If This Is Paradise, I'll take the Bag was recorded in 1981 with producer Ian Morris and boasted a eclectic range of influences in the mix of power pop, electro, dub, and funk -- styles not usually associated with New Zealand rock sound. Their work for the album brought the Screaming Meemees closer to what U.K. groups A Certain Ratio and Rip Rig and Panic were up to. "Stars in My Eyes" was the last single the group released, which came out as a 12" EP with extended versions. The Screaming Meemees were as essential to the history of New Zealand rock as Split Enz and Blam Blam Blam. Their sole album is well-worth seeking out for fans of post-punk.