Coconut Rough

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The short-lived New Zealand pop band Coconut Rough marked a reunion between frontman Andrew Snoid and guitarist Mark Bell, who previously collaborated in both the Plague and the Whizz Kidzz. In late 1982,…
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The short-lived New Zealand pop band Coconut Rough marked a reunion between frontman Andrew Snoid and guitarist Mark Bell, who previously collaborated in both the Plague and the Whizz Kidzz. In late 1982, Snoid -- fresh from a stint in the Swingers -- returned to New Zealand and contacted Bell, and soon Coconut Rough was formed with keyboardist Stuart Pearce, bassist Dennis "Choc" Tuware, and drummer Paul Hewitt. Given the individual members' extensive musical backgrounds, the group was immediately successful with Auckland-area club-goers, and their 1983 debut single "Sierra Leone" hit the Top Five on the Kiwi charts. However, many pundits attacked Snoid and Bell's newly commercial sound, and the title of their follow-up single, "As Good as It Gets," caused more than a few snickers among critics; the record fell far below sales expectations. Closing out the year, Coconut Rough appeared on one half of the live LP Whistle While You Work; in early 1984 they began work on their debut album proper, replacing Hewitt with drummer Eddie Olsen upon completing the session. However, the LP then entered a state of limbo, with the group's label, Mushroom, unhappy with the existing mix. Several remix options were explored, but in the meantime the band began falling apart. Tuware was the first to abandon ship, and was replaced by ex-Suburban Reptiles guitarist Bones Hillman. Just a week later, however, Coconut Rough called it quits; their self-titled LP finally appeared in the wake of their demise, ironically enough with its original mix intact.