Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos

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The excellently named experimental rock duo Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos existed from 1980 to 1986. Consisting of Michael Morley on guitar, keyboards, and vocals, and Richard Ram on bass,…
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The excellently named experimental rock duo Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos existed from 1980 to 1986. Consisting of Michael Morley on guitar, keyboards, and vocals, and Richard Ram on bass, guitar, and vocals, the duo formed in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1980. Their experimental, drummer-less music was quite unlike anything even on the artier side of Kiwi pop; its closest comparison would be the post-Galaxie 500 mid-'90s slowcore groups like Bedhead, Low, and Codeine. In the early '80s, the music of Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos was almost entirely alien, with little precedent other than perhaps the third Velvet Underground album taken to an absurd conclusion.

The duo's first release, the EP River Falling Love, wasn't released until 1983. It was followed two years later by a cassette-only release called A Child's Guide to Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos on the New Zealand indie Xpressway Records. Other than a single track, "Past (9:30 Heartache)," on the 1986 label compilation Xpressway Pile-Up, that was the end of Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos. Michael Morley formed the Dead C in 1987, and later instigated the solo noise-rock project Gate. Richard Ram apparently retired from music. Responding to Morley's greater international profile with the Dead C, the Chicago indie Ajax Records released the CD River Falling Love in 1993, consisting of the entirety of the similarly named EP, with selected tracks from the cassette release and the compilation track.