This 80s pop outfit went through a number of evolutions. They began as Splash Alley (with a name change suggested by Barry 'Dr Rock' Jenkin). Following the departure of original vocalist (and future Radio with Pictures host/TV producer) Richard Driver, Andrew Snoid was recruited from The Whizz Kids (who became Blam Blam Blam). With songs to burn and initial management from Mike Chunn, Pop Mechanix seemed poised for success — but a fruitless stint in Australia (and litigation over their name) undid them and further progress was marred by a chart-rigging fiasco and unsympathetic production.
The penultimate Pop Mechanix single was an exploration of carnality, anchored by chiming guitars with vocals by Andrew McLennan (Coconut Rough and 'Sierra Leone'). It was one of the first music videos directed by Spot On video competition winner Paul Middleditch, who was still at school. He went on to make videos for Tim Finn and Tex Pistol, commercials, and 2009 movie Separation City. The location was a cold, disused office. “Luckily,” says bass player Paul Scott, “we were into leather jackets, big coats and damn big hair because the place was absolutely freezing”.
With its swirling keyboards and dark lyrical concerns (in keeping with the fraught year New Zealand was then embarking on), 'Jumping Out a Window' has become a classic, including a slot in APRA's Nature's Best Top 100. The third Pop Mechanix single, it shows the influence of the friends the band was starting to make —it was produced by Split Enz' Eddie Rayner and the debut release on Mike Chunn's boutique XSF label. The TVNZ made clip is firmly of its time and one of the broadcaster's more literal efforts (no mean feat in itself) — featuring windows and jumping.