Fronted by songwriting brothers Kody and Ruban Nielson, the eclectic Mint Chicks emerged from Auckland’s live music scene in 2005 with debut album F**k The Golden Youth, having made a name for themselves and polarised critical opinion with chaotic, often volatile, shows. They found approval in 2007 when their follow-up, Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!, won five NZ Music awards, including Best Album and Best Group. Recordings at The Dandy Warhol’s famed studio The Odditorium, yielded 2009 album Screens. A Ray Columbus cover and EP Bad Buzz followed in 2010. The band split to pursue solo projects that year.
The Ray Columbus and The Invaders' 60s classic gets a modern make-over by the Mint Chicks, to mark the Invaders' induction into the NZ Music Hall of Fame. The clip was shot on the night of the Music Awards where Columbus and co were honoured. Shot in black and white, the video embraces the 60s theme, with a stage performance involving mini-skirted go-go dancers and swirly psychedelic back-projections. Backstage footage of the surviving members of The Invaders also features, as do shots from the original She's a Mod promo clip.
Do robots dream of mechanical owls? A young woman in distress wakes up to find she has a 'robot problem' in her apartment. As the wee ‘bots (resembling animated cuisenaire rods) cause mayhem, she calls for help on her rat-phone. Roused from the Winter Gardens, an exterminator and his giant caged owl come to the rescue. The promo was one of several shot for The Mint Chicks by Crystal Bear-winning short film director Sam Peacocke (Manurewa). To create the miniature robots, life-size puppets were shot in front of a green screen, then composited into the action.
Another treasure from director Sam Peacocke — who also directed Vodafone Award-winning Mint Chicks video Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! — this promo channels the kind of obtuse storyline that Mint Chicks songs were known for. It opens on a tiny lego band ordering a comatose man in a rabbit hat to help them. Sulky teenagers, feuding couples and a high dive into a tin bathtub complete the outlandishly art-directed picture, before arriving at the clip's high-water mark — the bunny boils over.
This award-winner from the 2007 NZ Music Awards sees the Mint Chicks performing after dark, somewhere on the edge of suburbia, while a wolf (actually a siberian husky) sparks a journey through the streets — past people wrestling with poultry, and each other. Director Sam Peacocke (Manurewa, Shihad - Beautiful Machine) displays the same enigmatic approach taken with Mint Chicks clip Walking Off a Cliff Again. The band also took out NZ Music Awards for Best Group and Album. Real Groove magazine later rated this the best New Zealand single of the decade.