Album: The Sound of Trees, 1988
Justification: Schnell Fenster – German for “fast window”, of course – was the main non-Crowded House spinoff from the detritus of Split Enz. Percussionist Noel Crombie and bassist Nigel Griggs reunited with long-departed Split Enz co-founder Phil Judd – smarting from the demise of the Swingers – and guitarist Michael den Elzen, who was later to join Deadstar before concentrating on soundtracks. The early line up also included Eddie Rayner, because every single thing that anyone from Split Enz did had to involve Eddie Rayner in some capacity.
The only lasted for a couple of albums before in-fighting tore them apart (that, and Crombie’s increasingly bad tinnitus) but this severely underrated band did some top-flight work: there’s still space in my heart for ‘Love-Hate Relationship’, ‘Heroes Let You Down’ and the glorious ‘OK Alright Uh Huh Oh Yeah’, but this is my hands-down favourite. The way that guitar riff persists through almost the whole song is downright hypnotic.
Incidentally, when I was hunting for somewhere to get hold of the Schnell’s albums I discovered that they’re long, long out of print and damn near impossible to find. Even a digital re-release seems unlikely, with Judd posting on a Split Enz forum that Griggs and Crombie had demanded a larger cut than the four-way split he’d suggested for an iTunes release. So, if you happen to have their albums around, do let me know.
Also: Judd looked freakin’ great at this point. Nice hair there, Phil. Almost Deppian in some places.