Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Osterbergs - Freak Power (1990)

More licks from the unplumbed pockets of Mysterex maven Andrew Schmidt: the scritchy, shouty sounds of Detroit devotees The Osterbergs!

"The Osterbergs out of east Auckland were regulars at the Queen City's inner-city music dives in the late 1980s, and early 1990s, on the diverse bills of the time.

"Their wah-driven Stoogoid punk sound -- the guitar courtesy Mark Jones, anchored by drummer Shirley Charles and bass player/vocalist Paul E. Snake -- had an endearing, nagging charm, well captured on their only release for Auckland's Onslaught Records.

"The original trio of Shirley Charles (drums), Paul Edwards (bass/vocals) and Mark Jones (guitar) had been joined by Lance Strickland on second guitar, who broadened the songs and gave it an unscripted edge.

"Changing their name to Freak Power, the quartet would go on to support many like-minded touring groups, and release a ten-inch EP on Wildside Records."

The Osterbergs – Freak Power (Onslaught Records)

Side 1
Your Time
It Burns

Side 2
Strung Out

Rec’d by Matthew Heine at BFM in Auckland, 1990

Paul Edwards – bass/vocals
Lance Strickland – guitar
Mark Jones – guitar
Shirley James – drums

Borrowed Amps


  1. Before the got out of the literal garage in Otahuhu where they first formed I was hacking away on guitar with Paul, Mark and Swirley. Glad they got the better guitarist (and mighty drummer Tribal Thunder -SPUD/55 Polish Workers/King Loser) from Lance and I's cow punching home town of Paeroa. We'd share the stage later on supporting The Lemonheads at the Glupot as Zombie Boy/Freak Power wearing the infamous GEEK POWER cartoon tee pisstake of the Freak Power tee they had going round. From Iggy to Mudhoney this bands genesis was fun to be part of and sing along to all those many years ago. Paul's current band the Dirty Sweets is a great continuation to the Osterberg's rock and roll history. Thanks for posting Jon! And Droid. Now do you want the ZB demos?

  2. Actually Lorna was the drummer when it all began in the mechanics shop in Otahuhu.

  3. Thanks for the info, Mac! Wow, how did I not know this? Yes please to ZB demos 😲

  4. side 1 is really nice. thanks for posting.