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Here's Five: Sour Lollies with Mermaidens

Here's Five: Sour Lollies with Mermaidens

C.C. / Gussie Larkin and Lily Paris West / Photos provided / Thursday 7th December, 2023 10:20AM

Pōneke’s power trio of Gussie Larkin, Lily Paris West and Abe Hollingsworth aka Mermaidens are on a winning streak, achieving number one the Official Top 20 NZ Albums chart with their new self-titled album, a four week residency at number one on the SRN Top 10 (with 'I Like To Be Alone'), and are emerging as a favourite on local end of year roundup lists. Selling out their South Island launch events in late November, fans in Tāmaki Makaurau and the capital will soon get to experience Mermaidens at the height of their powers, performing with guest bandmate Louisa Nicklin (Dimmer, D.C. Maxwell) at Avondale's opulent Hollywood Cinema and San Fran this coming weekend.

Treating viewers to an audio-visual sugar rush in their video for 'Sour Lips' (featuring their signature Merm-E-Mart store, watch below), Gussie Larkin and Lily Paris West challenged their tastebuds for a special UTR food / music feature — pairing tunes from their new album with a variety of lip-pursing sour lollies...

"We love lollies. It also struck us that we must love the word 'sour', because we say it quite a few times on our new album. So lollies + sour = we must review 5 sour lollies for Undertheradar and destroy all tastebuds in the process. Enjoy and pucker up!" — Gussie Larkin

UTR and 100% GOOD proudly present...


Friday 8th December – Hollywood Avondale w/ Earth Tongue, Power Nap
Saturday 9th December – San Fran, Wellington w/ Bleeding Star*

Tickets available HERE via UTR
*Wellington tickets via moshtix

1. Skittles Sours

Lily Paris West: Taste the rainbow? Tastes alright. Sweet to the tongue but on further mastication did make me do a brief sour face. Mainstream af.

2 lemons

Gussie Larkin: What I like about these is each colour has a distinct flavour, just like regular skittles only with a sour edge. This is no mean feat as SOUR seemed to be the only flavour profile in everything else I taste tested. I would eat these in the car, sitting in traffic and smashing these, slowly becoming more and more sour myself.

3.5 lemons

2. The Natural Confectionary Co. Sour Squirms

LPW: A kiwi classic. Definitely the best sour taste but also least lemon face making. Guess that’s only natural.

4 lemons

GL: I tried to find these, but they were sold out in two different supermarkets. Must be yum. Guess I’ll never know.

5 lemons?

3. TNT Super Sour Liquid Filled Chews

LPW: I was really nervous about this one. These scared me as a child and scare even me more today. Something about the knockoff Bart Simpson’s exploding brain on the package does not scream delicious. I went for Strawberry over Green Apple because I’m a coward. The outer is sweetly sour on the tongue but when I boldly bit through into the sour toxic waste within my brain did explode a little bit. Longest sour face duration by far.

5 lemons for sourness. Bonus point for most hideous packaging

GL: Packaging was suitably aggressive and I was scared to try them. As a kid I would squeeze them until the liquid centre would curl out the sides and they became slightly more bearable. I tried doing that this time, but they make them a lot more robust these days. First taste is a pleasant fake strawberry flav, quickly cut short by an eye watering sour burst.

1 lemon for experience, 5 lemons for sour

4. Fabulicious Sherbet Fizz Crunch

LPW: Smelled very sweet. I did not receive said stars and lightning bolts as advertised on the bag, so not too sour. But I did go back for seconds. And thirds.

3.5 lemons

GL: So pink! So fun. The packaging is a breath of fresh air after all the terrifying mushroom cloud faces on the other ones. Again, like with TNT’s, as a kid I used to squeeze out the sour filling because I just wanted the red liquorice. These are filled with said sour filling and crunchy sugary bits - kinda like nerds. My fave of the bunch, not super sour.

5 lemons

5. Wildcard

LPW: New World Pick & Mix

The sour peaches and feijoas are a staple for many. But special mention here goes to the giant sour cola bottle. Lot’s of coverage for sour sprinkles. What it lacks in lasting sourness it makes up for in girth and cola nostalgia.

4 lemons

GL: Zappo Sour Grumpy Dips - Grape Flavour

An interactive candy! It’s a little bag of sherbet with a heart shaped lolly pop. If it was a song it would be “Dress for Success”, since the packaging essentially tells you it will make you grumpy - and this song is all about The Man wearing you down.

4 lemons

Beverage Match

LPW: Homegrown Grapefruit Juice. This stuff is the best and sourest thing on this list and I’ll pucker up for this over any lolly.

Honorable Muncheon

LPW: The Karori Park Dairy in the early 2000s. Do they just not make them like they used to? Where are the fantastical weird sour lollies that burned a hole in the roof of your mouth?

Mermaidens' self-titled album is out now on major streaming platforms — order the deluxe limited transparent blue vinyl LP edition HERE.


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