Experimental guitarist Roy Montgomery was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, forming his first band, the teen garage combo the Psychedeliks, in 1971. After serving out the remainder of the decade in similarly obscure outfits including Compulsory Fun and Murder Strikes Pink, he co-founded the seminal Kiwi post-punk trio the Pin Group in late 1980; their debut single, "Ambivalence," was also the first record ever issued on the now-legendary indie label Flying Nun, its echoing, darkly melodic guitar sound foreshadowing the evocative sonic approach Montgomery would continue to pursue for the remainder of his career. After the Pin Group disbanded in 1982, he received a $750 National Arts Council grant to form the Shallows a year later. Their lone 1985 single "Suzanne Said" further honing Montgomery's expansive drone aesthetic. However, he then spent the next five years largely removed from music, instead balancing his studies of Russian language and literature with his interests in cinema and avant-garde theater.
Montgomery returned to performing in 1990 after a chance meeting with fellow Pin Group alum Peter Stapleton led to an invitation to join the fledgling noise-pop band Dadamah. After a handful of releases the group splintered in 1993, with Montgomery resurfacing the following year with his first solo effort, Scenes from the South Island; with fellow guitarist Chris Heaphy, he also formed the duo Dissolve, issuing their LP That That Is...Is (Not) that same year. Montgomery then spent the next year-and-a-half traveling through the U.S., England, and Latin America, during that time recording a wealth of new material which found its way onto a series of singles for labels including Ajax, Siltbreeze, and Drunken Fish. The full-length Temple IV followed on Kranky in 1996, while the following year he collaborated with the members of Bardo Pond in Hash Jar Tempo, issuing the album Well-Oiled; also in 1997, Montgomery appeared on the Flying Saucer Attack EP Goodbye. The solo And Now the Rain Sounds Like Life Is Falling Down Through It appeared in 1998, trailed a year later by the singles compilation 324 E. 13th St. #7. Summer 2000 saw the release of Allegory of Hearing. Silver Wheel of Prayer followed a year later. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi