Formed in 1989 by Mark Erdody, Kudgel became one of Beantown’s most beloved and cherished secrets, embodying, along with The Swirlies, what came to be known as ‘chimp rock’: spastic and overblown-guitar driven noise-pop, infused with a bubblegum sensibility that belied the complexity of their song structure.

Kudgel’s tenure as a functioning band was appropriately enough brief and tumultuous. The band went through three major lineup changes (although Erdody always remained as the principal songwriter), a disillusioning tour of the states and several hard-wrought self-released recordings, sharing the stage along the way with Pavement, The Jesus Lizard, Rodan, Gumball, and Six Finger Satellite.


feedtime was an independent postpunk rock trio from Sydney, Australia, formed in 1979. The name is spelled with a lowercase f. The members were credited by their first names only: Rick (guitar, vocals), Al (bass), and Tom (drums).

feedtime made four albums in the 1980s. Initially they recorded only for Aberrant Records in Australia, but their second through fourth albums were released internationally by the legendary indie label Rough Trade and by Megadisc in Holland. The second album, Shovel, received the greatest critical acclaim. The last of these four albums, Suction, was produced by Butch Vig.

feedtime's sound was loud, primitive, and brutal. The most distinctive musical element is thick, roaring electric guitar, played with a slide, over a thick, chugging rhythm section. Their loud but stripped-down, minimalist approach led them to be compared to the British postpunk band Wire (although feedtime didn't know Wire's music), but feedtime's sound also heavily referenced rural American country and blues. A large influence from classic rock is most easily heard on their covers LP Cooper S on which they covered the Rolling Stones and the Animals in addition to punk forebears like the Ramones and the Stooges.

Bruce Griffiths of Aberrant Records describes working with feedtime: "The bands that have given me the most satisfaction to work with ... Possibly the most satisfying was feedtime, because they became extremely close friends as a result of working with them, and I guess part of the satisfaction with them was the fact that they achieved recognition; they were licensed to Rough Trade in America, they're now licensed to Vinyl Solution in England and Europe, to Megadisc in the Benelux countries in Europe, so I guess that was satisfying in the way things happened, and a lot of people as a result of my involvement and us working together came to appreciate this band that I thought was really special."
feedtime surfaced again in 1994 and 1996, with a different drummer, for a reunion album Billy (for Amphetamine Reptile).

Self titled (1985)
Shovel (1986)
Split with King Snake Roost 7'' (1987)
Cooper S (1988 )
Suction (1989)
Billy (1996)


Aina has been for years the main band in the spanish indie/punk scene, and one of the most travelled bands around Europe since their birth in 1995. For that reason, their regular visits to the United Kingdom have somehow culminated with the recording of a Peel Session at the BBC in december 02 as only their labelmates The Unfinished Sympathy had done a couple of months before. The only two spanish bands ever to record at the BBC recorded unreleased and alternative material for the occasion, and in the case of Aina it represented a view along their long career, featuring the suite "Bipartite/Two Questions" from their last record "Bipartite" (BCore, 01), "Ice" from Aina (Bcore, 99), "Spring" from their earlyest era (compiled in "Sevens" (BCore, 96) and the fresh "You shook me all night long" by AC/DC. With this Peel Sessions Aina show themselves as the muscular, powerful and precise playing-machine they are in live appearences and that have left hundreds of open-mouthed kids all around europe for years. Wonderful songwriting, personal playing and perfect execution are and have been the credentials of the best Spanish post-hardcore band ever, and with this Peel Session they not only show those qualities but give a chance for us to feel that somehow justice is done. Because, as we all know, sales almost never give a good band any compensation, and only documents like this help us feeling that Aina has reached the place that only real good bands deserve.

Split with The Capitol City Dusters (1997)
Self titled (1998)
Bipartite (2001)

All Scars

All Scars are an all-star sextet of post-punk musicians and noisemakers. Some of this band's scarred stars come from such Dischord bands as Fugazi, Beefeater, and Fidelity Jones. Improvised, extemporaneous, impulsive, and unpremeditated sonic outbursts are favored by the All Scars' Jerry Busher, Dug Birdzell, Chuck Bettis, Brendan Canty, James Canty, Amy Farina, and Evan Rapport. With free-spirited convictions in mind, the band journeys into realms of uncharted sound with what appears to be a strong sense of humor. All Scars' explorations can be found on their Early Ambient and Introduction To Humanity albums.

All Scars 7'' (1996)
Early, Ambient (1997)
Introduction To Humanity (1999)
Lunar Magus (2002)


The brainchild of producer/guitarist Jim O'Rourke, Brise-Glace took O'Rourke's avant-garde leanings and melded them with the post-hardcore of bassist Darin Gray's Dazzling Killmen. The extremities of this combination were displayed well on Brise-Glace's first tour in 1994, where it drove the group Mount Shasta to the point of unplugging Brise-Glace's amplifiers after hearing 30 minutes of a repeated guitar riff. O'Rourke spent the early part of his career recording original compositions in his hometown of Chicago and sending the pieces off to composers whose work he admired. While he was doing this, he also became involved in the band Illusion of Safety in the early '90s. It was in the group that O'Rourke met drummer Thymme Jones, who was also known for his work in his group CHEER-ACCIDENT. O'Rourke and Jones befriended each other, and the seeds of Brise-Glace were slowly being planted. While Illusion of Safety was making the rounds of Chicago venues, O'Rourke saw the grinding group Dazzling Killmen, which contained Gray on bass. With Gray added to O'Rourke's and Jones' new band, the seed was fertilized that blossomed into the post-rock stylings of Brise-Glace. Deciding to bring in a second guitarist, the trio added the Flying Luttenbachers' Dylan Posa. This lineup recorded the In Sisters All and Felony/Angels on Installment Plan single, which was released in May of 1994 on Skin Graft Records. As Brise-Glace had been starting up, O'Rourke had simultaneously been working on another band project, called Gastr Del Sol, with former Squirrel Bait member David Grubbs. O'Rourke had also spent the early '90s recording avant-garde albums, such as Tomorrow Knows Where You Live with Henry Kaiser. Since Brise-Glace were in the midst of recording their full-length debut album for Skin Graft in 1994, O'Rourke took the opportunity to invite Grubbs and Kaiser along as the band's special guests. After the tracks were cut, O'Rourke wielded a razor blade to splice the freshly recorded music into fractured pieces. The outcome was the August 1994 release of Brise-Glace's When in Vanitas LP, which explored five lengthy instrumental passages engineered by Steve Albini. The band supported the release by taking to the streets on the Skin Graft Irritational tour that year. By 1995, the rhythm section for Brise-Glace, which consisted of Jones and Gray, returned to the studio with Albini. It was a slight departure for the duo, who were backing up Japanese noise-metal band Zeni Geva's frontman/guitarist Kazuyuki K. Null (aka K.K. Null) under the guise of Yona-Kit. Melt-Banana's lead singer, Yasuko O., even stopped by the studio to lend a hand. Yona-Kit's noisy self-titled album was released that July on Skin Graft. 1996 found Brise-Glace contributing to the May release of Skin Graft's tribute to AC/DC, the 7" Sides 1-4, alongside Chicago noisemakers Big'n, Shellac, and U.S. Maple. Brise-Glace also returned to the live circuit in November playing shows at clubs like Chicago's Lounge Ax with U.S. Maple, the Flying Luttenbachers, and Colossamite. Gray and O'Rourke now appeared as Brise-Glace's only two constants. On any given night, the rest of the band included a rotating lineup of guests, including the Scissor Girls' Azita Youssefi and avant-garde synth/guitar player Kevin Drumm. As 1996 turned into 1997, Brise-Glace continued playing out and even appeared on the Camp Skin Graft: Now Wave Compilation that September. The group slowly quit performing though, due to O'Rourke's increasing demand as a producer for various composers, electronic musicians, and indie bands, while Gray's involvement with Jones in the group You Fantastic! kept them both busy. As of 2001, there was still no word on whether or not Brise-Glace had ever officially broken up. Members did continue working together in various capacities though, as Posa joined Jones in CHEER-ACCIDENT

When In Vanitas… (1994)
In Sisters All And Felony 7'' (1994)

June of 44

Following the sudden demise of Rodan, guitarist Jeff Mueller kept Louisville's math rock flame burning with his new band, June of 44. Following in the footsteps of Mueller's earlier band, as well as scene progenitors Slint, June of 44 crafted loud, dissonant, complex guitar rock as intellectual as it was forceful. However, they weren't merely replicating what had come before them; June of 44's compositions usually followed more conventional structures, and their arrangements evolved into a more diverse proposition, augmenting the heavy guitars with electronics, sampled loops, and chamber jazz flourishes courtesy of strings, trumpet, and vibes. As such, their progression mirrored developments in some of the other branches of the post-rock movement. After several albums for Touch & Go affiliate Quarterstick during the latter half of the '90s, the band split up to concentrate on other projects.

June of 44 came together in late 1994, not long after the unexpected breakup of the seminal math rock outfit Rodan. Jeff Mueller, one half of Rodan's dual-guitar attack, teamed up with Lungfish's Sean Meadows (who switched from bass to guitar), bassist/trumpeter Fred Erskine (a veteran of Dischord bands Hoover and the Crownhate Ruin), and drummer Doug Scharin, who'd played in the groundbreaking slowcore bands Codeine and Rex. The band's name was inspired by a variety of factors, chiefly the date of correspondence between erotic fiction writers Henry Miller and Anais Nin; the month also coincided with the birth of Mueller's mother and the military service of Meadows' grandfather. With the members living in different cities, they first convened for a recording session in New York; the results were released in the summer of 1995 by Rodan's former label, Quarterstick, as the group's debut album, Engine Takes to the Water. Given the short gestation period, the music strongly recalled the angular riffs, extreme dynamic range, and shifting meters of Rodan.

With their second album, 1996's Tropics and Meridians, June of 44 established themselves as a top-notch experimental indie band, offering a more fully realized take on the sound of their debut. In the meantime, Scharin kicked off the solo side project HiM, pursuing dubby, experimental post-rock and recording at a prolific pace, often with assistance from Erskine. Meadows also started a side project called the Sonora Pine with Tara Jane O'Neil, one of Mueller's ex-bandmates in Rodan; they released two albums over 1996-1997. Erskine, meanwhile, moonlighted with the bluesy, D.C.-based the Boom. The members' outside exploits -- which were generally of a subtler nature -- soon began to make themselves felt in June of 44's music, starting with 1997's transitional Anatomy of Sharks EP.

1998's full-length Four Great Points signaled the band's even more experimental new direction, making greater use of Scharin's interest in electronic music and Erskine's trumpet-playing skills. That year, Scharin also debuted another avant-garde side project, the eclectic Out in Worship (aka Out of Worship). The fourth June of 44 album, 1999's Anahata, expanded on the model of its immediate predecessor, deepening the jazz influence and sampling techniques; there were also substantial contributions from violin/viola player Julie Liu. Anahata was followed later that year by an EP, In the Fishtank; it was part of a series from the Dutch label Konkurrent, which offered limited free studio time to intriguing bands on tour in Europe. It proved to be the final June of 44 release, as the band broke up in 2000. Meadows quickly embarked on two projects, the Letter E and the solo Everlasting the Way, while Erskine played trumpet in Abilene, in addition to several other sideman gigs. Scharin continued with HiM, also playing with Loftus and Mice Parade, among others. Mueller, for his part, subsequently reunited with Rodan guitar mate Jason Noble in the Shipping News.

Engine Takes to the Water (1994)
Tropics And Meridians (1996)
Four Great Points (1998)
In The Fishtank 6 (1999)
Anahata (1999)
The Lion (2000)

Branch Manager

Reston, Virginia is one of the earliest planned communities in the United States. It's located about twenty miles south of Washington and the kids that lived there would regularly come into DC for gigs. However, the bands that formed out there did not get much notice in town, and this situation created a bit of a satellite scene. By the early 1990s Branch Manager had already made a name for themselves within this scene and were beginning to create an impact in DC as well. Those who saw them swore by them, and a cult-following developed. After releasing two singles on local labels (one on VHF Records, and the other on Level Records) Branch Manager eventually caught the attention of the folks at Dischord and released two albums on the label in 1995 and 1997. During these years Branch Manager toured extensively, including a number of dates with Fugazi, and it was after a particularly grueling trip in 1997 that the band cracked up and disappeared from sight.

Branch Manager (1995)
Anything Tribal (1997)

The Reactionaries

At the time, San Pedro was more receptive to classic rock cover bands than to original acts, and nearby Los Angeles' punk scene was not yet prepared to take a band from San Pedro seriously. One band that did take the group seriously was another struggling L.A. punk band, Black Flag.

Tamburovich's influence and input remained with his friends and former bandmates for the whole of the Minutemen's existence; Watt, Boon, and Tamburovich co-founded New Alliance Records in 1980; Tamburovich would contribute lyrics to several Minutemen songs and sometimes travel with the band as a roadie.

No formal studio recordings of The Reactionaries exist, but a demo recording (possibly from a rehearsal tape) made in January 1979 of the song "Tony Gets Wasted In Pedro" appears on the Minutemen's odds-and-sods compilation album The Politics of Time, first released in 1984 on New Alliance. When Tamburovich died of a bacterial infection in 2003, Watt played "Tony Gets Wasted In Pedro" in tribute to his friend on his internet radio show The Watt From Pedro Show.

In 2005 several more unreleased Reactionaries songs were provided for free download by Watt to the fan audio site Corndogs.org.

In 2009, a San Pedro-based independent label, Water Under The Bridge Records, began working on, restoring, and releasing the Reactionaries first record with the permission of Mike Watt. The first side of the LP contains ten songs that The Reactionaries recorded in George Hurley's Shed in 1979, fully re-mastered from the original tape. The second side contains the same ten songs re-recorded by four decades of different San Pedro musicians (including George Hurley and Mike Watt). The record, titled 1979, was officially released on February 20, 2010 and can be purchased at the Water Under The Bridge Records online store and other various outlets.



Flower was a New York City indie rock band (June 1986 – 1990) formed by guitarist Richard Baluyut (later of Versus and Whysall Lane), singer/bassist Ian James (later of Cell and French), drummer Rob Hale (also later of Versus), and keyboardist Yosh Najita (formerly of synth band Groan Box). After recording the Crash EP with Kramer at Noise New York studios, Najita and Hale were replaced by Richard's brother Edward Baluyut (also later of Versus) on guitar and Andrew Bordwin (later of Ruby Falls) on drums, and Richard began sharing lead vocal duties. Their final album Hologram Sky was not released domestically in the US, and Ian James was briefly replaced by Fontaine Toups before the band dissolved in 1990. Following the renewed interest in the band generated by the success of Toups and the Baluyuts in Versus, high profile indie label Simple Machines compiled all the band's recordings (except Crash) into Concrete Sky in 1994, and the group reunited for some promotional shows.

Concrete Sky (1987-1990 Compilation)

Skull Kontrol

Skull Kontrol was formed in Autumn 1997 in Washington DC, and was originally based around the musical assault trio of Brooks Headly, Kim Thompson (The Delta 72 & Cupid Car Club) and Chris Thomson (Circus Lupus, Los Mordidas and Monorchid, Ignition, and the awesome one 7" only Fury). After the demise of the Monorchid Andy Coronado was added to the Skull Kontrol mix to avoid any lazy power-trio comparisons.
The group played its first few formative gigs as a real live band with Chris sharing both guitar and vocal duties. After deciding that most bands with a singer/guitarist were lame, Chris opted to be an unburdened singer.
Skull Kontrol toured the US graciously infecting locals with the concept that you don't need costumes, public relations, guarantees, or even a record to tour and perform music - just energy, attitude and the desire to rock.
The collective goal of the group was to avoid the prevalent "professional working band" attitude that had recently infected so many underground bands. They felt that something had to be done to strip away the layers of bullshit and corporate standards of performance embraced by so many of today's groups. Substituting instead a stripped down energetic sound and a solid punk dynamic they were more than able to meet this challenge.
Skull Kontrol says in all your forms of daily life please deviate beyond all means of capture. They want you to please think before you buy some contemporary "flavour of the month" thinking-person's music or some major label's idea of the emperor's new clothes, as it is only a matter of time before you discover your mistake and realise how right they were after all.

Deviate Beyond All Means Of Capture (1999)
Zzzzzz... (2000)
Midgets Tape


High school friends Geoff Sanoff and Nick Pellicciotto met Sohrab Habibion in the Hung Jury Pub during a Lemonheads and Government Issue show in the spring of 1987. In the parking lot of a high school talent show that fall, the three first came across Steve Ward, whose band performed a particularly impressive rendition of "White Rabbit." They all agreed that Happy Go Licky was the best band in Washington D.C., and thus their musical alliance was sealed. After helping Nick's hardcore band, At Wits End, play their final shows, Sohrab joined Nick in forming a new group. Having been inspired by the DC hardcore scene and the classic British post-punk of Wire and Gang of Four, they asked Steve Ward to play bass guitar with them.

In 1989 Edsel started DeSoto Records to release their first 7" ("My Manacles"/"Wooden Floors"). The label was borrowed by their friends in Jawbox, whose members continue to run it quite successfully today. After a few more singles, including a contribution to the first Simple Machines release, Edsel went into the studio to work on their first album. The band recorded 10 songs during July 1990 at Inner Ear Studios and April 1991 at Oz Studios. This material would make up Strange Loop, released on Merkin Records in 1992. Over the course of the recording process Eli Janney (Girls Against Boys), who was engineering and mixing the sessions, joined the band to handle sampler duties. He subsequently left early in 1992 to pursue Girls Against Boys full-time.

Steve Raskin, a high school friend of Eli's who had previously helped the band with artwork, was added to the band, giving Edsel a second guitar player and backing singer. Soon after that Steve Ward decided to leave, making room for bassist Geoff Sanoff, who had just graduated from college. In September of 1992 and throughout the spring and summer of 1993, the group recorded The Everlasting Belt Co. in Arlington, Virginia at Inner Ear with Don Zientara and WGNS Studios with Geoff Turner. This experimental and very ambitious project was their first of two albums for Grass Records, a subsidiary of Dutch East India and sister label to the highly-regarded Homestead Records. With several releases in their catalog, Edsel began touring regularly, sharing the stage with bands like Shudder To Think, Engine Kid, Scrawl and Eggs. They also released a split 7" with Jawbox the same year ("Savory"/"Penaluna").

In 1994, the multitalented Nick Pellicciotto stepped out to pursue other creative projects. His spot was filled by their friend John Dugan, who was temporarily on leave from Chisel. This lineup traveled all over the country in 1994, playing with indie rock staples Velocity Girl, Pitchblende, Polvo, Rodan, and Brainiac. After extensive touring, Edsel returned to the studio in August -- this time at a cabin owned by Sohrab's parents in Shenandoah National Park. Dubbed "Humidity Lounge," the cabin was uncomfortably hot and muggy, but the week spent there with engineer Steve Palmieri proved to be intensely creative. They finished up their work at Steve's Baltimore studio, Oz, and the resulting album, Detroit Folly, was their last release for Grass.

When John Dugan returned to his fulltime drumming duties for Chisel, he was replaced by Bostonian Steven Albert, who had briefly played drums with Steve Raskin's sisters' band, Scarce. After touring the US with their new drummer, the group returned to DC and spent April of 1995 feverishly writing new material. Full of excitement and curiosity, the band flew to England to work with producer Anjali Dutt (My Bloody Valentine, Oasis) and engineer Andy Wilkinson (Stereolab, Spiritualized) in Liverpool to begin the Techniques Of Speed Hypnosis sessions at Parr Street Studios. After finishing the record Edsel played their only European show at the Bull & Gate in London.

In September of 1995, Relativity Records released the album to great success on college radio. Unfortunately, due to corporate reorganization, Relativity Records was dissolved on January 1st, 1996 and Sony, the company that owned and absorbed Relativity, chose to drop the band from their hip hop and commercial pop dominated roster. Edsel, like many other indie bands in the mid-90s who signed with major labels, suddenly found themselves without a home.

Though disappointed and slightly fractured, the band decided to carry on, recording a pair of songs with the help of studio wizard Geoff Turner at his new WGNS Studios location. These tracks became the Perched Like A Parasite 7" picture disc for Chicago's Thick Records. Later that year Edsel took those tapes to the Place Studios in New York to continue working. With engineer/producer Andy Wilkinson and engineer Gary Maurer they remixed the 2 tracks from the single and added two others, including a multilingual atmospheric duet with Ivy's Dominique Durand. This became the Extended Play EP on Radiopaque/Dischord Records, released in 1997. As the band members' lives began to move in separate directions this would prove to be Edsel's last official release.

Edsel played their final show for a friend's going away party at the famous New York City indie rock club Brownies on Valentine's Day in 2000. The following summer the band flirted with the idea of recording and releasing some new material, but it proved to be too difficult to get everyone together in the studio. And though the members of Edsel are all currently busy with their careers and various music projects, they still remain in contact with one another.

Strange Loop (1991)
Everlasting Belt Co.(1993)
Split with Jawbox (1993)
Detroit Folly (1994)
Techniques Of Speed Hypnosis (1995)
Extended Play (1997)

Storm And Stress

Chicago experimental indie rock trio Storm & Stress was guitarist + singer Ian Williams (of Battles & ex- Don Caballero), drummer Kevin Shea & bassist Erich Ehm. The band recorded their 1st album "Storm & Stress", w/ Steve Albini in 1997. It was released in July of that same year on Touch & Go. In June 1999, Storm & Stress recorded their follow-up album with Jim O'Rourke, this time with guest appearances by not only Micah Gaugh, who also performed on their first release, but by drummer Jim Black, as well. Under Thunder & Fluorescent Lights was released in 2000 on Touch & Go.

Ian Williams : Currently living in NYC & playing in Battles (Warp) & Kevin Shea : Solo artist under the name "People" + drummer w/ diff. band.

Storm&Stress (1997)
Under Thunder & Fluorescent Lights (2000)

Ex Models

The band, based around brothers Shahin and Shahryar Motia, was started while they were in high school. They reunited after college to make their first album, Other Mathematics, released in 2001 on Ace Fu Records. The subject of their lyrics ranges from sex to Jean Baudrillard and his philosophy about simulacra. For example, on "The Birth Of Disneyland", vocalist Shahin Motia sings "See the grown-ups act like children. It's a way of living."

Their second album, Zoo Psychology, was released two years later. It took ideas from the first album, but broke more rules. The songs became more dirty and noisy with peculiar time changes. By this time, bass guitarist Mike Masiello left the band. Zach Lehrhoff replaced him, providing vocals as well.

By 2005 the band had been reduced to the duo of Shahin and Zach and a third album, Chrome Panthers, was released marking a new direction, even more repetitive and minimalist, which the band dubbed "Fundustrial Noise". Contributing on record and, occasionally, live was drummer Kid Millions of Oneida. Eventually the rhythms became more primal and when performing live the band would utilize as many as three drummers.

In 2007, the 'classic' line-up of both Motias, Zach and drummer Jake Fiedler performed in NYC's East River Park.

However the reunion with Fiedler was short lived, with the remaining three commencing to play out as Knyfe Hyts, a more metal-oriented outfit.

Other Mathematics (2001)
Split with The Seconds (2002)
Zoo Psychology (2003)
Split with Holy Molar (2004)
Chrome Panthers (2005)

Dain Bramage

Dain Bramage was formed in December 1985 out of the remains of the band Mission Impossible. In 1984 David Smith was playing drums in a band called Freak Baby when the band decided to add a second guitarist - Dave Grohl, who had recently met Freak Baby bassist Brian Samuels at a local gig. Freak Baby had rehearsed with Grohl prior to this. They went into the original Laundry Room Studio and recorded a demo with David Smith on drums, Dave Grohl on guitar, Bryant Mason on guitar, Brian Samuels on bass and Chris Page as vocals.

This lineup lasted 6 months. One time - as rehearsal was wrapping up - Grohl asked if he could play drums, Smith grabbed the bass; Bryant and Chris joined in (Brian wasn't present.) The four guys were happy with the way things went and reformed as the four piece known as Mission Impossible. The new lineup was a vast improvement, and they began playing more shows. Mission Impossible went into Laundry Room studios and re-recorded some of the Freak Baby songs and recorded some new tracks. Soon after they recorded this demo, they duetted with the fellow D.C.-located band, Lunch Meat. They ended up playing some shows together and remained in Washington D.C. Eventually they would go on to release a Lunch Meat/Mission Impossible 7" on Dischord Records.

Mission Impossible continued up until Bryant and Chris graduated from high school and continued education at college. At this point Reuben Radding entered the scene in the infamous first jam in Grohl's living room in Springfield, Virginia. After that first jam they had 6 or 7 songs together (Reuben had improvised vocals).

Dain Bramage ended in March 1987 when Grohl quit without any warning to join Scream. Reuben and Smith tried to form a new band but Reuben later commented, "After you've spent a couple years with Dave Grohl as your drummer it's easy to feel like no other drummer exists."

I Scream Not Coming Down (1986)

Saccharine Trust

Too early to be post-hardcore but too uncommon for any simple classification, this Southern California quartet doesn't try to create a blizzard of noise — they go at it more artfully, but with equally ear-wrenching results. On Paganicons, singer Joaquin Milhouse Brewer tunelessly barks lyrics (as in "We Don't Need Freedom" and "A Human Certainty") that aren't bad in a pretentious mock-intellectual vein; the music is loudly abrasive, but with spaces and dynamics largely uncommon to the genre.

From Brewer's back cover credit of "vocals and sermons" to his complex, provocative lyrics (despite numerous misspellings on the lyric sheet), Saccharine Trust — guitarist Joe Baiza plus a new rhythm section — takes an abrupt religious turn on Surviving You, Always. "Yhwh on Acid," "Lot's Seed," "Remnants" and "Our Discovery" all contain biblical imagery and religious references, but in a context that obscures and reorients the themes well beyond easy recognition and comprehension. Musically, Sac Trust uses the punk idiom like avant-jazz, liberating the vocals to function semi-independently as blurt poetry, while the band goes through tight formation riffs that are carefully structured but not really within traditional song form. Sophisticated, and engrossing once you get past the daunting attack. (The first two albums were later joined as The Sacramental Element cassette.)

Proceeding further into the experimental realms generally reserved for the "new music" folks, Saccharine Trust attempted something really unusual with Worldbroken. The LP was not only recorded live, it was improvised on the spot! Joined by ex-Minutemen bassist Mike Watt, Brewer and two surviving sidemen rise to the challenge, producing a loose but controlled-sounding jam record (no punks here) that reveals its total extemporaneousness only in the rambling narrative of Brewer's lyrics.

On the jazzy We Became Snakes, a five-piece lineup (with sax and a new bassist) returns to the old-fashioned way: write 'em, rehearse 'em and then record 'em. Watt produced the record, which again reflects Brewer's religious fixation. The sonic formula includes syncopated rhythm vamps, lots of riffy solos on sax and guitar and dramatic vocal recitations. Imaginative and far-reaching, if not exactly enjoyable or accessible.

Over the course of 75 gripping minutes (gleaned from a vault stocked with seven years' worth of live tapes made by machines of wildly differing audio quality), Past Lives paints a slightly more complete (if less stark) picture of Saccharine Trust's awesome live capabilities as both inward-looking improvisers and kick-out-the-jams shamen. Quick cuts between the two facets that also crisscross chronological "order" create some jarring juxtapositions, but that's probably the idea. Only one song is repeated from Worldbroken; the seven tracks that are otherwise unavailable include one rare glimpse of the band, (spiritual) lampshades on heads, ripping through Black Flag's "Six Pack."

Freed from freedom's shackles, Brewer created a brooding, cohesive solo album of surprisingly concise, typically dark guitar rock. Though he's still as obsessive/compulsive as anyone tilling rock-poetry's increasingly infertile soil, Brewer seems to have toned down his more hysterical Elmer Gantry approach — even when petitioning the Lord. You'll only wince once (upon hearing the cover of the Doors' "Peace Frog," a reprise from Past Lives) over the course of the many listens you'll need — and want —
to breathe in this essence rare. [Ira Robbins/David Sprague]


Brainiac began in 1992 as the basement experiments of Dayton, OH natives Tim Taylor (vocals, synth), and Juan Monasterio (bass), who first met playing cello in fifth grade. Upon completing the lineup with Michelle Bodine (guitar) and Tyler Trent (drums), they released two full-lengths and toured vigorously, establishing themselves as the latest peg in Ohio’s diverse musical timeline. In 1994, Michelle left the band and was replaced by John Schmersal. After recording a 7” with Steve Albini for Sup Pop, the band recorded a handful of songs with Kim Deal (of The Pixies), which became their Touch and Go debut single Internationale.

1996 saw the release of their Touch and Go full-length debut, Hissing Prigs in Static Couture. Like their two previous full-lengths, this was also produced by Eli Janney, and saw the band use less Moog and more random electronic gadgets and noisemakers. Jim O’Rourke produced 1997’s Electroshock for President EP, in which Brainiac continued their transition into a more electronic rock band. They began to receive serious interest from major labels. On May 23 1997, however, only weeks after the EP’s release and the band’s return from a European tour supporting Beck, Tim lost his life in a car accident in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. He was 28. Guitarist John Schmersal went on to form Enon.

Superduperseven 7 (1992)
Smack Bunny Baby (1993)
Bonsai Superstar (1994)
Internationale (1995)
Hissing Prigs in Static Couture (1996)
Electro Shock for President (1997)


Minneapolis based trio which recorded a number of releases before breaking up in 1996. Drummer Pete Beeman later joined Burning Brides.

Glued 7'' (1993)
Get A Witness (1993)
Quick, Fast, In a Hurry (1995)
The Alienation Index Survey (1996)
Guzzard & Today Is The Day & Chokebore

Das Damen

Das Damen were one of the more metallic acts in the legendary SST stable, melding '60s psychedelia and heavy acid rock with the noisy, punk-derived alternative rock typical of the label. Instead of delving into screaming white noise, along the lines of labelmates Dinosaur Jr., Das Damen preferred warm, trippy, high-volume distortion. Their early material was given over to improvisational jamming, but as they developed their songwriting, they threw in more complex rhythms and time signature shifts. Taking their name from the German term for "ladies," Das Damen were formed in New York in 1984 by vocalist/guitarist Jim Walters, guitarist Alex Totino, bassist Phil Leopold Von Trapp, and drummer Lyle Hyser. The group released its six-song, self-titled debut EP in 1986 on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label; it was quickly picked up by SST, which was also Sonic Youth's label at the time.Das Damen's first full-length for SST was 1987's Jupiter Eye, a highly improvisational record that nodded to the spaced-out acid jams of the late '60s and early '70s. The follow-up, 1988's Triskaidekaphobe, was a more structured and melodic hard rock album, but its follow-up, the Marshmellow Conspiracy EP, achieved far more notoriety. One of the four tracks, "Song for Michael Jackson to $ell," was actually a straight-up cover of the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour," credited to the members of Das Damen to protest having to pay Jackson royalties (Jackson had just outbid Paul McCartney for the rights to the Beatles' entire catalog). Jackson's lawyers got wind of the stunt and ordered all copies of the EP (pressed on pink vinyl) removed from distributors' warehouses and destroyed. SST later reissued the EP in a three-song form, but the controversy helped spell the end of Das Damen's career with SST.The band moved on to the Minneapolis-based Twin/Tone label and released Mousetrap in 1989. Although it boasted more polished production, it failed to make any inroads at college radio. Das Damen recorded one further album, the 1990 live set Entertaining Friends, which was performed at CBGB's and released on the German label City Slang. In 1991, they moved to Sub Pop for a one-off single, "High Anxiety," but subsequently disbanded.

Jupiter Eye (1987)
Triskaidekaphobe (1988)
Marshmellow Conspiracy (1988)
Mousetrap (1989)
High Anxiety (1991)

New Wet Kojak

New Wet Kojak began in 1995 in Washington D.C. Two members, Scott McCloud and Johnny Temple, also play in New York City’s Girls Against Boys. Geoff Turner did time with Gray Matter and Nick Pelleciotto, the fourth member of the group, came from Edsel. Charles Bennington and Nathan Larson (Shudder To Think) also contributed heavily to their sound by supplying the horn section. New Wet Kojak created an overtly seductive aesthetic on both of their records- utilizing the saxophone, whispered vocals, and reserved instrumentation.

Self-titled (1995)
Nasty International (1997)
Do Things (2000)
No. 4 (2001)
This Is the Glamorous (2003)

Stanford Prison Experiment

A lot of bands come up with names they live to regret (Hootie and the Blowfish, Moonpools and Caterpillars, Beatles), but you'd have to search around to top the stylistic misapprehension conveyed by the handle (the title of a classic sociology project) attached to this at-large Los Angeles rock group. Carefully covering the Minutemen's "It's Expected I'm Gone" but otherwise playing tunefully thrusting Rage Against the Tool Jam riffrock on its debut album, the quartet racks up a big, buzzing guitar noise with intelligent excoriating anti-authority and anti-personal lyrics sung by Mario Jimenez. Co-produced by World Dom label owner (and former Gang of 4, Shriekback and Low Pop Suicide bassist) Dave Allen, songs like "Written Apology," "Sheepshit" and "Super Monkey" thunder along tightly, avoiding bluster while managing ferocious pressure. The only thing missing is any individual style.

With ace producer Ted Nicely's help, Stanford Prison Experiment hit upon a more focused plan for its second album, and set about becoming a West Coast Fugazi on The Gato Hunch. Guitarist Mike Starkey's clangorous feedback-edged razor burns and the Davey Latter/Mark Fraser rhythm section's steady foot-shifting power clearly set the sonic agenda, while Jimenez — tilting his voice at a familiar semi-melodic D of C angle — sings out impressionistically expressed anger at everything from God to conformists to "Hardcore Idiot." For all the derivation, The Gato Hunch is a much more focused and compelling album than the debut and leaves the impression than this Experiment might ultimately discover something worth knowing.[Ira Robbins]

Self-Titled (1994)
The Gato Hunch (1995)
Wrecreation (1998)


Sometimes referred to as slowcore, C-Clamp placed emphasis on mood, texture and rhythm. Known for their dense layering and simple, yet beautiful vocal harmonies, C-Clamp released only two full length albums in their career. Although they performed live infrequently, they managed to share the stage with many noteworthy bands of that era, including Braid, Castor, Dianogah, Karate and Hum.
Nick Macri went on to perform in the bands Heroic Doses, Euphone, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Lonesome Organist, The Analog Reception, and The Zincs, as well as with the artists Bobby Conn and Jeremy Enigk.

The Meta-Matics

The Meta-Matics formed in Washington, DC during the summer of 1994 with the intention of cultivating their own musical language. Influenced by ethnic folk music, jazz, classical, and no-wave; they solidified their unique sound quickly, impressing upon bands such as Bikini Kill and Fugazi to take them along on tour. The raw energy and the joy of the music was the heartbeat of The Meta-Matics. They lived up to their name, destroying themselves after 1 1/2 years. The music continues to influence those coming from the punk idiom who want to break free of the self-imposed constraints. A truly groundbreaking band, and historical artifact. This discography contains their LP, which was released on vinyl only on Slowdime Records (and has been out of print for over 2 years), their tracks from their split 7" with The Make-Up, as well as a few compilation tracks.


Aaron Brenner: Guitar
Franke Vogl: Bass
Malcolm McDuffie: Drums
Chuck Bettis: Vocals

Aaron went on to Airport Bar. Franke went on to Rarafre+Am, Et At It, and Heth. Malcolm went on to Crom-Tech and Hollow . Chuck went on to All Scars, Trance , and founded Mass Particles Records.

Complete Discography

Beat Happening

Beat Happening is an underground pop band, formed in Olympia, Washington in 1982. The line-up consists of Calvin Johnson on guitar and vocals, Bret Lunsford on guitar and drums, and Heather Lewis on drums, guitar, and vocals. They democratically rotated instruments. The members met while attending The Evergreen State College and decided to tour Japan, armed with more charisma than musical studies, they recorded their first release (Three Tea Breakfast) in Japan in 1983. Those recordings were released by K on cassette in 1984. In 1985 Beat Happening recorded their first LP Beat Happening. Beat Happening’s first few releases were split between K and other labels such as Sub Pop, Rough Trade and Homestead Records until 1996, when the re-issues kept only the K shield. The fruitful output from 1987 to 1992 included two additional EPs (including a split with Ellensburg, WA’s The Screaming Trees), four singles, a cassette tape and four albums (Jamboree, Dreamy, Black Candy, and You Turn Me On). In 2000, Beat Happening regrouped to record the single “Angel Gone” for K’s International Pop Underground series of 7-inch records. In 2001 the band was profiled in Michael Azerrad’s book Our Band Could Be Your Life, written about bands who were hugely influential in establishing the current landscape of independent record labels. In 2002, K released Crashing Through, a compilation of Beat Happening's work in the form of a 7-disc box set. In addition to his solo albums and performances, Calvin Johnson followed Beat Happening with Dub Narcotic Sound System, Sons of the Soil, and currently plays with The Hive Dwellers and DJs as Selector Dub Narcotic, and continues to wear a lab coat, engineer, mix and make music in the Dub Narcotic Studios. Bret continues to operate Knw-Yr-Own Records, an independent label based in Lunsford’s hometown of Anacrotes, Washington – where he also manages What the Heck Fest, an annual music festival and continues to play with D+.

Beat Happening (1985)
Jamboree (1988)
Split with Screaming Trees
Black Candy (1989)
Split with The Vaselines (1991)
You Turn Me On (1992)
Music to Climb the Apple Tree (2003)


Shorty was officially born in 1991 under the guise of vocalist Al Johnson and guitarist Mark Shippy. Along with drummer Todd Lamparelli and bassist Luke Frantom, they released three singles and two albums. Their backgrounds were diverse, which contributed to their unique sound. Shippy had formal instruction on piano and did a lot of guitar experimentation, while Johnson had taken flute, piano, and guitar lessons. Lamparelli learned the drums at an early age and performed in school jazz ensembles. Frantom had taken up bass after playing tuba in his high school marching band. When the four of them finally developed Shorty, they made the unconscious decision to hone chaotic blocks of loud rock noise pulling from influences as disparate as Van Halen, drummer Stewart Copeland, Motörhead, and Gang of Four.

Last One In My Mouth Is A Jerk 7'' (1992)
Niggerhat 7'' (1992)
Kaput! 7'' (1993)
Thumb Days (1993)
Fresh Breath (1994)

Cerberus Shoal

Starting with their punk rock roots upon their 1994 formation, Cerberus Shoal relocated from Maine to Boston when the first line up of Caleb Mulkerin (guitar), Chriss Sutherland (bass/ vocals), Tom Rogers (drums) and Josh Ogden (guitar) was established. After a handful of shows at ABC No Rio, a self-titled EP and a full blown US tour all before the end of 1995, a couple line up changes would progress the Cerberus Shoal sound to a poppier, mellower appeal. With Kristen Hedges replacing Ogden on guitar and vocals, and the addition of David Mulder on keyboards, the two EP Lighthouse in Athens Parts One and Two and And Farewell to Hightide... were released in 1996 on Tree Records; both of these featuring Cerberus Shoal's stylistic changes. After Hedges departed later on that year, the single "Breathing Machine" came out in 1997 following another two song EP Elements of Structure/ Permanence, clocking in at 50 minutes total. With Mulder leaving the band before another tour of the United States, Cerberus Shoal quickly borrowed Thomas Kovaceic (guitar/ vocals) and Tim Harbeson (keyboards/ trumpet) from the band Tarpigh before recruiting them full time. Homb was released in 1999 and Crash My Moon Yacht followed in mid-2000.

Cerberus Shoal (1995)
Split with Still Life (1996)
And Fareweel To Hightide (1996)
Elements Of Structure & Permanence (1997)
Homb (1999)