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The Swan Singles Collection 1963-1967The crunching, smack-in-your-face power chords driving hard rock's thundering heart can be traced directly back to Link Wray.
His pulverizing sound forged a new path for rock 'n' roll guitar, and he was never more
lethal than during his 1963-1967 tenure at Philadelphia-based Swan Records.
Link unleashed some of the nastiest licks of his phenomenal recording career on the mighty Swan seven-inchers, all of which are corralled on this Sundazed double 180gm gatefold edition, in crunchily accurate sound courtesy of the original mono master tapes!1. Jack The Ripper
2. The Black Widow
3. Week End
4. Turnpike U.S.A.
5. The Sweeper
6. Run Chicken Run
7. The Shadow Knows
8. My Alberta
9. Deuces Wild
10. Summer Dream
11. Good Rockin' Tonight
12. I'll Do Anything For You
14. Hang On
15. Please Please Me
16. Rumble '65
17. Girl From The North Country
19. Hurt Me So
20. The Fuzz
21. Ace Of Spades
22. Batman Theme
24. Ace Of Spades
25. Hidden Charms
26. Let The Good Times Roll
27. Soul Train$36.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Link Wray & The WraymenImport1. Caroline
3. Right Turn
7. Hand Clapper
12. Studio Blues$27.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Jack The RipperWith his rawboned and ravaged instrumentals from the early 60s, Link Wray single-handedly made the guitar the ultimately cool instrument of choice for a whole new generation. Wielding a Danelectro Longhorn, Link Wraywho created the blueprint for everyone from the Kingsmen to the Cramps with his flame-throwing soundproceeded to outdo himself with this rare LP from 1963, now corralled on this exact-repro, Sundazed High-Definition Vinyl edition, in crunchily perfect sound courtesy of the original Swan mono master tapes!1. Mr. Guitar
2. My Beth
3. Deacon Jones
4. Steel Trap
5. Cross Ties
6. Jack The Ripper
7. Fat Back
8. Run Chicken Run
10. Big Ben
11. Mash Potato Party
12. Rumble$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bring It On!While never dropping their trademark sexy, horror-flick flair, their new CD, produced by Bad Religion's Brett Gurewitz, reveals new depths of songwriting. Brash, Link Wray guitars, singer Patricia's sultry petulance, throbbing standup bass; all served up in loving tribute to the brooding pop of '80s icons like Blondie and Siouxsie Sioux. With two European headlining tours, performances on BBC1 and Jimmy Kimmel, and a major Warped Tour under their belts, HorrorPops are set to build on the musical success of their 2004 debut, Hell Yeah. And kick some ass.1.Freaks in Uniforms
2.Hit 'N Run
3.Bring It On!
4.It's Been So Long
6.You vs. Me
7.Crawl Straight Home
9.Walk Like a Zombie
10.Where You Can't Follow
11.Caught in a Blonde
13.Who's Leading You Now$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Smell Of FemaleRed Colored Vinyl
Released in 1983 after a lengthy court battle with IRS Records, Smell of Female originally contained just the first six songs. These, plus out-of-control ad-lib freakouts "Beautiful Gardens" and "She Said" (previously omitted due to legal restrictions) were recorded live at New Yorks famous Peppermint Lounge. There is nothing like the sound of The Cramps, and this set distills that cross of swamp water, moonshine and nitro down to a dangerous and unstable musical substance, captured live like a crazed animal. They rocked like few others could.
Additional bonus track "Surfin Dead" was recorded at A&M Studios in Hollywood and originally appeared on the 1984 soundtrack for Return of the Living Dead-when asked to write a "pop song" for the movie, The Cramps (by then a three-piece) threw into their cauldron a mix of Link Wray, Jan & Dean, Davie Allen, The Righteous Brothers, bongos, Phil Spector and eye of newt.1. Thee Most Exalted Potentate Of Love
2. You Got Good Taste
3. Call of the Wighat
4. Faster Pussycat
5. I Ain't Nuthin' But a Gorehound
6. Psychotic Reaction
7. Beautiful Gardens
8. She Said
9. Surfin' Dead$18.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Cleveland '78Orange Colored Vinyl
Two giants of classic rockabilly/early rock n' roll captured live on stage in one phenomenal concert performance from 1978, Robert Gordon & Link Wray! This limited edition orange vinyl pressing offers the ideal medium for Gordon's powerful yet supple croon and Wray's devastating, razor sharp guitar playing as heard on such classics as "Mystery Train," "Rawhide," "Summertime Blues," the instrumental "Rumble" and lots more!1. If This Is Wrong
2. Mystery Train
3. The Way I Walk
4. The Fool
5. I Sure Miss You
8. Red Hot
9. My Baby Left Me
10. Lonesome Train
11. Five Days, Five Days
12. Summertime Blues
13. Twenty Flight Rock
14. Fire / Let's Play House
15. Endless Sleep$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
IcesIces is a celebration of flight, levity, and the conviction that you can leave earth. You take wing in an airplane, you go to real places when you dream, you have out-of-body experiences, you get high, you lose yourself in someone else.
When we started work on these songs, I was beginning a gradual move to California, constantly traveling back and forth from New York. I was experimenting. I was falling in love. Our studio in the Hudson Valley was full of electronics and computers and the sounds of future ships sailing through the vastness of space, and I sometimes forgot where I was. The first songs we wrote were called flying 1, then flying 2, and so on, which eventually evolved into songs on the album. Flight became a metaphor for the ignition of the imagination. The process created a lightness in me, a freedom and positive energy that I'd never before felt or explored.
This recording session became a two year music and spiritual retreat with my psychic twin brother, Eliot. A private journey during which we abandoned old habits and familiar sounds. We got really geeky and experimented in our studio. We obsessed over sympathetic magic, Ancient Aliens, and the NBA. We allowed everything we loved to find its way in: Persian percussion, hip-hop beats, lo-fi, hi-fi, Pakistani pop, Link Wray, Jason Pierce, gospel, dub. We developed new systems; we worked with synthesis, software, and samples; we became producers. The Hudson Valley was home base, but I wanted to keep flying. I wrote songs in California, recorded vocals in Atlanta, and worked with Clams Casino in Brooklyn. For the first time, Lia Ices felt like an inclusive project with its own identity, not just a name.
Ices as a whole is devoted to these certainties. While we have evolved, we are still animals. We respond to planets, patterns, and cycles. We require the sounds of our origins. We live in the future but stay bound to the primitive and primordial. We will always want tribe, we will always want rhythm, we will always need music to guide us into our deepest sense of what it means to be human. So we hear sounds from all over the planet in this album. We devour so much music, and with this album we allowed ourselves to claim bits from all of it.
-LIA ICES1. Tell Me
2. Thousand Eyes
4. Love Ices Over
6. Electric Arc
7. Sweet as Ice
9. How We Are
10. Waves$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
White Lightning: Lost Cadence SessionsSurf, Cycles and Super Guitar Crunch! The kids of 1958 loved 'em, and their first single for Cadence Records shot up the charts like a label owner's dream. This is the fantastic and fiery album that was supposed to have been released as a follow-up to one of the all-time great instrumental classics, the ultra-menacing "Rumble." But faster than you can say "Drag Race," everyone-Cadence label-owner Archie Bleyer included-was talking about this new threat to the morals of American youth. That's why Link and his boys were off the imprint, and this album of prime distorto-guitar-crunch cool remained unreleased for nearly 50 years. Well here it is, and it's every bit as dirty and dangerous as you would expect!1. White Lightning
3. Drag Race
4. Pancho Villa
5. Walking with Link
7. Dance Contest
8. Missing Link
9. Heartbreak Hotel
11. Rebel Rouser
13. The Freeze
14. School Girl$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Law of the Jungle: Swan Demos '64Link Wray has always been the undisputed king of the six-string krunch! Law of the Jungle corrals 14 deadly studio recordings waxed at Ray Vernons studio in 1964 recordings that inexplicably remained shelved for decades. These amp-melting demos represent some of the roughest, toughest Link Wray workouts in existence!1. Bo Diddley
2. Ace of Spades
3. Oh What a Price
4. 5 and 10
5. Run Boy Run
7. Deuces Wild
9. Begin the Beguine
11. Return of Birdland
12. Law of the Jungle
13. My Alberta
14. The Sweeper$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The SwagPut some Swag in your step with the frenzified surf sounds of the Tornadoes! Sundazed is proud to present these super hi-voltage Link Wray rippers from 1962-no party is complete without this!1. The Swag
2. Raw-Hide$9.997 Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Black LightUS only vinyl pressing of their 1998 album of noir-infused dramatic power! Fans of Calexico have already come to expect the unexpected from Tucson, Arizona residents Joey Burns and John Convertino. Calexico?s influences have traditionally come from sources as diverse as Portuguese Fado, 50?s jazz, Gypsy or Romany music and its offshoots, 60?s surf and twang - from Link Wray to Duane Eddy - to the spaghetti western epics of Ennio Morricone. Recorded at Wavelab Studio, Tucson AZ by Craig Schumacher and Nick Luca. For fans of Roots, Folk, Blues and Country.Gypsy's Curse
The Ride (Part II)
Where the Water Flows
The Black Light
Minas De Cobre (For Better Metal)
Over Your Shoulder
Old Man Waltz
Frontera$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Promised Land SoundThe self-titled debut by Promised Land Sound (formerly Promised Land) finds the young Nashville band cooking up some serious red dirt/swamp boogie and country-fried choogle à la Jim Ford, Link Wray, and Dennis Linde, with tunes that are singularly propulsive, but reflectively rooted in the finest vernacular Southern songcraft. Co-produced by Jem Cohen, Andrija Tokic, and Merge artist William Tyler, who also guests on guitar, this album follows a live 7 released on Jack White's Third Man Records.1. The Storm
2. Empty Vase
3. Make It Through the Fall
4. Weed and Wine
6. For His Soul
7. Wandering Habits
8. Money Man
9. River No More
10. Fadin' Fast$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Library Catalog Music Series: Music for MeasurementsThis is a series of instrumental albums designed for possible use in film and TV, for home or office background sounds, or for personal needs, such as relaxation, stimulation, meditation, concentration, or elation. Asthmatic Kitty asked a select group of talented artists to create a unique recording for this collection. Law Of The Least Effort is the name under which Casey Foubert records his instrumental compositions. An homage to 60s and 70s session bands like The Meters, Booker T. And The MGs, The Funk Brothers, the JB's, and guitar players like Clarence White, Link Wray, and JJ Cale.1. Ringing Bell
2. Lobby Call
3. Massive Transaction
4. Law 2
5. Skin Tight
6. Law 1
8. Dig the Garden
9. Law 13
10. Temperature Tongue$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Sub VersesAs with other Akron/Family records, on Sub Verses the idiomatic perspective shifts restlessly. From shamanic hypno-mantras to noise-damaged soul anthems to North african street frenzy, from droning microtonal balladry to modular synthesizer destruction to Lynchian doo-wop and back again. The sound is propulsive and driven by it's physicality, and a disciplined acknowledgement of lineage. Akron/Family is here, with drums and guitars like divining rods calling on Sonny Sharrock and Link Wray, on Elvin Jones and John Bonham, on Jimmy Garrison and Aston Barrett. But when we sing we are calling on ourselves, on the deep river of inspiration that connects the whole.1. No Room
2. Way Up
3. Until The Morning
4. Sand Talk
5. Sometimes I
6. Holy Boredom
7. Sand Time
8. Whole World Is Watching
9. When I Was Young
10. Samurai$20.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
King Of The Waves (Awaiting Repress)Its been nearly five years since Little Barrie has released new material, but King of the Waves definitively proves that its been absolutely worth the wait. Since 2007, the band has dedicated themselves to honing their musical reputations, doing everything from appearing live with Primal Scream to collaborations with the likes of Morrissey and Mark Ronson.
Guitarist/frontman Barrie Cadogan and bassist/vocalist Lewis Wharton are joined on the album by the new addition of drummer/vocalist Virgil Howe, son of renowned Yes guitarist Steve Howe. The resulting sound produced by the band is as intensely electrifying as one might expect from such a dynamic and in-demand group of individuals. It calls to mind an old school Detroit rock n roll showdown between Link Wray and The Creation, with the MC5 and Motowns best in attendance to cheer both sides, and the omnipresent threat of a killer wave lurking just overhead.
Longtime friend and collaborator Edwyn Collins co-produced the album with Little Barrie, and sings backing vocals on the track Money In Paper. Engineer Sebastian Lewsley also returns on King of the Waves, recorded at Collins West Heath Studios in north London. Available on 180g vinyl in gatefold jacket.1. Surf Hell
2. How Come
3. Does The Halo Rust
4. Precious Pressure
5. King Of The Waves
6. Now We're Nowhere
7. Dream To Live
8. Tip It Over
9. I Can't Wait
10. New Diamond Love
11. Money In Paper$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
The BeltHe's from Memphis, equally steeped in Link Wray and Phil Collins. She's a small town girl raised in Muskegon, Michigan, who found her songwriting
inspiration while living on a small boat in the West Indies. Jeffrey Jacob and Angela Gail met in Los Angeles, playing guitar and bass, respectively, in a
loud, grungy guitar band, but the seeds of In the Valley Below were planted one night at SXSW, when they realized there was something special in the
passion and chemistry they shared on-stage.
The two wrote, produced, engineered and recorded their own songs in a home studio. Two of the 11 songs on their debut are mixed by the band, with the
others handled by John Congleton [St.Vincent, David Byrne], Dave Sardy [Oasis, Band of Horses], Lasse Marten [Lykke Li, Peter, Bjorn & John] Angela
and Jeffrey never even intended for In the Valley Below to be a performing band, so it turned out to be a pleasant surprise when the songs were so good
they demanded to be played for people. Filled with emotions from guilt to hope, and encouraging voyeurism, when they announce to their audience, "We
are In the Valley Below," they immediately invite us to join their communal world, one with no boundaries and whose limits are only defined by our
collective imagination.1. Peaches
3. Last Soul
5. Stand Up
6. Dove Season
7. Take Me Back
8. Searching for a Devil
10. Palm Tree Fire
11. King Tide$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Born Under Saturn
Double Heavyweight LP Housed In Gatefold Jacket With Full Color Printed Inner-Sleeves
Ribbon Music is excited to announce the release of Django Django's sophomore album,
Born Under Saturn. This new collection of songs is the work of a confident and experienced
band pushing beyond their DIY roots; it expands on the slippery, indefinable nature of their selftitled
debut, applying all of its giddy art-rock imagination only across a much larger canvas.
Django Django - producer/drummer Dave Maclean, bassist Jim Dixon, guitarist Vinnie Neff and
keyboardist Tommy Grace - met at art school. They took their time evolving a unique openminded
sound in which every influence is welcome yet remains clutter free.
Like before, Django Django are oblivious to genre rules. You'll find Beach Boys harmonies and
Link Wray riffs crisscrossing with house music pianos, classical keyboard flourishes with Jamaican
and African rhythms, and all of it flows. Truly, Born Under Saturn finds magic in the unexplored
spaces between genres.
Underneath it all lies an undeniable knack for a hook, but as pop music this collection of songs
is keenly intelligent. Tracks like the radio-friendly 'Shake & Tremble' ripple muscular guitar riffs
before dissolving into harmonic choral bliss. Standout, 'Reflections,' builds pulsing piano house
before surprising with a knockout clarinet solo - something you won't hear on any other rock
record this year! The album fascinates with ambition, and pulls it off with pop aplomb.1. Giant
2. Shake & Tremble
3. Found You
4. First Light
5. Pause Repeat
8. Shot Down
9. High Moom
10. Beginning To Fade
11. Falling Apart
12. Life We Know$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Rock & Roll NightmareRock & Roll Nightmare is the second album by Southern California's LOS INFERNOS. Legend has it that Jello Biafra was so impressed upon seeing them live on various occasions in various towns that he offered them a deal. Eager to get the ball rolling, we released a single called The Outlaw/Beer Run (Virus 225) in April 1999.
LOS INFERNOS are 5 working-class dudes from Riverside in the glorious Inland Empire. Suburbia nestled between the Mojave desert and L.A. They grew up listening to X, Black Flag, Flesheaters as well as Link Wray, the Ventures and Dick Dale. So its no wonder that musically Los Infernos meld together twang, punk, rockabilly, surf, and a touch of hillbilly & blues. They have built up quite a reputation as a hot live band. So hot, in fact, that their van once caught on fire!
Rock & Roll Nightmare carries on where their debut album Planet Kaos left off. SoCal surf, Riverside rockabilly, and hillbilly hardcore that should appeal to sweaty pompadours, Gear-heads, as well as Fat Wreck-kids.1. We Gotta Get Out
2. Gimmie the Gun
4. It Brings Me Down
7. Nowhere Fast
8. Dead and Gone
11. Rise and Fall
12. When I Was Young$7.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
"A guitar-grinding, drum-smashing desert-crawler,"
"Presents a desert crawl and barrage of collages that carry
across a free play of images and symbols set in sequence
to the sounds"
In Chrome Cactus, The Young have created
a HUGE sounding, timeless rock album that
reinforces and revitalizes everything that is
great about American Rock Music in 2014.
Taking influence from early ZZ Top, Link Wray,
Lungfish, Dead Moon - Chrome Cactus is a ball
of power and controlled feedback disguised as
ten of the catchiest songs you'll hear this year.
Chrome Cactus is a far darker version of Austin's
The Young than ever before. The breezy
optimism of their earlier albums has been
switched out for sinister, creeping dread in both
the lyrics and music.
The rhythm section of drummer Ryan Maloney
and new bassist Lucas Wedow drive a heavy
foundation for guitarists Hans Zimmerman
and Kyle Edwards, who have reached dizzying
new heights. Expertly produced by fellow
sonic assassin Tim Green (Nation of Ulysses,
The Fucking Champs), Chrome Cactus is the
moment where Zimmerman's vocal delivery
is perfectly matched with the skillful, intuitive
interplay, which at this point is now fully realized.1. Metal Flake
2. Cry Of Tin
3. Chrome Jamb
4. Moondog First Quarter
5. Apaches Throat
7. Ramona Cruz
8. Dressed In Black
9. Slow Death
10. Blow The Scum Away$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Undivided Heart & SoulUndivided Heart & Soul, produced by Dan Molad (Lucius) and
McPherson, and developed largely in the studio (that studio being the historic
RCA Studio B in Nashville), carries a sense of immediacy and irreverence.
"In writing this record, I threw several handfuls of caution to the wind.
Lyrically, I was allowing myself to be exposed in a way I never have before.
Concurrently, maybe as some sort of a self-defense mechanism, the guitars
got fuzzier and louder. The first day at RCA was like being in church...
by the second day, it was a high school band's rehearsal space."
Putting the hands of Dan Molad on the wheel of the record ensured that
the music didn't take too many expected turns. "Having toured with
Lucius and befriended Dan, I knew he was the guy to push my buttons
and challenge me to try new things. He's a tireless worker. He's constantly
tinkering away on something... and music just falls out of him."
The vintage recording equipment and instruments still housed
in RCA Studio B greatly informed the direction of the record. "Each night,
at the end of tracking, someone would invariably say, 'You wanna put vibes
on this?', speaking of the old RCA Vibraphone. I mean, you can hear THAT
vibraphone on Roy Orbison's 'Crying'... we couldn't keep our hands off of it.
It guided some of the songs into some strange and wonderful places.
'Lucky Penny' took such a cool turn once Ray (Jacildo, keys) added some to it.
We wrote several songs on the piano that Floyd Cramer played 'Last
Date' on. We were soaking up so much of the phantom energy in
that room, it led to some incredible sonic territory."
"Most folks know us for our take on vintage R&B and early Rock N' Roll.
The past year, I've been digging so much into the heavier, brasher sounds of
early Rock N' Roll... from bands like The Sonics, Link Wray, and into some
early British Rock such as The Creation... these influences feature heavily in
these songs. The tunes that showed up weren't exactly always in familiar
territory, and... we greeted them as welcome strangers. They have a lot
of heart... and that's what Rock N' Roll should always have."1. Desperate Love
2. Crying's Just A Thing You Do
3. Lucky Penny
4. Hunting For Sugar
5. On The Lips
6. Undivided Heart & Soul
7. Bloodhound Rock
8. Style (Is A Losing Game)
10. Under The Spell Of City Lights
11. Let's Get Out Of Here While We're Young$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
It's AliveSeattle's La Luz recorded their debut EP, Damp Face, in a small trailer on a hot August day. But barring the inevitable "no-AC-in-the-van" summer tour calamity, La Luz runs cool. Their brand of coolness isn't about distance or affect; it's a mood, and-sue me, but I'm about to totally rip off Zelda Fitzgerald: Something about this music vibrates to the dusky, dreamy smell of dying moons and shadows. So yeah, that kind of cool.
Still, La Luz's live shows, more than most these days, are about connection. It's evident that the four ridiculously talented ladies on stage are not only playing music with each other, but for each other. And they engage their audience as well. Like a proper punk band-which they are not- they give you shit for not dancing. They convey a gritty self-possession, a sense that they've been there and back again. And, like the expert, but seemingly effortless, surf licks and meandering bass lines that rise and fall throughout their songs, their mocking is playful and dreamy and disarming enough to get most of the crowd (and sometimes the keyboard player) dancing down the center line of a soul train.
But as any half-assed Freudian will tell you, there can be no meaningful connection without first weathering some dark and lonely times. Here comes the chilly part: What makes La Luz stand out-and stand out fast-the band has only been playing together for a year and people took notice almost immediately-is that this is a band that embodies that most elusive slant on the human condition: longing, and the fleeting relief that tags alongside deep desire.
In Spanish, La Luz means "light" and that's the perfect thing to evoke when your songs give the illusion of veering in the opposite direction. But lift out most any lyric-which is a good excuse to give a closer listen to the delicate, four-part harmonies that are fast becoming the band's signature-and you'll find that the aches and pains of love and loss, of living in a world where no foothold is ever a promise-all this is delivered with a nuanced dose of perfectly timed exhilaration, like the whole thing might just be worth it in the end.
Last spring, La Luz returned to that steamy trailer park to record It's Alive - the much-anticipated follow up to Damp Face - with their friend and engineer Johnny Goss. From the first get-psyched drum roll and eerie chords of "Sure As Spring", the dinged-up pop gem that opens the album, the rest moves like a slow drive on a dangerous road, slinking and bending as the terrain shifts. On "What Good Am I?", the lead vocals, and the swirl of harmonies that surround it, recall the Spartan haze of Mazzy Star's misty-eyed super hit. Smack in the middle is the title track. "It's Alive" is a jangly rocker with a spooky refrain, oodles of ooohs, and a marauding narrative that nails down the misty logic of the rest of the album. Two instrumentals, "Sunstroke" and "Phantom Feelings", showcase the band's beach jam surf chops, and fall perfectly between the chilled out heartache that surrounds them.
Imagine all of the Shangri-La's trying, precariously, to balance on top of Link Wray's surfboard.
The kind of sweet surf rock with a touch of melancholy that should be the soundtrack to the slow-dancing-at-prom scene in every teen movie.
-- The Stranger1. Sure As Spring
2. All the Time
3. Morning High
4. What Good Am I?
6. It's Alive
7. Big Big Blood
8. Call Me in the Day
9. Pink Slime
10. Phantom Feelings
11. You Can Never Know$13.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
U-MenThis 3xLP Box Set Collects The Entire Studio-Recorded Output Of The U-Men
Plus 5 Unreleased Songs
With 16 Pages Of Photos, Liner Notes & Interviews With The Band
Executive Produced By Jack Endino
The U-Men are one of the best bands I've ever seen. They were
hypnotic, frenetic, powerful and compelling. It was impossible to
resist getting sucked into their weird, darkly absurd world. They
effortlessly blended The Sonics, Link Wray, Pere Ubu, and
Captain Beefheart. Their shows were loose-limbed, drunken
dance parties and no two shows were alike. The U-Men were
avant-garage explorers and, most importantly, they fucking
rocked. I was lucky enough to live in their hometown and I saw
them every chance I could.
From 1983 to 1987, the U-Men were the undisputed kings of
the Seattle Underground. No one else came close. They ruled a
bleak backwater landscape populated by maybe 200 people.
They were the only band that could unify the disparate
sub-subcultures and get all 200 of those people to fill a room.
Anglophilic, dress-dark Goths; neo-psych MDA acolytes; skate
punks who shit in bathtubs at parties; Mod vigilantes who
tormented the homeless with pellet guns; college kids who
thought college kids were lame; Industrial Artistes; some random
guy with a moustache; and eccentrics who insisted that they
couldn't be pigeonholed: all coalesced around the U-Men.
Sub Pop co-founder, Bruce Pavitt released the first record by the
U-Men, a 4-song 12" EP on Bombshelter Records. By the time
they had recorded songs for another record, Bruce was too broke
to release it on his proto-Sub Pop label, so he hooked them up
with Gerard Cosloy at Homestead Records. This was a big deal.
Homestead had a heavy rep at the time with recent releases by
Foetus, Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, and Big Black. I was sure that
the release of their second 12", Stop Spinning, would propel the
U-Men into the ranks of those Homestead acts and the
worldwide underground would get hip to Seattle's finest.
Following the departure of bassist Jim Tillman (replaced by Tom
Hazelmyer of Amphetamine Reptile Records, and then Tony
Ransome), the band recorded two fantastic singles, and recorded
their one full-length album, Step on a Bug, for Black Label,
which was run out of Fallout Records. They became increasingly
disenchanted with the direction the Seattle underground was
heading and called it quits in 1989.
The U-Men had nothing to do with Grunge. They were their own
unique thing. I loved them and I still miss them. I remember
thinking at the time that most of their recordings were a little
soft and didn't capture the power of the band live. Now, thirty
years later, their records sound great to me and we are lucky that
they exist. I'm stoked that Sub Pop complied these long
out-of-print records and scrounged up some unreleased songs so
that everyone has a chance to take a trip back to old weird
- Mark Arm, Seattle, August 2017LP 1
2. The Fumes
3. Flowers DGIH
4. Shoot 'em Down
6. Trouble Under Water
7. Mystery Pain
8. Last Lunch
2. Cow Rock
3. Green Trumpet
4. A Year and a Day
5. Ten After One
7. U-Men Stomp
8. Solid Action
9. Dig It a Hole
1. Whistlin' Pete
2. 2 x 4
3. A Three Year Old Could Do That
4. Juice Party
5. Flea Circus
6. Too Good to Be Food
7. Willie Dong Hurts Dogs
8. Papa Doesn't Love His Children Anymore
9. Pay the Bubba
11. That's Wild About Jack
12. Bad Little Woman
13. Selfish$44.99Vinyl LP Box Set - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now