There’s music i’ve liked over the years, that (at least to me) has not particularly been attached to a scene. There’s record labels that have served as the base for particular scenes or genres: Blue Note (jazz); Megaforce (metal); Nonesuch (classical); Nervous (hip hop and house); Lookout! (East Bay punk)… For all intents and purposes, Minneapolis-based Amphetamine Reptile predominately has featured ‘noise rock’ bands (like the Cows, Today Is The Day and Unsane), but the label has also had bands such as Servotron and Supernova. i used to have a gang of AmRep releases on vinyl, and ended up selling a bunch of my records in order to move to another state. Little did i know that these records would go out of print and become incredibly difficult to find- and if you do see them floating around, they’re being sold for a ton of money.
i was actually listening to Supernova’s Ages 3 And Up (an album i actually used to have on vinyl, and currently have on CD, which was released on AmRep/Atlantic), and i thought to myself, ‘perhaps i should make a post featuring some AmRep bands’… So here we are. Since i’ve already mentioned Supernova (a band who is pretty fun live), i will post one of their songs first.
On ‘Invasion’ (from the above mentioned album), Art Mitchell (the bassist) plays one of my favorite riffs on the whole album. Not only is the bass the lead instrument here, but it’s a major component of Supernova as a whole. While many of the songs are inspired by science fiction, this is a song where the band spell out their name in the chorus.
‘Some Sara’ by Boss Hog (from the 10″ EP Girl +, which i do have the vinyl of in a box somewhere in another state), has some cowbell in the background- my guess is that it was recorded with the vocal mics? One of my favorite things about this band has always been the drums; very simple and tom heavy, Hollis (who also played guitar in the band Lo-Hi) had a punk rock style. i have met everyone in this band, but i used to know and hang out with Hollis and Jens (bassist). They were cool, humble peoples. i hope they’re all doing well.
Everyone in this post, i have seen live at least once. Helmet, i have seen about twice. As a punk/hardcore kid, i was really into their ‘stripped down noise’, as well as their desire to stay away from the 4/4. i am certainly not as good of a drummer as John Stanier, but ‘Ironhead’ (from Meantime, in which the vinyl edition was on AmRep and the CD/cassette version was on Interscope) is perhaps my favorite Helmet song of all time, so i wanted to try it out.
The main riff actually does remind me of the intro riff to Metallica’s ‘No Remorse’, just downtuned. i have no idea if that’s just me.
And finally… we have (the) Melvins, one of my favorite bands of all time, and a band i have seen about 3 or 4 times live. My playing doesn’t even compare to Dale Crover, one of my favorite drummers. Dude goes hard.
i should have worn my fro out for this one, in solidarity with my fellow fro wearer, Buzz Osborne.
‘Night Goat’ was originally released on 7″ (on AmRep), then reworked on the Houdini album (which was released on vinyl on AmRep, and CD/cassette on Atlantic). Lori Black (aka Lorax) was credited with playing bass on this song/album, but i think it was Crover who actually did. i’m playing the album version. Initially playing to this song, i did it similar to Crover, with more kick. When i record though, sometimes what i’ve practiced beforehand isn’t even present. This is exactly what happened with this song. What ended up happening is that LARS came out. i can’t seem to get away from it. His playing is in my subconscious. If you know Lars’ style, you know what i mean. i love Lars, so i’m not complaining. Still…
i think this was the first Melvins song i posted. Perhaps i will do a whole Melvins post. We shall see…