Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Smells Like Smoked Sausages EP

This was a Sub Pop Singles Club release, a double 7", for February and March of 1992. If you can't tell by the title, former Sub Pop band Nirvana had broken it big at this point. There 8 bands on this release, and I remember really liking this one.

If you were a badass noise rock band from the Midwest in the early 90's, chances are you were on either Touch & Go or Amphetamine Reptile Records. The bands on this double 7" are all on loan from Amphetamine Reptile (AmRep). It's a bit of a departure from your standard Sub Pop fare. It's definitely more aggressive and harsh sounding stuff.

So what are these bands doing on the label that defined Seattle? I had to look this up, because there had to be something to it. AmRep started in Washington before moving on to Minneapolis, and Steve Turner and Mark Arm's pre-Mudhoney super-trashy Thrown Ups were the second band to appear on the label. I'm guessing there were still plenty of people connected to both of these labels who saw this as a great opportunity, especially since Sub Pop was riding Nirvana's coat-tails at the moment.

I had a bitch of a time working with this one. I had forgotten that these were completely mislabeled, (the sequence below is going by the labels, the discs themselves are all over the place) and no matter how much I cleaned the vinyl, there was a ton of crackle. Also, there's no leader on the grooves when you play these, the needle just skids over into the song unless you guide it by hand. Bad day at Sub Pop QC. The bubblgeum pink vinyl looks cool though.

Some highlights:
  • Tar's track is pretty good. Very Chicago-noise. They worked with Albini and you can tell.
  • Cows (a band you either love or hate, it seems, more of their stuff will be coming...) does a Noise-Rock Lead Belly cover that would become far more famous just a year or two later under the title "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" 
  • Helmet brings their distinctive metallic riffs to the Melvins' one-minute sludgefest "Oven". I like this version a lot.
  • Cristina's vocals on Boss Hog's track are a bit of welcome relief after 6 chest-thumping guys. Still pretty noisy. Jon Spencer's old band.
Hey, this is my first request. Thanks Thom! Also, no post for Thanksgiving, but the 2 X 7" should tide you all over. Have a great holiday.

A1: Tar - "Deep Throw" / Cows - "My Girl"
B1: Helmet - "Oven" /  Surgery - "Our Demise"
A2: Vertigo - "Dynamite Cigar" / Helios Creed - "Hideous Greed"
B2: Boss Hog - "Fire Of Love" / God Bullies - "Bullet"

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