Thursday, February 5, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Smackmelon - Blue Hour (Relativity, 1995)

Boston's Smackmelon was formed by Duke Roth after the dissolution of his previous band Bullet LaVolta, a band which also included guitarist Clay Tarver, who would go on to play with the mighty Chavez (as well as direct the "Got Milk" commercials, and the "Jimmy the Cabdriver" clips for MTV). After recruiting Eric Jarmon (Voodoo Dolls) and Robert Brazier (Orangutang) the band was quickly signed to Cherrydisc records, a Boston-based indie label. Cherrydisc released the band's self-titled debut EP in 1994, which spawned the single "Space Shot" (video included below). When the band's manager was hired as an A&R rep for Clive Davis' Sony/Red imprint label, Relativity Records, the band found themselves with a major label deal. The band's lone full-length, Blue Hour, was released on Relativity the following year in 1995. The album, which was recorded with Tim O'heir (Sebadoh, Buffalo Tom) at the legendary Fort Apache studio in their hometown of Boston, saw the band continuing the Bob Mould-esque approach established on the EP. These days, Duke Roth is serving as the sideman to 80s rocker chick Patty Smyth.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Flowerhead - Ka-Bloom (Zoo, 1992)

"A Texas group that attempted to resurrect '60s psychedelia (but wound up sounding like Soundgarden), Flowerhead was a hard rockin' quartet that enjoyed a brief career during the early '90s. Consisting of members Eric Schmitz (vocals, guitar), Buz Zoller (guitar), Eric Faust (bass), and Pete Levine (drums), the band issued an independent, cassette-only release first, 1990's In the Toybox, before signing to the Zoo label and issuing two more albums -- 1992's Ka-Bloom (which the group toured behind with an opening slot on Blind Melon's spring 1993 U.S. tour) and 1995's People's Fuzz. Shortly thereafter, Flowerhead had gone the way of the buffalo." (

Anyone who has heard the Foo Fighters track "Watershed" (from the self titled debut) may be familiar with the Flowerhead name, as it includes the lyric "I wanna swim in a watershed, I wanna listen to Flowerhead'. Grohl was in fact referring to this Texas group when he penned the song's lyrics. Flowerhead went on to release a second full length for Zoo, 1995's The People's Fuzz before going on hiatus.  You can download Ka-Bloom in its entirety over at the excellent blog, Shiny Grey Monotone

Sammy - Tales of Great Neck Glory (Geffen, 1996)

Sammy was formed in the early 90s by Jesse Hartman and Luke Wood, a former member of Girls Against Boys who had contributed guitar to their Tropic of Scorpio release in 1989. The band, who frequently received comparisons to Pavement, was initially signed to Smells like Records, the label owned by Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley.  Later the band signed to DGC/Geffen records, where Luke Wood was working at the time. Geffen released the band's third and final full-length, Tales of Great Neck Glory, in 1996. 

After Sammy, Luke Wood went on to become senior vice president of A&R at Dreamworks Records and later Interscope Records, where he has signed and worked with Elliott Smith, Jimmy Eat World, Saves the Day, and AFI as well as more "forgotten treasures"-type bands such as the excellent Blinker the Star and Creeper Lagoon.  Hartman went on to form the electro-pop outfit Laptop, whom were briefly signed to Island Records. For those looking to hear Tales of Great Neck Glory, you can download it over at the fantastic blog Outdoor Miner