Boston’s Big Boss Sounds

I thought that over the next few weeks we would take a look at some of the bands from the Threadwaxing Space Live: The Presidential Compilation ’93 – ’94 and Pipeline! Live Boston Rock on WMBR which we posted last week.

What’s notable about this weeks bands, that before their inclusion on the WMBR compilation is that all of them, at some time, participated in the WBCN Rock & Roll Rumble .

Of the four only The Dirt Merchants were winners, but winning and then achieving some level of success are two different matters. Look at the list of each years contest participants and you’re struck by the groups who lost; groups like the Lyres, Mission of Burma, Blake Babies, Morphine, The Lemonheads and Del Fuegos.

Green Magnet School, is now thought to be a highly underrated, influential band ahead of its time, and is the only one of our four groups to have left some imprint on the American music scene. This experimental rock band with it’s 3-guitar cacophony and

“the bleak, dystopian nature of both the lyrics and music were compared by UK music journalists to such groups as Killing Joke, Live Skull, Gang of Four and early Sonic Youth .”

After touring extensively with Boston based acts like The Lemonheads, Come, and Galaxie 500, and national acts like The Jesus Lizard and The Flaming Lips the group called it quits in 1997, but not after making some small contribution to the sub-genres of noise rock, post punk, and no wave.

The Dirt Merchants and Smackmelon occupied that broad genre of music simply called “rock”, while Bulkhead was one of the many indie, alternative/pop bands, produced by the indie rock revolution of the early to mid 1990’s. Like so may bands over the years they remain footnotes to a particular time and scene.


Green Magnet School

7″ Singles

“CO” split with God’s Acre (Toxic Shock Records) 1990
“White People” (Sonic Bubblegum Records) 1991
“White People” split with Six Finger Satellite (Hippy Knight Records, Australia) 1991
“Singed” (Sub Pop Records Single-of-the-Month Club, Dec. 1991)
“Blind in My Mouth” (Hippy Knight Records, Australia) 1992
“Don’t Cry” double single with Six Finger Satellite (Sub Pop Records) 1993


Blood Music (Sub Pop/Genius Records, 1992)

Illuminatus (Sonic Bubblegum Records, 1995)


Smackmelon – Self Titled (Cherrydisc, 1994)

The Dirt Merchants

7″ Singles

“Mindfuck” b/w “Beware of Dog” (V-Hold, 1993)

Purple Barrel [CD-Single]

BulkheadGas Giants (Shimmy Disc, 1993)

Playing Time: 39 minutes 13 seconds

Bulkhead - Gas Giant1. Digitize It (4:48)
2. Capitol Harris (3:48)
3. Bayonne. N.J. (5:09)
4. We’re Coming Over (3:07)
5. Rebecca (3:31)
6. A Direct Appeal (3:45)
7. Learning the Painless Way (3:40)
8. Working Instead (5:16)
9. Richard Burns (3:32)
10. Gas Giants (2:37)

Bulkhead – Gas Giants

Buy Gas Giants from

Green Magnet School -“Revisionist (Sonic Bubblegum, 1993)

Playing Time: 28 minutes 44 seconds

Green Magnet School - Revisionist1. Kudgel (2:54)
2. Spitter (4:21)
3. Hopkins (3:47)
4. Mary Joey (3:44)
5. Hyman (4:06)
6. Moon Ape (9:52)

Green Magnet School – Revisionist

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SmackmelonBlue Hour (Cherrydisc,1995)

Playing Time: 50 minutes 39 seconds

Smackmelon - Blue Hour1. Marmot (4:28)
2. I’m Not Cool (2:31)
3. Press Roll (4:10)
4. John The Baptist (7:18)
5. Blue Hour (3:41)
6. Drum Solo Song (3:41)
7. Liar (4:56)
8. Cappuccino (4:18)
9. Mother Love (7:27)
10. Telephone (2:59)
11. Steady Job (5:10)

Smackmelon – Blue Hour

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The Dirt MerchantsScarified (Epic, 1995)

Playing Time: 41 minutes 36 seconds

1. Bullfight (1:50)The Dirt Merchants- Scarified
2. Love Apnea (4:15)
3. Purple Barrel (3:26)
4. Scarified (4:47)
5. Trip Trip (2:52)
6. Puncture (3:09)
7. Tired (4:23)
8. Strident Charm (4:26)
9. Buttercream (2:19)
10. Glow In The Dark (3:49)
11. Mindfuck (4:12)
12. C.L.O.L.A. (2:08)

The Dirt Merchants – Scarified

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