Sub Pop Part 3

With the success of Nirvana and Pearl Jam in the early 1990’s Seattle and the Pacific Northwest suddenly became the center of what was the next big musical movement… grunge. Until the major labels saw that this “new” music was commercially viable and could be co-oped, local labels, notably Sub Pop, proved to be the major outlet for it’s dissemination. In the process Sub Pop would become the dominant indie label of the 1990’s.

Grunge as it once was is dead and each of these groups probably helped if, not to kill it, to at least help it’s evolution. While the flannel they all seemed to wear might have been cut from the same clothe they took the grunge sound as a starting point and then they added their own twist to it.

What the three groups here have in common is that at some point they recorded for or released something on Sub Pop Records.

GAS HUFFER

Gas Huffer

Hailing from Seattle the rootsy punk rock of Gas Huffer is a combination of equal portions of Neil Young and The Cramps. Formed in 1989 by vocalist Matt Wright, guitarist Tom Price, bassist Don Blackstone and drummer Joe Newton they released their debut single “Firebug” the same year. 1990 saw the release of the “Ethyl” EP. Signed to Empty Records they released their full length debut Janitors of Tomorrow in 1991, following it with 1992’s Integrity, Technology & Service. They left Empty Records for Epitaph Records who released three full lengths; 1994’s One Inch Masters, 1996’s The Inhuman Ordeal of Special Agent Gas Huffer and 1998’s Just Beautiful Music. In 2002 the group again switched labels, signing with Estrus Records, who released the Jack Endino-produced The Rest of Us in 2002 and 2005’s Lemonade for Vampires .

Gas Huffer played its final show – dubbed “The Last Huffer” – at Seattle’s Crocodile Cafe on January 14, 2006. Opening the show were Girl Trouble from Tacoma, Washington, and Canned Hamm from Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Janitors of Tomorrow featured here also includes the “Firebug” single and the “Ethyl” ep.

GAS HUFFER DISCOGRAPHY

Singles

“Firebug” (Black Label Records) 1989
“Ethyl” (Black Label Records) 1990
“Mole” (Sympathy for the Record Industry) 1992
“Washtucna Hoe-down” (Hayseed Records) 1992
“Beer Drinking Cavemen from Mars”/”Hotcakes” (Sub Pop) 1992
“Ooh Ooh Ooh!”/”Flaming Star” (Lance Rock Records) 1996
“Rotten Egg”/”Old Summertime” (Au Go Go Records) 2000

Splits

“King of Hubcaps” split with Fastbacks 1992
“Knife Manual” split with Mudhoney (“You Stupid Asshole”) (Empty Records ) 1992
“Bad Guy Reaction” Gearhead magazine split with Supercharger (1992)
“Teach Me to Kill” split with Red Aunts (1994)

EPs

Beer Drinkin’ Cavemen from Mars (European release only) (Empty Records) 1992
The Shrill Beeps of Shrimp (Empty Records) 1993

Full-Length

Janitors of Tomorrow (Empty Records) 1991
Integrity, Technology & Service (Empty Records) 1992
One Inch Masters (Epitaph Records) 1994
The Inhuman Ordeal of Special Agent Gas Huffer (Epitaph Records) 1996
Just Beautiful Music (Epitaph Records) 1998
The Rest of Us (Estrus Records) 2002
Lemonade for Vampires (Estrus/Touch & Go) 2005

Compilations

“Release the Robots” Tracks and Fields: Kill Rock Stars Compilation (Kill Rock Stars) 2004
“Bad Guy Reaction” Runnin’ On Fumes (Gearhead Records) 2000
“Don’t Panic” Punk-O-Rama Vol. 4: Straight Outta The Pit (Epitaph / Ada) 1999
“Rotten Egg” Punk-O-Rama Vol. 3 (Epitaph / Ada) 1998
“Ouch” All Punk Rods! (Lookout!) 1998
“Hotcakes” Hype! The Motion Picture Soundtrack (Sub Pop) 1996
“I Gotta Get Drunk” Twisted Willie: A Tribute to Willie Nelson (Justice) 1996
“Crooked Bird” Punk-O-Rama Vol. 1 (Epitaph / Ada) 1994
“Before I Kill You Again” Dope, Guns ‘N Fucking In The Streets Vols. 4-7 (Amphetamine Reptile Records) 1992
“Hijacked” Teriyaki Asthma Vols. 1-5 (CZ) 1993
“a disgrunted ex-employee”, “big car pile-up” Bobbing For Pavement: The Rathouse Compilation (Broken Rekids) 1994
“Bomb Squad”, “Boot Check” Empty Records Sampler (Empty) 1994

 

Gas Huffer –Janitors of Tomorrow (1991)

Playing Time: 45 minutes 26 seconds

 

Gas Huffer - Janitors of Tomorrow

 

1. Nisqually (2:16)
2. Shoe Factory (2:33)
3. Night Train to Spokane (2:17)
4. Going to Las Vegas (2:15)
5. Dangerous Drifter (1:56)
6. Robert (2:52)
7. Mistake (2:07)
8. All That Guff (1:43)
9. Lizard Hunt (3:06)
10. Insidious (4:27)
11. Love Comes Creeping (2:10)
12. Compromise in the Dark (3:03)
13. Girl I Need Your Loving (Right Now) (3:02)
14. I Want to Kiss You (2:01)
15. Eat You Whole (1:41)
16. Buck Naked (1:41)
17. Mouthful (2:00)
18. Firebug (1:47)
19. Jesus Was My Only Friend (2:29)

Buy Janitors of Tomorrow from Amazon.com

Buy Janitors of Tomorrow from Empty Records

 

VELOCITY GIRL

 

Velocity Girl

The roots of Velocity Girl lie the short lived Silver Spring Maryland group Gotterdammacrats. Formed in September 1988 the group consisted of singer/guitarist Archie Moore, bassist Kelly Riles, guitarist John Barnett, and drummer Berny Grindel. Following their first performance Barnett left, and after a series of gigs as a trio the group added vocalist Bridget Cross in the summer of 1989 and borrowing from the title of a B-side from the then obscure Primal Scream changed their name to Velocity Girl. 1989 also marked their recording debut with “Clock” which appeared on the compilation What Kind of Heaven Do You Want?. In the fall of 1990 Grindel was replaced on drums by Jim Spellman and following the completion of the single “I Don’t Care if You Go” Cross left, later joining another seminal D.C. indie band, Unrest.

The band replaced Cross with vocalist Sarah Shannon and added a second guitarist Brian Nelson. With line-up changes complete the group recorded their breakthrough single, 1991’s “My Forgotten Favorite.” The record proved to be a major college radio favorite and brought the group to the attention of Sub Pop which released a split single featuring Velocity Girl and Tsunami.

In 1993 Velocity Girl released their full-length debut debut Copacetic on Sub Pop.

“Marrying the feedback-drenched sonic assault of the British shoegazer scene with the melodic immediacy of classic pop — an approach critics dubbed “bubblegrunge”

The critics can call it anything they want; but the album featuring the singles “Crazy Town” and “Audrey’s Eyes,” and it’s noise/pop approach was at the time the second biggest seller in the label’s history, behind only Nirvana’s Bleach. More importantly the success of the album

“proved pivotal in expanding Sub Pop’s image beyond that of merely a Seattle grunge label.”

Their 1994 follow-up Simpatico was even more successful yielding a minor hit in “Sorry Again”, but 1996’s Gilded Stars and Zealous Hearts was a disappointment creatively and commercially. Following that albums release Shannon relocated to Seattle and it became apparent that the group’s days were numbered. Following a U.S. tour the group played it’s farewell show at Baltimore’s 8×10 Club in September 1996.

VELOCITY GIRL DISCOGRAPHY

Singles

Magnapop / Velocity Girl Pop Culture Press #31 (Flexi, 7″) (Pop Culture Press, Eva-Tone Soundsheets)
“What Kind Of Heaven Do You Want?” (7″) (Slumberland Records) 1989
“Crazy Town” / “Creepy” (7″) (Sub Pop Records) 1992
“My Forgotten Favorite” (7″, Single) (Slumberland Records) 1992
“Season’s Greetings” (7″) (Simple Machines Records) 1992
“Your Silent Face” / “You’re So Good To Me” (7″) (Merge Records) 1994
Velocity Girl / Chisel Split (7″) (Shute Records) 1996

EPs

Crazy Town (CD, Maxi) (Sub Pop Records Germany) 1992
Sorry Again (CD, Maxi) (Sub Pop Records) 1994

Full-Length

6 Song Compilation (Slumberland Records) 1993
Copacetic (LP) (Sub Pop Records Germany) 1993
Copacetic (Sub Pop Records) 1993
Simpatico! (Sub Pop Records) 1994
Gilded Stars And Zealous Hearts (Sub Pop Records) 1996

Compilations

“Blackzilla” The Pre-Moon Syndrome Post-Summer (Of Noise) Celebration Week! (LP) (Sun Dog Propaganda) 1990
“Forgotten Favorite” …One Last Kiss (spinART Records) 1992
“Tales Of Brave Aphrodite” Fortune Cookie Prize: A Tribute to Beat Happening (Simple Machines Records) 1992
“Crawl” Sassy (7″) (Sub Pop Records) 1992
“Not At All” WMBR Presents: Clear The Room! (7″, Ltd) (No Life Records) 1992
“Crazy Town” Curtis W. Pitts: Sub Pop Employee Of The Month (Sub Pop Records) 1993
“Not At All” Teenbeat Fifti (Matador, Teenbeat) 1993
“What You Say” The Machines 1990-1993 (Simple Machines Records) 1993
“Sorry Again” “CMJ New Music September – No. 13” (Promo) (College Music Journal) 1994
“Here Comes”, “Always”, “Crazy Town” The John Peel Sub Pop Sessions 1989-1993 (Strange Fruit) 1994
“I Don’t Care If You Go” Tomorrow’s Hits Today (Summershine US) 1994
“Finest Hour” That Virtua Feeling – Sub Pop And Sega Get Together (Promo) (Sub Pop Records) 1995

 

Velocity Girl – Copacetic (1993)

Playing Time: 45 minutes 31 seconds

 

Velocity Girl - Copacetic

 

1. Pretty Sister (4:59)
2. Crazy Town (3:48)
3. Copacetic (3:41)
4. Here Comes (4:43)
5. Pop Loser (2:25)
6. Living Well (3:06)
7. A Chang (5:49)
8. Audrey’s Eyes (3:03)
9. Lisa Librarian (2:18)
10. 57 Waltz (2:50)
11. Candy Apples (3:07)
12. Catching Squirrels (5:42)

Buy Copacetic from Amazon.com

Buy Copacetic from Sub Pop Records

 

SEAWEED

 

Seaweed

Formed in Tacoma Washington in 1989 the bands original line-up included singer Aaron Stauffer, guitarist Clint Werner, bassist John Atkins, and drummer Bob Bulgrien. They released their debut, the four song “Seaweed” on Atkin’s Leopard Gecko in 1990, quickly following it with the single “Just A Smirk.” In 1991 the band issued “Deer Trap” as part of K Records’ ongoing International Pop Underground singles series. Touring extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest allowed them to hone their rhythmic hardcore approach to music which made them an ideal fit for Sub Pop records. They signed with the label in 1991 who released, the Jack Endino produced, “Despised” EP. In 1992 the group, with Endino in the producer’s seat, released their finest record to date, the full-length Weak, scoring a college radio hit with the leadoff track, “Recall.” The full-length Four followed in 1993. By 1993 the major labels now realized that “grunge” wasn’t a mere flash in the pan. In the major labels’ rush to cherry pick Sub Pop’s roster Seaweed decided to sign with Hollywood Records. Released in 1995 Spanaway while generating positive reviews was not a commercial success. After Hollywood dropped the group they essentially dropped out of sight. They signed with Merge Records who released Actions & Indications in 1999, but by the end of the year the group has disbanded.

SEAWEED DISCOGRAPHY

Singles

Seaweed 7″ (Leopard Gecko) 1990
“Just A Smirk” / ” Installing” (Leopard Gecko) 1990
“Deertrap” / ” Carousel” 7″ (K Records) 1991
Bill 7″ (Subpop) 1992
” Bill” / “Pumpkin (Wwax)” 12″/CD (Sub Pop) 1992
” Measure” / ” Turnout” 7″ (Sub Pop) 1992
Measure 12″/CD (Sub Pop) 1992
Go Your Own Way 7″/CD (Sub Pop) 1993
Kid Candy PROMO CD (Sub Pop) 1993

EPs

Seaweed (Leopard Gecko/Tupelo) 1991
Go Your Own Way (Sub Pop) 1993

Albums

Despised (Sub Pop) 1991
Weak (Sub Pop) 1992
Four (Sub Pop) 1993
Spanaway (Hollywood Records) 1995
Actions and Indications (Merge Records) 1998

Compilations

“Bewitched” The Estrus Lunch Bucket (Estrus, Dry Heat Records ) 1990
” Patchwork” Three’s A Company (Simple Machines/Merge Records/Leopard Gecko) 1990
Bill” International Pop Underground Convention (K Records) 1991
“Foggy Eyes” The Estrus Half-Rack (Estrus Records)1991
“Clean Slate” Afternoon Delight! (Sub Pop Records)1992
“Foggy Eyes” (Beat Happening) Fortune Cookie Prize (Simple Machines) 1992
“Baggage” Revolution Come ‘n’ Gone (Sub Pop) 1992
“Metal Gazer / Your Pri…” Metal CD Collection 14 (Northern & Shell Publications) 1993
“Losing Skin” Alternative Route ’94 (Cargo FEASTCD) 1994
“My Letters” Jabberjaw No. 4 (Mammoth Records) 1994
“My Letters” Jabberjaw No. 5 Good To The Last Drop (Mammoth Records) 1994
“Go Your Own Way” Music From The Motion Picture Clerks (Sony) 1994
“Sit In Glass”,”She Cracked” The John Peel Sub Pop Sessions 1989-1993 (Strange Fruit) 1994
” Sing Through Me” West X North-South (Vagrant Records) 1995
“Brand New Order” Oh, Merge: A Merge Records 10 Year Anniversary Compilation (Merge Records) 1999
” Baggage” Live At Emo’s (Rise Records, year ?)
” Days Missed Dearly” Patchwork Compilation (Mere Exposure Records)
“Start With” Nowcore! The Punk Rock Evolution (K-tel) 1999
“Antilyrical” New Music Monthly – Volume 66 (College Music Journal) 1999

 

Seaweed – Spanaway (1995)

Playing Time: 40 minutes 44 seconds

 

Seaweed - Spanaway

1. Free Drug Zone (3:38)
2. Crush Us All (3:59)
3. Start With (4:03)
4. Common Mistake (2:48)
5. Magic Mountainman (3:46)
6. Saturday Nitrous (3:12)
7. Undeniable Hate (3:34)
8. Defender (2:40)
9. Assistant (To The Manager) (3:36)
10. Punchy (The Clown) (0:54)
11. Not Saying Anything (4:05)
12. Last Humans (3:22)
13. Peppy’s Bingo (1:07)

Buy Spanaway from Amazon.com

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