The Ruffians Are Silent: Ditch Croaker

Hoboken, NJ’s Ditch Croaker formed in 1992 and consisted of Tim Newman on vocals and guitar, Tim Floyd on bass, vocals and keyboards, and Tim Barnes on drums, vocal and percussion.

While their first EPs were predominately overdriven, fuzzy pop

“they remain hard to characterize into any recognizable alterna rock milieu. Hints of the Cars and other early-’80s new wave angst still abound.”

In 1995 the trio released Chimpfactor, a cd collection of 7″ singles, on their own label, Fine Corinthian. The album became some what of a cult hit on the strength of the song Monkey Wild.

The band signed with Warner Brothers records shortly after releasing their self-published second album, Shortwave. Their major label debut, Secrets of the Mule, is a study in contrasts.

“Tracks such as “Meatgrinder” bare their teeth, abuzz with harsh, feedback guitars, an industrial whir, and even compressed vocals”

while other tracks, most notably Mellow Fellows, are pure power pop.

Produced by Gene Holder, (dBs, Sneakers, Yo La Tengo), 1999s Tranquil Waters, finds a group that’s reaching its maturity. Save for the closing track, “History of Chicago”, their aggressive indie-guitar rock edge has been replaced by

“burbling, loping bass… careful acoustic and jangled electric guitar textures; steady, unobtrusive, smart beats; and sneaky vocal passages that avoid verse-chorus-verse.”

 

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles, EPs and Full-Length

Lotus Eater + 2 (7″ single) (Fine Corinthian) 1992
Small Hole, Black Vinyl (7″ single) (Fine Corinthian) 1993
Monkey Wild (7″ single) (Fine Corinthian) 1994
Funny Thing About Hate +3 (7″ single) (Fine Corinthian)
Chimpfactor (CD) (Fine Corinthian) 1995
Shortwave (CD) (Symbiotic Label) 1996
Secrets of the Mule (CD) (Warner Bros / Wea) 1996
Tranquil Waters (CD) (Vital Cog Records) 1999
33 1/3 Rpm (Cassette)

Tracks Appear On:

“Videohead” Lemon Lime Volume 1 : A Pop Compilation 1995 (CD) (Spin Art) 1995
“Meat Grinder” CMJ New Music January – Volume 29 (CD) (College Music Journal) 1996
“The Cardinal”(demo version) Trademark of Quality: 1996 Reprise Sampler (CD) (Reprise) 1996
“Second Fiddle” CMJ New Music Monthly: Volume 40: December 1996 (CD) (College Music Journal) 1996
“Hebba Ho” Freaks of Nature (CD) (Capitol Records) 1997
“Mellow Fellows” huH, Volume 26 (CD)
“Hebba Ho”, “Mellow Fellows” Some of Our Best Friends Are Reprise Sampler, Volume 1 (CD)

Chimpfactor

Playing Time: 20 minutes 3 seconds

Ditch Croaker-Chimpfactor

1. Mr. Bluefish (2:39)
2. Madman at the Opera (0:24)
3. Monkey Wild (2:24)
4. Fallen Behind (3:00)
5. Pleasant Trip (2:28)
6. Sweet Lucy (2:51)
7. Videohead (2:27)
8. Ticker Type (3:50)

Buy Chimpfactor

Secrets of the Mule

Playing Time: 34 minutes 7 seconds

Ditch Croaker-Secrets of the Mule

1. Riverside Estrangement (3:48)
2. Widow’s Weep (2:49)
3. The Pimp (3:13)
4. Library Shrine (3:04)
5. The Cardinal (2:45)
6. Thieves and Monumentals (2:16)
7. Hebba Ho (3:14)
8. Mellow Fellows (3:17)
9. Second Fiddle (2:59)
10. Meat Grinder (2:35)
11. Angry Wino (4:07)

Buy Secrets of the Mule from Amazon.com

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2 responses to “The Ruffians Are Silent: Ditch Croaker

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