One of Us: Poster Children

 

With as many drummers as the fictional Spinal Tap (seven, none of the Poster Children’s have been known to spontaneously self combust) the Poster Children  were founded in 1987 at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana by Rick Valentin (guitar) and Rose Marshack (bass) and have “sifted through almost as many styles of post-punk guitar rock” that have existed in the last quarter century.

1991’s Flower Plower collects the group’s first two self-released cassettes. Recording as a trio, and utilizing a different drummer (Brendan tracks 1-4, Shannon 5-15) and producer (Steve Albini tracks 1-4, Iain Burgess tracks 5-15) for each recording session leaves you with a record that reflects those two distinct personalities. The Iain Burgess’ recorded songs finds the group trying

on various guises, from "Non-Reggae Song," which parodies Joe Jackson in his ska phase, to the John Lydonisms of "Modern Art."

while on the Steve Albini engineered tracks finds the  group cranking up

 a Dinosaur Jr- style guitar hurricane with muffled, deadpan vocals.

The earlier sessions are more or less straightforward songs; the later tracks have a more fragmented, impression-oriented effect which stretches words out over the thundering music.

Produced by Steve Albini, 1991’s Daisychain Reaction is a darker album yet it has a cleaner sound. With the addition of a second guitarist, Hum’s Jeff Dimpsey ,and new drummer Bob Rising the group begins to exhibit

a new mastery of dynamics — soft-to-loud, slow-to-fast and back again

while also incorporating more complex rhythms and counter-rhythms into their music.

For 1993’s Tool of the Man, the title a back-handed slap acknowledging the “band’s arrival in the major-label world” the band added a permanent second guitarist, Jim Valentin (Rick’s brother) and a new drummer, Johnny Machine. The album mixes “sugar-free rockers,” with mood pieces like "Redline," "Three Bullets" and "In My Way" which allowed the band to explore their quieter side.

A “synthesis of huge stomp, fun, and funny spirit” 1995’s Junior Citizen, produced by Brian Anderson and recorded at Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin, certainly qualifies for one of 1995’s most underrated rock releases. With new drummer Howie Kantoff on board songs like "Revolution Year Zero" and "King for a Day" capture the band’s

hyper-amped energy and loud-as-hell mania,

but like previous albums the Poster Children touch all the  musical bases, from the

psych-tinged "Drug I Need," which turns into a jaw-dropping, sky-scraping monster; "Downwind"; or the slyly titled "Mustaine" and the lovely yet powerful album-closer "One of Us,"

and for you David Hasselhoff fans there’s "He’s My Star" a partially acoustic and downright heartfelt homage to the Baywatch star. Indeed, an album with a little something for everyone.

Salaryman is the group’s electronic alter-ego and formed around a quartet of ex-Poster Children: Rick and Jim Valentin, Rose Marschack and drummer Howie Kantoff. 

 

DISCOGRAPHY

 

Poster Children

 

 Singles, EPs and Full-length

Flower Plower (LP, CD) (Limited Potential Records) 1988
Thinner, Stronger b/w Pointed Stick (7") (Sub Pop Records) 1990
Daisy Chain Reaction (Cassette, CD, LP, MP3) (Twin Tone Records) 1991
Eye / Down In The Desert (7") (Clawfist) 1991
Flowerplower (CD) (Frontier Records) 1991
Daisychain Reaction (CD) (Creation Records) 1992
3 Songs From "Tool Of The Man" (CD, Promo) (Sire Records Company) 1993
Clock Street (12”, CD) (Creation Records) 1993
Tool Of The Man (Cass, CD) (Creation/Sire/Reprise Records) 1993
Just Like You EP (CD) (Warner Bros/Wea) 1994
He’s My Star (
7" Single , CD Single) (Sire/Reprise) 1995
He’s My Star + 2 (
12")
Junior Citizen (Cassette, CD, LP, MP3) (Sire Records Company) 1995
Junior Citizen (CD) (WEA Japan) 1995
Soil X Samples 19 (7") (Sire Records Company) 1995
RTFM (CD) (Reprise Records) 1997
New World Record (CD, MP3) (spinART Records) 1999
DDD (CD, MP3) (spinART Records) 2000
No More Songs About Sleep and Fire (CD, MP3) (Hidden Agenda) 2004
On the Offensive EP (CD, MP3) (Hidden Agenda) 2004
International (CD) (Reprise)

Tracks Appear On:

 "I Feel Love" 20 Explosive Dynamic Super Smash Hit Explosions! (CD, LP) (Pravda Records 1991)
"Isis" Outlaw Blues (LP, CD) (Imaginary Records) 1992
"It’s True"
Teriyaki Asthma VII (7") (C/Z Records)1992
"Roe Vs. Wade"
Just Say Roe (Vol. VII Of Just Say Yes) (CD) (Sire Records) 1994
"Dialogue/ 10 O’Clock Tigers"
Trademark Of Quality™ (CD) (Warner Bros.,Reprise Records) 1994
"Junior Citizen" Alternative Final Mix 11 (CD) (Warner Music Australia)    1995
"Junior Citizen" Greetings From Area 51 (CD)( Reprise Records) 1995 
"Junior Citizen"
Heck On Wheels Volume 6 (CD) (Warner Bros. Records) 1995                       “He’s My Star" RockVideo Monthly – December 1995 – Alternative Edition (VHS) (Warner Music Enterprises) 1995
"I Feel Love" Super Fantastic Mega Smash Hits! (CD) (Pravda Records, Backyard Records) 1995 "0 For 1"
Howl: An Alternative Compilation (CD) (Warner Reprise) 1997 
The Twist & Shout 6 O’Clock Good News [Limited Edition] (CD) (Reprise) 1995
HuH – CD 7 (CD) (Huh Music Service) (1995)
"Ferris Wheel"
Indie Rock Unites…vol.1 (CD) (Firetone) 2001
"Back In Uniform" Colonel Jeffrey Pumpernickel-A Concept Album (
CD, 2xLP) (Off Records) 2001

Salaryman

Releases

Salaryman (CD, LP) (City Slang, EMI Europe) 1996
Voids + Superclusters Remix + 3 (12") (City Slang) 1996
Graze The Umbra (7") (City Slang) 1999
Karoshi (CD,LP) (City Slang, Labels) 1999
The Electric Forest (CD) (Twelve Inch (Redeye) 2006

Remixes                 

"Bats (All Saints Remix)" Meander + Return (CD) (The Rosewood Union) 1996
"Hocus Pocus (Armistice Mix)" Silver Apples -Beacon Remixed (CD) (Whirlybird Records) 1998
"Love (Salarymanned)" Love (12") (NovaMute) 1998
"Love (Salarymanned)" Love (Loved) (CD) (NovaMute) 1998
"Love (Salarymanned)" Love (Remix) (12") (NovaMute) 1998 

Appears On

"New Centurions" Nineteen Something (CD) (Crash Disques) 2004 

Tracks Appear On

"Rather" Introducing Vol.8 (CD) (Indigo) 1997
"Rather" Life Is Too Short For Boring Music Vol.11 (2xCD) (EfA) 1997
"Voids & Superclusters" Mind The Gap Volume 15 (CD) (Gonzo Circus) 1997
"Voids And Supercluster (R Money Remix)" Wow! & Flutter (CD) (Too Pure, City Slang) 1997                     
"Rather" 03:00am Eternal (2xCD, 3xLP) (Lacerba) 1998 
Voids And Supercluster (R Money Mix)" Musique Facile Pour Gens Difficiles Volume 1 (CD) (Labels) 1998                                                                                                                                                                                              1998                                                                                                                                       "Strong Holder" Mind The Gap Volume 28 (CD) (Gonzo Circus) 1999 
"Graze The Umbra" Musikexpress 33 – Bungalow / City Slang (CD) (Musikexpress) 1999
"Graze The Umbra" Opscene CD#10 (CD) (Papieren Tijger) 1999
"Strongholder" Grand Slang (CD) (City Slang, Labels) 2000
Hummous" La Biennale Takes A Trip (CDr) (Ping Pong} 2005
"Portwine Road" Gusstaff Ina Pill Vol. 6 (CDr Promo) (Gusstaff)


 

Flower Plower (1991)

Playing Time: 42 minutes 25 seconds

1. Dangerous Life (2:06)
2. Wanna (2:42)
3. Byron’s Song (3:53)
4. Eye (2:55)
5. Hollywood (1:41)
6. Modern Art (2:34)
7. Evidence (3:12)
8. She Walks (3:33)
9. 10.000 Pieces (3:02)
10. Question (3:16)
11. Non-Reggae Song (1:50)
12. Detective Tracy (3:30)
13. Bump Bump (2:15)
14. Jeremy Straight (2:20)
15. Rain On Me (3:36)

Tool of the Man (1993)

Playing Time: 41 minutes 30 seconds

1. Dynamite Chair (3:02)
2. Tommyhaus (3:28)
3. In My Way (5:07)
4. Clock Street (4:18)
5. Redline (5:20)
6. Shotguns & Pickups (2:31)
7. Blatant Dis (3:56)
8. Idiot Show (4:29)
9. Outside In (3:31)
10. Three Bullets (5:48)

Junior Citizen (1995)

Playing Time: 45 minutes 14 seconds

1. Get a Life (5:04)
2. Junior Citizen (5:16)
3. He’s My Star (4:22)
4. Revolution Year Zero (3:07)
5. Drug I Need (5:50)
6. New Boyfriend (4:16)
7. Wide Awake (4:09)
8. King For a Day (2:03)
9. Mustaine (2:58)
10. Downwind (3:47)
11. One of Us (4:22)

 

 

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