Rockin’ in the USA

 

Caustic Resin

Caustic Resin has worked in the shadows of another Boise ID band, and that city’s best known musical export, Built to Spill. Unlike BtS Caustic Resin’s roots pre-date and are less connected to the Seattle music scene. Formed in 1988, the original group consisted of  Brett Netson (guitar/vocals), Tom Romich Jr. (bass) and Pat Perkins (drums). Unlike the Seattle sound their sound is a blend of  heavy metal, psychedelia, and space rock, with songs that feature slow-moving jams, torturous vocals and general noise freak-outs.

The casual fan and the media tend to view Caustic Resin as Built to Spill’s lesser sibling and perhaps in some ways they are, but not musically. Early in their career Caustic Resin gigged with Doug Martsch’s pre-Built to Spill outfit Treepeople, and Netson played bass on Built to Spill’s debut album for C/Z Records, 1993s  Ultimate Alternative Wavers. Partly due to Martsch’s advocacy Caustic Resin was signed by C/Z, who issued their debut album Body Love Body Hate in 1993. When Built to Spill left C/Z for Up Records Caustic Resin followed suit.  

1995’s Fly Me to the Moon, produced by Phil Ek (Built to Spill’s producer as well), found the band breaking new ground musically, breaking away from the metal styling’s of their debut and moving towards a spacier sound. Body Love Body Hate had been  

a mess of fuzzy guitar, distorted vocals and meandering drumbeats… Agonized screams and lyrics (the few intelligible lines are about suicide, murder and pain)

but on Fly Me to the Moon the band

comes off like a cross between the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Jesus Lizard… even if the topics are the same: “Kill You If You Want Me To,” “A Fistful of Violence.”

1996’s Built to Spill/Caustic Resin EP was a collaborative effort with both bands working together to perform four songs; the first two, “When Not Being Stupid Is Not Enough” and “One Thing,” were penned by Built to Spill; the instrumental “Shit Brown Eyes” is a Caustic Resin number, and the last track, “She’s Real,” is a Kicking Giant’s.

“When Not Being Stupid Is Not Enough” is an incredible nine-minute ride… and is the real reason the EP deserves attention. 

Following the release of Built to Spill/Caustic Resin the group signed with California based indie Alias Records. Their 1998 debut for their new label, The Medicine Is All Gone, had the group drawing comparison to Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and an electric Neil Young.

For 1999’s Trick Question the group added several guest artists; with half of the albums’ ten songs(“Unlucky,” “Taste,” “Eventhings,” “Torture Yourself,” and “California”), featuring the alternate rhythm section of bassist Mike Johnson (Dinosaur Jr., Mark Lanegan) and drummer Joe Plummer.  

As if channeling Neil Young 2000’s The Afterbirth, with it’s heavy reliance on reverb, feedback and guitar solos is a mixture of noisy indie rock and grunge, a heavy use of reverb, feedback and guitar solos. It would also be their last release for Alias Records.

Released by Up Records in 2003’s Keep on Truckin features original drummer Pat Perkins and sees bass duties split between Tom Romich Jr. and Mike Johnson.

Caustic Resin Discography 

Releases:

 Body Love Body Hate (CD) (C/Z Records) 1993 
 
Built To Spill / Caustic Resin (CD, EP) (Up Records) 1995 
Built To Spill / Caustic Resin (10″) (Up Records) 1995
 
Fly Me To The Moon (Cass) (Up Records) 1995 
Fly Me To The Moon (2xLP) (Up Records) 1995
 
Fly Me To The Moon (CD) (Up Records) 1995
 
Fly Me To The Moon (Digital) (Up Records) 1995
 
Yeah Right (7″) (Up Records) 1995
 
The Medicine Is All Gone (CD) (Alias Records) 1998
 
Trick Question (CD) (Alias Records) 1999 
 
Trick Question (Digital) (Alias Records) 1999 
 
The Afterbirth(CD) (Alias Records) 2000 
 The Afterbirth
(Digital) (Alias Records) 2000 
 
Keep On Truckin (CD) (Up Records) 2003 
 
Keep On Truckin (Digital) (Up Records) 2003

Tracks Appear On:

“Still Flat”  Red Hot + Bothered: The Indie Rock Guide To Dating ★ 2 – Vinyl Is Sensual (10″)  (Kinetic) 1995
“Yeah, Right” Stacked Up!
(CD) (Up Records) 1995
“Worm Wood”
Up In Orbit! (CD) (Up Records) 1997
“Cable” Musician Magazine’s A Little on the CD Side: Volume 30
(CD) (Musician Magazine) 1998

 

Built to Spill – Caustic Resin (1995)

Playing Time: 26 minutes 9 seconds

1. Built to Spill – When Not Being Stupid is Not Enough (9:18)
2. Built to Spill – One Thing (5:09)
3. Caustic Resin – Shit Brown Eyes (3:29)
4. Caustic Resin – She’s Real (8:13)

 

 

Buy Built to Spill / Caustic Resin Split EP at Amazon.com

 

 

 

 Fly Me To The Moon (1995)

Playing Time: 73 Minutes

1 – Spore (6:16)
2 – Kill You If You Want Me To (5:04)
3 – Water Moccasin (3:11)
4 – Alien Fugue (3:26)
5 – Cancerous Eye (4:17)
6 – Healing Cough (4:37)
7 – The End of Betrayal (2:29)
8 – Damaged Animal (7:15)
9 – Summertime of Your Life (3:19)
10 – I Feel (5:44)
11 – A Fistful of Violence (3:47)
12 – Golden Hours (5:45)
13 – Calling Off the Dogs (5:49)
14 – White Box (2:37)
15 – Alien Fugue (Slight Return) (2:13)
16 – Station Wagon (7:48)

Fly Me To the Moon (Part 1) (Part 2)

 

Buy Fly Me To The Moon from Amazon.com

You can find many of Caustic Resins, Built to Spills, Mike Johnson’s and Mark Lanegan releases at Up Records.


 

 

Boys Life

 

The Emo-core band Boys Life sprang out of Kansas City, Missouri’s “post-hardcore scene” in 1993. Composed of Brandon Butler (vocals/guitar), John Anderson (drums), John Rejba (bass) and Joe Winkle (guitar) the band’s intensely energetic, but dissonant sound was noted for out-of-tune noisy guitars, distortion and epic crescendos with screaming and energy. By incorporating the sounds of crickets, radio static and the wail of far-off train whistles it gave their music a decidedly Midwestern feel.

Initially the band began releasing their material on split 7″ singles with local bands Secular Theme and Giants Chair. Their first full length, 1995’s Boys Life, recorded with ex-Drive Like Jehu member Mark Trombino, found each song following the same simple formula

guitars are strummed cleanly and off-key, giving way to intentional storms of distorted feedback, then it’s back to clean and quiet. Brandon Butler’s hushed voice rises a tone… he screams and then it’s back to a near-whisper. 

Recorded by Bob Weston (Sebadoh, Mission of Burma, June of 44) 1996’s Departures And Landfalls along with Do You Know Who You Are? by Texas Is the Reason’s are the two records that really introduced Emo-core to the mainstream. Staying with the formula established on 1995’s Boys Life of start, stop, then loud, then soft, then loud again, then dissonant, their sound is

Melodic yet dissonant, subtle yet powerful, puts the “emo” in emo-core.

 

By the time that the The Boys Life/Christie Front Drive split was released in 1999, both bands had already broken up, Christie Front Drive in 1996 and Boys Life in 1997. Any real differences between the two bands’ music lie in their vocal approaches, as instrumentally both work the tried and true formula of, start, stop, then loud, then soft, then loud again. Christie Front Drive’s vocals generally sit lower in the mix, but they are never whispered building in intensity as is the Boy’s Life’s Brandon Butler style.  

Following Boy’s Life’s break-up members of the band performed with the short lived Farewell Bend and Lullaby for the Working. Winkle and Butler are now members of the Lo-Fi group Canyon. 

 

Boys Life Discography 

Boys Life Discography

Releases:

Boys Life / Vitreous Humor Split (7″)  (Crank!) 1994
Boys Life (CD, LP) (Crank!) 1995
Boys Life / Christie Front Drive (10″) (Crank!) 1995
Boys Life / Giants Chair Split (7″) (HitIt!) 1995
Departures And Landfalls (CD) (Headhunter Records) 1996
Departures And Landfalls (LP) Headhunter Records 1996

Tracks Appear On:

“Sight Unseen” (Don’t Forget To) Breathe (CD) (Crank Records) 1997
“Sight Unseen” (Don’t Forget To) Breathe (LP, + Bonus 10″) (Crank Records) 1997 “Temporary”
Stay Tuned for the Holidays (CD) (Crank) 2001
Fire Engine Red: Cargo Music Sampler
(CD) (Cargo Records) 1998


 

Christie Front Drive

 

 

 

 

 

Christie Front Drive we hardly knew you! The group formed in Denver in 1993 with Eric Richter (vocals/guitar), Jason Begin (guitar/vocals), Kerry McDonald (bass/vocals) and Ron Marschall (percussion).

I spite of their meager recorded output; a self-titled EP and a 7″ on Freewill Records in 1994, later combined and released as Anthology; split singles with Jimmy Eat World, Sineater, and Boys Life and contributions to several compilations the band has “earned legendary status in emo circles, and remains a major influence on up-and-coming artists.”

 

 

 

Christie Front Drive Discography 

Releases:

Christie Front Drive (12″) (Freewill) 1994
Christie Front Drive (
CD, LP) (Freewill) 1994 
Boys Life / Christie Front Drive (10″) (Crank!) 1995
Christie Front Drive / Sineater split (7″) (Hellkite Records) 1995
Christie Front Drive / Jimmy Eat World Split (7″) (Wooden Blue Records) 1995
Anthology (CD) Caulfield Records 1999
Anthology (Digital) (Caulfield Records) 1999

Tracks Appear On:

“Bag” Shmowballs (Sh-mow Records) 1995
“After The Parade”
For Want Of… (2×7″) (X-Mist Records) 1995
“Mary Tyler Moore Show”  Punk TV (LP) (Red Dawg Records) 1995
“Bag” Bread: The Edible Napkin (CD, LP) (No Idea Records) 1997
“Field”
(Don’t Forget To) Breathe (CD) (Crank Records) 1997
“Field” (Don’t Forget To) Breathe (LP, + Bonus 10″) (Crank Records) 1997
“Valentine”
Stay Tuned for the Holidays (CD) (Crank) 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boys Life – Christie Front Drive  (1999)

Playing Time: 30 minutes 33 seconds 

1. Christie Front Drive – Instant Romance (4:48)
2. Christie Front Drive – Bowl (2:42)
3. Christie Front Drive – Valentine (5:16)
4. Boys Life – Sight Unseen (8:49)
5. Boys Life – Homecoming (4:52)
6. Boys Life – Two Wheeled Train (4:06)

 

 

 

 

Buy Boys Life – Christie Front Drive Split MP3 Download from Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

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