Monday, March 12, 2007

The alarm for H-Hour

Perhaps the biggest challenge that our interns have faced here in the lamestain research department has been finding detailed information about the Seattle-via-Idaho pre-grunge band H-Hour. The band is often mentioned yet seldom described, and they left a meager recorded output (three songs). If they released a proper record, single, or even a demo tape, I’ve never heard or seen it--I can’t even find any documentation about other material.

So why are they still often cited? Here’s why: H-Hour were the vehicle that drove Tad Doyle from Idaho to Seattle in 1987, four years after the band formed. Mr. Doyle, who studied music in college, played drums for the band before joining Bundle of Hiss, where he first played with Kurt Danielson, and then forming TAD, the greatest goddamn band in the universe. (Doyle played the skins on the first few TAD recordings, but the H-Hour songs display his considerable proficiency a lot better.) Biographies about Doyle often mention his tenure in H-Hour.

Until two weeks ago, I had assumed that the other members had simply disappeared, perhaps returning to Idaho and quitting music, so it surprised me to find that singer Johnny Clint and bassist Darren Peters later formed Willard, a band so heavy and grungy that they make Mudhoney sound like Katrina and the Waves. (If you’ve heard both Willard and H-Hour, you would not believe that they shared a singer.) Oddly, Willard’s myspace page doesn’t mention H-Hour. Danny Brown played guitar, and I don’t know what happened to him after H-Hour split in 1988.

I just learned twenty seconds ago that future President of the United States of America Jason Finn played with them at some point. So how about that?

So you’re thinking, hey, H-Hour included future members of TAD, Skin Yard, and Willard—they must be the shit, right? Well, kind of. I wish that I could endorse this band enthusiastically, but the disappointing truth is that H-Hour weren’t all that great. I consider the second part of the medley that appeared on the excellent Another Pyrrhic Victory compilation to be the best of their three songs; they rock the hardest here. The worst? “Overlook,” from the Secretions comp. Why? Two words: slap bass.

Yes, Tad Doyle played in a band with poppin’ bass lines.

In closing, we started following local music in 1988 and 1989, so we missed the boat on a few important early bands, but we also know that some of our readers witnessed this stuff front and center. I’m awfully curious to know more about H-Hour, whether these songs represented their overall sound well, what they were like live, whether they released other material, etc., so please leave a comment if you can enlighten us a bit about the band.

Next week, we promise to return to records that rule.

From Another Pyrrhic Victory

Medley (part 1)
Medley (part 1)

From Secretions

Overlook

And, of course, you can get the songs via zip file here.

--Wm

15 comments:

matt said...

this is great :D
now i only need the My Eye songs from Another Phyrric Victory!
Thanks :D

Yannick said...

Lamestain you're totally right about H-hour and the songs

Makata-kun said...

I just want to say (or write), that this blog is Awesome.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the H-Hour songs from the secretions compilations.you are doing agr8 job . wish you could do a article on willard, weather theatre,SGM, Big tube squeezer and all those awesome lost GOD bands of pre-grunge daze of seattle

Lost in Daylight said...

Funny, I came across this trying to track down Danny Brown. I can fill in a few missing piece about danny for ya in the meantime.

after H-hour danny played in a pretty good band called action buddie. After that he stopped playing for awhile.

in 1993 I met him at a party at dave mortenson's house (singer for Bone cellar, Happy stars, now lives in portland). We hit it off pretty good so I invited him to come try out for my band, Flaw. He played with us for a few months and had a pretty big influence on our sound. We had to let him go after a few months because of his drinking problem.

After Flaw broke up we tried again, but it was the same old same old.

The last I saw him, he had divorced his wife and was moving to Oregon.

Anonymous said...

thank you for this blog.
i can relive my youth by reading about Cat Butt and Almost Live!

J_Are said...

I work with John Clint and Tad Doyle in an undisclosed location in Seattle. Nothing involving music. Really nice dudes.

Anonymous said...

First off, "Lost in Daylight" is DEAD WRONG about why Danny Brown left Flaw! Flaw did NOT let him go do to a "Drinking Problem"!
Second; I am He. I left Flaw to try and reconcile with my then wife which was an excercise in futility. But I digress!.
I'm not aying I didn't drink a lot, I DID! But I wasn't booted. BTW, 'been sober for years.
Pretty Shitty Steve! -Danny

Milton said...

Milton from Vexed here. We played some shows with them. The first time I saw the band they reminded me of a funky U2. But Tad's drums were tremendous. His intense stage presence was evident then. He used a bass drum for a floor tom. Something I hadn't seen before. My band copied that idea. His drums were the best part of the band.

Anonymous said...

H Hour was one of my favorite bands in Boise. I loved seeing them live. Send Me A Signal was a great song - I actually used it in a school project. I am so bummed I lost my tape of them - sounds like there are no recordings out there.....

Mike said...

Whoever said they work with Tad Doyle and John Clint - say hello to Johnny for me from that bum he used to let sleep on his floor. (Mike)

I'd also like John and Tad to know that there is a reunion of sorts coming up in August 2009. The Boise punk/new wave/bar scene crowd is getting together. Cathy (Crooks) is more or less putting it together.

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Mr. Cain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Cain said...

I have their 45, so you can add two more songs to the list. Lucky enough to find it back then. If I get any responses I'll dig it out and get the songs.