First, the basics: the band consisted of Pete Krebs (guitar, vox), Jody Bleyle (drums, vocals), Brady Smith (bass), and Fred Nemo (dancing, old person-ness). They formed in Portland, Oregon, and played their first show (w/ Bedspins, Joybuzzer, and the awesome Crackerbash) at some venue called Handprints on Valentine’s Day in 1992. Hazel ceased to function as a full-time band back in 1997, although they still play live once every year or two. Fred Nemo’s homepage is worth perusing, as it includes a complete list of every show they played. A bit more of their history can be learned from a UW Daily article from 1998.
Bleyle’s label, Candy-Ass Records, released the “Heida”/“Pop Uncle” in 1992. For better or worse, it has the usual attributes of a punk record: a simple, hand-drawn sleeve; very raw recording; and only a semblance of competence. Although the songs themselves are okay, it’s easy to tell that the band played their first show only a week before they hit Smegma Studios to record this. We don’t consider “Heida” to be essential.
Their first Sub Pop single, “Jilted”/”Truly,” on the other hand, is fantastic. Hazel recorded these songs again at Smegma and again with Mike Lastra behind the boards, but six months of constant playing and the presence of Kurt Bloch near the studio’s console helped measurably. Strangely, the b-side became the bigger “hit,” although I’ve always preferred “Jilted.”
And for as awful as the cover of Toreador of Love was, the cover to this single rules.
The songs can be found in the .zip file here.--Wm