Formed after Boise-based hardcore band State of Confusion broke up, Treepeople moved to Seattle around 1988–a good few years before the influx of crappy wannabe rock star bands. The band originally comprised Scott Schmaljohn (guitar/vocals), Doug Martsch (guitar/vocals), Pat Brown (bass), and Wayne Rhino Flower (drums); they first released the No Mouth Pipetting cassette in 1988 and made their vinyl debut in 1989 with the Jack Endino-produced “Important Things” 7” on Silence Records (SEP 002). Silence also released the Time Whore EP (SVP 03) in 1990 and added the song “Cartoon Brew” to the 1990 Silence Sampler 1 EP (SVP 05), which also included songs by Dirt Fishermen and Caustic Resin. They then released the “Makin’ the D” b/w “PG” 7” in 1990 on Battery Records and the “Mistake” b/w “Ballard Bitter” 7” on Sonic Bubblegum Record (GUM002) in 1991. Also in 1991, Arizona-based Toxic Shock Records released the Treepeople/House of Large Sides split single and their debut LP, Guilt, Regret, and Embarrassment (since reissued by K Records – minus the bonus tracks).
C/Z then decided to nut up and release the Steve Fisk and Stuart Hallerman-produced Something Vicious for Tomorrow EP (CZ040) in 1991. Featuring new drummer, Tony Dallas Reed, the record also included the Time Whore EP, and according to the 1991-1992 C/Z catalog, it sounded like “Sonic crust from J. Mascis’ wet dreams. These guys were friends with Tad before he developed an eating disorder.” Former Christ on A Crutch drummer Erik Akre then joined the band, and they released the great “Outside In” b/w “Hide and Find Out” 45 (CZ050) in 1992. T. Dallas Reed rejoined the band on bass for the Just Kidding LP (CZ054) in 1993. Produced by John Goodmanson, the record features re-recorded versions of “Cartoon Brew,” “Ballard Bitter,” “Neil’s Down,” and a slowed down version of “Outside In.” The band contributed “Drawing Lessons” to the Teriyaki Asthma Vol. 8 (CZ049), which also featured songs by MX-80, Ween, and Dose;, and “Boiled Bird” to the Four on the Floor EP (CZ055) along with Dirt Fishermen, Gnome, and Alcohol Funnycar.
The Treepeople also recorded “More than a Feeling” for the completely unnecessary Boston tribute double 7”, Bostonot, on Face the Music Records, which also featured covers by Karp, Paste, Fitz of Depression, Witchy Poo, Cog, Roger Nusic, Ketchup & Mayonnaise. They also did a split double 7” with like-minded band, Archers of Loaf, where they did “Meet at the End” and Archers’ cover “Web in Front” while Archers of Loaf did ‘Quinnbeast” and covered “Funnelhead.” Doug and T. Dallas split the band, and John Polle and Eric Carnell replaced them for their final record, Actual Re-Enactment in 1994. The band lasted a while longer before Scott and John formed Stuntman for a couple records and moved back to Idaho. Scott now plays in a band called The Treatment.
Doug, of course, formed Built to Spill and gave birth to Modest Mouse and a million other bands that learned it was okay for guitarists to noodle every so often, T. Dallas joined former All singer Scott Reynolds' band, Goodbye Harry, for a couple records, Eric played in Kill Sybil and then joined his sister’s band, Goodness, while Wayne Rhino Flower started Violent Green.
King Khan and other garage rockers who can’t appreciate anything unless Tim Warren of Crypt Records gives it thumbs up might not dig this band or C/Z Records, but here are some songs and you can judge them yourself.
Get them all in a .zip file here.
Buy C/Z stuff here.
-- MC Tom