Well, we are reaching the end of our amazing 3-part series celebrating Issaquah, Washington and one of our favorite garage rock labels of all time, Regal Select, and we are going out with a bang: the Puget Power Act III EP (RS-14). Released in 1991, this EP is a split between Seattle and Portland bands and features Mudhoney, the Nights Kings, Calamity Jane, and Rancid Vat.
The Portland side begins with Calamity Jane, which featured singer/guitarist Gilly Anne Hanner, bassist Megan Hanner, and drummer Lisa Koenig. The band also did some singles on Tim/Kerr records, Sympathy for the Record Industry, Imp, and a few other labels before breaking up in the early-nineties soon after opening for Nirvana in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Gilly Ann later joined Starpower (with ex-Crackerbash bassist, Scott Fox), No 2 (with ex-Heatmiser, Neil Gust), and Braille Stars and performed as a solo artist.
Following Calamity Jane is now Texas-based, wrestling maniacs Rancid Vat, or the 2nd greatest band with “Rancid” in their name (#1 is Rancid Hell Spawn, of course). Rancid Vat contributed their version of wrestling star Adrian Street’s “Breakin’ Bones,” which is about how they are only happy when they break people’s bones. Awesomely enough, Rancid Vat weren’t the only Portland punk band made up of wresting fans. Greg Sage of the Wipers might have been the highest profile Portland punk musician/wrestling fan and even made his 1971 recording debut by backing up Portland wrestler Beauregarde for a now-reissued LP; he also posed in front of a bunch of wrestling photos, fliers, and articles for the back cover of his very fine 1985 solo debut record, Straight Ahead. For those of you taking notes, some of Rancid Vat’s members were also in Alcoholics Unanimous, who appeared on Puget Power 2.
The Seattle side starts off with one of my favorite Mudhoney songs, “Bush Pusherman,” which was recorded by Conrad Uno at Egg Studios and can also be found on the brilliant March to Fuzz retrospective double-CD. Following Mudhoney, Rob Vasquez makes a re-appearance on the series with the Night Kings’ song “Black Fluid.” Recorded at Vinyl Manor, the song is another reminder that Rob is the garage rock maestro and is sorely under-appreciated in Seattle. Once again, you can still buy copies of their great full length, Increasing our High, through Sub Pop.
Well, for now that’s it for Regal Select and Issaquah and we can safely say that we have put the town back on the map. Despite hometown boys Modest Mice People’s best efforts, Issaquah is a Rock and Roll Town, and Regal Selects reminds us of that (even if they didn’t release anything by any Issaquah bands). We’ll eventually get to the Puget Power 4 comp, the Kings of Rock, and a few other punk rock chestnuts on Regal Select, but until then enjoy the tunes.
Get them all via a handy zip file here.