I’ll only give a brief history of Mr. Epp and the Calculations, as that ground is well covered elsewhere (here and here). They named themselves after their math teacher at
In the days since they disbanded, most people who have discovered them have done so out of interest in the members’ subsequent projects. The most famous, of course, were
Some of the bits I’ve read about Mr. Epp refer to them as a hardcore band, which they’re most assuredly not. A friend of mine, who passed on these digital files, told me that he hears Flipper and the Minutemen. While I don’t believe that Mr. Epp sought to imitate either one of these bands (especially since few musicians have the chops necessary to ape the Minutemen), there’s a strange amount of truth in his description. In a way, they defy categorization. It’s easy to forget that so many punk bands from that era also defied easy categorization; the hidebound punks from the early 80s who adhered to specific ethos and appearances, in fact, serve as targets for Mark Arm in the aforementioned “Mohawk Man.”
I may be making this sound more interesting than it is. We’ll be charitable and state that these fellas went on to make better, more interesting, more exciting music later. “Spooky,” which does for goths what “Mohawk Man” did for Exploited-loving, snaggle-toothed rockers, is probably their best song. The rest? I’d download the whole thing only if you’re a completist.
The first five tracks come from Mr. Epp’s first EP Of Course I’m Happy, Why? (Pravda; 1982); “Spooky” comes from the compilation tape The Public Doesn’t Exist (Dog Tapes; 1982). Box Dog and Super Electro released Ridiculing the Apocalypse, which collects everything, in 1996. As far as I know, it’s out of print; it someone knows otherwise, kindly let me know. Their complete discography is well covered here.
The entire cd is on the .zip file here.