As every kid knows now, Seattle wasn’t the only place on the Earth where long-haired dudes abused fuzz pedals and played skuzzy, heavy garage-fueled punk rock in the 80s. Australia also had her fair share of grungy punk bands, and quite a few of them released records in the States. Yes, before Silverchair and the Vines, Australian bands like Grong Grong, Feedtime, King Snake Roost, and Lubricated Goat were performing some of the ugliest music this side of Drunks With Guns. With US labels like Alternative Tentacles, Amphetamine Reptile, Sympathy for the Record Industry, and Sub Pop releasing their records, the Aussies began crossing the Atlantic and settling in the Evergreen State.
One of the lesser known Aussie to Seattle imports was Monroe’s Fur, who arose out of the ashes of Lubricated Goat. Lubricated Goat released 1989’s “Meating My Head” and 1992’s “Play Dead” singles on Sub Pop. Group leader and former Salamander Jim member Stu Spasm eventually moved to the Midwest, married Babe in Toyland’s Kat Bjelland, and formed the band Crunt. Monroe’s Fur was then formed in Sydney by drummer Peter Hartley after he was kicked out of Lubricated Goat and originally featured Paul Gill (guitar), Guy Madison (bass), and Paul Kidney (vocals). This version of the band recorded the 1989 New World Order Catalogue LP; and you can find a sample song on the incredible website site, Black Eye Records Jukebox.
Founder Peter Hartley never made it to the U.S., and fellow Lubricated Goat/Bloodloss member Martin Bland joined on drums. The Seattle version also featured Bloodloss/Primevils member Renestair E.J., Guy, Paul, Ben Cahill, and Jason Fitzgerald.
The “Fire” b/w “Green Horn” single came out in 1994 on Brad Gaub’s Carving Knife Records. Musically, it’s sort of similar to Bloodloss, who also reformed in Seattle with Martin, Renestair, Guy, and Mark Arm around the same time. The band also released “Coming into Land” 7” on IFA Records--who put out records by Bottle of Smoke, Zeke, Texass, and Bloodloss--and the self-released full-length, Sadistfactory. You can also hear a song from that record on the Black Eye blog.
Martin, Guy, members of the Thrown Ups and King Snake Roost, and Mudhoney’s Mark Arm and Steve Turner also recorded under the name Bushpig for a 1990 self-titled LP on PGK, which we will eventually post. Martin was also in the Monkeywrench and currently plays in Tom Price’s Desert Classic and leads the experimental/improv band Randomized Control Trials. Guy is now in Mudhoney, and Renestair EJ has since returned to Australia and plays in Peterhead.
As an added bonus, here’s Lubricated Goat’s censored-but-not-entirely-work-safe ‘In the Raw’ video.
-- MC Tom