Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Super Electro Sampler

Not long ago, we proudly declared ourselves to be Mark Arm fanbois. We still stand by that pronouncement, but we would like to add that we also really like Mark’s Mudhoney cohort, Steve Turner. Not only do we dig his Big Muff to Mark’s Super Fuzz, we also think he has pretty cool musical taste. Case in point: his rather awesome record label, Super Electro Records. Not really a Sub Pop subsidiary, Super Electro was manufactured and distributed by the label in the Nineties and released 11 full-lengths and 17 singles, mostly by Northwest garage bands. Obviously, not everything on the label was a smash, but overall, their hit-to-miss ratio was pretty damn high. We already gushed about back-from-the-grave Regal Select, and we’ll eventually get to Bag of Hammers, but right now, we’d like to add Super Electro to Seattle’s great trifecta of Garage Rock Labels.

And since we already hyped up their first bunch of Wellwater Conspiracy singles (read about them here, listen to them here), we’ll give you a Super Electro 7” Sampler.

The Statics - As well as being a cool band in their own right, the Statics attainted legendary status for having the first record release on Greg Lowry’s infamous Rip Off Records. This single was the 2nd Super Electro release. The band paid tribute to Mr. Lowry by covering a Supercharger classic. Besides those ace records, the band also released worthy records on Estrus, Empty, and Rat City. Not sure what their old rhythm section is doing now, but Zack Static now fronts the Zack Static Sect, which features ex-Green River drummer Father Alex.

The Calabros – A Super Electro super-group! Featuring bassist/singer Javad (Night Kings), guitarist Dave (The Fall-Outs, and drummer Steve (Wiretaps), this was the lone release by the band. I’m not sure if they ever played any shows, and while I prefer the guys’ main bands, this record is worth hearing if you are a fan of the aforementioned bands. We can also only assume that their name was in tribute to Seattle Supersonics announcer, Kevin Calabro.

And if you are wondering what Kevin Calabro is doing now that the Sonics have moved to Oklahoma (current record 21-51. Eat it, Clay Bennett!), he’s the voice of Seattle’s new Major League Soccer team, the Sounders.

Eddie and the Back Nine – Okay, so this record isn’t too hot. If you ever wondered what Flop would sound like if they were a straight-up punk band with an Australian singer, then here is your answer. Featuring Thrown Up and famous illustrator Ed Fotheringham on vocals, this four song “golf concept” EP is one of the stranger artifacts from the era.

The Fall-Outs – As they once sang, the Fall-Outs might be one of the least ambitious bands in Seattle. For a band that has been around for 20 some years, they don’t have a gigantic, impossible-to-navigate back catalog, which says to me that they care more about quality than quantity. While Rock Ambition might not be their forte, they are pretty damn consistent and have written some gawddamn classic songs, like the a-side on this single, “Sleep.” They still play around town every so often, and you owe it to yourself to buy their records. For the CD-phobic, you can download their two Super Electro full-lengths here.

Flop – We already declared Flop was the Best Pop Band of the 90’s, and this single is further proof. The a-side comes courtesy of their third record, World of Today, and the b-side features Devo and The Jam covers. The Devo cover isn’t that hot (to be fair, “I’m a Potato” isn’t my favorite Devo song), but their version of the Jam’s “The Place I Love” is great and caused this putz to track down every Jam record . . . as well as any over-priced and over-rated third-tier mod-revival record. So indirectly I blame Rusty Willoughby for me dropping major coin for those limp Merton Parkas records. Thanks, dudes.

The Statics – Hey, Hey EP 7”
Hey Hey
Don’t Mess with Us
Rhino Chaser
Sooprize Package for Mr Mieno

The Calabros – Problems and Others EP 7”
1993, recorded at Egg, SE703
In My Room
Gonna Eat Me

Eddie and the Back Nine – Improving Our Lie EP 7”
1994, SE704, 2000 pressed
Under 10 Handicap
Pin High
Titleist Too

The Fall-Outs – Sleep 7”
1994, SE705, recorded by Conrad Uno at Egg
It’s a Shame

Flop – Act 1, Scene 1 7”
1000 pressed
Act 1, Scene 1
The Place I Love (the Jam)
I’m a Potato (Devo)

Supercharger – “Sooprize Package for Mr Mieno”

Get the Super Electro Party Pack Here.

- MC Tom