Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pitchfork - Eucalyptus + Saturn Outhouse (1990)

This is actually the 2003 re-release on John Reis's Swami Records imprint. It combines the Eucalyptus LP from 1990 and the OOP Saturn Outhouse 7" from 1989.

For fans of Drive Like Jehu or the Hot Snakes, it is a must that you check this record out. Pitchfork is the beginning of it all for the legacy of John Reis and Rick Froberg. And knowing where the two have been for the past 10+ years will not prepare you for what they started out with. You would think that the duos earlier stuff would actually be more ferocious and abrasive then their later stuff, them being youngins and all. But the truth is, Pitchfork is loaded to the brim with melody and alot of conventional rock structures. It still has the trademark guitar tone, and it still has Frobergs monotone vocal styling, but these are rockers, a lot of them at mid tempo, and resemble more of their late 80's peers than the mathematical hardcore punk they created. Reminscent of Dinosaur Jr at times, at Sonic Youth at others, even the later DC sound was an influence at the time. This all ends up making Pitchfork their most accesible piece of work. Froberg actually sings a fair amount of the songs and very little in terms of structure is similar to their later work. Though it is clear that it is Reis and Froberg the whole time. Every single note and lyric rings true with their aesthetic. It is amazing to see how they obviously took the melodies and harmonies from this work and then fractured them and re-arranged them for DLJ or Hot Snakes. The song New Kid is the song that most points in the direction of future pursuits, with its squggly guitar dynamic.

Overall, it is a more tuneful, less dangerous version of the John Reis sound. Maybe it seems obvious then, that Reis split this groups sound and took the rockier parts to Rocket From the Crypt, and took the harsher, more dymanic punk parts to Drive Like Jehu. Swami Records released the remastered version, and the artwork (as always) was done by Rick Froberg.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say hi and thanks for the add on the links (Khaosnyx)!
If you want to check out what we do, here are two links, one for my solo/home recording
and one for the band I play drums for,"Voila!
All the best.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry wrong link it is:

11:11 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

thanks man!

11:18 AM  
Blogger Terry said...

Just giving this Pitchfork a first listen ever. I'm pleasantly surprised that after Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes, this original Froberg/Reis effort has so much to offer. It is more subdued than Drive Like Jehu, but it still holds a lot of tension, a diamond in the rough compared to DLJ's polished tightness and messy, raw agression. I suppose it's with Pitchfork where their music could be compared at times with 'other bands', but there is still much originality here.

Also, thanks for the additional links... between your postings and links to quality sites, you've become the guy that tells me what music I like! Thanks for the hard work and passion in music.

3:58 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Terry, that was an awesome description of Pitchfork.

and thanks for the kind words. Mine is more of an obsession than a passion, but whatever gets people into new music they like is fine by me.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Gabbagabbahey said...

Gotta have a listen to this. Can't say I think much of the Hot Snakes, but when I first heard it, DLJ's Yank Crime was as much of a musical revelation to me as Envy's Dead Sinking Story.

I especially like the idea of "a diamond in the rough". Very poetic!

9:11 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

"Rana" is one of my ten favorite songs I've gotten into in the past coupl of years. This thing slays though... "Fuck Yeah! I've got piano wire." is about as good as lines get.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christ, I was just thinking about this album the other day, and wishing someone would offer it for download. I originally bought it in San Diego in 1990 and have long since lost my original LP copy. What an amazing piece of music. How great to see it's back in print after all these years.

6:34 PM  

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