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.