Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Stop Spinning



Seattle's semi-legendary U Men here with their second release the 'Stop Spinning' EP, 6 tracks on the Homestead Records label from 1985.  Notorious for their riotous on-stage antics, including deliberately setting the stage on fire during one particularly chaotic show back in the day..  This EP is a good example of where post punk darkness hits the band's patented swamp-o-billy stomp rockin' madness with the unpredictability and dangerous swaggering edge of hardcore.  Running their Birthday Party, Gun Club and Cramps influences through the crazed inbred ancestral tradition (The Sonics, The Wailers etc) of the Pacific North West's garage punk scene.  With a history of raw, recorded 'in the red', pounding R 'n' R and R 'n' B bands round these parts, punk and hardcore must have always been just an illogical shuffling mis-step away...  Whatever.  Theirs was an ahead of its time sound and stance, which was to prove influential among future Amphetamine Reptile (Jesus Lizard) and Sub Pop (Mudhoney) noise makers and scenesters (Tom Hazelmyer AmRep head honcho played bass for just one show, opening for Big Black in '87).  After they split in early '89, guitarist Tom Price went on to form Gas Huffer and their first LP 'Janitors Of Tomorrow' to my ears seems to take up where U Men left off, albeit with a more direct garage punk approach.  Vocalist John Bigley and drummer Charlie Ryan started up The Crows and released an LP on AmRep, keep meaning to check that out!  


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