Xerobot/Duotron split 7″
Coat-Tail Records, 1995
Xerobot is another long gone and forgotten band that epitomizes why Noise for Zeros exists. They splurted out a few DNA-mutating records from the depths of the upper midwest — Madison, Wisconsin to be exact — and dissolved before getting their due. Perfectly named, Xerobot’s mechanically tense and controlled (robotic) song structures and sounds were rigidly inhuman, but blown out and distorted (xeroxed) enough to push them out of any smoothly-polished Kraftwerk or Servotron ghetto into the chaotic spasm of classic No Wave groups like Mars, DNA, and Teenage Jesus & The Jerks. In fact, they fit nicely into the elusive “Now Wave” genre of the late ’90s with bands like Lake of Dracula, Melt-Banana, and U.S. Maple. One of the most distinguishing characteristics of their sound were the crazy person vocals by Greg Peters, who simply has to be heard to be believed: insane, hilarious, animated, retarded, maniacal, pissed, rambling and frothing and anything but dull. Just sample the tracks below and you’ll see what I mean. He’s currently fronting Buck Pig after a few years in the awesomely-named My Name Is Rar-Rar. Two of the Xerobots headed west to San Francisco to form The Numbers, who’ve gone on to relative indie rock fame with a pop-infused version of the sputtering punk contortions that Xerobot made famous — or not so famous, as their obscure and underrated place in punk noise history has shown.
The first two tracks are from their split 7″ with Michigan doinkmeisters Duotron, and “Lumber” comes from their contribution to the second of Coat-Tail Records’ brilliantly conceived 60 Second compilations, which featured bands doing 60-second songs — a format perfectly suited for a band like Xerobot.
Xerobot – “Lumber”
from Coat-Tail Records’ 60 Second Compilation 7″, 1996
Xerobot – “More Than Kittens”
from Chunklet Magazine’s Money Shot compilation CD, 1997