Posts Tagged ‘Sub-Pop’


Friday, December 27th, 2013

Part of Me 7″
Sub-Pop, 1995

By the time I found Plexi, around the time their excellent Cheer Up record came out, they’d mutated into a glossier glam-pop version of themselves with sharp, punchy guitar hooks and a hard rock swagger. I’ve loved that album for years now. Digging back into their discography with their 7″ debut, I was stoked to find a more aggro version of the band with two tracks that are just a little more tense and in-your-face than their LP tracks. The sleeve design is pretty sweet too, with embossed letterpress art and the 2 songs jammed onto the A-side of this 1-sided 45. I picked up a used copy, but it looks like it’s still available at the Sub Pop website too.

Buy “Part of Me” at



Monday, June 15th, 2009

Loser / Cooking With Gas 7″
Sub-Pop, 1989

Talking with a friend this weekend, we recalled a time when the term “grunge” didn’t conjure up images of ridiculous designer flannel and lame ’90s-style hard rock, before the gnarlier aspects of the term were sanitized and rationalized for mass consumption. For us, Seattle’s Tad embodied what grunge was really about: loud, burly, heavy dirtpunk for weirdos — in short, ugly music for ugly people. Long before every mall in America was teeming with teenagers sporting Doc Martens and flannel shirts, flipping their locks and blathering about Pearl Jam, Tad was punishing eardrums with gut-rumbling dirges that mainlined the colossal buzz of the Melvins and late-period Black Flag (they released a single featuring covers of Flag’s “Damaged I” and “Damaged II”) into a backwoods freakshow that made grunge scary. Their God’s Balls and Salt Lick 12-inchers are essential noise rock classics and this, one of many classic Tad singles on Sub-Pop, showcases the true grit of grunge.


Tad – “Loser”
Tad – “Cooking With Gas”

Les Thugs

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Electric Troubles LP
Vinyl Solution/Sub Pop, 1987

Anytime I play this, or Les Thugs’ other smoker, I.A.B.F. (International Anti-Boredom Front), someone inevitably asks “who is this?” At their prime, this French band’s sound contained the full-on speed and energy of hardcore punk blown out to form a massive wall of sound that could be mistaken for My Bloody Valentine‘s Loveless sped up to 45 rpm, contrasting an huge blur of guitar with catchy, echoey, harmonized vocals. Just check out the shocking intro track “Dead Dreams” that starts with a quasi-Native American chant and snaps into a tidal wave of roaring guitar that doesn’t let up until the end of the A-side. And even though they toured the U.S. a number of times, sung in English, had good distribution through reputable labels over the course of 15 years, they never got the recognition or fanbase they deserved. Les Thugs’ later albums are decent, and although they’re driven by a huge guitar sound, they don’t quite have the fullness and instantly memorable early albums, which are absolutely essential.


Les Thugs – Electric Troubles LP (42.3mb Zip)


Official Les Thugs website
Les Thugs on Sub Pop

Pain Teens

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Death Row Eyes / The Smell 7″
Sub Pop, 1992

There’s something undeniably appealing about sinister music, especially when it comes to rock, and it doesn’t get much more sinister than the Pain Teens. Dark, disturbing, and steeped in the hazy, narcotic fog of Houston, Texas, their music has the acid-fried punk psyche of Chrome plus the weirdo noise experimentation of fellow Texans The Butthole Surfers tightly wound held together with an industrial-sized, relentlessly bombastic rhythm section. Those elements alone make the Pain Teens a fairly interesting band, but the real power of their sound comes from singer Bliss Blood, who’s disarming, female vocals prevent them from being just another off-putting band of testosterone-laden misanthropes. In fact, without her voice and the perfectly assembled layers of pounding noise, riffs, and tape loops, it’d be hard for anyone but the dimmest of sickwads to subject themselves to their tales from the darkest side of humanity. Just dig the seductive qualities of the Savage Pencil portrait of Ted Bundy on the cover of this Sub Pop Singles Club 45, or their twisted take on John Barry’s “You Only Live Twice” from Trance Records’ Love & Napalm compilation and you’ll see what I mean.


Pain Teens – “Death Row Eyes”
Pain Teens – “The Smell”

Pain Teens – “Ituri”
Pain Teens – “You Only Live Twice”
from Love & Napalm compilation