|Origin||Austin, Texas, United States|
|Genres||Post-hardcore, noise rock, post punk|
|Years active||1982–1987, 2006, 2011|
|Labels||Rabid Cat |
Touch and Go
Scratch Acid was an Austin, Texas noise rock group formed in 1982. One of the pioneers of noise rock in the 1980s, the band is best remembered as a stepping stone for its front man David Yow, and bass player David Wm. Sims, both later of The Jesus Lizard.
Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous city in Texas. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital after Phoenix, Arizona, and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2017 estimate, Austin had a population of 950,715 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,115,827 as of July 1, 2017. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.
Noise rock is a noise-oriented style of experimental rock that spun off from punk rock in the 1980s. Drawing on movements such as minimalism, industrial music, and New York hardcore, artists indulge in extreme levels of distortion through the use of electric guitars and, less frequently, electronic instrumentation, either to provide percussive sounds or to contribute to the overall arrangement.
David Yow is an American musician and actor born in Las Vegas, Nevada and best known as the vocalist for the noise rock bands Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard. Yow's debut solo album, Tonight You Look Like a Spider, was released in June 2013 on Joyful Noise Records.
Scratch Acid was launched in Austin, Texas in 1982. When they first began, their lineup was Steve Anderson (vocals), David Wm. Sims (guitar), Brett Bradford (guitar), David Yow (bass), and Rey Washam (drums). Anderson was kicked out of the band before they ever recorded an album, prompting Yow to move to vocals and Sims to move to bass.
David William Sims is an American musician, best known as the bass guitarist of the bands Scratch Acid, Rapeman, and The Jesus Lizard. In addition, he has recorded or performed with Sparklehorse, Rhys Chatham, Shivaree, Pigface, Flour, and others. Sims currently performs experimental solo electric bass as Unfact.
Rey Washam is a drummer who has been performing for more than 35 years. He has collaborated with many bands, the most notable of which include: Scratch Acid, Rapeman, Ministry, the Big Boys, Helios Creed, the Didjits, Lard, and Tad and Butthole Surfers offshoot Daddy Longhead. When Jason Schwartzman of Phantom Planet left that band, Washam was hired to fill in on drums for a tour which never materialized. Washam also played jazz with a band, Euripides Pants, that recorded an unreleased album.
Scratch Acid's first EP was released in 1984 by Texas indie record label Rabid Cat and featured the song "Lay Screaming", a track which vocalist David Yow indicated was "inspired by Marquis de Sade, reading his shit."
An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.
Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade, was a French nobleman, revolutionary politician, philosopher and writer, famous for his libertine sexuality. His works include novels, short stories, plays, dialogues, and political tracts. In his lifetime some of these were published under his own name while others, which Sade denied having written, appeared anonymously. Sade is best known for his erotic works, which combined philosophical discourse with pornography, depicting sexual fantasies with an emphasis on violence, suffering, criminality, and blasphemy against Christianity. He gained notoriety for putting these fantasies into practice. He claimed to be a proponent of absolute freedom, unrestrained by morality, religion, or law. The words sadism and sadist are derived from his name.
The band returned to Rabid Cat for their debut album, Just Keep Eating, released in 1986. When queried about the significance of the title in a February 1987 interview, the band called the title "kinda silly" and "an inside joke", related to the fact that they all had lived together and done well to just keep surviving.Eschewing pop sensibilities but instead pushing boundaries with noise, the band listed Sonic Youth, Big Black, and Butthole Surfers as their stylistic peers.
Sonic Youth was an American rock band based in New York City, formed in 1981. Founding members Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon and Lee Ranaldo remained together for the entire history of the band, while Steve Shelley (drums) followed a series of short-term drummers in 1985, and rounded out the core line-up.
Big Black was an American punk rock band from Evanston, Illinois, active from 1981 to 1987. Founded by singer and guitarist Steve Albini, the band's initial lineup also included guitarist Santiago Durango and bassist Jeff Pezzati, both of Naked Raygun. In 1985, Pezzati was replaced by Dave Riley, who played on Big Black's two full-length studio albums, Atomizer (1986) and Songs About Fucking (1987).
Butthole Surfers are an American rock band formed by singer Gibby Haynes and guitarist Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas, in 1981. The band has had numerous personnel changes, but its core lineup of Haynes, Leary, and drummer King Coffey has been consistent since 1983. Teresa Nervosa served as second drummer from 1983 to 1985, 1986 to 1989, and 2009. The band has also employed a variety of bass players, most notably Jeff Pinkus.
The band's third and final release, an EP entitled Berserker, was released by Touch and Go Records. A posthumous compilation CD entitled The Greatest Gift was released by Touch and Go Records in 1991.
Touch and Go Records is an American independent record label based in Chicago, Illinois. After its genesis as a handmade fanzine in 1979, it grew into one of the key record labels in the American 1980s underground and alternative rock scenes. Touch & Go carved out a reputation for releasing adventurous noise rock by the likes of the Butthole Surfers, Big Black, and The Jesus Lizard. Along with other independent American labels such as Twin/Tone, SST Records, and Dischord, Touch & Go helped to spearhead the nationwide network of underground bands that formed the pre-Nirvana indie rock scene. These labels presided over the shift from the hardcore punk that then dominated the American underground scene to the more diverse styles of alternative rock that were emerging.
The Greatest Gift is a posthumously-released compilation album by Scratch Acid, containing everything they had recorded.
The band was named by music journalist Will Lerner as "the American equivalent of the Birthday Party."After developing a reputation as a crazy, noisy punk band, Scratch Acid disbanded in 1987. According to the liner notes of The Greatest Gift, the band members never received compensation from either Rabid Cat or Fundamental Records (who distributed their releases in Europe).
The Birthday Party were an Australian post-punk band, active from 1978 to 1983. Despite limited commercial success, The Birthday Party's influence has been far-reaching, and they have been called "one of the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early '80s." The group's "bleak and noisy soundscapes," which drew irreverently on blues, free jazz, and rockabilly, provided the setting for vocalist Nick Cave's disturbing tales of violence and perversion. Their music has been described by critic Simon Reynolds as gothic, and their single "Release the Bats" was particularly influential on the emerging gothic scene.
Writing in Flipside magazine, Gary Davis emphasized the band's rawness, energy, and earnestness in a live setting:
"...The band is unpretentious, fast, and forceful. They present no gimmicks, glamor, or elaborate stage show. After all, that's already been done so many times before. Scratch Acid simply walk on stage in their street clothes and begin to play. The quality of their music stands on its own."
Brett Bradford went on to form Colorado punk band Great Caesar's Ghost, who disbanded in 1993. He also formed Sangre De Toro and played with Areola 51. Washam went on to perform with many other bands, including the Big Boys, Ministry, Helios Creed, the Didjits, Lard, and Tad. In 1987, Sims and Washam joined Steve Albini in the band Rapeman, which disbanded just before Sims reunited with Yow in 1989 to form the Jesus Lizard.
All of the original members of the band appeared at Emo's nightclub in Austin on September 2, 2006,and at the Touch and Go 25th anniversary celebration in Chicago, Illinois on September 9, 2006. They played their third and final show of the brief reunion at Seattle's Showbox Theater on Saturday, September 16, playing 20 songs from their 28-song (recorded) oeuvre before leaving the stage.
The band reunited for their first UK show since 1987 for at the second British All Tomorrow's Parties music festival March 9 through 11, 2012, curated by Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum.David Wm. Sims also announced in his blog that the band will play some dates in November and December in the US "and possibly in Europe". On August 31, David Yow released the complete list of tour dates on his Facebook page.
A berserker was a Norse warrior who fought with great rage.
Rapeman was an American noise rock band founded in 1987 and disbanded in 1989. It consisted of Steve Albini on guitar and vocals, David Wm. Sims on bass and Rey Washam on drums. Their sound was also described as post-hardcore.
Shellac is an American post-hardcore band from Chicago, Illinois, composed of Steve Albini, Bob Weston and Todd Trainer and formed in 1992. Their music genre has been classified as post-hardcore and noise rock but they describe themselves as a "minimalist rock trio."
The Jesus Lizard is an American rock band formed in 1987 in Austin, Texas and based in Chicago, Illinois. They were "a leading noise rock band in the American independent underground…[who] turned out a series of independent records filled with scathing, disembowelling, guitar-driven pseudo-industrial noise, all of which received positive reviews in underground music publications and heavy college-radio play."
Killdozer was an American rock band, formed in Madison, Wisconsin in 1983, with members Bill Hobson, Dan Hobson and Michael Gerald. They took their name from the 1974 TV movie, directed by Jerry London, itself based on a Theodore Sturgeon short story. They released their first album, Intellectuals are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite, in the same year. The band split in 1990 but reformed in 1993, losing guitarist Bill Hobson and gaining Paul Zagoras, and continued until they split up in 1996. Their farewell tour was officially titled "Fuck You, We Quit!", and included Erik Tunison of Die Kreuzen in place of Dan Hobson on drums and Jeff Ditzenberger on additional guitar. The band released nine albums, including a post-breakup live CD, The Last Waltz.
The Didjits were an American punk rock band formed in Mattoon, Illinois in 1983, composed of Rick Sims on guitar/vocals, Doug Evans on bass, and Rick's brother Brad Sims, on drums. Didjits were known for the aggressive guitar playing and persona of Rick Sims, who often baited the audience between songs, and took plenty of abuse for it. Moreover, the band also added odd stunts and theatrical bits to some of their stage shows, particularly when playing in Chicago and Champaign.
Head is the first full album by The Jesus Lizard. It was released on Touch and Go Records in 1990. It is their first release to feature a drummer, Mac McNeilly.
Pure is the debut EP by The Jesus Lizard, released in 1989. The cover artwork was by bassist David Wm. Sims. This is the only record by the Jesus Lizard recorded with a drum machine. Drummer Mac McNeilly was added to the group soon after it was recorded. The song "Blockbuster" was sung by bassist David Wm. Sims and was covered by the Melvins, with David Yow on vocals, on their album "The Crybaby".
Two Nuns and a Pack Mule is the first and only album by the Chicago noise rock band Rapeman, released by Touch & Go Records on August 23, 1988. The CD re-release contained the Budd extended play in its entirety.
Budd is the first release by the Chicago noise rock band Rapeman. The first three songs on the EP were recorded live. The title is a reference to Budd Dwyer, a politician who committed suicide during a televised press conference. The lyrics of the title track contain references to phrases used during the incident.
Scratch Acid is the self-titled debut by the Austin, Texas noise rock band Scratch Acid. It was only released on vinyl, but now can be found as the first 8 tracks on the compilation album The Greatest Gift.
Just Keep Eating is the only full-length album by the Austin, Texas noise rock band Scratch Acid. Although it was only released on vinyl, it can be found as tracks 9-21 on the compilation album The Greatest Gift.
Berserker is an EP, the final release by Austin, Texas noise rock band Scratch Acid. Although it is now out of print, it can be found as tracks 22-27 on the compilation album The Greatest Gift.
Qui are a rock group formed in 2000 in Los Angeles by Paul Christensen (drums/vocals) and Matt Cronk (guitar/vocals). A combination of punk, noise and experimental rock, they released their first full-length album Baby Kisses in 2003.
"Mouth Breather" is a 1990 song by the band The Jesus Lizard, from the album Goat.