Thursday, June 25, 2009
Ahhh...where to begin.
At the tender age of 13 this was easily one of my top 3 favorite bands. Right behind Nirvana and Tool I suppose. (Hey, cut some slack, I was 13 after all.) At the time Kalamazoo's Twitch was easily the most promising band playing in west Michigan, if not all of MI.
What really set Twitch apart from their proggy, art-metal leaning K-zoo brethren was their more rock based verse chorus verse song structures and the amazingly unique croon of vocalist Chris Bryers. It was heavy and original enough for the metal guys and musicians, noisy and simple enough for the grunge kids, and yet still accessible enough for the college rock crowd. I'm sure Bryers' vocals helped with the later as well. There was a warm honesty in his almost "Peter Gabriel via Satan" voice that I'm sure wet a panty or two. (If I remember correctly, the one and only time I got to see them he got hit in the face by the bra of an over enthusiastic female.)
Based on the strength of their self released "Homewrecker" EP they got signed to Grass Records. Based on the strength of that Grass release "Beaten Senseless and Giddy With Love" they got signed to RCA. What happened from there remains a mystery to most. I remember reading a review of the advanced copy of "Medicine Ball" in a local music rag. I think it even showed some art work (be it small) that I never saw again. Rumor had it that RCA could only keep one of their MI signings (the other being the one hit blunder Verve Pipe. Fucking "Freshmen"!). Subsequently, Twitch was dropped and this EP went unreleased. From the sounds of it there was a whole other albums worth of material recorded that got shit canned as well. As it seems to happen too often in situations like this, this prematurely ended a band that had yet to peak in popularity or potential.
I got this on cassette tape at one of thier (last?) shows in K-zoo. I'm not sure if it followed being dropped or if it was during them floating in label limbo. It did seem like they were selling these out of spite either way. Just a hand dubbed 90 minute tape with a Xeroxed lime green sleeve that simply read "TWITCH - Medicine Ball".
I'm throwing in their contribution to the Grass Records tribute to Frank Sinatra ("Pretty Colors") and the b-side to the Jedi 7" ("Wick") just to fatten to zip and sweeten the deal. More info on Twitch can be found here and here. "Homewrecker" and "Beaten Senseless..." are available on iTunes. I suggest you get them both. They are phenomenal. Chances are good though that if you're here getting this from me, you own both and already know that.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I mentioned this band a while back in the Jaks post and I'm finally getting around to posting it. Like I said in that post, I think they played that same Grand Rapids show as Jaks if I remember right. Regardless, Philo Beddow was yet another great and "unknown outside of MI" band. I remember seeing them another time at an in-store performance during one of Ann Arbor's notorious Hash Bash weekends. They had Craw stickers all over there stuff which made perfect sense. I believe they played together quite a bit. Philo Beddow definitely rock in a very similar way. Imagine Craw mixed with Quicksand maybe? Weird, right? I know but it worked well. I think they had more hooks and were overall more accessible than Craw.
Anyway, finding info on this band anymore is not easy. No Myspace and as you can see I had to take a picture of the cover just to present it here. I believe they had a 7" out before this that I don't have and it appears they put an album out a bunch of years later that really sounds nothing like this.
Here ya go "Knucklehead"!
My next couple of posts are gonna shed some light on some MI bands that I feel have been long over looked. I'm not sure what it is but it seems that there are so many great bands there that, for some reason, go virtually unnoticed outside that region. Lack of touring? Maybe. Lack of giving a shit? More likely. Lack of quality? No. I don't think so anyway...
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
This band rules! The album ("Mennonite") this song is from was one of my favorite releases last year! It's more than post-worthy but I'm pretty sure the band self-released it so you should buy it from them here.