Today's post is brought to you by Blair Menace because of a few simple facts: He was there, he had the tape and he is a werewolf. Werewolves are smart creatures and have a lot to offer us mortals. The rest is written by him....
OLD SCHOOL BEER DRINKIN ROBOTS were a Chattanooga band who existed in 2002, and maybe a little bit before or after. They were Josh on guitar, Ramesh on bass, and Daniel on drums.
In the summer of 2002, I was living on the porch of the Lilside house in Asheville when they spent a week or two in town, raising hell and annoying Jason Cronk. I'm not sure if they were on a tour that failed, or what, but they did manage to play shows a time or two here and dubbed this tape for me. To be honest, this was a pretty blurry summer and only a handful of moments of hanging out with them stuck with me: drinking a jug of stolen wine on top of the used book store and singing John Prine and Tom Waits, cringing as Daniel busted forty bottles on the wheelchair ramp of the church across the street, marveling at Ramesh's tendency to nap under his van, getting my only pair of pants (and wallet) stolen off the porch by a crackhead while all four of us slept on it.
Regarding the tape itself: I'm not sure if it ever got “officially” released, at least in this form. I never had a cover or song titles, and it's dubbed over a promotional tape for something called “Tamanu Oil” which you can hear occasionally between songs. The vocals fluctuate wildly in volume on some of the songs, and the bass is sadly often inaudible, but it's still in pretty good shape. The only songs I remember are the self-explanatory theme song, the infamous “Sunrise” (“The only thing more beautiful than a sunrise is a dead cop”), the song about Ramesh's inability to cook potatoes or park accurately, and the obligatory Peter Stubb cover. One song even has some whistling! It's so short that I had to listen to it three times while writing this – twelve songs in thirteen minutes, even though the songs feel weirdly epic and complex. Josh's frantic, scale-defying guitar playing smashing up against Ramesh's Rancid-guy-in-a-tornado bass style is the real draw here, along with the “anything goes” mode of the songwriting.
The band in happier times. Chattanooga 2003.