One night, I walked over to a show in north Chattanooga at a house with a falling in kitchen (one night, that kitchen's floor fell in during a show, but not this one). I showed up because PANTY RAID was playing, but they were with these two total fuuuuucking goofballs who immediately decided that we were friends and, yes, we were all going to get wasted together. It was a dark period in my life when I lived on a weird, filthy houseboat (no shame. that boat saved my life) anchored in the stinky ass Tennessee River. I was ready to get drunk and die at the drop of a hat. So were these two guys, so we got along great. It wasn't until I saw them tuning up that I even realized that they were in a band playing that night. I thought, "These guys can barely stand. Will they be able to play?" This situation is not uncommon in Chattanooga, but is usually best executed by locals. The touring bands almost always fail and pull off one of the worst sets of their tour. SEXY did not fail. Joined by Baby Ian on bass, they played the best set of the night. The floors were so unstable that their mic stands were bouncing all over the place, but Ashley and Chris (my two new friends) just followed as best they could while wildly pounding out some of the catchiest songs I had heard in years. I didn't buy their demo tape and I still regret it.
When I moved out to the Bay Area a year later, I hung out with these two fools when I could, at shows, on the street, getting booted out of breweries, on the waterfront, etc, I trekked up to Pacific Heights (aka Specific Whites) to see them play in a cool teen's parent's house (whassup Chloe Puke) and everything seemed wrong. They played two songs and looked at each other...."This sucks. Why do we sound so bad?" Chris pulled a huge jug of wine out of his bag and started chugging it. He passed it to Ashley, who followed suit. As they kept playing, they sounded better and better until they were (as usual) completely annihilating the show.On the bike ride home from the show, I watched Chris get sideswiped by a city bus. He sat on the ground for a second and said "Aw man..." before getting back on his bike and continuing on with us.
I kept watching them everywhere I could: in shitty bars, in humid Florida warehouses, on the street and in the women's bathroom at Gilman. Once, I yelled "NOOOOOOOOO!!" at them for the entirety of their true-to-form cover of THE BAND'S "Up On Cripple Creek". They almost always seemed to harness that sweet spot of perfect abandon. almost-too-drunk and true freedom when it was all at it's breaking point.
When I heard they recorded an LP, I wanted to hear it immediately, but I was skeptical. Could this band actually harness the sound of ridiculous, unhinged, drunken abandon? Yeah, they did. This record sounds exactly like SEXY live. Better, even...and to actually read the lyrics made you understand that this band was pretty funny...and fucking sad. Metaphors are few on this LP. They talk about writing songs on the bus, smoking crack while watching the ships roll in, breaking down in Kettleman City (a shithole if there ever was one), shotgunning 50 beers in the shower to dull the pain, etc. This record also came into my life at a perfect time...when I felt terrible...when I felt okay about listening to songs about pain and heartbreak without thinking too terribly much about how my actions caused serious pain and repercussions to the people around me...when I didn't think too much about how you can write an unforgettable, classic song about someone, but that someone is actually someone, you know? They're a living, breathing human being that has to endure idiots like me blabbing on about this wonderful shit, while they're like "Great...that dude gets to be validated for the rest of his life for being a drunken guy who broke my heart and stole my SMOKING POPES record." That is a simple over-analyzation of a bigger thing, but you get where I'm coming from, right? I love this record. I always will, but I think too much.
There's Craig D's face. He wasn't in the band.
The song is called "Thank You Dead and Gone" because the wood block and percussion used on that song was found in the trash outside of DEAD AND GONE's practice space.
Yes, this is a record...not a tape. It was a request.
The original press of this LP has a pressing flaw and it has skips in it. The band kept giving me copies of it when I kept telling them that my copy skipped a lot. At one point, I had 8 copies of this record. Thrillhouse Records repressed the LP and made new plates so it doesn't skip. You can still order it from them.
If I wasn't clear, this is one of the best records of the last 15 years. If you've never heard this record and like melodic punk on this blog, this is essential.