The Awesome Snakes are the sonic equivalent to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made at Radio Shack. This Minneapolis two-piece consists of a bass player and a drummer only. Every great once in a while you can also hear a keyboard, turntable, whistle, or a sample from a “How-To” cassette stolen from your neighbor’s picnic table. C’mon.
The Awesome Snakes are Danny Snakes and Annie Awesome from the rock band The Soviettes. They both sing. They both try really hard. This is rock-n-roll stripped all the way down. They released one full length album in 2006 entitiled “Venom”, that became one of the most popular and beloved Crustacean releases of all time. They played their final show in March 2010 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“Just when you thought internet-dork pseudo-viral D-movie memes had completely destroyed the comedy potential of snake-related activities forever, Annie and Danny from the Soviettes come out with the most aggressively ridiculous local record of the year: a bass-drums duo (plus occasional keyboard) that plays songs largely about snakes and/or things that are awesome.”–The City Pages
“No other band this year packed as much fun into their album as this Soviettes-spawned duo.”–Pulse of the Twin Cities
In 2003, Bob Burns started a band with two of his college friends called
Bob Burns and the Breakups. The band spent the next 4 years playing
shows, touring and releasing records on various labels such as Dingus,
Germany’s P. Trash Records, Plastic Idol, and Gearhead Records.
The band’s one-album deal with Gearhead produced full national tours,
a music video, and a song featured on prime-time NBC television
show “Trauma”. After the buzz fizzled out and the band parted ways,
Bob Burns took some time off to finish college, get married, buy a
house, and accidently write an album’s worth of songs.
Stevens Point, Wisconsin’s Bob Burns takes the plunge into the world of
solo work with his first self-titled full length release. The record (that took
2 years to write and complete) picks up where Bob Burns and the
Breakups’ 2007 Gearhead Records release “Terminal Breakdown” left
off, and skews down a slightly weirder, more personal path. Early
comparisons speak of a strange blend of Jay Reatard and the Marked
Men. JUSTIN PERKINS (past projects include albums by Screeching
Weasel, The Riverdales and many others) was hired-on to turn the
knobs giving the record his signature punch.
Blazing guitar riffs, thick low end, and highly imaginative rhythmic structures make up the foundation of this stoner rock outfit from Madison, WI. Brandishing a full bodied tone and a taut signature style that slices through the sterile ceiling fan churn of our modern day Line 6 heroes like a kershaw through the warm neck flesh of a thousand infidels, the Droid’s approach suggests a more natural progression between Black Sabbath and Tool, and their throw down approach to the stage has consistently lead the most scowling of metal heads to the front row beaming with delight. It is fun to have your ass kicked this good.
The band has risen to much acclaim throughout their Midwestern stomping grounds earning cult status in the underground metal scene for their most recent release, Must Destroy, which edged it’s way to number 34 on FMQB’s national metal charts and earned high praises from the “all that is heavy” aficionados at stonerrock.com. The band has landed many choice opening spots for national acts over the years (such as Torche, High On Fire, Valient Thorr, Kylesa, Doug Stanhope, Priestess, Nashville Pussy, and Dead Meadow among others), have been featured in the platinum hit Xbox 360 game “Prey”, and have been selected to perform showcase spots on some of the industry’s most coveted gigs including SXSW and NXNE.
“It’s Bukowski set to music by four guys who have somehow managed to make being a motor head from small-town Wisconsin sexy.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
Although created with the intention of never leaving the basement, All Malt (and now Crustacean) recording artists, Drunk Drivers have been favorites with live audiences all over the Midwest since 1994. Formed by members of rock powerhouse Venison (BigMoneyInc.) and eclectic quirk punk ThreeLiterHit (theFamily), Drunk Drivers have carved out their own identity from their rural surroundings and have become mainstays on the regional club scene. Collectively, Drunk Drivers pack 50 years of rock and over 1,000 live shows under their belts. Drunk Drivers continue to surprise, entertain, and mature as a band without losing an ounce of raw fuel excitement. Imagine if Tom Waits, the Pixies, and the Supersuckers got together; they might sound and look something like Drunk Drivers.
Killdozer was formed in basements similar to the ones that spawned their Midwestern peers like Die Kruezen and Big Black, in Madison, Wisconsin in 1983 by bassist/vocalist Michael Gerald, guitarist Bill Hobson and brother Dan Hobson on drums. Within a year they had released their debut album, Intellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite, and were gaining national notoriety for their fresh sound, that along Flipper and The Melvins, rebelled against lack of humor and the speedy tempos in the American hardcore punk movement of the time. Killdozer’s sound was a brutal, abrasive and plodding take on the dark side of life in America’s heartland backed up with a dark and biting sense of humor that soon landed them on Chicago’s Touch and Go Records for classic mid and late 1980’s albums Snake Boy, the Burl EP, 12 Point Buck and an album of classic rock covers For Ladies Only.
The band was thrown into inactivity at the beginning of the 90’s with the departure of guitarist Bill Hobson, but with the addition of Paul Zagoras on six string duties Killdozer returned to form in 1992. This period produced a couple fantastic of new releases on Touch and Go with 1993’s Uncompromising War on Art Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, 1995’s God Hears the Pleas of Innocents and a split EP with Alice Donut in 1996. In 1995, original drummer Dan Hobson left the band as the demands of Killdozer’s frequent national and European tours didn’t mesh with raising a family, to be swiftly replaced by former Die Kruezen drummer Erik Tunison. Late in 1996 Killdozer added Jeff Ditzenberg of Madison act Powerwagon as a second guitarist and embarked on its last tour cleverly entitled Fuck You, We Quit before breaking up.
Mad Trucker Gone Mad
The Return of Mad Trucker Gone Mad: The Legend of Billy Gas
We are proud to announce the permanent reformation of Crustacean Records artists Mad Trucker Gone Mad. Mad Trucker was one of the most dynamic bands Madison’s O’Cayz Corral centered punk/indie scene along with their elite contemporaries such Pachinko, Wheelie King, Powerwagon, and Bongzilla.
Mad Trucker Gone Mad broke up in 2001 after a tumultuous seven years that included highs such as two critically acclaimed albums and successful North American touring that took them to both coasts as well as Toronto’s NXNE Festival three years in a row, the Philadelphia Music Conference in ’98 and the EAT’M Showcase in Las Vegas in ’98 & ’99. The band also had its share of lows that included line-up changes, personal conflicts, substance abuse and most crushingly, the theft of their van full of equipment while on tour in NYC during the summer of 2000. The current line-up consists of founder/songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Isaac Schulze known in Trucker speak as Del Monte Carlo. He is backed up by Chris Langkamp on bass and Dave Meuhlbauer on drums.
They are no strangers to speedy country as Chris and Dave had been keeping the beat for renowned Milwaukee cow punks American Death for many years. That all came to a sudden halt with a fatal motorcycle accident taking the life of American Death frontman John Zysk-Buerger in September of 2005.
Somewhere along the way, rock n’ roll lost its edge and humor to a tawdry compromise with commercial success and the tired hackery that goes along with the trumping of “the next big thing.” Ever since the world has bathed in the hyperbole of bad promotion when a bucket of shit to the face would’ve been just as sufficient. Rock is dead and Chuck Eddy killed it. But for a moment, let’s consider Brooklyn’s own, The Giraffes.
The Giraffes don’t need hyperbole. They are here to play music as loud, as nasty and apologetically rock as they can. See them live and feel free to throw things at them while they play for their just as apt to throw it back at you and make you deaf in the bargain. Yeah, they are serious musicians, talented and dedicated too, but let your ears testify to that.
The Giraffes were formed in the late Nineties by Damien Paris (guitar) and Andrew Totolos (drums); the present lineup coalesced with the addition of Aaron Lazar (vocals) in 2000 and Jens Carstensen on bass in 2007. Prolific as they are destructive, these boys from Brooklyn have already released three full-length albums and two EPs as well as having toured with the likes of Eagles of Death Metal, Local H, The Means, The Vacation, Skeleton Key and others.
The Giraffes fourth album and debut on Crustacean, Prime Motivator, is about to be unleashed in the Fall. Thirteen tracks of savage and relentless rock to be sure, but also encompassing the most sonic diversity and tuneful songwriting the Giraffes have produced to date.
“The Giraffes: An orgy coordinated by Rob Zombie and Frank Zappa, and involving the members of Motorhead, the Dead Kennedys, Deep Purple, the Misfits, and Thin Lizzy might have been what spawned this Brooklyn four-piece.”–Ken Switzer, Village Voice
“Demented, pornographic, electric and wide-awake, black and blue and red all over…An absolute must for hard rock fans, and appreciators of the rougher side of the Brooklyn scene.”–Tris McCall, Jersey Beat
“Combines the classic elements of ’70s heavy metal (complete with blistering lead guitar solos and operatic vocals) with the rawness of the punk scene. This is no slick album — there’s a refreshing rawness not present in much of today’s youthful rock. The Giraffes hold back nothing, with porno-inspired lyrics and a sonic nastiness not heard in a while.”–Noah Massey, Car Audio Magazine
“They are the Giraffes, and since 1998 they have been capturing the chaos and comedy of Brooklyn, N.Y., and transforming it into a brilliant blend of brutality and beauty that surpasses the boundaries of both time and genre.”–Austin Powell, The Daily Texan
“The Giraffes opened with an explosive set of ear-tickling anthems, at once bluesy, grungy and melodic. The Brooklyn-based mayhem enthusiasts are perhaps the only remaining band that’s truly dangerous onstage, jumping into the audience, pouring entire bottles of whiskey onto their fans and generally enjoying their roles as rock figureheads.”–John Wenzel, Denver Post
“Metallica and Black Sabbath are the obvious touchstones, but the rhythm section clearly owns a copy of The Who’s Greatest Hits as well. Drug addiction and soccer riots provide fodder for the lyrics, while the flammable guitar work could have only come from someone that’s walked some of life’s hard roads.”–SpinMagazine.com
“Overt is the new understated, and the Giraffes make tasteful seem stupid and over-the-top decadence seem exciting in a sexy, vulgar, campy nighttime way. Damien Paris’s guitar playing is Janet Jackson’s breast, Kelis’s milkshake, Paris Hilton’s midriff. He’s got it, and he flaunts it…Over this, coolly charismatic singer Aaron Lazar spins dark tales of hitchhikers, murder, and vampire sex.”–Alison M. Rosen, Village Voice
“They combine the raw weight of Black Sabbath’s riffs with the cocksure swagger of Robert Plant, but seem to take themselves about as seriously as The Butthole Surfers…like Soundgarden might’ve sounded if all their songs were about wanting to fuck you.”–Stereogum
“The group’s much-anticipated new album, out next month, boasts the kind of yowling vocals, screaming guitars and barreling drum volleys that inspired many a bong hit and fist-pump.”–The NY Daily News
The Goodyear Pimps formed in Rockford, IL in 1997
and after honing their chops in Midwestern clubs they gained a fanbase
that made national labels take notice. They were signed by Disney
subsidiary Hollywood Records in 2000 for a two album contract worth $1
The Pimps were promised no censorship and full creative control, but
when they delivered the first of the two contracted albums, More Songs
About Drugs With Curse Words, the suits at Disney balked at releasing it.
The Pimps were dropped in 2001, but this major label tale has an oddly
happy ending that allowed the Pimps to walk away from the label with
$600,000 of their contract.
Beyond that the Pimps has other claims to fame, or at very least infamy,
including having songs on major movie soundtracks for Mission Impossible
2 and Crazy Beautiful as well as having a song featured on the long running
NBC drama Third Watch. Also noteworthy was the series of cease and desist
letters from the Goodyear corporation that forced the band to change their
name from the more imaginative and less misogynistic moniker of the
Despite their positive and negative brushes with the corporate world, the
Pimps have remained independent. They spent their $600,000 payment
from Hollywood Records to buy their own apartment building in Rockford
that serves as living quarters for all the band members as well as housing
the Pimps’ office and recording studio. They have achieved the noble goal
of completely avoiding day jobs by investing their money wisely and
keeping up a schedule of 160 shows a year during the entire decade mainly
playing 2 or 3 day strings of weekend shows to fans throughout the
Crustacean Records will reissue the newest Pimp’s album Fuck This Shit
We’re Outta Here on Tuesday October 12. The Pimps will be recording and
releasing a new studio album in 2011 on Crustacean Records. The pairing of
the two long standing, independent and popular musical entities makes
tremendous sense. According to the Pimps guitarist and lead singer Stu
Johnson, “We’re super duper awesome happy to be in bed with Crusty
Records. They’re nice guys and because they’re from Wisconsin they really
know how to drink. The only drawback is that they’re Packer fans.”
Delivering high-grade hard rock to fans and astonished bystanders alike for years, The Skintones are geared up to unleash their latest round of devilish compositions they describe as “psychofuzzcore for your squishy parts.” Respected as rocking both stages and records, the three-piece band delivers the rock attack like few others. After years on the Madison rock scene all three members; Pete Ress, Gavin Lefebvre and Tony Leskinen have seen various degrees of success and failure, but continually redefine the limits of rock music.
When The Skintones formed in ’98, the main goal was simply to get together and have a good time. But lo and behold, their sound caught on and they developed a devoted following and accolades from fans and bands alike. All three members bring something substantial to the table. Especially vocals, they make sure that everyone adds into the music. Levity is the glue that holds their creative minds together.
The Skintones bring enough of their own creative energies to bear on the music that’s not easy to categorize. Their “eclectically pleasing” sound has elated positive crowd response in and out of Madison. They make sure that every show is fresh, and often tailor the playlist to the crowd. Sometimes people don’t immediately catch on however. “I think that when people don’t recognize something immediately they don’t know if it’s innovative or if it sucks‚ there’s not a frame of reference,” says Skintones drummer Tony Leskinen. If you listen to The Skintones album and don’t smile at least once, whether you like it or not, you’re probably dead.
Of course they didn’t leave Fat Wreck Chords for Crustacean! Are you nuts? But we do get to put out their debut full length on thick black vinyl. In a mere five years of existence this dynamic Minneapolis quartet has rocketed to success via touring and lots of it, a fine catalog of singles and records, and by wowing the crowds night after night with finely executed speedy, pop songs backed up by four part harmonies. But don?t believe us, listen to this:
“…accent is definitely on “party.” That aim is helped enormously by the fact that each of the four Soviettes pitch in on vocals with enough verve and passion to front a band by themselves. The band brings to mind a cheerleading squad trained by the Ramones.” -The Onion
The Soviettes have not changed the world. Not yet. Their amazingly catchy mixture of shout-along political anthems and honest, intimate tunes about struggling relationships are sure to offer hope, however.
The Von Ehrics
The Von Ehrics were formed in the summer of 2000 in the Red River Bottom of Fannin County, Texas by Robert Jason Vandygriff (Guitars/Vocals) and Jeffery Wayne Mosley (Bass). Their intent was simple: combine the influences of the country and gospel music on which they were raised with the punk and metal records they found as rebellious teenagers. After wearing out six drummers the current line up was solidified when they met like-minded San Antonio native Gabe Aguilar (Drums) in 2005. Known for their blistering live performances, the Von Ehrics blend straight-forward country songs with high intensity punk rock and roll. The band has toured endlessly since 2002 building a loyal legion of fans across the entire country, and has shared the stage with such acts as Reverend Horton Heat, Hank III, Supersuckers, Drive-By-Truckers, Billy Joe Shaver, Mudhoney, Dale Watson, GBH, Riverboat Gamblers and Old 97s, just to name a few.
The Von Ehrics began with a 2000 EP release when the band started honing their skills in the nightclubs of Dallas’ Deep Ellum music scene quickly gaining notoriety as one of Dallas’ most promising bands. They hit their stride with their self-released full-length debut, Damn Fine Drunks, in 2003. This would send the band on an extensive touring schedule that started with Texas and has since canvassed 44 states. But it was the release of critically acclaimed The Whiskey Sessions (Rocket 13 Records) in 2006 that defined the Von Ehrics as the prototype for the country punk sound. The Houston Press called it “one of the most important records of the year” and Cincinnati City Beat called the band “the best southern-boogie trio from Texas since ZZ Top”.
After two years of touring in support of The Whiskey Sessions, the Von Ehrics took the end of 2008 off to recuperate, write and prepare for their third full-length release. They signed with Crustacean Records and spent over a month recording and mixing in Madison, Wisconsin during the dead of winter with Gavin Lefebvre of the Skintones and SevenOneFive. Loaded, set for release in March of 2009, is everything you have come to expect from the Von Ehrics and more – train beats that seem to go a million miles per hour, the bass lines walk like a country song but in a punk rock setting, and the vocals are soulful yet scruffy -all of this behind driving guitars that don’t let up. While The Whiskey Sessions were tales of the unapologetic life on the road, Loaded is more reflective at times‚ and even more unapologetic at others.