Squirtgun toured on their self titled EP on Lookout in 1995, and came through our dinky little town in southern Arizona. It was my first time a touring band came and played our town and I had heard of them and their songs before they actually got there. I was pretty wowed by a band that was on Lookout was sitting in my parents’ dining room while I made shitty pasta for them to eat. I distinctly remember really wanting to connect with all things Lookout at the time, and asking Flav in a totally star struck way what it’s like being on the label, and getting some kind of (what seemed a the time like) a tepid response, like “Oh, it’s alright.” I wanted stories of hanging out with Dr. Frank and Aaron Cometbus. Not “Oh, it’s alright.”
Then later, when they mentioned playing a show in Indiana with some other band, I reacted with surprise “Wait, you guys play with non-Lookout bands?” Flav looked at me like the idiot I was being, and said something like “No, we live in a world where we only play with other bands who put out records on a label in San Francisco”. It became clear before Flav finished his sentence how dumb my question was.
They played later that night at an outdoor amphitheater in the city park. To date, it was our biggest, most successful show. We even had a newspaper photographer show up to take photos. It seemed all kinds of professional.
But I digress. This record was one of the ones I found in their merch box. I didn’t know of any of other three bands on it when I bought it, but I was already enrolled in the “comps are a great way to learn about new bands guilty of being awesome by association” school, so of course I grabbed it from them.
The Squirtgun track might be my least favorite track on the record, but it’s no slouch. Their take on a somewhat political, albeit local, issue, opened my eyes to the fact that a political song could be something other than a shouty beat-you-over-the-head political punk song and a pop punk song could be about something that wasn’t girls or something else silly.
This record was my first introduction to The Mushuganas. I pretty much knew by the time Craig said the word “diner” that this love affair would be a long one. I didn’t, however, realize that their version of Disappointed was a cover. You know that game where you name cover songs better than the original? I would say that this one counts except the Winepress original is so amazing that I can’t choose one or the other and just say that both versions are the best version.
The Mixelpricks have always been a band who was on my radar, and I’ve long classified them as a sort of second tier pop punk band, buying their stuff when I could find it, but never giving it repeat listens like I do with so many other bands. Kinda feel like an asshole putting it that way, but I do get a kick out of listening to them when I do get back to them. Pretty much the classic 90’s midwest snotty pop punk sound.
Besides having maybe the best pop punk name of the era, Lynyrd’s Innards bring more solid midwest 90’s pop punk to the table. I don’t mean to denigrate them or lump them in with a bunch of other bands and tell you they just sound like all the others. I think Lynyrd’s Innards may suffer from a bit of the “too much of a good thing” syndrome. They weren’t ever huge, but they were good enough and contemporaries with other bigger bands who did become pop punk household names. In comparison, the Innards’ sound just seems kind of derivative. But there’s so much more here than just another midwest pop punk band. Don’t really know what else to say on that front. They had a full length and a single on Harmless Records, who you might remember from yesterday’s post. Lynyrd’s Innards also had a number of things out on What Else? Records, a lesser known label who also put out records by Discount, Less Than Jake, Jon Cougar Concentration Camp, (Young) Pioneers, and a slew of other bands you should check out if you like any of this stuff.
Side not: What Else? was also supposed to put out a Less Than Jake/Dillinger 4 split 7″ but the label went under before the songs came together. I would imagine that if they had kept it together long enough to put that thing out, they might even still be around today.