1 part Jesus Lizard, 1 part Alice Donut, 1 part Black Sabbath, 1 part Charles Mingus, 1 part Black Flag, 1 part Butthole Surfers; add alcohol and LSD. Stir – Maximum Rock’n’Roll
Combining all-out thrash/punk with a lone soulful trumpet, Geezer Lake is as likely to use taped B-movie dialogue as snarled homemade vocals. When the playing is slow, this music can be beautiful and haunting, and when the band heats up, it’s like an elephant stampede. – Stay Free
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Coming out of the same music scene that produced the likes of Superchunk, Polvo and Archers Of Loaf, North Carolina quartet Geezer Lake never broke out nationally, but produced 3 albums that mixed an unlikely combination of indie rock, electronic experimentation and jazz rhythms. Throughout their career they also toured with countless other bands, including Ben Folds Five, Picasso Trigger, Mercury Rev, Three Mile Pilot, US Maple, Helmet and Antiseen, among others.
GL included vocalist/trumpet player Chris Clodfelter, guitarist/tape manipulator Eric Shepherd, bassist Harris Cannon and drummer Scott Irving. In the early 90s, the band created their own label D-Tox which put out GL’s debut singles “Liberated Woman” and “Field Blister” (as well as material by other artists out of North Carolina and a compilation called “Pyloric Waves”).
Their debut full-length was 1993 “Feet In Mud Again” (also on D-Tox). Stay Free magazine described the record as “jazzy” and “metallic” and also containing “odd time signatures,” “harsh pounding noise,” “phat bass,” “gorgeous pastoral interludes,” “surprising tempo shifts,” “haunting, eerie trumpet,” “spoken samples,” edgy guitar that scrapes your brain nicely,” and “just the tightest songwriting and execution around.” In the end, the review concluded that “when it all comes together, Geezer Lake are one of the most powerful bands in North Carolina, creating a sad, angry, painful, desperate mood.”
The band temporarily switched from D-Tox to Squealer for the release of 1994 “Songs From The Watering Hole” EP. In their review of EP, CMJ magazine noted that “North Carolina’s Geezer Lake returns to stake its claim on the dirge-rock throne. Sampled voices and free jazz inspired trumpet bursts lurk in dark, Black Sabbath-like soundscapes, providing an intense aural experience.”
Geezer Lake returned to D-Tox for 1995 “Hearts Won’t Try This” LP. All Music Guide website compared the sound of the band on “Hearts…” to more metallic version of Archers Of Loaf and called it “a record with a very jagged, deconstructive feel” to it.
The band’s third (and final) LP was “King Frost Parade”, which came out on Thick Records in 1997 and saw GL turning into a quintet, as Jim Clodfelter (brother of the band’s trumpet player Chris) joined the band as a second guitarist .
Alternative Press magazine pointed out that “North Carolina’s Geezer Lake pick up the baton from June Of 44, Grifters, Unwound and Sunny Day Real Estate and Parade is a hodgepodge of influences that makes for 11 songs with more cohesion and thematic focus that has been heard in some time. Filled with equal parts beauty and ferocity, King Frost Parade is simply startling.”
The band broke up in the late 90s, but reunited for few shows in New York and North Carolina in 2000. Scott Irving went on to play with Eugene Chadbourne and started his solo electronic/noise/experimental project Clang Quartet. Harrison Cannon moved to New York and plays in M Shanghai String Band and he also have his solo project called The Grocery Concern. Other projects that band members were involved in include Slowchange Madagascar that featured brother Jim and Chris Clodfelter and Barry Black, instrumental band that paired Chris Clodfelter with Eric Bachmann from Archers Of Loaf.
Scott Irving (Clang Quartet)
Feet In Mud Again CD / LP (D-Tox + Mudd Industries, 1993)
Geezer Lake / Drunken Boat Split 7″ (D-Tox, 1994)
Geezer Lake / Very Pleasant Neighbour Split 7″ (D-Tox, 1994)
Hearts Won’t Try This CD (D-Tox, 1995)
King Frost Parade CD (Thick, 1997)
“Long Distance” on Dangerous Inventions (Pallywag, 1994)
“The Bag” on Pyloric Waves (D-Tox, 1994)
“Betrayal Takes Two” on Who The Hell: A Tribute To Richard Hell (Cred Factory, 1995)
Liberated Woman (Live)