Skin Graft – A-Z – Mount Shasta

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Associated Entries: Lake Of Dracula

One of the most recognizable Skin Graft acts, Mount Shasta formed in 1993 and included members of Dirt, Shorty and Phantom 309. Inspired by the likes of Cows and Butthole Surfers, quartet was also dead set on becoming even more extreme than their peers. Much of the artwork for their albums featured Gumballhead The Cat, cartoon mascot of Skin Graft drawn by Rob Syers.

Their first single was 1993 “Nodule / Sleeping Fugly” 7″, recorded few months after the band was formed by Casey Rice (Designer, Super ESP).  It came with a comic book, which contained work by Skin Graft founders Mark Fischer and Rob Syers, as well as Dan Grzeca.

r-386431-11065520021994 saw the release of their debut –  “Put The Creep On” LP. It was produced by Steve Albini (Rapeman, Shellac, Big Black and countless production credits) and recorded in less than two hours. According to Trouser Press website, sound of the album is a crossover of sorts between Captain Beefheart and Clawhammer. Trouser Press pointed out that the album is, at worst,  a tool to “unwanted houseguests out of the living room pronto.”, but it also contains some “palpable and worthy din”, with traces of melody buried deeply behind the noise.

gr31miniTheir second full-length was 1995 “Who’s The Hottie” and the band switched producers for the release once again. The album was recorded with David Barbe of Sugar/ Buzz Hungry fame.  According to All Music Guide website, the album sounded like much of the standard “run-of-the-mill-all-out-rock”, but at the same time they point out that “the band does another competent job with its execution, polishing things up a bit and turning out a record that should prove consistently appealing to fans of the genre.”

Further into the 90s, they contributed a cover of  “Whole Lotta Rosie” to an ongoing Skin Graft series that paid tribute  to AC/DC (other bands on a four-way split included Denison-Kimball Trio, Zeek Schek and Killdozer). In 1996, they recorded a collaboration with Japanese band Space Streakings which was released under the name Shakuhachi Surprise.

r-402322-1110654269Their final album was 1998 “Watch Out” with Albini handling production duties once again. Last Sigh website characterized the album as a “stormy affair” and pointed out that “The ten songs all have a noisy punk edge to them, but at the same time, each track is a living example of just how many ways there are of skinning a cat — or, in this case — of writing dynamic rock music for guitar, bass, drums and vocals.”  As interesting side note, unlike “Who’s The Hottie” and ” Put The Creep On”, the album cover of “Watch Out” didn’t feature Gumballhead The Cat.

Members:

Al Johnson (Lake Of Dracula, Shorty, US Maple)

Carl Brueggen (Shakuhachi Surprise)

Jason Benson (Shakuhachi Surprise)

Jennifer White (Shakuhachi Surprise)

John Forbes (Phantom 309, Shakuhachi Surprise)

Discography:

Nodule 7″ (Skin Graft, 1993)

Put The Creep On LP / CD (Skin Graft, 1994)

Who’s The Hottie? CD (Skin Graft, 1995)

Sides 7-10 2×7″ (with Denison-Kimball Trio, Zeek Sheck and Killdozer) (Skin Graft, 1998)

Watch Out LP / CD (Skin Graft, 1998)

MP3: Double Barrel Cactus

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