The Outsiders: Vol. 21

Not all of Stereogum’s favorite sounds conform to what folks expect us to cover. In this space, resident Bananafish fetishist Brandon Stosuy focuses on bands, albums, singles, and villages in Sweden that may otherwise pass by unnoticed. This installment’s virtual milk crate contains Harry Pussy.

It makes sense hitting Vol. 21 of the Outsiders by going backwards in time to Harry Pussy, a band (and Bananafish staple) who influenced me (and a generation of noisemakers — Magik Markers, Wolf Eyes, etc.) and trained my ears when I wasn’t old enough to drink. (Showcasing my incurable nostalgia, I recently mentioned them in reference to fellow influence holders, the Dead C). It’s not that HP’s recorded anything new — they’ve been kaput or more than a decade. Instead, Load just released a 42-track compilation of out-of-print rarities and previously unreleased material.

If you’re unfamiliar with Harry Pussy, they were a Miami group that blew out speakers between 1992 and 1997. Their live shows were amazing. Their recorded material, also amazing — a mix of raw violent noise and muscular no-wave jazz angularity. They knew when to drift into truly beautiful passages (see moments in “Mandolin”) and when to rail like maniacs. The core was vocalist/drummer Adris Hoyos (she was the center, really, as you’ll soon note) and guitarist/vocalist Bill Orcutt. Later, they were joined by (either/or) guitarist Dan Hosker and Mark Feehan. This new Load collection You’ll Never Play This Town Again is all 1997 (you’ll hear final shows, final broken strings, etc). It includes the self-released tour 12″, the Live at Salon Zwerge 12″ (Blackbean & Placenta), splits 7″‘s with Pelt and Frosty, the “Chuck” +1 b/w “Mandolin” 7″ (De Stijl), the Cherry Smash Live 10″, etc. There are covers: Nip Drivers (“New Song”), Kraftwerk (“Showroom Dummies”), and most fittingly, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks (“Orphans”). These are not covers:

Harry Pussy – “Sex Problem” (Live) (MP3)
Harry Pussy – “Mandolin” (Live) (MP3)
Harry Pussy – “Smash The Mirror” (MP3)

That version of “Smash The Mirror,” recorded by To Live & Shave In LA’s Tom Smith, is previously unreleased. The other two tracks, as noted, are live. They were both captured by Rat Bastard, also of To Live.

You’ll Never Play This Town Again is out via Load. You can hear more at an unofficial MySpace and at Siltbreeze. If you want to delve into the earlier and can’t find certain things in print, look for What Was Music?, which covers 1992-1995, via Siltbreeze. Or, search out the 1996 full-length, Ride The Dove (via Siltbreeze, too). Other material came out via classic labels like Chocolate Monk and Audible Hiss.

When sounds aren’t enough:

If you’re in the mood to read, here’s an interview they did with themselves for Cool Beans zine back in the day. (Anyone remember when Thurston Moore played Harry Pussy on 120 Minutes?)

[Photo via Mark Feehan]

Tags: Harry Pussy