I’m guessing this was a fundraising item during WFMU’s pledge drive in 2004. Compiled by John Allen, it collects a veritable who’s who of indie rock circa 1989. However, most of this compilation veers towards the punk end of the spectrum. It is great to hear some old favorites and get the chance to listen to some great songs that never made it onto their respective albums. It does an excellent job of summing of the the cream of the crop. It is even more impressive due to the fact that it focuses on a single year and catches many of these bands in their prime. I haven’t heard some of these songs in over a decade it brings back memories of bands that lost me with later efforts, but this comp is forcing me to reevaluate some of my opinions. Extra points for emulating the design and approach of Chuck Warner’s Messthetics comps that have lovingly collected forgotten punk and new wave gems.

Various Artists

Killed by Murder Volume One



16 Tons-Lauren(No Blow)

Action Swingers-Kicked in the head(Noiseville)

Bricks-Girl with the Carrot Skin(merge)

Dead Moon-Black september (Tombstone)

Death of Samantha-Rosenberg Summer (Homestead)

Die Kreuzen-Gone Away (Touch and Go)

Drunks With Guns-Drug Problem (Noiseville)

Dwarves-Drug Store (Sub Pop)

Gibson Brothers-Emusified (Siltbreeze)

Go Team-Ribeye (K)

Halo of Flies-There Aint No Hell (Amrep)

HP Zinker-The Know it All(Matador)

Ickey Joey-Ill Love You There (C/Z)

Jesus Lizard-Chrome (Touch and Go)

Lee Harvey Oswald Band-Ligtning Strikes (Touch and Go)

Lonely Moans-Rockinerd (amrep)

Love Child-Know its Alright (Sympathy)

Melvins-Anal Satan (Sympathy)

Monster Magnet-Lizard Johnny (Circuit)

Mudhoney-Hate the police (Subpop)

Seaweed-Inside (Leopard gecko)

Surgery-Not Going Down(Amrep)

Tar-Same (Amrep)

Treepeople-Important Things(Silence)

Unsane-This Town (Treehouse)

Vomit launch-Every Pretty Girl (teenbeat)


Out in the Treetops 2×7′


I don’t quite know why the Bassholes occupy such a tender place in my heart. Only the Cheater Slicks consistently rival their ability to take garage rock and pervert it into something entirely their own. I love the Nuggets, Pebbles and Killed by Death comps, but most of it draws from the same well. The Bassholes are a stripped-down reduction of rock and roll, blues and punk like many other bands in the same vein, but their version is so much more eccentric than the rest. I always wondered why John Fahey reissued their Blue Roots album alongside Derek Bailey, Cecil Taylor and Charlie Feathers, but repeated listens convinced me that they were innovators who channeled their roots into new, exciting directions.

Don Howland is the main dude and his previous band, The Gibson Brothers, released some great albums on Homestead Records, but they were to focused on the canon. The Bassholes generally break punk and blues down to a minimal pound and wail that embodies all that is raw and immediate about punk rock. This double 7-inch includes covers of The Who’s “Tattoo” and The Stooges’ “Raw Power” and both are mangled beyind recognition. The others are originals, but one reminds me of an unlikely hallucination of Joy Division recording for In the Red or Crypt records.