Central Ohio is far more of a schitzophrenic hotbed of rock than the Library of Alexandria would lead you to believe. If you squint your eyes past the big city lights & skyscrapers (Rep likes to call them “DIEscrapers”) , you can see the outlines of the fertile Ohio Vallley Crescent from which much Midwest D.I.Y. Punk emerged in the aftermath of a late-60’s/early-70’s gestation period. When digging into the Columbus strata of petrified 70’s fossil-rock pure Columbus area underground entities bubble up from the deep: Jim Shepard, Ron House, Tommy Jay, Nudge Squidfish, The Quotas, Screaming Urge… many more. It seems that in some way or another Mike Rep has been intertwined with, “Lovingly Fucking With”, melding with, accompanying and/or leading the charge with many comrades in arms into the hipster Ohio Hell unknown for 40+ freaking years.
Describing the allure of the mid-70s Ohio sound to the uninitiated isn’t too difficult. Take the freaked-out post-13th Floor Elevators to Velvet Underground to Stooges to RFTT/Pere Ubu barbed wire bop and compound those influences with the dawn of home recording equipment access, a D.I.Y scene began to evolve . Just the right mixture of humidity, THC & malt liqour-fueled a primal pool ripe for spontaneous generation producing much fruit from apparant sterile soil as viewed from the overlook of big city coastal-dominated Hipsterism. Rep’s homemade debut single “Rocket To nowhere” was recorded in 1975/ “released” in 1978 and nobody noticed for the next ten years. Add to that the incredible ‘Grim-O-Comix Sequence’ LP packed with angst ridden 1974 basement recordings (you need to drop everything and track it down if u haven’t heard this unblinkingly look into the maw of the 70’s loser teen maelstrom).
HERE & NOW, on Hellbender you get a full primal serving of mostly previously unheard chaos, recorded between ’75 and ’78, that will no doubt cause future generations to marvel at just how one could be so brutally honest, raw, and wasted yet, live to chronicle it all. HOZAC ARCHIVAL is bringing these sounds to you now. Why? Because it IS the kind of mind-numbing, eyeball-popping guttural PURE DIY ROCK & ROLL that saved so many miserable souls from succombing to the “American Dream” sham, and continue to inspire the DIY spirit in all who care to dare. MIKE REP & THE QUOTAS’ / HELLBENDER– Very rare, mostly previously unheard recordings from 1975-78 , very recently gleaned straight from the long thought lost original reel-to-reel master tapes.
Rep never expected anyone to give a Rat’s Ass about this stuff, but many do. So CRANK IT as loud as you can – this “Crazy Audio Damage” (as one rejected prospective lathe cutter described it before being shown the door) IS NOT for the timid or feint of heart. Hey, It’s Rep’s Movie maaaan – is it yours too? REP sez, “live the dream ’til u drop”. – This is as good a place to start or continue as any. “NO SURVIVORS! ROCKET MUSIC ON! DESTINATION UNKNOWN”. Just as it should be. Hell YEAH! – Buck Cancer / VictimofTime.com
If you’ve been diligently picking up all the sacred pieces of the massive midwestern archeological dig that is the area surrounding the Columbus/Harrisburg, Ohio, then there’s no doubt you’ve become not just familiar with, but totally enamored with Mike Rep and the Quotas. One of just a handful of the legendary home-recorded icons of midwestern proto punk, Rep and company (Tommy Jay, Nudge Squidfish) burst onto the scene with their monster debut 7″ for the incredible “Rocket To Nowhere” on Moxie Records in 1978, yet this important piece of the puzzle was recorded back even a few years before punk’s “first historical figures” had released their maiden touchstones, in the year of infinite possibilities, 1975. Clearly something was afoot in early 70s Ohio. Was it all those VU shows at La Cave finally taking root? Or is it just more evident that the realization that the Midwest, (and namely OH) was the Mesopotamia of US punk, as evidenced by it’s pre-historic punk credentials that seem to be constantly unfolding?
Any way you slice it, Mike Rep was there, and this Archival 7″ featuring two tracks that fit into the earliest era of Rep’s canon, came to the surface a few years back on a quickly out-of-print import single, to which we are remedying this month, and making available for your agonizing ear holes once again. As far as midwest punk legends go, Rep is one of the most often overlooked, but one whose influence and involvement span across decades of underground classics, so don’t be content with an existence unfulfilled and delve into the sickening and refreshing world of the Columbus/Harrisburg underground, and the brilliant savagery screaming out of these grooves. -VictimofTime.com
Recommended If You Like:
TRUE BELIEVERS, Capt. Beefheart, Stooges, Debris, George Brigman, Wild Man Fischer, Roky Erickson, Tommy Jay, Nudge Squidfish, Screamin’ Mee-Mee’s, Twinkeys, Lou Reed, Jim Shepard
Hellbender 1975-78 Archival LP (HZR-182) HoZac Archival #19
OHIO Underground Series #5
1st press black edition of 500
Mama Was a Schitzo, Daddy Was A Vegetable Man 1975 HoZac Archival 7″ (HZR-156)
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