September 26, 2008

 There’s not really a whole lot that can be said about this band that hasn’t been said already. Put simply DRIVE LIKE JEHU created two of the most creative & progressive albums of the 90’s, in doing so their unique style soon became something of a blueprint for alot of what we hear today. Often compared to Fugazi or Sonic Youth this band quickly transcended these reference points blending the D.C. trademarks of a tight, driving rhythm section with innovative guitar experiments    in texture & interplay. Rick Froberg’s vocals were another unique element to the band’s mix, sounding like a really agitated kid ready to explode into screaming fury at any moment. No band has better blended a skewed brand of ‘art rock’ with hardcore’s ferocity and nihilism. Some may say these guys spearheaded genre’s like ‘mathcore’ or ‘screamo’ but in my opinion that trivialises their impact. This band reached far beyond anything or anywhere that anyone had previously decided to go. Below is a radio session that I believe to be recorded in late 1993, the bulk of which being made up of songs that would appear on ‘Yank Crime’. This shit is so coarse & scathing it’s like having battery acid thrown in your face! The photo is a scan of the band’s only? promotional shot circa 1994. I’ve seen this photo before on the internet but this was a scan from Melody Maker.

DRIVE LIKE JEHU – Live on KXLU, LA. 25th October 1993

1-new-intro-new-math    2-golden-brown

3-do-you-compute-pt-I    4-do-you-compute-pt-II

5-luau    6-bullet-train-to-vegas

 It’s safe to say DLJ was another band who were under appreciated at the time. The fact ‘Yank Crime’ saw release under the Interscope label may have thrown people (especially RFTC fans) in that it was a very inaccessible album for a major even at that point in time. In fact I can only think SEASON TO RISK’s ‘In a Perfect World’ would’ve been as difficult to market to a mainstream audience. Anyhow, it was only due to my interest in the mid 90’s Southern California hardcore scene (Gravity records in particular) that I checked out DLJ. I remember clearly the first time I heard their self titled record (midway through 1997) and was instantly of the opinion: ‘fuck the godamn Swing Kids, this shit is the real deal!’. If you really need more evidence of DLJ’s exceptional greatness I refer you to this live footage of the band playing ‘Do You Compute’:


 I’m not sure as to why there is no question mark after Do You Compute… maybe it’s a statement of somekind, who knows? A lot of JEHU’s lyrics are fairly oblique. Like a lot of band’s playing more complicated, instrumentally heavy music the vocals appear as a textural layer to the overall ‘sound’. Moving on, below are two near identical sets (bar the addition of ‘Human Interest’ in SF) from the second half of 1994. The set from Cat’s Cradle is of better quality, I imagine we have the fine Mr. Henry Owings to thank for this piece of history. The bottom b&w picture is another cutting from Melody Maker taken at one of their handful of UK dates. Just remembered I have some live footage of them on an old VHS tape, somewhere in Germany. If I ever get the facility to convert it I will.  

DRIVE LIKE JEHU – Carrboro, NC. Cat´s crandle 5th June 94

1-sinews-intro    2-sinews

3-golden-brown    4-bullet-train-to-vegas

5-do-you-compute    6-caress

7-super-unison    8-hand-over-fist

9-new-math    10-luau

  Ok, so please enjoy this goldmine of JEHU goodness… something of a wet dream for any fan of the band! I urge any viewers to leave a comment, feedback is always appreciated.


DRIVE LIKE JEHU – live San Francisco, CA.

Great American Music Hall, 16th September 94:

 01-super-unison    02-hand-over-fist

03-bullet-train-to-vegas    04-do-you-compute

05-caress   06-spikes-to-you    07-sinews

08-human-interest    09-new-math

10-golden-brown    11-luau

12 Responses to “DRIVE LIKE JEHU – Lives”

  1. big carl said

    I was at the KXLU live set. watching John do the fedback “singing” was killer. Saw these fuckers so many times. both album eras. The KXLU show was like the first time they played the “Yank Crime” stuff. Hail ! Fucking Spikes To You !

  2. F6x said

    What beautiful noise. Thanks for unearthing these gems. Long live the Jehu.

  3. Backmasking said

    Greatest. Band. Ever.

  4. […] Drive Like Jehu: The more I listen to Jehu, the more I’m convinced they are one of the greatest bands of all time. When I was a sophomore in high school we used to have to do stupid ice breaker brain warm up exercises at the start of class. One was “Give yourself a foreign name and tell us what country you come from.” Having read about them in a magazine out of pure luck I said “I’m Jehu, from Israel.” The teacher made fun of me. Fuck him. Little did I know it would take another 5 or 6 years to again encounter Jehu’s greatness. Check out great live shit here: Do You Compute? […]

  5. Craig said

    wow. ive been missing out till now hearing those recordings…………………..

  6. DanM said

    I was in one of the opening bands at the SF show – one of my proudest moments. Rick in particular was a really really nice guy.

  7. jojo said

    I’ve listened to these guys for many many years and was lucky enough to see them live lots of times. I have a few weird odd recordings I treasure but this really is a goldmine! Thanks so much for posting.

  8. greg said

    Absolutely one of the greatest bands ever. I was at the GAMH show in SF. It was a great show — which was remarkable given that the band always used to talk about how their shows in SF sucked for some reason.

    It was great hearing some of the Jehu covers when Hot Snakes played Slim’s in SF last year.

  9. aboynamedstew said


  10. Holly said

    Loved em then Love em’ still.
    Was fortunate enough to see a good number of shows in the LA area.
    What really kills me is noticing an Al’s Bar LA performance I somehow missed and it was on my Birthday fer Crysake!!

    Hotsnakes are great.

    I still remember the first time I heard them on the radio, where I was (exactly, precisely) driving in my car.

    I turned alot of people on to this band….had to spread the word.

  11. Ted said

    Seeing Drive Like Jehu at the Whiskey (or was it The Troubadour?) was one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever seen. Reis and Froberg played off each other so well, and Reis got some crazy sounds and used feedback in ways I’d never heard before. Thanks for putting this up!

  12. Bec said

    Big thanks for the Jehu…bummed I can’t find a board recording of the Coachella set anywhere but this will do!

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