SHUDDER TO THINK – Rarities 87-95
July 23, 2009
SHUDDER TO THINK to me are one of the most interesting and unique of all D.C. bands. From the outset they were on a very different path to their contemporaries, one that lead to the pinnacle ‘Pony Express Record’. I’ve been playing that album a lot again recently and find it a fascinating collection of ‘avant rock’ that defies accurate description… for many years I just couldn’t get a handle on it. The earlier output was definately odd but still had the landmarks of post hardcore.
So, intrigued by the poorly documented miscellaneous 7″‘s, comp tracks etc. I set to compile as much of this surplus material as possible. There was already a collection of ‘rarities’ floating about but I found it lacking a number of tracks so this is as complete as I can fathom.
Working backwards chronologically we start with the great cover of The Cure’s ‘Shake Dog Shake’ released on the ‘Give me the Cure’ comp. from 1995. Next an alternate version of ‘9 Fingers on you’ I believe to be from the split 7″ with Shonen Knife.
The version of ‘Kissi Penny’ is fractionally slower than on ‘Pony Express Record’ and appears to be an album demo or outtake. The acoustic demo of ‘Full Body Anchor’ is possibly one of Shudder To Think’s most bizarre songs, seemingly there is no relation between the vocal and guitar lines. I have no idea where the two acoutic versions of ‘Day Ditty’ and ‘9 Fingers on you’ appeared?
Tracks 7 through 12 are all live 2 track demo’s recorded early 94, with Nathan Larson now playing lead guitar on this selection of older material. I’d say these tracks were probably recorded for demo purposes for Epic. ‘Animal Wild’ is a Victoria Williams cover from the 1993 benefit compilation entitled Sweet relief. ‘Jungleless’ and ‘Paigeplant’ are probably the two most obscure tracks here from the Shudder To Sink 7″ included in a 1993 issue of Fear & Loathing zine. Both tracks are a live collaboration between Sudder To Think and the post Stupids UK melodic hardcore band Sink.
‘Boys Don’t Mind’ noise is the B-side to the Medusa Seven 7″, incidentally my intro to the band (17 years on and I’m still hooked). ‘Drop dead don’t think’ is from these same sessions & I cannot understand why it was never on a record, fuckin’ great track! ‘Let it Ring’ is from the State of the Union comp. ‘ Touch’ from the Odd Man Out comp. 7″ released in 1988. 20-23 make up the ‘It was arson’ 7″ the last track unreleased from the same period. Everything burns conveniently onto an 80 minute disc, ENfuckingJOY:
SHUDDER TO THINK – Rarities 87-95
Edit: I received two emails with further STT details of tracks which had been missed. Thanks to Jeff Winterberg for ‘Too little, too late’ & Stacey Cilia for helping get part II of the STT rarities together. My favourite of this batch would be the ‘Circus Metal’ track, a PXR demo track. It’s an instrumental that includes ideas which appeared in tracks from that album. It’s great hearing this stuff, as ever.
Little By Little (apparently a limited-time Pony Express Record mp3 download)
Too Little Too Late (from a Fetal Records compliation – specifically F-R-5 from 1986)
Al Hanism (from the O Come All Ye Faithful compliation)
another version of Day Ditty (performed on Modern Rock Live)
Circus Metal (PXR demo)
RARITIES PART II
RE EDIT: Both links are now dead, use this instead now for a mega folder of EVERYTHING –
Many thanks to Michael Liedtke for this!!!