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.

Anyhow, there are better reviews of ‘Pony Express Record’ online than I could muster, most importantly would be Adam Wade’s insight via this track by track dissection.

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)


 RE EDIT: Both links are now dead, use this instead now for a mega folder of EVERYTHING –

SHUDDER TO THINK – Full rarities

Many thanks to Michael Liedtke for this!!!


32 Responses to “SHUDDER TO THINK – Rarities 87-95”

  1. Stacey said

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve had a large assortment of a few of these obscure tracks for years – thanks for helping me fill in the blanks and get the rest of them categorized correctly!

  2. chadski said

    man this looks amazing.. but the link for the 1st set of rarities is dead. re-up please oh please?

  3. killingtechnology said

    Yeah sorry, been meaning to update this liink but…
    There are more additions here such as the 2 track Hit Liqour 7″ on Dischord and a version of ‘Shake Your Halo Down’ from the X-French T Shirt single. Thanks to Stacey for her infinite knowledge of STT!!

  4. chadski said

    i have the hit liquor 7″ on dischord as well as the x-french t-shirt single but no real way to rip them right now.

    also missing is the “catch of the day” split 7″ with unrest, and i am guessing you had included the b-sides from the “hit liquor” cd maxi? (

    the source of the live 2 track demos you mentioned is a promo-only cd released by epic circa 1994. used to be pretty easy to find in the cutout bins, don’t know about now. two of those demo tracks made their way as b-sides onto the hit liquor maxi. i think the hit liquor maxi is also the source for your demo/alternate versions of “kissi penni” and “full body anchor”.

    i want to say there is also a STT demo out there from around 1987 or 88 that predates the “it was arson” 7″.

  5. Stacey said

    Chadski: I’ve already sent the Dischord Hit Liquor tracks and Shake Your Halo down in, so don’t worry about trying to find a way to rip it. One way or another (either he already had it or I sent it to him, don’t remember which), he’s also got all the tracks from the Epic Hit Liquor disc. The circa-1994 demo you’re referring to is titled Heaven Here. And the oooooold demo tape was called Get Off My Motherfuckin’ Blue Suede Shoes. I have a copy somewhere (possibly my parents’ attic) that I’m going to try to find over Christmas.

    I don’t have the track from Catch of the Day – is it Jade Dust Eyes? I’d LOVE to get my hands on that.

    I just found an old promo for So Into You that I hadn’t known existed. It’s got an edited, shorter version of the song on it, so let me know if either of you are interested in it.

    And to both you guys: Yesterday Craig released Spanish Amnesian, an album of solo material from ’93-’95 on his website. I haven’t gotten a chance to listen to it all the way through yet, but if I had to peg a single Shudder song that it’s most closely related to, I think it would be Funny, or perhaps Full Body Anchor. You can listen to it here:

  6. Stacey said

    Chadski: totally forgot to mention that we’re looking for a couple of tracks that were on (see the list here: ). We’ve got Little By Little and Circus Metal but we’re looking for the others. You happen to have them?

  7. killingtechnology said

    The Hit Liquor single & ‘Shake your halo down’ tracks were added to the DL link when I re-upped. All the Hit Liquor maxi single stuff was included on the original link posted. Seems like this collection never ends, well I’d be happy for the rest of the PXR demo!

  8. chadski said

    hey stacey: that split with unrest does indeed have “jade dust eyes”. it’s a different, earlier recording than the version on Ten Spot. i have the actual record, so hopefully i will get my turntable in order soon so i can rip it.

    unfortunately i don’t have the PXR web exclusive stuff from the old site… i actually wasn’t even aware that material existed! so now i’m on a quest to find it.. maybe someone on soulseek has it.

    however, i did find this stuff:

    the two 50,000 B.C. japanese bonus tracks

    Get Off My Motherfuckin’ Blue Suede Shoes demo

    this collection does seem endless.. maybe it should be split up into different eras (pre/post major label?) for it to make sense?

    • killingtechnology said

      Please send the Unrest split track if you get it ripped thanks. Good luck finding more of the PXR demo, only have those two tracks here.
      The collection was only up to the Pony Express Record. Maybe could be done between the first two lineups or something like that?

  9. carlos said

    Wow thanks so much

  10. Thanks so much for all of this stuff. I already had some of it on 7″s and what not, but didn’t even know about half of it even existed. I also used to have the Catch of the Day split 7″ with Unrest, but don’t anymore. I’d love to hear that as well.

  11. Vinnie` said

    The acoustic version of Day Ditty is from the Superpowers cassette on Troubleman Unlimited.

  12. ThiefofFire said

    Thanks a lot for this stuff killingtechnology!!! I’ve been meaning to ask, I’m quite a STT fan and I’ve been wondering if you know about any live bootleg of Shudder To Think during the Pony Express Record era (that is not the Live Choice Series).

    I’ve been trying to find anything with no success. Do you know about a recording?

    Once again, Thanks a lot!

  13. Hi thief of fire (nice handle, BTW),
    I found this while Googling around.

  14. ThiefofFire said

    I love the pop group haha, thanks a lot for sharing that link!! 🙂

  15. lewis said

    Great as this stuff is, does anybody have any of the demos or live versions of the songs that were going to be on their originally intended follow-up to Pony Express?

    Y’know, the REALLY weird(er) son

  16. ThiefOfFire said

    Now THAT would be something interesting. I would love to hear those songs as well, apparently they were bent to a darker direction.

  17. CARL said

    So, the question is: who’s the diehard S2T fan that has this stuff? I have never heard the unreleased songs, but I recall that one was entitled “C is for Curls” — also, there was a much weirder live version of “Kissesmack …” floating around. Anybody got ANY info, re: this era, the songs, etc?

  18. Marco said

    nice list you have going here. hit my page. i’ll be posting more PXR in-studio stuff soon. i’ll look deep into the Shudder archives and maybe post something mega rare from PXR or earlier… pending the guys are okay with it.


  19. kabookie said

    ” 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.”

    I’m not sure if I read this sentence correctly, but if you mean that the track called “Take the Child” was unreleased…technically that’s incorrect. It was on the Blue Suede Shoes demo that Chadski mentions.

    I bought that demo from the band when they came out to central Pennsylvania in 1987 or 1988 to play a gig that SNFU headlined. I was properly amazed by Shudder, and I bought that demo from them along with an ugly white stt t shirt that I wish I still had but it was so thin and cheap that it shrunk to way too small…but if I remember correctly the t shirt had their logo and also a medusa head in black print on a white shirt….

    I also wish I still had that Suede Shoes demo tape… it had a blue sticker label on it and it was DIY through and through… it’s hard hanging onto a cassette for 20+ years, and I think it actually may have worn out and broke from me playing it so much. I do think I still have the Arson 7″ buried away somewhere.

    But, damn listening to these songs brings back memories. I saw STT three or four times when I was in high school around 1987 through 1989. Their live show was phenomenal, and watching them you knew you were seeing something special… Craig was all over the place, and they just rocked!

    I loved the Blue demo, Arson, and Mooses, but, to my ears, I was extremely let down by the Ten Spot and Funeral records… I was a big fan of this band, and I thought they were brilliant, and I didn’t understand what happened to their sound… and I lost interest in following them through the rest of their career…

    But, wow… I am listening to Touch right now, and that just causes a wave of adolescent memories to crash over me…. these guys and Operation Ivy got me through high school…

    thanks for reading… and now I’m feeling sort of old lols…

  20. Dan said

    Thanks for this.

    Any luck finding the Pony Express Record demos or the Catch of the Day 7”?

  21. suzecreamcheez said

    Does anybody visit this place anymore?

    I too want to hear a live recording of the original Kissesmack Of Past Action!

  22. leo said

    …if someone needs that old demo tape, please get in touch: leoferrand at yahoo . it

  23. Chris said

    Oh, it would be *fabulous* if you could re-upload the first link. I’ve just been listening to ‘Live From Home’ on repeat for the past couple of days, and it’s all come flooding back – STT, what a jewel of a band.

    • killingtechnology said

      Sorry, I’ve been meaning to upload a whole file of EVERYTHING but it is finding the host cos it’s a big folder.
      I haven’t forgotten

      • NightyNight said

        Have you thought about Drop Box?

      • killingtechnology said

        Yeah I have been using Dropbox for more recent links but I’m not sure how it has been working for people?
        It’s great but I basically have no space to host this STT mega folder…
        If a bunch of people send me email addresses so I can refer them to get increased space maybe???
        other than that I’m out of ideas unless someone has 200mb of space they could donate

  24. Marco said

    I have a mountain of live to DAT tapes, rehearsals, and general weirdness sent from the guys. I’ll have a little convo with Craig soon about getting some of it out there.

    We’re still trying to figure out how spread more of the Recording of Pony Express Record. Search for it on YouTube. I’ve posted only a few minutes there as a sampling.

    Leave the guys some feedback here if you’re interested in seeing and hearing more rare Shudder to Think treasures. Your dedication is appreciated. Or email me.

    ciao ciao,

  25. killingtechnology said

    Check it out guys… new link to full DL!

  26. Chris said

    Holy cow – I’ve only just spotted the re-up. Thanks so much! A STT marathon awaits…

  27. TT said

    Got it at show in Harrisburg. Their van had broke down for that show. They were hitting up the crowd for a place to crash. Ah… the memories.

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