(Photo from Super Electro Steve)
Artist: The Night Kings / Yummy
Title: Bug Weed / Reverend Moon Doggie
Label: Regal Select
Genre: Garage Rock, punk
Back in the dawn of the 90s, Regal Select was a prominent label for garage and punk acts in the Seattle area and beyond. The Night Kings featured Rob Vasquez, and was born of the ashes of an earlier band, known as The Night and Days. It also featured Dan Ryan of Kings of Rock, who just happens to be the younger brother of Charlie Ryan of Cat Butt, Crows and U-Men, alongside Javad, formally of The Fall -Outs. The Night Kings released one LP on Super Electro and various singles and EPs on Sub Pop, In The Red, Bad Vibe and The Eight Van Rock & Roll Products. The band split sometime after 1993.
Yummy formed out of the ashes of Cat Butt (see their bio here), and it featured James Burdyshaw and Erik Peterson (who went on to be in Sinister Six, The Purdins, Plowed and John the Baptist). I’m still trying to track down more info on the band. Obscure punk and grunge bands from the late 80s and early 90s are not easy to dig up as there simply is not a lot of info that survived over the last twenty years that made it onto the net.
At any rate, as far as I can tell, Yummy released the singles “Happiness Is…” and “Do Your Fix,” as well as appearing on the Regal Select compilation, “Puget Power Act 2.” I was surprised to find this particular split single on ebay, more so after I couldn’t find anything online mentioning the existence of this single. I would venture a guess that if few folks know about this band, and therefor haven’t posted much info on them, there maybe a few more slabs of vinyl out there that Yummy released that we don’t know about yet.
So what exactly does this split single sound like?
The A-side features the track, “Bug Weed,” by the Night Kings. It’s really short, clocking in at 1:43, but it packs a punch. It’s loud, wild and features a furious energy that makes garage rock what it is. It reminds me in some ways of Cat Butt, Mudhoney, The Woggles or maybe even The Statics. It’s hard for me to really draw comparisons, and I am sure Night Kings fans will agree with me on that one. The vocalist has a unique voice. It’s clear, loud and flawless. It makes me wish they had offered us more than just the one track on this vinyl.
The B-side is “Reverend Moon Doggie” by Yummy. The title is a reference to the famous musician but it is hard to say if that really provided the inspiration for this track. The vocals are growly and gritty, very much like those found on the Cat Butt record. The style here is similar as well, resting more on the lines of punk and grunge, but don’t ask me to give you a comparison. Trust me; it’s hard, as the sound is very unique. It drives like a classic rock tune but screeches into grunge / punk guitar styling. Perhaps if you put early AC/DC in a blender with early Nirvana, Sinister Six, Cat Butt, 64 Spiders and U-Men and served it on a slice of angst. It’s great, really. My hunt for more of their material is now crucial.
Should you buy this? If you’re into the genres, or if you’re obsessed with the history of bands, particularly those who aren’t well known, you’ll eat this up. If you’re a casual fan of the Seattle bands, this will be an enjoyable add on to your collection. I was fairly surprised at how much I liked this, and I am certain you will be too. The problem of course, is finding a copy. It’s not that it’s rare, but it’s more that no one knows about this release because it’s kind of fallen between the cracks of time and the history of music. I guess it helps that the label it was released on went belly up due to legal issues (involving the name of the label and a well-known local brewery). You might be able to score a copy on ebay, Musicstack or if you’re lucky, at a record show. Your hunt will be worth it.
4.8 out of 5.