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Skin Yard | Start at the Top | review | grunge | rock | Lollipop

Skin Yard

Start at the Top (CZ)
by Craig Regala

Skinyard were tangentle to the grunge big bang. Firstly because the guitar player in the band (and band leader) Jack Endino was just about the house producer at Sub Pop. He's recorded more great records than many people own. Hey, what part of history do you lay claim to? He was in the chair for the first LPs by Mudhoney, Green River, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and the crucial repunking of America via the Dwarves' Blood, Guts and Pussy. That being the finest 15 minute blast of doodle-smut punk'n'roll since Circle Jerks opened the '80s with Group Sex. Think of Jack as the Ross Robinson of the flannel boom. Secondly, the bass player (Daniel House), had a really important label (CZ), which kicked off the whole ruckus in the Northwest with the comp Deep Six, which grubbed up early offerings from Green River, Malfunkshun, U-Men, Soundgarden, and Melvins.

So why was Skinyard only a tangent? Well, they didn't have that one big tune to get'm over and their grubbily athletic take on proggy post-punk rootage was at odds with the developing ethos. Look at 'em as Soundgarden with less hair; drain off Sabbath and Zep, filter in Bauhaus and Killing Joke. As influences, though, not as any literal tribute to those half-asses. This disc is a good one, partly because the three covers (The Damned, Kiss, The Beatles) raise the songwriting quotient to very good, with the self-penned stuff holding its own. Bonus vfm (value for money): Their stuff is either different versions or unreleased. I play this one for fun, which is rare: Even decent records get filed after the review.
(4756 U. Village Pl. NE #469 Seattle, WA 98105)  

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