Two Upcoming Reissues From Skate Punk Pioneers Big Boys!

BigBoysLullabies_Outside

Big Boys - Lullabies Help The Brain Grow
MCR 908 (LP | Cassette)
Available: May 20, 2014
Pre-order Now!

They’ve long done things differently in Austin, Texas, and the take on hardcore pioneered by one of the city’s sons, the Big Boys for five years in the early 1980s was no exception. Where peers Scratch Acid, The Dicks and MDC pursued hardcore or art-punk angularity, Big Boys were mixing furious hardcore with loose-limbed funk and tight pop, all the while penning lyrics that struck a blend between punk ideology, angsty alienation and goofy humor. It was delivered via 7”s, EPs, a split LP, compilations, three studio albums, and the live DIY shows that were audience participation-fueled free-for-alls. The idea was for fans to leave feeling like they were part of the band.

Originally released on the Wasted Talent label and reissued last year by Modern Classics Recordings, 1981’s debut album Where’s My Towel was inspired by the group’s growing dissatisfaction with their part in the release of Live At Raul’s. Returning with Lullabies Help The Brain Grow two years later, they were still striking out at situations around them. The opening track, “We Got Your Money” is a sort of rally cry to the misunderstandings of their scene , and to the fraternity boys and girls that came to gawk or cause trouble: “And to all you frat boys/We got your money in our hands!” they shouted, gleefully. Song titles include “We’re Not In It To Lose”, “Fight Back” and “Assault” proved that the gloves were off.

Produced by Spot, legendary in-house producer at SST Records, Lullabies is an album that caught the band in ever-turbulent mode, switching drummers through the recording from Fred Schultz to Rey Washam – the fourth person to occupy the stool for vocalist Randy “Biscuit” Turner, guitarist Tim Kerr and bassist Chris Gates. The album found the band testing the boundaries of their wide-ranging sound, with double-quick thrashers like “Lesson” and double-funky jams like “Funk Off” (helped along by the brass of the Fun Fun Fun 12″ horn section). Kerr took lead vocals on two tracks, and on “Sound On Sound” they combine his languid delivery and pendulum bass in a way that must have pricked the ears of a young Steven Malkmus.

With features in the earliest issues of Thrasher Magazine and coveted spots on their influential Skate Rock tape comps, Big Boys were the first band to be labeled “skate rock”, the nascent version of the world-conquering skate punk of the late 1980s and 1990s. Now, Light In The Attic’s Modern Classics Recordings imprint is bringing their pioneering music to a new audience. Following the 2013 re-release of Where’s My Towel / Industry Standard, 2014 sees reissues of both Lullabies Help The Brain Grow and the following year’s, No Matter How Long The Line Is At The Cafeteria, There’s Always A Seat, which brought the band’s story to a close.

Stream the track “Sound On Sound” below.

  • Original album art expanded to a gatefold “tip-on” jacket
  • Interior gatefold jacket features an unpublished 1984 photo of the band by photographer Pat Blashill (PatBlashill.com)
  • Includes download card for 320 Kbps MP3 of entire album
  • Cassette co-released with Burger Records and limited to 500 hand-numbered copies in our exclusive “tip-on” tape box.
  • 3 Limited Editions Available:

1. LITA SHOP EDITION (only available at our Seattle shop)
- Quantity Of 100
- Hand-Numbered Jacket
- 180-Gram Gold Wax
- Big Boys Circle Sticker

2. LITA TEXAS HARDCORE EDITION (only available at Texas record stores)
- Quantity Of 300
- Hand-Numbered Jacket
- Pink/Green “Haze” Wax
- TXHC Sticker

3. LITA.NET PRE-ORDER EDITION (only available to those that pre-order at LightInTheAttic.net)
- Quantity Of 200
- Hand-Numbered Jacket
- 180-Gram Black/Green “Splatter” Wax
- Big Boys Circle Sticker
Minor Thread x Light In The Attic “Lullabies” tee

 

BigBoys_Cafeteria_Outside

Big Boys - No Matter How Long the Line Is At the Cafeteria, There’s Always a Seat
MCR 909 (LP | Cassette)
Available: May 20, 2014
Pre-order Now!

They were, in the memory of Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye, “Enormous men, decorated jump suits, a horn section, 200 friends onstage singing and dancing.” They were Big Boys by name and by nature – and they had a big effect on US punk culture. When the prevailing trend was for playing hard and fast, this Austin, Texas four-piece played loose and funky. Their cult recordings struck a blend between punk ideology and clever humor, just as the band both railed against and celebrated the hardcore community that bore them.

Released at the time of their split in 1985 and now reissued by Modern Classics Recordings, the group’s final album, No Matter How Long the Line Is At the Cafeteria, There’s Always a Seat finds Big Boys continuing to innovate, even including the sound of turntable scratching on “Common Beat”, a sound rarely heard outside of hip-hop at the time. Songs like “Which Way To Go” and “Narrow View” echo their boredom and anger with the changing hardcore scene, while “I Do Care” and “What’s The Word” illustrate the band’s positive outlook for things to come.

Just as the album flirts between expressions of boredom and anger and funk jams that declare “Life is just a party” (”What’s The Word”), Big Boys were a mess of contradictions. On stage, openness was key and they became famous for encouraging the audience to get involved: “We’re the band, you’re the band,” they would say. But as a four-piece, their relationships began to fray as is not uncommon with many bands on long tours. After five short years and many recordings, the Big Boys went separate ways. “We never really decided to ‘break up’, it just happened,” said Kerr, “We had been on a two month tour and it got to be exactly like being in a station wagon with mom and dad with your brother and sisters… lots of tension and everything.”

Along with an appearance in the documentary American Hardcore and these new reissues, the band’s legacy continues in current bands, like Fidlar, Wavves and The Orwells, and in the mark they made on Austin, Texas, which in tribute to the band, adopted the name of their song, “Fun Fun Fun” for an annual arts/music festival. Keep Austin weird? Big Boys made Austin weird.

Stream the track “Work” below.

  • Original album art expanded to a gatefold “tip-on” jacket
  • Interior gatefold jacket features an unpublished 1984 photo of the band’s last concert by photographer Pat Blashill (PatBlashill.com)
  • Includes download card for 320 Kbps MP3 of entire album
  • Cassette co-released with Burger Records and limited to 500 hand-numbered copies in our exclusive “tip-on” tape box.
  • 3 Limited Editions Available:

1. LITA SHOP EDITION (only available at our Seattle shop)
- Quantity Of 100
- Hand-Numbered Jacket
- 180-Gram White Wax
- Big Boys “Skate For Fun” Sticker

2. LITA TEXAS HARDCORE EDITION (only available at Texas record stores)
- Quantity Of 300
- Hand-Numbered Jacket
- White/Black “Split” Wax
- TXHC Sticker

3. LITA.NET PRE-ORDER EDITION (only available to those that pre-order at LightInTheAttic.net)
- Quantity Of 200
- Hand-Numbered Jacket
- 180-Gram Black/White “Splatter” Wax
- Big Boys “Skate For Fun” Sticker
- Minor Thread x Light In The Attic “Skate For Fun” tee