Browsing YouTube late the other night, as you do, I luckily happened across a hitherto unviewed (by this writer) promotional video for Stretchheads. One of my favourite bands of all time, I was luckily enough to see this band many times in Glasgow. You know those local bands in your town that you like a lot, but you know that you don't have to go to every gig, because there'll be another one round the corner? With the Stretchheads, you made it to every one you could. Every one was different and every one was a total multimedia experience. 'Singer' P6 had a flair for the dramatic and a barely suppressed desire to be confrontational. He brought the concert to the audience one at a time and at close range. It felt moderately uncomfortable for this particular 18-year-old to be screamed at by a large, bald man in a tinfoil suit less than an inch from my face, but it was an experience I went back for time and time again. Musically, they were like nothing I'd ever heard. As time went on I became aware of the groups the were an influence on the Stretchheads but at the time I had been subsisting on a pretty strict diet of American hardcore and punk. The Stretchheads were hardcore alright, but in a completely different, twisted way. After the first LP, when they started to get even more experimental and incorporated samples, loops, and dubby effects, they just got better and better.
I remember going in to Rat Records on Buchanan Street and buying Five Fingers, Four Thingers, A Thumb, A Facelift, and a New Identity off of drummer Richie, without realizing he was in the band. When my friend Sandy and I drew up the list of must-have interviews for our new punk zine, Stretchheads were top of the list. Bassist Mofungo answered just about every question with references to The Ramones or The Sweeney, as I recall.
At any rate, thanks to the wonders of 21st Century technology, rather than just tell you about this amazing band, I can also direct you to sites where you can see and hear them for yourself. Enjoy!
Stretchheads on YouTube:
Overrunning Of The Orifice Region - Part 1
Overrunning Of The Orifice Region - Part 2
Live In Stockwell, 1990
Stretchheads on MySpace
Vocalist P6 and drummer Richie have a new(ish) act called DeSalvo that continues their fascination with brutal sounds and theatricality. DeSalvo on MySpace
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