Inoculator (EP)

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Not to be confused with Inoculation.
EP by the Smoking Popes
Released 1991
Recorded 1991 at Curved Air Studios in Crystal Lake, Illinois
Genre Pop punk
Length 9:18
Label Radius
Smoking Popes chronology
Break Up

Inoculator is the debut EP by the Chicago-based pop punk band the Smoking Popes, released in 1991 through local label Radius Records. It is their only release on which original drummer Dave Martens recorded, before he was replaced by Mike Felumlee.

The material for Inoculator was written for a previous incarnation of the Smoking Popes called Speedstick, which singer and guitarist Josh Caterer describes as "a kind of Spinal Tap-esque parody of a punk band. When we felt that the concept had played itself out and it was time to stop messing around, we took the five least ridiculous Speedstick songs and released them as our first EP, under the name Smoking Popes."[1]

Inoculator was recorded in 1991 at Curved Air Studios in Crystal Lake, Illinois with recording engineer Alan Purvy. The cover art was drawn by Lyle Zimmerman, while Pete Zelchenko provided the inserts.[2] A sixth song, "Wanted Love", was recorded during the same session but left off of the EP; it was later released on the compilation albums 1991–1998 and It's Been a Long Day.[1][3]

Caterer's inspiration for the song "Sandra" came when a man from his area was arrested for stalking Olivia Newton-John. "His mug shot was on the front page of our local paper. It was a haunting photograph. You could see in his eyes that he was a total maniac. So I decided to write a song from the point of view of a stalker, which I found to be an almost alarmingly enjoyable experience."[1] He chose Sandra Bernhard as the song's subject "because she seemed like a less obvious candidate, and I felt there was something about her persona that heightened the twisted despair of the protagonist's obsession."[1] In a review of 1991–1998, Ari Wiznitzer of Allmusic remarked that the song "shows the Popes at their most playful, with lead singer Josh Caterer lamenting his unrequited love for an older woman".[4] Reviewing It's Been a Long Day, J. Allen noted that the "quirky" song and other early Smoking Popes tracks from Inoculator show Caterer and the rest of the band in a less polished mode than their later, more well-known material, particularly in Caterer's singing which later became characterized by his crooning style.[5]

Track listing[edit]


All songs written and composed by Josh Caterer

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Sandra"   2:38
2. "Brand New Hairstyle"   1:50
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Missing Out"   1:19
2. "No Time for Your Lies"   1:41
3. "Theme from 'Cheerleader'"   1:50
Total length:






  1. ^ a b c d e Caterer, Josh (2010). It's Been a Long Day (CD insert). Smoking Popes. Monte Sereno, California: Asian Man Records. 
  2. ^ a b c "Inoculator". Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  3. ^ a b 1991–1998 (CD insert). Smoking Popes. Algonquin, Illinois: Double Zero Records. 1999. DZCD001. 
  4. ^ Wiznitzer, Ari. "Review: 1991–1998". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 
  5. ^ Allen, J. "Review: It's Been a Long Day". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-04-24.