Caustic Resin is an indie rock band from Boise, Idaho, who have released several albums for Up Records, Alias Records, and C/Z Records. The band is Brett Netson on guitar and vocals, Tom Romich, Jr. on bass guitar, and either James Dillion or Pat Perkins on drums. The sound of the band somewhat similar to the psychedelic blues-rock of the 1960s, and is marked by Netson's distinctive voice and slide guitar work.
The band has several ties to fellow Boise indie rockers, Built to Spill. Netson was one of its original members; he played bass on its debut, Ultimate Alternative Wavers, but was replaced (along with drummer Ralf Youtz) as per band leader Doug Martsch's wishes to record with a different lineup for each record. Netson contributed various parts to Built to Spill albums Perfect from Now On, Ancient Melodies of the Future and You in Reverse before becoming a full-time member (again) after the latter was released. Built to Spill and Caustic Resin collaborated on the 1995 release, Built to Spill Caustic Resin. The two bands also recorded the track "Still Flat", which appeared on the Red Hot + Bothered benefit CD produced by the Red Hot Organization, and was later collected on Built to Spill's The Normal Years compilation.
Caustic Resin formed in Boise, Idaho in 1988, the original lineup consisted of guitarist/singer Brett Netson (formerly of local punk outfit the Pugs), bassist Tom Romich Jr., and drummer Pat Perkins. To begin with they played mostly heavy metal venues, but were soon gigging with another band located in Boise, Doug Martsch's Treepeople (pre-Built to Spill). Caustic Resin owed much of their exposure to Doug Martsch, as once Ultimate Alternative Wavers(Built To Spill) was released Martsch cited Caustic Resin as an important and major influence on his music. With gaining interest Caustic Resin signed with C/Z, themselves and released their official debut album, Body Love Body Hate.
Despite being compared to popular alternative bands such as Built to Spill, Caustic Resin were less connected to Seattle than many thought. In contrast to the more popular sounds of the Northwest, Caustic Resin's music was a dark, druggy blend of heavy metal, psychedelia, and space rock. Headed by guitarist/vocalist Brett Netson, the band favored thick, slow-moving jams filled with torturous vocals and warped noise freak-outs, softened by the occasional quiet meditation or hint of blues. Most media attention focused on Caustic Resin's relationship with Built to Spill — Netson was a frequent guest musician, and the two bands once combined for an EP release — but they proved to be a venerable presence in their own right, sticking around for well over a decade.
Like Built to Spill, Caustic Resin subsequently moved over to Up Records. Their next album, 1995's Fly Me to the Moon, began to break away from some of the metal stylings of their debut, often floating into spacier — if no less challenging — territory. It was produced by Phil Ek, who would also helm most of Built to Spill's best work. 1996 saw Caustic Resin uniting with Built to Spill's Doug Martsch for a four-song collaborative (not split) EP, Built to Spill Caustic Resin. Following its release, Netson took the band away from the path they'd been treading, moving them away from BtS to the California-based indie Alias (although he continued to appear as a guest guitarist for BtS albums and live shows).
Caustic Resin debuted for their new label with 1998's The Medicine Is All Gone, which refined their basic blueprint while drawing comparisons to electric Neil Young and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. The group continued to mellow on 1999's Trick Question, a more varied and nuanced effort that welcomed several guest musicians and featured an alternate rhythm section — bassist Mike Johnson (Dinosaur Jr., Mark Lanegan) and drummer Joe Plummer — behind Netson on several tracks. The Afterbirth appeared in 2000, marking the band's third album in as many years, and a return to their raw earlier sound. It was also their last album for Alias; they would eventually return to Up. In the meantime, Netson played and toured with Built to Spill. Finally, in 2003, Caustic Resin returned with Keep on Truckin, which featured original drummer Pat Perkins and split bass duties between Romich and Johnson.
Currently Caustic Resin are considered to be on an indefinite hiatus however, no official statement has been made. Brett Netson has been quoted to answer the question 'Is Caustic Resin still a band?' with 'Err.. no, maybe... never no, we did one last tour. The small club circuit well, it's not too cool... a threshold got crossed from the late 90's into the early 2000s were things really changed. It got harder to find people who would let you stay at their house.'
Caustic Resin is scheduled to play a reunion show as part of 2014's Treefort Music Fest.
Work is underway to release "The Medicine Is All Gone" on double disk vinyl under Brett Netson's imprint Scavenger Cult. Reportedly "all analog super hi-fi" in the words of Guitarist Brett Netson.
- Body Love/Body Hate (C/Z, September 12, 1993)
- Fly Me to the Moon (Up, 1995)
- The Medicine Is All Gone (Alias, 1998)
- Trick Question (Alias, 1999)
- The After Birth (Alias, 2000)
- Keep On Truckin' (Up, 2003)
- Yeah, Right (Up, 1995)