Ed Hall (band)
||This article may be written from a fan's point of view, rather than a neutral point of view. (December 2007)|
|Origin||Austin, Texas, USA|
|Genres||Alternative rock, Noise rock|
|Years active||1987 – mid-90s|
|Labels||Boner Records / Trance Syndicate|
|Associated acts||Steel Pole Bathtub
|Past members||Kevin Whitley
Described by Trouser Press as "Austin's resident heirs to the Butthole Surfers' weird-rock crown", Ed Hall was a trio not containing any member of that name; Gary Chester handled guitar duties, with Larry Strub on bass. Drumming was originally by John Buron, who was replaced by Kevin Whitley, who was later replaced by Lyman Hardy. The provenance of their namesake was never revealed, although multiple explanations were proffered by band members, media, and fans. The track "Who's Ed" on debut album Albert does little to dispel the mystery.
The band emerged from the music scene based in and around the Dong Huong, a Vietnamese restaurant-turned-punk club whose proprietor Phong encouraged and hosted loud, obnoxious bands too raw and/or unknown for established clubs. The Dong scene was documented on a cassette compilation called The Polyp Explodes (see Crust), which ultimately brought Ed Hall to the attention of Boner Records owner Tom Flynn and to the unwanted attention of Jim Adler (The Texas Hammer) when a class action lawsuit was filed for loss of hearing and mental anguish of many of the band's fans.
One of the more striking features was the habit of performing while painted with blacklight paint, accompanied by the appropriate lighting on stage. This was probably a sort of psychedelic homage to their heroes of Kiss.
After releasing six songs on the Mind Drum Records compilation Charlie Manson Street, debut album Albert was released on the Boner label in 1988. Standout track "Candy House" was a taste of things to come on 1990's similarly bizarre and humorous Love Poke Here. The band was subsequently featured in Richard Linklater's 1991 indie film Slacker, and signed a contract with Butthole Surfer King Coffey's Trance Syndicate label and toured North America as the Butthole Surfers' support act.
With each song named after an individual that may or may not have ever existed, 1992's Trance Syndicate debut Gloryhole marked a leap forward in the band's sound, whilst retaining much in the tradition of its two predecessors: open, loose backbeats overlaid with pop song structures, and plenty of Butthole Surfers-esque acid-damage. Production benefited greatly from the move to Butch Vig's Smart Studios, and highlights included "Buster Enamel" and the jakob-like instrumental "Bernie Sticky," along with a cello-driven cover of Kiss's "Beth" (also released as a 7-inch single on Trance Syndicate)
1993's Motherscratcher has been described as the most focused, least whimsical Ed Hall album issued during the trio's career. The opening "White House Girls," with its exaggerated backbeat and laughing chorus, is a near-perfect example of the prickly riffs and trebly, note-driven leads of Gary Chester's guitar-playing, and the solid foundation provided by the developing partnership between bass player Larry Strub and new drummer Lyman Hardy, who replaced Kevin Whitley prior to the Gloryhole tour. Texturally, Ed Hall, with this album, was beginning to resemble a more cryptic and nuanced, less abrasive version of Flipper, one of the trio's most salient influences, and with whom they toured in 1994. Instrumental "Satori in Manhattan, Kansas" has been described as "strikingly beautiful" and "eclipsed by very little in rock music."
Ed Hall's fifth album, 1995's La La Land was an extension of the ground covered on Motherscratcher - raunchy overdriven guitar scrapings underpinned by snaking bass lines and long-armed drumming, topped with vocals that testify and holler.
Their sixth album, Permission to Rock... Denied was completed but never officially released. In a March 2013 interview with online music zine Punk Globe, Strub commented on the record stating, "You could still tell it was us, but different." 
Ed Hall split in 1996. Bassist Strub moved to Thailand and taught English for some years. Gary Chester spent time in Moist Fist and Gold (which was just Pong), and Lyman Hardy played in a number of bands, including the Goin' Along Feelin' Just Fines. All three now play in retro-futuristic cosmic dance-rock combo Pong. A reunion show in Austin, Texas in 2003 featured Chester, Strubb, Hardy, and Whitley, with Whitley and Hardy sharing drum duties. Another reunion show (with Crust and Pain Teens) was scheduled for November 2012.
- Albert (1988, Boner)
- Love Poke Here (1990, Boner)
- Gloryhole (1992, Trance Syndicate)
- Motherscratcher (1993, Trance Syndicate)
- La La Land (1995, Trance Syndicate)
- Permission_to_Rock..._Denied (1996, Unreleased)
- Deth (1991, Trance Syndicate)
- The Polyp Explodes
- Charlie Manson Street Comp (1988, Mind Drum Records)
- Love and Napalm Volume 1 (1990, Trance Syndicate)
- Love and Napalm Volume 2 (1991, Trance Syndicate)
- Love and Napalm, The Album (1993, Trance Syndicate)
- ¡Cinco Años! (1995, Trance Syndicate)