- Not to be confused with Sister Hazel
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|Origin||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Genres||Grunge, alternative rock, power pop|
|Labels||Sub Pop, Cavity Search Records, CandyAss/Caroline|
|Past members||Jody Bleyle|
Hazel was an American alternative rock band based in Portland, Oregon. The band was a quartet, consisting of Jody Bleyle (drums and vocals), Pete Krebs (guitar and vocals), Brady Payne Smith (bass), and Fred Nemo (dancer). It lasted from 1992 to 1997.
The group was formed on February 14, 1992. Although based in the Pacific Northwest and active during the grunge movement in rock music, Hazel's music was different from most grunge in that it featured both male and female vocals as well as a more melodic sound that could be described as noise pop. Hazel's music was not particularly intricate musically, relying on a few chords, sheer energy (many songs being played at breakneck speed), and vocal intensity. Rather than singing together in harmony, Krebs and Bleyle often sang completely different parts that answered or intertwined with one another. The majority of lyrics dealt with problems regarding relationships, including the regret and resentment following a breakup ("Everybody's Best Friend") or the anxiety felt while attempting to begin a relationship ("Day Glo").
The group was also notable for featuring the dancer Fred Nemo as a full member. Often dressed in fanciful costumes, Nemo, a tall, bearded man, cavorted crazily about the stage, climbing atop speaker cabinets and swinging heavy objects through the air.
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Cavity Search Records was founded as a small, independent record label in Portland, Oregon in 1992. The founders released the first single on the label, "JHell b/w Dayglo/Joe Louis Punchout" by Hazel, later in 1992.
The group released two full-length albums, Toreador of Love and Are You Going to Eat That on the Sub Pop label. A 5-song EP on CandyAss/Caroline titled Airiana was their last release in 1997. Intermittently plagued by personality conflicts, Hazel formally broke up on February 13, 1997, following their last show in their hometown of Portland, Oregon, though they generally have played a couple of shows a year since then.
As of 2005, Nemo performs with Tara Jane O'Neil and works as a bicycle activist in Portland. Krebs, also living in Portland, teaches guitar and performs with a wide assortment of ensembles. Bleyle, now based in Los Angeles, continues to perform around the United States, including reunion shows with girl punk band Team Dresch, a duo with her brother Allen called Family Outing, touring with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, and singing jazz standards in L.A. dives. Smith was the founding principal of Validus Preparatory Academy, a public high school in The Bronx, New York. He is currently living with his wife and kids in Abu Dhabi.
- Jody Bleyle (drums and vocals)
- Pete Krebs (guitar and vocals)
- Brady Payne Smith (bass)
- Fred Nemo (dancer)
- Lucky Dog (Sub Pop) 1993 (Promo album, commercially released as Toreador of Love)
- Live in Portland (Voodoo Doughnut Recordings/Cavity Search Records) 2016 (Live album, two concerts recorded in 1993)
Singles and EP's
- Heida b/w Pop Uncle (Candy-Ass Records) 1992 (Single)
- J.Hell b/w Day-Glo/Joe Louis Punchout (Cavity Search Records) 1992 (Single)
- Day Glo b/w Constipation (Sub Pop) 1993 (Promo single)
- Jilted (Sub Pop) 1993 (EP)
- Blank Florida b/w Motor Sport Daredevils (Pacific Wonderland Records) 1994 (Single)
- Wintogreen b/w King Twist (Cavity Search Records) 1994 (Single)
- Airiana (Candy-Ass Records) 1997 (EP)
- Romeo b/w Incendiary (Candy-Ass Records) 1997 (Split single w/ Ovarian Trolley)