Screeching Weasel (album)

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Screeching Weasel
Screeching Weasel - Screeching Weasel original cover.jpg
Original Underdog cover
Studio album by Screeching Weasel
Released September 1987
Recorded June 13, 1987 (1987-06-13)
Studio Solid Sound Studio in Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Genre Hardcore punk
Length 34:12
56:42 (reissue)
Label Underdog (#3)
VML (072)
Producer Phil Bonnet
Screeching Weasel chronology
Screeching Weasel
(1987)
Boogadaboogadaboogada!
(1988)

Screeching Weasel is the self-titled debut studio album by the Chicago-based punk rock band Screeching Weasel. It was originally released on vinyl with a limited pressing of 1,000 copies in September 1987 through the local independent label Underdog Records. It was the band's only album with bassist Vinnie Bovine, who was fired the next year due to tensions with him and the band.[1] Screeching Weasel documents the band's early years as a hardcore punk band, with the music being heavily influenced by bands such as Adrenalin O.D., Angry Samoans, Circle Jerks and Black Flag.[1]

The album gained the band a minor local following and its initial pressing sold out quickly. However, Underdog decided not to repress the album to save money for a release by label owner Russ Forster's own band.[1] Screeching Weasel was out of print for next decade until VML Records re-released it on CD in 1997. The CD version featured a full-color version of the album art and several previously unreleased bonus tracks.

Background and recording[edit]

The band was formed as All-Night Garage Sale by Ben Foster (later taking the stage name "Ben Weasel") and John Pierson ("John Jughead") in Chicago in 1986. Weasel took singing/bass duties, Jughead became the guitarist and Steve Cheese was hired as the drummer. They changed their name to Screeching Weasel shortly after. Weasel later found it too difficult to sing and play bass simultaneously, so the group hired Vince Vogel (rechristened "Vinnie Bovine") as their bassist in November. Weasel then began looking up studios in the phone book to record the band's first demo. They settled on Solid Sound in Hoffman Estates, Illinois because, according to Weasel, studio engineer Phil Bonnet "didn't laugh when I told him we were a punk band."[1] Bonnet loaned the band $200 and booked them to come into the studio.[1] However, the recording was delayed two weeks because Bonnet did not make it to the studio for the first session nor the rescheduled session the next week.[1] Bonnet finally showed up for the third session a week later and, as an apology, let the band record on the studio's 24-track machine for the same price as the 12-track machine.[1] They did many songs that would later be re-recorded for their debut album that were written by Weasel during his stay at a drug rehabilitation center in Maine when he was a teenager.[1][2] The tape was self-released shortly after and sold through Berkeley, California punk-zine Maximumrocknroll for a short period. After the band played a show at the Batteries Not Included club in Chicago, they met Russ Forster, president of local independent label Underdog Records.[1] Forster offered to release a 27-song album by the band on his label and they accepted.[1] The album was recorded on June 13, 1987 at Solid Sound with Bonnet as producer/engineer and was mixed by Forster and the band.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[3]

The album was released on vinyl in September 1987 with a limited pressing of 1,000 copies and was Underdog's third release. After BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel played the song "Murder in the Brady House" on his radio show, the group got a deal with the label What Goes On? Records, who released the album in the UK with a pressing of 2,000 copies.[4][5] In the United States, the band gained a minor local following after its release and the initial pressing sold out in three months. However, Underdog opted not to repress the album as Forster wanted to save money to release a record by his own band Spongetunnel.[1] Forster gave the band $200 along with the master tapes and all the rights to the album for their trouble and the group began looking for another label to release it, but none were interested.[1] It remained out of print for the next decade, due to Weasel's dissatisfaction with the album and because Bovine allegedly wanted too much money for it.[2] The album was finally re-released on CD by VML Records in 1997 with a new, fully colored version of the cover art and several bonus tracks, including songs from the band's first demo, early versions of songs from their next album Boogadaboogadaboogada! and songs from an unreleased split EP with local band The Ozzfish Experience.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Ben Weasel, except where noted.

Side Screech
No. Title Length
1. "Say No! to Authority" 0:55
2. "Wanna Die" (music by Screeching Weasel) 1:03
3. "Society" 1:22
4. "California Sucks" (music by John Jughead) 0:44
5. "Murder in the Brady House" 2:18
6. "I Can't Stand Myself" 0:42
7. "My Song" 1:51
8. "High Ambitions" (music by Jughead and Vinnie Bovine) 0:57
9. "March of the Lawnmowers" 0:58
10. "Leave Me Alone" (music by Jughead) 1:36
11. "Don't Touch My Car" (lyrics by Jughead) 0:53
12. "7-11" 1:15
13. "Cows" 1:11
Side Moo
No. Title Length
14. "Work" 1:27
15. "Wavin Gerbs" (lyrics by Dave Robinson; music by Bovine) 1:08
16. "Liar" 0:56
17. "O.M.W." (cover of the Oscar Mayer theme song; arranged by Steve Cheese) 0:48
18. "Clean-Cut Asshole" (music by Jughead) 1:18
19. "Raining Needles" (lyrics by Robinson) 0:26
20. "BPD" (music by Jughead) 1:26
21. "Experience the Ozzfish" 1:45
22. "Jockpunk" 1:37
23. "K-Mart Blues" (lyrics by Cheese) 0:56
24. "Bates Motel" (music by Jughead) 1:12
25. "Hardcore Hippie" (music by Jughead) 0:40
26. "What Is Right?" 2:30
27. "Yeah Baby!" 2:07
Total length: 34:12

Personnel[edit]

Additional performers

  • Warren Fish – bass on tracks 36 – 39

Production

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Screeching Weasel - Kill the Musicians liner notes. Retrieved 2016-02-06
  2. ^ a b Screeching Weasel - How to Make Enemies and Irritate People liner notes. Retrieved 2016-02-06
  3. ^ AllMusic review
  4. ^ "The Last Temptation of Jughead: An Interview with John "Jughead" Pierson". punkrockpravda.blogspot.com. 
  5. ^ "Jughead on Screeching Weasel's Self-Titled". youtube.com.