|Origin||Oak Harbor, Washington, United States|
|Genres||Crossover thrash, Hardcore punk|
|Labels||Condar, Musical Tragedies, Southern Lord, Nastymix, Earache, Combat, Fatal Erection|
|Associated acts||Gruntruck, The Fartz, Tad|
|Past members||Chibon Batterman
The Accüsed is a crossover thrash band from Seattle, Washington, founded in 1981. The band was a progenitor of the crossover style that bridged the gap between thrashcore and thrash metal, later influencing grindcore and some crust punk bands; as well as an influential band in the Seattle alternative scene. The band calls their music "splattercore", and their zombie mascot, Martha Splatterhead, appears on most of their albums. Common themes involve social issues and the theme of Martha Splatterhead coming back from the dead to slaughter rapists and child molesters. The Accüsed took an 11-year hiatus in 1992, with members taking time to play in Seattle bands such as The Fartz and Gruntruck. The band re-formed in 2003, and continues to be active.
Early years (1981–1992)
The Accüsed was created in 1981 in Oak Harbor, Washington by bassist Chibon 'Chewy' Batterman; drummer Dana Collins; and guitarist Tommy Niemeyer. John Dahlin was the vocalist from 1982 to 1984. The band's first two demo cassettes and their album, Please Pardon Our Noise, It Is the Sound of Freedom, released in 1983 drew heavily from hardcore punk. In 1984 The Fartz vocalist, Blaine Cook, replaced Dahlin.
In 1984 the band began adopting metal into their sound and dubbed their style "splatter rock", in 'homage' to their favorite genre of horror films. According to a review, "Their hybrid musical formula was distinguishable by Cook's unusual choking-sound vocals, Niemeyer's muted, choppy, buzz-saw guitars, dark metallic riffs, and Dana Collins rapid-fire, double-kick drumming." The band also created the zombie mascot, Martha Splatterhead, whose likeness (created by Niemeyer) adorns most of their albums and many of their promotional items. A recurring theme in the band's lyrics involve Martha Splatterhead coming back from the dead to eviscerate and slaughter rapists and child molesters.
They released their first full EP, Martha Splatterhead, in 1985 on their own Condar label. Their first full-length LP was The Return of Martha Splatterhead, released on Subcore Records, and later re-released on Earache Records (the first mosh album), in 1986.
According to reviewer Jeb Branin, "I was writing for a zine in Canada called Northern Metal that reviewed the new LP The Return Of Martha Splatterhead giving it a 0.0 rating and absolutely crucifying it in the review. It is the only 0.0 review I remember ever seeing in Northern Metal. They hated it so much I knew I had to buy it. As I suspected, the album was a masterpiece of hardcore hysteria."
The LPs More Fun Than an Open Casket Funeral and Martha Splatterhead's Maddest Stories Ever Told quickly followed, as well a number of other annual releases. Starting with Hymns For the Deranged, the band also began working with Seattle producer Jack Endino, and their next album, Grinning Like An Undertaker, with Josh Sinder now on drums, was released on Nastymix Records followed by the EP "Straight Razor".
The band maintained an active touring schedule, and according to a review, "...live, The Accüsed were untouchable ... the whole band was a frenzy of epileptic gyrations, although Blaine's high flying leaps and bouncing off the walls like a deranged gnome were definitely the highlight ... even in today's underground you aren't going to find a more devastating band than The Accüsed."
The Accused re-formed in 2003, playing live shows in the Seattle area, and in 2005 released the album Oh, Martha! on the band's CONDAR label. This "comeback record" landed on Revolver Magazine's Top Ten Albums of the Year and writer's lists from Metal Maniacs magazine. Oh, Martha! followed the tradition of many earlier releases by The Accüsed in that it featured a track with a guest lead singer. In this case, guitarist Tommy Niemeyer sang lead vocals on the angry "13 Letters" (though no lead vocal credit was printed on the album). In 2006 a limited edition, split 7" with Whidbey Island WA's punk icons Potbelly was released. The Accused 2003 reunion line-up was short-lived, however, as a newly reformed version of the band surfaced in 2007.
In a 2009 interview with Rock-A-Rolla, Tom Niemeyer stated that, during one of the band's many line-up changes, Mike Patton (of Mr. Bungle) was approached for the role of vocalist, with Patton ultimately declining Niemeyer's offer due to being "totally booked up". Patton did suggest Brad Mowen (ASVA, Burning Witch, Mommy, Master Musicians of Bukkake, et al.) who joined The Accused in 2008 . The 'new' line-up released two new songs, via free download, "Scotty Came Back" and "Fuck Sorry", January 26, 2007.
In 2009, the band released their sixth full-length album, The Curse of Martha Splatterhead, via Southern Lord Records. The album's first pressing sold-out quickly and received widespread critical praise, forcing Southern Lord Records into a hasty 2nd-pressing of the CD title only weeks after its release. In 2010, the band was included as a part of the soundtrack for Namco Bandai Games' 2010 remake of Splatterhouse. At present, The Accused remain active, performing live and releasing new material sporadically.
The Accüsed is considered[by whom?] to be an important progenitor of the crossover style that bridged the gap between thrashcore and thrash metal, later influencing grindcore and some crust punk bands. It was also considered an influential band in the Seattle alternative scene, notably grunge, and is a key band in the development of metalcore.
Despite being frequently cited as an influence by other punk and metal bands, The Accüsed has largely remained in the underground. According to Sputnik Music, "It's a shame really [that] The Accüsed aren't recognized in the metal music industry as being one of the pioneering members of crossover thrash. These boys deserve more attention than they get."
- 1981: Brain Damage 1 (Demo Cassette)
- 1982: Brain Damage 2 (Demo Cassette)
- 1983: Please Pardon Our Noise, It Is the Sound of Freedom aka Accused/Rejectors Split (Fatal Erection)
- 1985: Martha Splatterhead (EP, Condar)
- 1986: The Return of Martha Splatterhead (LP, Subcore and Earache)
- 1987: More Fun Than an Open Casket Funeral (LP, Combat)
- 1987: 38 Song Archives Tapes 1981-86 (200 Cassettes Self-Released by The Accüsed)
- 1988: Martha Splatterhead's Maddest Stories Ever Told (LP, re-released in 1991 on Combat Records.)
- 1988: Hymns for the Deranged (LP, Empty Records)
- 1990: Grinning Like an Undertaker (LP, Sub Pop, Nastymix)
- 1991: Straight Razor (EP, Nastymix)
- 1992: Splatter Rock (LP, Nastymix)
- 2006: Oh Martha! + Baked Tapes (Double LP, Nuclear Blast and GmbH) - 666 pressed
- 2006: 34 Song Archives Tapes 1981-86 (Condar; #Cond002)
- 2007: Why Even Try? (EP, Condar 2007)
- 2009: The Curse of Martha Splatterhead (LP, Southern Lord)
- 1989: Accused/Morphius Split (Split 7 inch Single, Empty)
- 1992: "Straight Razor" (Fantagraphix Comics)
- 2002: "Paint It Red"
- 2005: "Songs of Horror and Alcoholism" (split 7" with Potbelly, PB Records)
Album track listings
|Martha Splatterhead (1985)|
|4.||"Take My Time"|
|5.||"Fucking for Bux"|
|The Return of Martha Splatterhead (1986)|
|2.||"Wrong Side of the Grave"||3:05|
|3.||"Take My Time"||2:04|
|6.||"Show No Mercy"||2:22|
|9.||"She's the Killer"||1:52|
|10.||"In a Death Bed"||1:10|
|12.||"Fuckin' 4 Bucks"||1:31|
|More Fun Than an Open Casket Funeral (1987)|
|1.||"Halo of Flies"|
|3.||"Rape (Not a Love Song)"|
|11.||"Take No Prisoners"|
|14.||"I'll Be Glad When You're Dead"|
- Martha Splatterhead's Maddest Stories Ever Told
- "Bag Lady Song"
- "Inherit the Earth"
- "Molly's X-Mas"
- "I'd Love to Change the World" (Ten Years After Cover)
- "You Only Die Once"
- "Sick boy"
- "Starved to Death"
- "Maddest Story Ever Told"
- "Scared of the Dark"
- "Losing Your Mind"
- "Smothered Her Trust"
- "Lights Out"
|Hymns for the Deranged (1988)|
|2.||"Brutality and Corruption"|
|3.||"Tapping the Vein"|
|4.||"Barracuda (Heart Cover)"|
|5.||"Our Way (Live)"|
|6.||"Cold Sweat (Thin Lizzy Cover) (Rehearsal)"|
|7.||"Highway Star (Deep Purple Cover) (Live)"|
|8.||"Symptoms of the Universe (Black Sabbath Cover) (Rehearsal)"|
|Grinning Like an Undertaker (1990) - Produced by Jack Endino.|
|1.||"Pounding Nails (Into the Lid of Your Coffin)"||03:07|
|3.||"The Corpse Walks"||03:41|
|4.||"Grinning (Like an Undertaker)"||01:50|
|5.||"Down and Out (Featuring the Mad Poet)"||03:45|
|6.||"Cut & Dried"||01:42|
|7.||"Dropping Like Flies"||02:34|
|8.||"M Is for Martha"||02:50|
|9.||"Room 144 (Instrumental)"||02:59|
|10.||"When I Was a Child"||02:33|
|13.||"Boris the Spider (The Who cover)"||02:37|
|14.||"Tapping the Vein"||02:31|
|Straight Razor (1991) - Produced by Jack Endino.|
|1.||"No Hope for Relief"|
|5.||"Down and Out"|
|6.||"Saturday Nite Special"|
|7.||"Blind Hate / Blind Rage"|
The out-of-print back-catalog of The Accüsed's albums has been sporadically re-issued on various labels over recent years; a move prompted in part by the fact that many collectors of memorabilia by The Accüsed were seeing copies of the rare/out-of-print U.S. made CDs fetch hundreds of dollars each on popular auction website eBay.
- "Review: The Curse of Martha Splatterhead". Sputnik Music. November 2009 article. Retrieved 2011-09-18. Check date values in:
- Branin, Jeb. "Interview: Blaine Cook, The Fartz/The Accüsed former frontman". Retrieved 2011-09-15.
- Prato, Greg (March 24, 2011). "The Short-But-Sweet-Interview: The Accüsed's Tommy Niemeyer". UGO. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- "Martha Splatterhead's Maddest stories ever told". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- Grinning Like an Undertaker; at Metal Archives on-line'
- Straight Razor; Metal Archives on-line; Retrieved 2013-01-20