The Hope Bombs
The Hope Bombs (1994–1997) were a self-proclaimed "geekcore" band that helped pioneer the development of alternative punk scenes in the San Francisco East Bay.
The band's founding members were Robert Eggplant, previously of Blatz and editor of the long running zine Absolutely Zippo; and Eric Hsu and Ben Morss. The group's drummers included Joe Presci, Brad From Walnut Creek, Dylan Selegue and Kerwin So.
The band had instant access to the Gilman scene due to its connection with Blatz (considered in its day a peer of Green Day and Operation Ivy). However, the band's music and performances ran contrary to the Gilman scene's conventions. Eggplant had already reacted against the egotism of his experiences in Blatz; Hsu championed geeky aspects of live performance (puzzles, contests, prize giveaways and encouragement of audiences to hurl stuffed animals throughout the show); and Morss had considerable formal classical music training. Though they played numerous shows in the SF East Bay punk scene with well-known bands such as AFI and Screw 32, their eccentricity and geeky, anti-macho persona prevented a large following.
Despite its outward lack of popularity, the Hope Bombs had a significant influence on East Bay punk music. As a regular feature at Geekfest, they inspired the creation of a number of bands dissatisfied with the punk scene's perceived orthodoxy and rigidity surrounding 924 Gilman Street. Due in part to the Hope Bombs's involvement, a new scene arose with its own sound and aesthetic.
These bands proliferated enough to sustain a geekcore record label, S.P.A.M. Records.
- Sex With Euclid, 7" single. Pug Records, 1995
- More Songs About Riots, Arson and Jaywalking, cassette release, Pug Records, 1995
- If You Can't Laugh At Yourself...We'll Do It For You, compilation CD, S.P.A.M. Records, 1996