Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Hunger Farm - First Demo/Radio Tokyo (1988)
Getting the job of your dreams, winning the lottery, your baby being born; pft! Not EVEN as joyous as an old sought after release popping up on bandcamp!
I think I already mentioned how I mail-ordered a bunch of stuff from Cargo Records, including most of the Nemesis Records catalog. Nemesis was mostly known for hardcore, but there were a few wildcards on there like Fishwife, Pitchfork, The Offspring and a band who put out a couple of my favorite 7"s: Hunger Farm.
Their music is a little hard to describe, basically an awesome mix of indie rock and punk. A description that would also suit another of my faves: Treepeople. Hunger Farm popped up on an old Flipside Records compilation in 1991 that seemed a good fit for them (and appealing to me) with bands like Big Drill Car, Monsula, Green Day and Bad Religion alongside some of Flipside's weirder roster and tastes.
I never learned much about the band, but I loved everything about their 2 7"s; cool artwork, strong vocals, weird lyics and a great rhythm section. I learned later that they were featured in an old Gullwing skate video that I still haven't seen to this day. (Not sure I'm nostalgic enough to sit through an hour and a half of that.)
They released a CD that didn't quite live up to the 7"s, but is still pretty good. But at some point I found out that they had an earlier demo with a couple of amazing songs. I got a crappy copy of it and eventually tracked down the singer of the band who sent me all their stuff on cassette. Unfortunately, he cut off the beginning of one of those awesome songs. It seemed like I would never get a quality version of that stuff. When JGoon and I talked about starting a label many years ago, a Hunger Farm discography was one of the first things I wanted to release, just so I'd have a decent copy of everything.
But in my sporadic search for them on the internet, I found that someone has put up all their old stuff on bandcamp, including the 2 demos that feature all of the songs from their 7"s. Now admittedly, the bandcamp versions of the last 2 demos still don't sound too great, but I will rip the 7"s eventually.
This demo sounds great though for a cassette transfer. I did clean it up a little, matching the volumes a little better and remastering it a tad to the volume of their album. I've been wanting a decent copy of the song "Circles" for a while and now I finally have it! If you've never heard them, that's the song to start with. It's like some kind of new wavey, post punk, dream pop punk hybrid.
The singer has some more recent solo stuff up on ReverbNation under the name Trash Martyr that's pretty good too. He sent me a CDr of songs that I'll have to dig up the next time I'm at my parents' place.
Hunger Farm - Radio Tokyo Demo (1988) (R) (vbr 0)