Long before Built to Spill were on every self-respecting, music snob's shortlist, I had the good sense in 1991 or so to take a chance on a cassette by a Boise via Seattle combo dubbed the Treepeople. Little to my knowledge at the time, Treepeople contained in their ranks one Doug Martsch who by the mid-90s would be spilling all that was built to fairly significant acclaim and notoriety. It took me many years to concede that BTS were superior to the Treepeople. This was due in large part to the brilliant melodic, noise-punk (a la vintage Dinosaur Jr) residing in T'peoples bitchin' Something Vicious for Tomorrow, and Just Kidding albums. Both of these were issued on C/Z Records, and are apparently still available. The six songs that this post concerns are extracted from two vinyl-only singles, and as a bonus two additional cuts from a 1993 promo-only ep.
Recorded at roughly the same time as their Toxic Shock Records debut, Guilt, Regret, Embarrassment, "Mistake" was the A-side to a one-off single on the Sonic Bubblegum label, and also happens to be one of the strongest and most representative songs of their nascent period. The flip-side,"Ballard Bitter," named after a Northwest beer, was later rerecorded for Just Kidding. Their second single, from 1992 on C/Z provided a preview of Just Kidding, with it's A-side, "Outside In" later to appear in a different version on the album. The backing "Hide and Find Out," was exclusive to this record. As for the pair of bonus tracks I had mentioned, "Damnation Dawn," and "Flies In my Coffee" (the latter actually a cover of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain") were found on a five-cut C/Z Records promo Treepeople CD that was never released for public consumption. Of course, I own a copy 'cause I'm good like that.
After Doug left Treepeople in 1994 (or around there), the band hobbled on without him, largely in name only, before wisely rechristening themselves as Stuntman.
Sonic Bubblegum Records 7" (1991)
02. Ballard Bitter
C/Z Records 7" (1992)
03. Outside In
04. Hide and Find Out
from C/Z Treepeople promo CD (1993)
05. Damnation Dawn
06. Flies In My Coffee
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