Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Corduroy - Lisp ep (1994, Broken); Dead End Memory Lane (1997, Broken)

San Francisco's dearly departed Corduroy were a BIG favorite of mine during the mid-90s, and like many such indie bands in my "small of fame," word on them didn't travel far beyond their hometown. Led by the throaty Wade Driver (formally of cowpunks The Hickoids), the quartet were in some ways the closest the west coast had to a Superchunk. Comparisons to that band aside, they were seemingly inspired by Jawbreaker just as much, and to a lesser extent Nirvana. Wade's trademark rasp was Corduroy's most glaring attribute, but nevertheless he knew how to harness the power of a hook as well as his soon-to-be hometown punk millionaires.
Their 1994 Lisp ep on the Broken Rekids label is a near-perfect introduction. The opening "Jan Michael Vincent," a highly dynamic slice of crunchy melodicore is worth the price of admission alone, but is augmented by the equally strong "Now Hwat," and a choice rendition of The Swell Maps "Vertical Slum," doesn't hurt either.

The posthumous singles, demos and rarities compilation, Dead End Memory Lane is even nearer and dearer to my heart, if only for the fact that it contains the entirety of their brilliant debut 7" ep, Denounce Insitusation Nationism, a record that I went bonkers trying to track down in the pre-Google era. Eventually I did come into possession of that record, from someone in the band, quite possibly Wade if I'm not mistaken. Dead End isn't wall to wall gold, but overall hosts some soaring, phenomenal music, and for better or worse, is the closest Corduroy would ever come to making a proper full length. The closing "Cut," is the Minutemen song by the way.

After C'roy were put to pasture, Wade went on to the noisy, and often downright schizophrenic 50 Million, who still appear to be active according to their Myspace corner of the web. Bust the action ya'll.

Lisp ep
01. Jan Michael Vincent
02. Now Hwat
03. Sister Bigfoot
04. Vertical Slum
05. You Had to Be There

Dead End Memory Lane
01. Hum
02. Cornflake
03. Strychnine Porcupine
04. Four Wall Drive
05. Just My Way
06. Language of Mine
07. Truck Ribs
08. Stranded
09. Sump 'n Good
10. Funeral
11. Out the Window
12. Comin' Down So Far
13. Teeth
14. Half Mast
15. Livid
16. Nothing New
17. Jan Michael Vincent
18. Overhauls
19. G.E.
20. Cold Spot
21. Change
22. 5:30 AM
23. Cut


Unknown said...

Wow - was just listening to Lisp. Amazing that somebody else remembers these guys!

theloneliestenuretic said...

just wanted to say i love your blog. i actually played drums in corduroy close to the end, and i still see wade once in a while. i hadn't been able to track any of these down either, and i always sort of thought corduroy could've been a big deal, but like a lot of bands, lots of self destructiveness.. oh well.
anyway, thanks a bunch, it's a trip listening to these jams again...
yr pal,

topher44 said...

Any way to re-up Dead End Memory Lane by Corduroy? Would love to hear it since Lisp was exceptional. Thank-you!

Mike Noonan said...

Wah! This stuff is gone. Can you please re-up? It would be heroic.

Whimpers and Bangs said...

i always loved the track "I'll Be on my Way" from one of the Shreds comps (maybe the first volume?). Don't know where that track originated from, but it's worth checking out.