Friday, May 21, 2010

Punch Wagon (pre-Superdrag) - demo (1993)

This is one for all you Superdrag die-hards in the audience (I'm sure you're well aware of who you are by now). There's not much info out there to glean on Knoxville's Punch Wagon, aside from a few essential facts ripped straight from an online Superdrag bio:

Singer/guitarist John Davis, drummer Don Coffey, Jr., and bassist Mike Smithers had previously started a band called Punch-wagon. After recording a five-song demo and performing four or five shows, the group disbanded.

Quite the robust back story, eh? Most fans at all acquainted with any Superdrag precursor groups are more likely familiar with The Used, than Punch Wagon. The Used (later expanded to Used to Be) featured in their hallowed lineup two future Superdrag-alum, Tom Pappas and Brandon Fisher. Unlike Punch Wagon, the Used left a little bit more on the studio reels, eventually resulting in a semi-posthumous CD, Shameless Self Destruction. As with Superdrag, it's John Davis fronting Punch Wagon, which by default makes them the more representative of these two predecessor bands. That being said, Punch Wagon didn't quite possess the empathetic tenor and deft musical chops Superdrag would soon become known, and dare I say revered for. The five songs involving this demo (my digitized files thereof, surely culled from a third of fourth generation cassette I might add) are more flattering than one might expect, though hardly the grail-like find I had been hoping for. "Liquor," the one song here that eventually carried over to Superdrag, suffers from some painful volume fluctuations and glitches. There's no telling how many first-generation copies of the Punch Wagon tape (the spine of which is depicted on the sleeve of the S'drag 4-Track Rock double CD compilation) are floating around, but unless the band was gracious enough to sell them at their shows, good luck on ever laying your hands on an original specimen. BTW, John Davis also had a brief solo thing going even prior to Punch Wagon called The Broken String Band, which I might share at a later date if it seems to warrant any interest (hint: leave a comment).

01. Liquor
02. My Guru Died
03. Jesus
04. Parallel Universe
05. Next Time


Unknown said...

I expected lo-fi, but damn. That sounds like someone held up a phone to a stereo playing The Fabulous 8-Track Sound of Superdrag while someone recorded the sound on the other end.

spavid said...

Regrettably I have to agree with you. Would love to hear a more listenable version of these tracks.

Unknown said...

Amazing find. PLEASE upload The Broken String.

Anchored said...

Many, many thanks. Please upload The Broken String!!!

cruise_elroy said...

another vote for broken string band! thanks!

Emc is a Square said...

Re-up if you could, please. THANK YOU