Friday, January 23, 2015

Playground - Last Stop ep (1995)

Recently, one of our readers was kind enough to share a disk by a group I featured on here circa 2010, Davis, CA's Playground.  At the time, when I posted their Bent, Lost or Broken cd and a pair of stellar 45's I thought those recordings comprised the sum total of their output.  I was pleasantly surprised not more than two weeks ago when said reader provided a download link to a 1995 ep (a 7" I believe) that I was none the wiser of theretofore - and I'm sharing it with you today.

Outside of their renown Cali college town, I think the only exposure the outside world had to Playground was via reviews and/or ads in Maximum Rock n Roll during the mid '90s.  Their utter dearth of visibility was a travesty, because this trio's crunchy, gratifying stripe of riff-pop could have really filled the vacancy left by the likes of Husker Du and the Moving Targets.  Not unlike San Fran contemporaries Overwhelming Colorfast, these guys really filled a certain sweet spot.  Amazingly, the five-cut Last Stop even outdoes some of their aforementioned earlier efforts, if not in terms of aggressiveness surely the melodious smarts they excelled at from the get go.  Really glorious stuff here.  A big round of applause to whomever (I don't recall seeing your name in the comments) put this file together for us. Check out the links above for access to the remainder of the Playground songbook.  I think a proper reissue is in order!

01. Fear
02. Miles Away
03. Can't Tell Me Anything
04. How Long
05. Ten Tons


Unknown said...

How the hell did I not know about this?

Unknown said...

I really need to get you the other stuff they recorded for PopKid but never released.

spavid said...

I was thinking the same thing Alan. Do you still keep in touch with them? Maybe they have some unsold copies lying around. Hard to believe it was twenty years ago! Whatever else you might have I'd be happy to check out. Thanks.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I asked the drummer about this and he was just as surprised as I was. He has never seen it before either.

I'd be really curious to where and when this was released. Did the person who gave it to you include any other info?

Such great songs. I'll dig out what I have when I get back home - currently traveling at the moment.

I owe you the Porcelain Boys stuff as well.

spavid said...

You can check out the comments section to one of my previous Playground entries for a little more info on where this came from:

I posted the Porcelain Boys "Fetish for Female" tape this past Decemeber, and I may have one (or two) more tapes to share soon. Always looking for more PB. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Hi, my name is Matt and I was the drummer for Playground. First, thanks for the kind words, it's nice to be appreciated even all these years later. Second, I don't remember ever releasing these particular recordings, it was just some songs we did after "Bent lost or Broken" but shortly before Mark left the band. I didn't even think anyone outside the band had this tape, so it's just strange, but I'm glad to hear these songs again. For the record, we recorded 2 demo tapes before our full length, from which a couple of songs are on the Take A Day 7", and another one ended up on the Misfit Heartbeat 7" compilation. If you're interested in hearing these, I have them on my computer, and I will gladly burn a cd for you. Just email me at and let me know!

Unknown said...

Also, after we recorded this, Mark left the band, and we got another guy to play guitar and sing, and sort of became Playground Mach 2. We sort of lost the Husker Du influence that Mark brought, and were a little more straight ahead pop punk. We recorded another album and ep that never saw the light of day, but if you're interested in hearing those, just let me know too.

Bruce K. said...

Well, these guys sure tear it up don't they! Power pop floats my boat and this is about as much power as I want.

From two listens through this morning (not too hard to do with the pace they proceed at), I think this is very good.

Not sure if I ever checked out the other stuff, but I will now.



spavid said...

Hey Matt! Great to hear from you. Will be sending you an email a little later.

Glad you're enjoying this Bruce. Playground's quality control was without peer.

Unknown said...

Here is a link to the aforementioned demos
Let me know if that works and I will upload the rest of our stuff for you.

spavid said...

Thanks Matt. Look forward to checking out these tunes soon. Will be in touch. Good on ya!

Bruce K. said...

Hey, I checked out those 93-94 singles and they really delivered.

To Matt, great job powering these tunes along! Also, in my teens I spent part of the summer of 1973 in Davis, California (my father was taking courses there).

Unknown said...

Thanks Bruce, we ended up re-recording most of those songs for our cd, but I still like the demo versions better.

I uploaded our unreleased album here:

and this is another ep worth of stuff we recorded a couple of years later:

This is with our second guitarist/singer Josh, and is a little different than the earlier stuff, but not too different.

spavid said...

Killer! Thanks Matt. Look forward to checking all of this out soon!