Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It sounds like Grunge.It's not from Seattle.It's God's Acre!

Here's one obscurity I've been planning to post for a long time....God's Acre.The band made me a hell of a good impression with their song Wood featured on Teriyaki Asthma vol I-V. They sounded like a pure Seattle grunge band (even more after I listened to their first single) and I was a little bit confused to find out that they were actually from Chicago.So...let's check out their story!

God's Acre was started by Peter Houpt in '86 after his band Women In Love disbanded. It looks like he was asked to participate on a compilation released by WNUR in Chicago. He didn't have any band at the moment so with the help of a drum machine, Half A Boy's Life song ended up on Hog Butcher For The World compilation along with bands such as Big Black, End Result, Material Issue, Bloodsport and The Garden.Soon Peter asked Doug Mc Combs from Eleventh Dream Day to fill in for the bass until he found a full time bass player, and he was also joined by Johnny Hearndon from Precious Wax Drippings on drums, but after a few shows he left and Brian St. Clair took his place.Soon after that, Doug also left and Mark Blade replace him as the full time bass player.

The trio recorded a cassette tape,13 Gospel Greats, but only 2 of the songs made it on vinyl. The release was called My Real Cool Time" b/w "She a 7"single that came out in 1988. At short time after, Brian left to join Rights Of The Accused, Craig Bradford filled in for a very short period and finally was replace by Brendan Burke of King Vitamin in '89. In 1990 they released their debut full length album Ten Gospel Greats on Wax Trax Records. Along the years they opened for bands such as NoMeansNo, Eleventh Dream Day, Frightwig, Precious Wax Drippings, Das Damen, and even for that famous Seattle grunge band(in 1990 at the Metro in Chicago) know what band. They released Baby in '92, a mini album, and after that I think they disbanded.

Here's a couple of tracks to keep you busy until next week.Enjoy...

from My Real Cool Time" b/w "She 7''
from Teriyaki Asthma vol I-V
Wood(also included on Ten Gospel Greats)

from Ten Gospel Greats


McCuzzins said...

By way of rounding out the story, I'll add a couple footnotes (I lived in Chicago and played in bands during this period).
>John Herndon (nee Johnny Machine) is same dude who is now is Tortoise.
>Peter Houpt was later in a country band called Church Key.
>Brian St. Clair is currently the drummer in Local H.
>It is worth noting that in an era of loud bands,God's Acre were same

John Battles said...

I used to go see God's Acre sometimes , in Chicago. Peter Haupt (That's how I remember his name being spelled...Maybe it is with an "o".) and most of Eleventh Dream Day were working at the now - legendary Round Records in Rogers Park . I remember Peter waxing enthusiastic about bands like Nirvana , Mudhoney , Monster Magnet and most of the Sub Pop Catalog. He tried to turn me on to it , but , THOSE BANDS DID'NT DO MUCH FOR ME . SORRY. i don't even remember God's Acre opening for Nirvana. But , I saw them open for The Butthole Surfers in '88. They were better, BTW..... Regarding names , Mark Blade is his real name. Blade and Brendan Burke went on to play in the underrated , not even on the radar , Heavy Garage band , The Waste Kings, who released three 45s ,one on Estrus. I think The Waste Kings formed around the same time as Church Key. Haupt eventually moved , and , I'm told , is doing fine.Waste Kings morphed into a superb Meters/JBs style Funk Instro band , The Crown Royals , which had two albums on Estrus. Later , they became The Sol - Reys , with the addition of a monster organ player, Brendan Burke did not participate in either of the two Funk Bands. Burke played in King Vitamin ( Funny , hook - heavy Punk , with future Polkaholics' Bassist , Chris Linster.) and The Bouncing Balls ( Funny , hooky , Power Pop , with Don Hedeker from The Polkaholics , and Linster.).

God's Acre never seemed to sound the same way , twice. They may have been into early Nirvana and their contemporaries , but , they were also into the stuff that influenced them. They were big fans of Motorhead , Blue Cheer , Radio Birdman and such. God's Acre were well - liked in Chicago , but, they never reached the heights , locally, of Eleventh Dream Day or even early Smashing Pumpkins , who were only terrible in a different way than what they conquered the world with , Corgan whining all the way.