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Typically, rock bands are accused in all sorts of things – from promoting wrong values to imitating  Spinal Tap. The accusation that followed Olympia, WA trio Karp (acronym for Kill All Redneck Pricks), however, was the one of an entirely different kind. They were seen by some as being Melvins Jr. / Melvins tribute band / shameless plagiarists stealing ideas from others. The band, however, had the last laugh when the band’s founder Jared Warren did joined Melvins after Karp’s dissolution.

Mustaches Wild - 1994
Mustaches Wild - 1994

The band debuted in ’94 with “Mustaches Wild” LP, which K Records catalogue described in the following way -“album number one sinks to the pit of your stomach. Karp, straight out of Tumwater High, gay blades heavy and sweaty. Looks like a deck of cards playing war for real. Feels like a chunk of concrete stapled to your forehead.”

All Music Guide commented that “the ability for one to incorporate mood swings into their musical creativity is apparent on the debut full-length by Washington’s Karp. At the drop of a hat, they can go from slow and blistering to upbeat and pounding, all while remaining at a very low, heavy tone. Deeply influenced by Black Sabbath and the Melvins, Mustaches Wild has the potential to be a very dark release with their very tongue-in-cheek lyrics.”

Their second full-length was 1995 “Suplex” on which AMG commented – “If more grunge was like this in the end instead of refried classic rock for junior-league stoners with newly purchased flannel, maybe the early to mid-’90s wouldn’t have been so problematic.”

Self Titled LP - 1997
Self Titled LP - 1997

Karp’s swansong was 1997 “Self Titled LP” which AMG described as an ideal tool to wake the dead or ensure that the neighbors will grab torches and start calling for a public burning. AMG  review also pointed out that “From the balls-out opening riff on the brilliant “Bacon Industry” to the closing, throat-shredding mania on “J Is for Genius,” this quite literally self-titled record simply does not and will not let up. The vocals sounds even more raw and raunchy than before and the temptation to pump one’s fist is almost impossible to resist. The trio’s ear for sassy, snarling, hip-grinding hooks gives everything a sandpaper-rough edge to hang onto, explaining why the stomp and sway of “Forget the Minions” and “Octoberfleshed” are so damn worthy of being cranked up all the way to 11.”

New millenium saw the release of “Action Chemistry”, a collection of singles and compilation tracks, which came out on Punk In My Vitamins label in 2001. AMG described it as “a surprisingly fierce collection, considering that it’s a bunch of tracks that didn’t make it onto their other full-length releases.”. The album included “Nothing Left Inside”, a Black Flag cover that the band recorded for a Flag tribute album, which was never released.

After the band’s dissolution, various members went on to play with Tight Bros From Way Back When, The Whip, Dead Air Fresheners, Big Business and Melvins. Tragically, the band’s drummer Scott Jerrigan died in an accident in 2003, shortly after forming The Whip with Melvins bassist Joe Preston.

Filmmaker/Federation X lead singer Bill Badgley is working on a documentary dedicated to the band, which is scheduled for 2009 release. Trailer for a documentary is available below.

Scott Jerrigan (The Whip)

Jared Warren (Big Business, Melvins)

Chris Smith (Newlyweds, Witchypoo)

Discography:

Freighty Cat 7″ EP (Atlas, 1993)

I’m Done 7″ (Kill Rock Stars, 1993)

Karp and Punk in My Vitamins Proudly Present: Thumwater T-Birds 7″ (Punk In My Vitamins, 1994)

Mustaches Wild (K, 1995)

Split with Rye Coalition (Troubleman Unlimited, 1995)

Suplex LP/CD (K, 1995)

We Ate Sand / Bastards of Disguise 7″ (K, 1996)

Self-Titled LP (K, 1996)

Prison Shake / Rowdy (Up Records, 1998 )

Compilation Tracks:

Leather Face” on Julep (Yoyo Recordings, 1993)

Gauze” on Stars Kill Rock (Kill Rock Stars, 1993)

Rocky Mountain Rescue” on Jabberjaw – Good To The Last Drop (Mammoth Records, 1994)

“Let Me Take You Home Tonight” on Bostonot (Face The Music, 1994)

Get No Toys (When You Pay The Money) on CMJ Presents – Certain Damage Volume 69 (College Music Journal, 1995)

Get No Toys (When You Pay The Money) on Mind The Gap Volume 6 (Gonzo Circus Magazine, 1996)

Something About Jaguars” on Los Angeles Live Vol.1 (KXLU, 1996)

How Si Si How” on Project:Echo (K, 1996)

I’d Rather Be Clogging” on In Memory Of Jason (unknown label, 1996)

Me Big Mouth” on Yoyo A Go Go (Yoyo Recordings, 1996)

Prison Shake” on Up Next (Up Records, 1998)

I’m Done” on Multi-Vitamin Compilation (Punk In My Vitamins, 1998)

Bacon Industry” on Yoyo A Go Go – Another Live Compilation (Yoyo Recordings, 1999)

Live in Alabama  – Bacon Industry / Fucking With Your Head /We Ate Sand (Si Si How) /I’d Rather be Clogging /Forget the Minions /J is for Genius


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