Original Article: Jesus Lizard / Scratch Acid (02/07/2008)
With their roots in Midwest and somewhat unsettling outlook on life, Austin, TX quartet Scratch Acid produced numerous EPs and one-full-length before calling it quits in the late 80s. In the process, they also influenced a whole generation of new bands.
Scratch Acid initially formed with a line-up of vocalist Steve Anderson, guitarists David Wm. Sims and Brett Bradford and bassist David Yow, but Anderson was soon kicked out of the band. SA played instrumental music for a while until Yow moved to vocals and Sims switched to bass.
The band’s debut was 1984 self-titled EP, which came out on Rabid Cat label. All Music Guide called it “an intriguing historical document ” and pointed out that “on the one hand, it’s not too hard to draw the immediate connection to the Jesus Lizard, but on the other, it’s clearly not that later incarnation, not yet”. “Scratch Acid” EP later became a part of “The Greatest Gift” compilation, reached for #26 on UK Indie Chart and was mentioned by Kurt Cobain as one of his favorite albums in “Journals”.
Their next record (and the only full-length that the band recorded) was 1986 “Just Keep Eating” (also on Rabid Cat). AMG pointed out that “Just Keep Eating, oozed out of the Austin, TX, music scene as part Birthday Party, part Butthole Surfers, and part swampy blues psychosis.” AMG review concluded that “Even filtered through digital channels, the record’s dirty back-roads insanity remains wonderfully cracked.”
The band’s swansong was 1987 “Berserker” EP, which came out on Touch & Go label. It was described by AMG as being “loud, crazed and fast”, as well as “cool and corrosive”. Posthumous compilation “Greatest Gift” saw light of the day in 1991 and included all the material that the band recorded, plus an unreleased track called “The Scale Song”, which the band recorded as early as 1982.
This wasn’t the end of Scratch Acid, however, as new millennium saw them playing three more shows – one was Sept. 2006 performance at Emo’s Nightclub in Austin, TX and another one was a set that they played at Touch & Go label 25th anniversary in Chicago, IL. Finally, the band also played their last show at Seattle’s Showbox Theatre on September,16, 2006.
Scratch Acid LP (Fundamental, 1986)
Just Keep Eating LP (Rabid Cat Records, 1986)
Berserker LP (Fundamental, 1986 / Touch and Go, 1987)
The Greatest Gift CD (Touch And Go, 1991)
“Holes” on Gods Favorite Dog (Touch And Go, 1986)
“The Final Kiss” on Gods Favorite Dog (Touch And Go, 1986)