In the early 90s, Minneapolis, MN based Hammerhead recorded a string of EPs and albums for an independent label Amphetamine Reptile. Unfortunately, after loosing their guitarist Paul Sanders, they were unable to find a proper replacement for him and after releasing few albums with various session musicians, they decided to go on as a duo and changed their name to Vaz.Eventually, they also added a couple of other members to the line-up.
While their music doesn’t sound much like Hammerhead, they certainly carry the same spirit – both members dressed up as couple of Roman soldiers for a cover of “Dying To Meet You Album” and a couple of their tracks share names with songs made more popular by others (No Leaf Clover, No Woman, No Cry) but they are original songs, not covers.
Jeff Mooridian and Paul Erickson from Vaz were members of Gas War and Hepa-Titus along with Kevin Rutmanis (Tomahawk, Cows, Melvins). Latter also included members of Dinsoaur Jr., Lowercase and God Bullies.
Vaz are also known for switching labels quite often – 2005 “The Lie That Matches The Furniture” came out on Narnack Records, while their previous albums – 2003 “Dying To Meet You” and 2001 “Demonstrations In Micronesia” came out on Gold Standard Laboratories and Load Records, respectively. They also produced a number of split singles with fellow bands, such as Seawhores, Sicbay and Enemymine (the latter of which includes Mike Kunka, former member of Godheadsilo).
Update In 2010, the original line-up of Hammerhead (Jeff Mooridian, Paul Erickson, Paul Sanders) reunited for few reunion shows – one at Death By Audio in Brooklyn, NY and the other one at AmRep 25th Anniversary in Minneapolis.
Hey One Cell / No Leaf Clover 7″ (Reptilian Records, 1998)
Enemymine / Vaz Split 7″ (Thin The Herd, 1999)
Sicbay / Vaz Split 7″ (Learning Curve, 2000)
Demonstrations In Micronesia CD (Load Records, 2001)
Dying To Meet You LP / CD (Gold Standard Laboratories, 2003)
Vazzed In A Sea Of Whores: The Vaz / Seawhores Saga (with Seawhores) CD (2004)
The Lie That Matches The Furniture CD (Narnack, 2005)
Selected Compilation Tracks
“Blocked By Satellites” on Live From The Devil’s Triangle Volume V (KFJC, 2002)
“White World Of Death” on If The Twenty-First Century Didn’t Exist It Would Be Necessary To Invent It (5 Rue Christine, 2002)
“Burn Down Baltimore” on You’ve Got Your Orders – Volume Two (Chrome Peeler, 2004)
“Birth Of The Universe” on Love And Circuits: A Cardboard Records Compilation (From As To Zs) (Cardboard, 2008)
“Nobody 1” on Dead Hand: Human Machines (Damage Rituals, 2009)
“Mistake Lake” on AmRep 25th Anniversary Bash Non-Collector Scum CD (Amphetamine Reptile, 2010)