Tuesday, February 19, 2008

This ain't no heartfelt shit, this is Halo of Flies

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A limited-run cassette, "Four From The Bottom" compiles the first four Halo of Flies seven-inchers ('85-'87), all four of which were pressed in ridiculously low numbers and thus disappeared quickly. Having released a bunch of really ace Halo of Flies records that all sold out in a matter of weeks and that nobody could friggin' find anymore, Am Rep's solution was to put them all together on inherently low-fi and flimsy magnetic tape in an even more limited edition (only 200 of these cassettes were made), tack on an MC5 cover as a bonus track, and there you go. Problem solved!

If by chance that there's anyone out there who hasn't heard Halo of Flies before, then dig in. For everyone else, I'll leave out the part about how Halo of Flies and Am Rep came close to ruining record collecting forever, by influencing hundreds of imitators and insuring that 70% of the indie 45s released over the next 5 or 6 years would be misanthropic noise in limited pressings of 300 or less. Hazelmyer's songwriting ability ranked head and shoulders above most of the field at that time, and that alone should be enough, I guess.

Since I doubt that my rips from a wobbly 20-year-old cassette are gonna take away much from the CD-quality versions that are available on "Music for Insect Minds", I'm gonna go ahead and put up a higher percentage of tracks here than I usually would (leaving off all but two: "Pipebomb", and the Creation cover, "How Does It Feel To Feel"). A couple of the tracks-- "Rubber Room" in particular-- even sound a bit to me like they were recorded for this comp from vinyl instead of the master tape, though that wouldn't be the first time that's happened (re: the semi-legendary Agnostic Front Example, in which my official Rat Cage cassette of "Victim In Pain" had been obviously recorded from the vinyl LP, and even had a skip in it. True story!).

click for enlarged view

Halo of Flies -

"Rubber Room"

"DDT Fin 13"

"M.D. 20/20"

"Richies Dog"

"Thoughts in a Booth"

"Can't Touch Her"

"Sinner Sings"

"Drunk (In Detroit)"

(these files are now listen-only)

click for enlarged view

click for enlarged view


Harge said...

Drunk (In Detroit) was theme song of sorts back when I lived in the Motor City. Fucking song slays.

My tops HALO OF FLIES record would be that "bootleg" of their first show in Chicago. I believe called LIVE. FIRST SHOW. DRUNK AS FUCK. It's got big fucking fly on the cover and all the hits.

Minneapolis makes you fat. Cheese sauce on everything. RIP HAZE XXL

chnkltgy said...

Haze told me that most of the stuff that appears on "Music For Insect Minds" came directly from the vinyl as he was too lazy to keep the tapes. And did you ever see the Melvins single from a few years back where they're credited as covering a Halos song and it's just a ltd 7" of "Spit It Out" from '90 or whenever it came out? Say what you will, but I still think Haze is a stone cold genius.

Brushback said...

No argument from me there.

Brushback said...

Anyway, sorry, but the mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. They were kinda shitty anyway, seeing as they're from a 20-year-old tape and all.

Davidovich said...

Great blog... been plowing through it for a solid hour about now... Just a quick FYI on 4-F-T-B tape here: there were 400 of these pressed up. A one-time run, but nonetheless, double what you stated. My memory is pretty accurate on it. Had to pick em up from the pressing plant for Capt. Knucklenuts 'cause he was laid out flat on his back the day it was ready from passing a big ol' kidney stone the day before...


Brushback said...

I thought I had gotten the "200 pressed" info from the Am Rep web site, but I could be wrong... in any case, I'll take your word for it, since you were actually there.

Here's another bit that you can refresh my memory on: didn't the Bludgeon flexi say "Amphetamine Reptile" on it? I swear it did, which would officially make it Am Rep #1, though it never gets listed that way (maybe it's Am Rep Zero?).