Full Fathom Five are a band that I discovered one of my favorite ways, which is walking into a show having no idea who half the bands are and then getting blown away by one of the openers. In this case it was at T.T.'s up in Boston, and I think Full Fathom Five were opening for Big Dipper; there were maybe only a handful of other people besides me who had gotten there early enough to catch Full Fathom Five's set, which was awesome; equal parts Pere Ubu, the Zero Boys, and "Metal Circus". I went right over to them after their set and bought a copy of the only record they had out at the time: a copy of this 4-song EP, which they sold to me for a measly two bucks (hooray for the Eighties!).
Make no mistake, the guitar sound on this EP is absolutely punishing. Sometimes FF5 will let the song drift away from center, like on "Why Their Faces Are So Worn" (which moseys along at a mostly alt-country pace) or "The Man with The Concrete Face", but that's only so when the main riff kicks in it'll knock you on your ass. Even the least of the four songs on here, "All The Heroes Must Die" (imagine what The Cult's "Fire Woman" would sound like if A Dying Gymnast* tried to ruin it), is saved by a monster guitar riff.
Full Fathom Five flattened their sound out a lot and took a more pop direction with their later releases; I have their 1989 LP, "Multinational Pop Conglomerate", on vinyl, and it's no more than completely adequate college rock. Willfully Obscure did a good job of posting the last two Full Fathom Five LPs, if you're interested.
*put here just to piss off Scott
Full Fathom Five -
"The Man with The Concrete Face"
"Why Their Faces Are So Worn"
"All The Heroes Must Die"
(these files are now listen-only)