Homestead Records ran from 1984 to 1996 but the area covered in this selection of tunes is ‘84-’91. Unlike SST or Touch and Go or Dischord there was never really a Homestead sound. Homestead licenced some Flying Nun stuff releasing Verlaines, Tall Dwarfs, Clean and Chills records. They also released Bad Seeds discs, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Pastels and Membranes. None of that’s here, just the American stuff.

Bands seemed to struggle getting paid and all sorts of shenanagans went on which is well detailed in this excellent Homestead history over here if you want to read on.

I’ve avoided using tracks from the 2 main Homestead compilations of the era, ‘The Wailing Ultimate’ and ‘Human Music’ but I would heartily recommend seeking those out, ‘The Wailing Ultimate’ is a killer the whole way through. There’s a few notable acts that I’ve not included on here, you figure it out, they’re probably not here because I don’t like ’em.

Anyway here’s the tracks:
‘Intro’ by Sonic Youth is from ‘Bad Moon Rising’, I like this and the final track ‘Death Valley 69’ but all the stuff inbetween is a bit of a snore. The great Volcano Suns, ‘Jak’ is the lead track from their excellent debut ‘Bright Orange Years’, always amazed why nobody seemed to like this band, still frequently see their discs in the bargain stacks. ‘Sofa’ by Love Child, this is from their ‘Okay?’ LP, I like the Alan Licht geeetar playing. Swinging bass line on ‘Deep Six’ by Big Black from the ‘Racer X’ ep. Gotta love The Gibson Bros., this is from ‘Dedicated Fool’. Jon Spencer (Blues Explosion) was with them on later records, but not on this. ‘Mixed Blessing’ is from Squirrel Bait’s first record. Ah…. The mighty Breaking Circus, ‘Swept Blood’ is on what was probably their best record, ‘The Ice Machine’. Sorry’s second album wasn’t quite as good as their first but it was on Homestead, ‘Deny’ is the track ‘The Way It Is’ is the album, the sleeve on this disc is real ugly, the guitar player was in a later version of the Volcano Suns. The U-Men have featured previously on this blog as part of the Amphetamine Reptile post, they had a disc on Homestead too, ‘Stop Spinning’, this little gem, ‘Ten After One’ is on it. Naked Raygun’s albums on Homestead were their best, ‘Those who move’ is from the second of those ‘All Rise’. It took me a little while to get into the Great Plains, tinny gutars, new wavey keyboards weird singer but after a while it all started making sense, they had some great songs and were probably THE Homestead band. Ron House later ditched the tinny guitars and keyboards and formed the equally great Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, anyway ‘Dick Clark’ is from their ‘Naked at the Buy, Sell, and Trade’ LP. Homestead reissued some of Daniel Johnstons tape only albums on to vinyl pretty early on, ‘Ghost Of Our Love’ is from ‘Continued Story’. The mighty Phantom Tollbooth, ‘Wax’ is from the ‘Daylight In The Quiet Zone’ ep, great guitar player Dave Rick also played with Yo La Tengo and Bongwater among others. Honor Roles early hardcore releases are some of the best hardcore there is, by the time they got to Homestead they were a bit more math-rocky, ‘Absolve’ is from ‘Rictus’. ‘Until Now’ is from Antietam’s splendid ‘Music of the Elba’ album, their later albums ‘Rope-A-Dope’ and ‘Everywhere Outside’ are possibly better but they weren’t on Homestead. The Meatmens discs on Touch and Go are cool, ‘War Of The Superbikes’ on Homestead didn’t really do it for me but this promo for it is pretty funny. I can’t take too much Sebadoh, ‘God Told Me’ from ‘Sebadoh III’ is good though. Post Squirrel Bait and pre- Gastr Del Sol you have Bastro, not as good as the former, better than the latter, ‘Recidivist’ is from ‘Sing The Troubled Beast’. Otto’s Chemical Lounge later became the Blue Hippo’s, their Grant Hart produced album ‘Spillover’ is good fun, Tom Hazelmyer from Halo Of Flies / Amphetamine Reptile was with ‘em for a bit, but not on this. Death Of Samantha, another Homestead great ‘Bed Of Fire’ is from their first album ‘Strungout On Jargon’, they later mutated into Cobra Verde. This Salem 66 single is my favourite track of theirs, guitar pop so good it could be on Flying Nun. I’ve got a couple of Flies tracks on compilations that are great but their Homestead records seem a bit generic garage rock to me, this version of The Outcasts ‘I’m in Pittsburgh (and it’s Raining)’ from their ‘Get Burned’ hits the spot though. Big Dipper’s ‘Boo Boo’ is a favourite of mine, ex Embarrassment and Volcano Suns folk. The Proletariat were a pretty English sounding American punk band, this is from their ‘Indifference’ LP. I don’t know anything about The Wombats, but I like this track a lot, its called ‘Being’ and is on ‘Mudpuddles’. ‘Mountain Man’ is from Dinosaur’s first album and sounds untypically Dinosaur like. The Outnumbered were OK, if a bit generically indie they later morphed into Pansy Division (I think). ‘Call Me Pudge’ is the best Happy Flowers song I’ve heard, I find most of their thing unlistenable but this is great. ‘Don’t Look Back’ is the best Reactions track but ‘I Want You’ is second best, their ‘Cracked Marbles’ ep is a winner. Harmless punk fun from The (non-essential) Dogmatics. GG Allin made some truly horrible records although earlier ones have a power pop thing going on which is pretty nice, ‘Suck My Ass It Smells’ is really very funny, it’s from the most pleasantly titled ‘Freaks, Faggots, Drunks & Junkies’. There’s lottsa My Dad Is Dead records out there, all of them have something good on, ‘Put It Away’ is from ‘Let’s Skip The Details’. Dredd Foole’s first single had Mission Of Burma backing him as The Din, then came a couple of albums and The Din was The Volcano Suns, ‘No Gun’ is from ‘Eat My Dust Cleanse My Soul’, Mr Foole has a fine deep warble to my ears, he later turned up on the first Cul De Sac album singing Tim Buckley’s ‘Song of the Siren’ which I seem to remember being pretty impressive. Finally a short track from Live Skull, ‘Goodbye To The Uninvited Guests’ from ‘Bringing Home The Bait’

01. Sonic Youth – Intro
02. Volcano Suns – Jak
03. Love Child – Sofa
04. Big Black – Deep Six
05. Gibson Bros. – Dirt Preacher
06. Squirrel Bait – Mixed Blessing
07. Breaking Circus – Swept Blood
08. Sorry – Deny
09. The U-Men – Ten After One
10. Naked Raygun – Those Who Move
11. Great Plains – Dick Clark
12. Daniel Johnston – Ghost Of Our Love
13. Phantom Tollbooth – Wax
14. Honor Role – Absolve
15. Antietam – Until Now
16. Meatmen – The Making Of War Of The Superbikes #1
17. Sebadoh – God Told Me
18. Otto’s Chemical Lounge – Duquette Stomp
19. Bastro – Recidivist
20. Death Of Samantha – Bed Of Fire
21. Salem 66 – Across the Sea
22. The Flies – I’m In Pittsburgh (And It’s Raining)
23. Big Dipper – Wrong In The Charts
24. The Proletariat – Recollections
25. The Wombats – Being
26. Dinosaur – Mountain Man
27. The Outnumbered – One Desperate Moment
28. Happy Flowers – Call Me Pudge
29. The Reactions – I Want You
30. The Dogmatics – Public Service
31. GG Allin – Suck My Ass It Smells
32. My Dad Is Dead – Put It Away
33. Dredd Foole & The Din – No Gun
34. Live Skull – Goodbye To The Uninvited Guests



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2 responses to “HOMESTEAD RECORDS sampler

  1. Well its very beautiful article. I really appreciate your work. Good Work

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