Bastro - Sing The Troubled Beast

In an echo of Big Black, Bastro left at the top of their game with Clark Johnson going back to law school. I didn't know it at the time but I sat in anticipation of the next album and it never came ... information was different then. In retrospect, the fact that Brian Paulson handled most of the recording gives a clear light towards the future direction that these people would take and it makes a lot more sense now. Yeah, he was in Man Sized Action and was behind the desk for the Cows and a lot of the better end of the Touch & Go roster (Killdozer, Brick Layer Cake, Arcwelder) but later he was involved in Slint and others trying to slip into that stream ... they were all riding a wave heading in the same direction.

Released on Homestead Records in 1990.

Sing The Troubled Beast


Salem Tunes 29 May 2020 at 12:42  

'Lives Of The Saints No. 135 (Naked Wife)' by Honor Role is still one of my faves from the Homestead Record days. Nice to be reminded of Bastro though... forgotten how good they sounded... but now you have me digging thru the collection looking for my Killdozer and squirrel Bait... and wondering why Death Of Samantha's 'Strungout On Jargon' never got reissued!?

badgerstump 29 May 2020 at 16:50  

Honor Role and Death Of Samantha are a couple of good shouts. There's quite a few labels that got really shafted but nowhere near as much as the artists ... absolute shitload of great music that will never get reissued. This is only from memory so I'm hoping somebody can confirm or clarify ...

There was so much great American post-everything that spiraled out of the hundreds of local scenes in the punk and hardcore arena in the late 70's, early 80's and onward. There was so much that I could only ever get on import (although Cherry Red put out Dead Kennedy's over here). I seem to remember the US creating some law that if something was released over there then it couldn't be released anywhere else (not like America to do something that makes no sense). The labels had to set up distribution compamies to sell it in the rest of the world (or there were licensing agreements set up with great dedicated labels like Blast First!). One of the people who ran Homestead also set up Dutch East Indies to distribute and I would assume that they over-extended, signed some dodgy contracts and everything folded. The artists then couldn't access any of their own music so it was never re-released. If you look at those with Bandcamp pages like My Dad Is Dead, there are links to buy streams etc for all of the work apart from the three releases on Homestead. Ages ago I emailed Trumans when I realised that they had released O Zeta Zunis asking whether there was any prospect of the "missing" releases being reissued and if not could I post some of them. The answer (and I'm paraphrasing) was "it would be great if you did because we don't own it anymore". Shamefully, I drifted off into to other "great ideas" territory and it's taken lockdown to remind me why I'm in love with noise in the first place. They taught me well.

Death Of Samantha (rubbish name for a really good band btw) were hit really badly ... most of there releases were on Homestead and now it's all gone.

Salem Tunes 29 May 2020 at 17:41  

I think losing the rights to your own music has to be one of the worst things... even more so when labels don't want it or have ceased and it ends up in limbo until 50 years or so have passed!?

badgerstump 29 May 2020 at 17:54  

... it might actually be never. it's total bullshit. if you made the music and want to sell or give away your creations but a twat in a suit says no?

maybe when we are all dead there will be an Alan Lomax archiving this stuff ...