Wednesday, November 12, 2008

earthman supersmell

breda high security prison.

This is something of a momentous occasion. After last week's post featuring a live version of "Sand" from 1993's "The Lid" EP, I finally managed to track down an out of print copy of Alabama Kids' magnificent second album, "Earthman Supersmell", released on the Schemer label - a subsidiary of Semaphore - in 1991.

Magnificent is not a word I use lightly. Of course, you are entitled to disagree. Some already have.

Not a lot of information is available on the Kids. From Eindhoven, they were touted as the Dutch Dinosaur Jr. and built their reputation on sprawling live performances attended by a small hardcore in and around the Netherlands in the early 90s. As a guitar band - think Neil Young snagging picks and overstepping licks with Peter Laughner; an uneasy alliance somewhere between Cleveland and the other side of Lake Michigan - the J Mascis comparisons are certainly valid, and to my ears Alabama Kids should have been truly huge.

'Stadium' rock played out in countless church halls connected by equally endless stretches of anonymous motorway; and not a stadium in sight.

Flatlands and Skunk. Crates of Amstel.

Throughout the brief period I lived in nearby Breda (birthplace of alleged murderer, Colonel Tom Parker) - within spitting distance of one of the world's first panopticon prisons - this LP was very much part of the soundtrack to a difficult period. Some close acquaintances lost their four year old son to meningitis during this time. And though I fully intended to purchase this LP as a reminder of both the good and bad, somehow I never quite got round to it.

It's taken me nearly sixteen years to get this back. And I'm glad to finally underline their name with a shaky fluorescent pen, at last.

Michel Boekhoudt: bass; Jacco Van Rooy: drums ; Rob Geerings, Stefan Vermeeren: guitar; Djie Han Thung: guitar, vocals.

Mixed by Pidah; recorded by Pieter Kloos.

All songs written by Alabama Kids. Shout-outs to Wim and Brushback.

ALABAMA KIDS: CAN"T GET BACK NOW from "Earthman Supersmell" LP/CD (Schemer) 1991 (NL)

ALABAMA KIDS: SAND from "Earthman Supersmell" LP/CD (Schemer) 1991 (NL)



Brushback said...

Yeah, I gotta get me some of this.

ib said...

There isn't a weak track on the entire album, I don't think. It's the guitars.

Ramone666 said...

This has aged surprisingly well indeed. One of these guys sported the biggest sideburns I´ve ever seen, no lie.

ib said...

I'm fairly certain I was introduced to them at a workshop specializing in backline and the manufacture of custom flight cases, but I was distracted and - quite frankly - very stoned.

Those sideburns ? That was the physical manifestation of his Neil Young fixation, I surmise. More sheepskin and home on the range attitude than one could shake a stick at.

milo said...

hey dude any chance of uploading the whole record? i lost my copy years ago. found this while travelling in holland in early '92 and it flipped my lid. my first real band covered 'sand' a number of times live....anyways thanks for the remembering. peace out. milo.

ib said...

Hey, Milo! Em... uploading the entire LP is probably a step closer to flirting with disaster and the attention of the RIAA than I might care to take; albeit it is (criminally) out of print. Still... Stay tuned for more from the Kids on an upcoming post.

If that still doesn't hit the spot, email me.

"Earthman Supersmell" was as much the soundtrack of my own all too brief stay in Holland as Pavement's "Slanted & Enchanted" and Sonic Youth's "Dirty".

Peace back, brother. And thanks for the comment.