Quill – Quill

1994 (no label)
Bend, Oregon, USA

Bradley Swanson – Bass, lead vocals
Shaun Limbocker – Guitar, backing vocals
Nathan Berry – Drums, backing vocals

  1. Uncomfortable Comfort
  2. Cosmic Love Funnel
  3. Poorman
  4. Waking Up
  5. Fringe

Another Northwest demo dug up by The Corral on Spincycle. This appears to be an early band led by Bradley Swanson of Pep Squad fame. The sound is kind of an emo-leaning alternative rock. Its not as harsh or angular as full-on emo rock, but still has many emo elements in the songs. There is also a bit of dreampop / melancholy feeling to the songs as well. The second song also randomly has a lot of tape hiss that you really don’t hear on the other songs. You can listen or purchase online if you like.

John Austin and… the Embarrassing Young

John Austin
John Austin and… the Embarrassing Young
1990 (no label)
Chicago, Illinois, USA

John Austin – Vocals, acoustic guitar
Andrew Crawford – Electric guitar
Mark Phillips – Bass guitar
Bret Ferry – Drums, percussion

Erin Echo – Vocals (on the first two songs)

  1. The Embarrassing Young (Les Enfants Terribles)
  2. Island Girl
  3. Miss Nebula Jones
  4. You Should Be Ashamed

Early demo by John Austin who would release a full length album called The Embarrassing Young on Glasshouse Records in 1991 (produced by Mark Heard no less). Three of four songs on this demo made it on to the full-length. “You Should Be Ashamed” seems to only be on this album as far as I can tell. Of course, the sound here is a bit more stripped down and less produced than his full label release. But Austin is a great songwriter, so his slightly-alternative leaning singer/songwriter style is in full effect here as well.

Sappo – Wobble [expanded edition]

Wobble [expanded edition]
1995 Yep Records
Portland, Oregon

Todd Fadel – Vocals, guitar
Tim Fadel – Bass, vocals
Steve Poor – Drums, vocals

  1. Purity
  2. Lucille
  3. Siren
  4. Switch
  5. Sister
  6. Pee Wee is Still Dead
  7. God Without Passion
  8. Purity (live)
  9. Switch (live)
  10. Pee Wee is Still Dead (live)
  11. Prank Call (live)
  12. Invention (live)
  13. Lucille (live)
  14. Imagination (live)
  15. God Without Passion (live)
  16. Siren (live)
  17. Switch (alternate version)

The good people (or is it just one person?) behind The Corral on Spincycle have released an expanded edition of Sappo’s Wobble tape. Sappo is probably most well-known for their release Kindred Spearmint on Organic Records in 1997. “Siren” from this demo, as well as “Imagination” from the bonus tracks on this release, were both re-recorded for Kindred Spearmint. The original release of this cassette was only the first four tracks, so everything after that is bonus tracks. A lot of bonus tracks. Pure awesomeness. Sappo’s sound was an interesting mix of 90s alternative and grunge, maybe somewhere between Blind Melon and Pearl Jam. But not really. Kind of hard to describe, but it still sounds very NW scene. You can listen for free, or put some money towards future re-releases like this.

New December – Furious Children

New December
Furious Children
1987 (no label)
California, USA

Someone From Somewhere – Vocals
Scredd – Guitars
Stewpot – Bass
Hapky – Drums

Side 1:

  1. On the Radio
  2. New December
  3. 10,000 Bands
  4. Your Eyes Over the Seashore
  5. Furious Children (live)
  6. Automatic News (live)
  7. 10,00 Bands (live)
  8. Horror Destruction Murder and Woe (live)
  9. Jesus Song

Side 2:

  1. Your Eyes Over the Seashore
  2. Planet Earth’s taking a Dive
  3. God’s Love Came Through
  4. Remembrance
  5. It’s Everyone’s Life

I’m not sure, but if I remember correctly, this is a Mark Krischak band. Either that, or it is a band that cover several of Mark’s songs from other bands. If you look at some of the song titles above, they are staples for various Krischak bands. Anyways, this is the same power pop/slightly punk style that Mark utilizes well in other bands. This tape is a mix of demo, garage, and live songs,  so the recording quality varied noticeably. This tape was also re-issued by Key Records with a slightly different cover (and easier to read liner notes).

My Brothers Mother – When a Man Breathes…

My Brothers Mother
When a Man Breathes…
1993 (no label)

Jaime Eichler – Vocals
Andy Prickett – Guitars
Dean Tapia – Bass
Brian Eichler – Drums

Recorded and mixed by Gene Eugene

  1. Rain Man
  2. Could You Stay
  3. She’s Ugly
  4. Summers Gone
  5. Be Still My Love
  6. Maybe Tomorrow

This is the demo tape by the alternative rock project that was kind of a who’s who of the Southern California Vineyard/Metro One scene. Jaime Eichler is known for her vocal work on The Violet Burning and various Vineyard worship albums. Andy Prickett is mainly known for being in The Prayer Chain, but has also been a member of The Violet Burning, Cush, White Lighter, and other bands. Dean Tapia has played bass on other Vineyard Worship CDs. Brian Eichler has also been on Vineyard Worship CDs, as well as Metro One artists like Chris Lizotte and Chrystal Lewis. All of these songs appear on their 1995 label full-length release Deeper Than Skies. “Maybe Tomorrow” was renamed “Someday.” These are also pretty much the same versions, although obviously different recordings. This was a great project that didn’t really last after this demo and the full-length.

Cannon Heath Down – Safe as Love

Cannon Heath Down
Safe as Love
1989 Bongo Sunrise Records
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Side 1:

  1. Safe as Love

Side 2:

  1. Safe as Love (acoustic)

A one song cassette single from Cannon Heath Down. This was the same year that they released their Peace Bum Days demo, so I am not sure which one came first. Cannon Heath Down was an alternative rock band that wasn’t too pop or heavy, while still having some pop sensibilities and distorted guitars. I dig the loud, groovy bass line in this song. The main difference between the two versions seems to be that the distorted guitars are removed from the acoustic version – the acoustic guitar is still present on side 1 along with the electric guitars.

Modern Poets – Politics, Poetry, and…

Modern Poets
Politics, Poetry, and…
1990 (no label)
Brisbane, Australia

Jonathan Sargeant – Vocals
Timothy Hills – Guitar, vocals
Ben Thomson – Bass
Phil Neil – Drums

Side 1:

  1. She Says
  2. Ethic of Love
  3. Rock of Strength
  4. Crushed
  5. Understanding Mary
  6. Driving

Side 2:

  1. Big Slide
  2. Planet Go to Rest
  3. Fall From Grace
  4. Forest Fire
  5. Everything is Fine
  6. Epiphany
  7. This Burning Town

I can’t seem to find much on this band online, except for a Facebook page which indicates this tape was re-issued on CD recently at a one-off reunion concert. The sound here kind of covers a wide range of late 80s to early 90s alternative rock. They start off with the happy sounding late 80s pop alternative of “She Says” and then jump into the swirling trippy early 90s alternative rock of “Ethic of Love.” I prefer it better when they are doing the trippy swirly stuff, as that reminds me of the type of music The Prayer Chain was kind of doing at this time. But the other stuff is pretty good as well. The tape cover makes it look like the title is Politics, Poetry, and… Chrome – which would have been cool. But apparently chrome is the tape, not the last word in the tape title. Think about your detail placement on covers people! Speaking of the cover, this is hands down the longest cassette cover I have ever seen. Not only does it wrap all the way around the back of the tape (in a tape box that has the spindles missing), there are 7 more panels folded away in addition to the two for the cover (the picture above is just half of it). There also seems to be an earlier 7-inch single for “Red Sun” and “Understanding Mary.” It seems they broke up not long after this release.