One of Texas' most revered psych bands, The Mike Gunn spent its 5 years of life keeping the forces that threatened to pull it apart at bay. Finally, with the mysterious disappearance of its beloved drummer, in 1994 the band relented to the inevitable chaos that threatened to consume it for so long. Born on the ashes of the legendary Houston Schlong Weasel, it included John Cramer (vocals, guitar), Tom Carter (vocals, guitar), Scott Grimm (bass), Curt Mackey (drums). Mike Gunn is the name of the Schlong Weasel musician who named the band but never played in it. The Mike Gunn put out a handful of now-hard-to-find releases, then broke up. Afterwards the former members went on to found DunLavy, Charalambides, Project Grimm, and are peripherally connected to the Linus Pauling Quartet. All are Texas-based psych bands of various styles. However, IMHO none have reached the sheer 'blanga' power of the original Mike Gunn.
Mike Gunn's embrionic first single, Tom's In The Bathroom (1990), displayed a soul tune over a slow, martial tempo. Hemp For Victory (Anomie, 1991) shows more of a Butthole Surfers via stoner-rock influence (A Song About Horses, Narcolepsy), not to mention a morbid fascination with Jimi Hendrix (Scary Black Man). Durban Poison (Double Naught, 1992), recorded with the help of Scott Ayers , has a languid sound (Nazy Eyes).
The band matured on the monumental Almaron (Double Naught, 1993 - posted on Pound For A Brown). The CD had it all: live jams, studio work, guitar insanity, smart ass John Cramer lyrics, and just a host of fucking great songs. The guitars shine like never before and the band is at its peak of creativity. Their trippy, meandering, distorted guitar workouts, best exemplified by the slow-motion raga of Dry Nod, Too bad that the vocals often spoiled ruin the emotional climax. After this CD Tom Carter gave his walking papers to devote his time to Charalambides. The band continued on for one more year and finally collapsed upon the mysterious disappearance of Drummer Curt Mackey (later to turn up 2 years later). John Cramer started the Grimm Experience, Tom Carter started the Charalambides, and Scott Grimm started the Dunlavy. Like a beast that would not die, the next two years saw 2 posthumous releases. The limited edition "Coduh: A Collection of Live and Studio Recordings" contained the full final live performance of the Mike Gunn and bonus studio tracks. The final scrape of the bottom came with the limited edition release of "A Dream About Jim" (vinyl-EP) on September Gurls. (The above notes were culled from the Worship Guitars site, Scaruffi.com and Tucson Weekly)
IN ADDITION TO 74 minutes' worth of brain-melting psychedelia from one of the greatest Texas garage bands ever to stagger from den to rehearsal room, you also get a handy graph outlining the ratio of pot intake to listening enjoyment. Since these hemp farmers never toured, fans had to be content, anyway, with extended bong sessions grokking the three extant albums. This postscript has loads of ferocious live gunk, fuzzed-out riffers falling somewhere between MC5, Black Sabbath and Hawkwind. A lighter, more sunbaked touch comes through on the studio material, most notably the 14-minute flute/Moog/guitar inner space excursion "Holger" which sprinkles a dash of peyote into the bowl. --Fred Mills
This a limited edition CD of 920 numbered copies. It's almost hand-made, on every cover there's a different photograph and the insert booklet is cut with a scissor. The cover you see at the top of this post is a photo of my copy.
Edit: Ramon Medina, guitar player for Mike Gunn and later for Linus pauling Quartet said this: Just to make a note on the packaging that few people notice. The front cover is silscreened with a glow in the dark image of the Klaus Kinki phonograph from Fitzcarraldo. Few people notice this as we decided to add those inserted pictures and items in front of the silkscreen thus preventing it to absorb any light and reveal the true cover.