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Main » 2008 » August » 8 » Crawlspace - In The Gospel Zone (1989)
Crawlspace - In The Gospel Zone (1989)
19:05
Ed Flowers has already gained a place in the (underground) rock mythology: from his early Gizmos days, to the current long-time-running Crawlspace, he delivered the most tripped-out wild rock music while he was influenced by the free jazz gods, like Sun-Ra and Ornette Coleman, and the most outer-space travelling, while he had his feet firmly on his MC5/Stooges roots.
For an Eddie-written bio go here, for a complete discography here, where you can buy the band's recent stuff and uch more!

What follows are excerpts from the three most respectable sites when it comes to the 80s (it's also a proof that Eddie Flowers and Crawlspace are a part of the secret rock history).

Indiana-bred, Los Angeles-based Crawlspace is an ever-mutating art punk experiment led by singer Eddie Flowers. A mixture of guitar noise, space rock hypnosis, punk aggression, and occasionally pretentious lyrics, Crawlspace is the sort of band that can fascinate and aggravate listeners at the same time, but most folks with a taste for hard rock experimentation will find much to admire on most of their releases.Flowers was the lead singer in the Indiana-based Gizmos, the band that, along with their compatriots MX-80 Sound, pretty much defined early Midwestern new wave. Flowers moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 1979 and hooked up with guitarist Bill McCarter to form a band called the Idle Hands. By 1985, the duo's fellow Hoosiers the Lazy Cowgirls had moved to Los Angeles and looked up their old friend McCarter; Flowers and McCarter eventually formed a side project with Lazy Cowgirls bassist Keith Telligman and drummer Allen Clark, first under the name Big Dad & Ten Pounds of Swingin' Meat, then more sensibly under the name Crawlspace, derived from an early-'70s TV movie about an alienated teenager. Adding lead guitarist Mark McCormick and another Lazy Cowgirl, Lenny Keringer, to take over on bass so Telligman could also switch to guitar, Crawlspace recorded their first and most song-oriented album, In the Gospel Zone, in 1987.
The sole cover on that otherwise original album was a Hawkwind-style version of Can's "Little Star of Bethlehem," a choice that foreshadowed the more improvisatory future of the band. With a couple more lineup changes (Sarge Adam took over for Keringer on bass, and Bob Lee replaced Clark on drums), the group took a decisive step away from rock-based forms on their next two singles, "August" and "Ocean = You." Live recordings from this era later showed up on a pair of self-released cassettes, Cave Paintings One and Cave Paintings Two, showcasing Crawlspace right at the point where they were doing away with song structure entirely. Adam left in 1990, replaced by new bassist Joe Dean. This lineup recorded the hour-long live-in-the-studio freak-out Sphereality in 1991, but by the time the album finally got released the following year, Lee had left the band to join the more rocking Claw Hammer.
With their drummer gone, Crawlspace existed in a sort of limbo for a couple of years. Flowers and various other bandmates did some drummerless space rock duo and trio recordings, the highlights of which were self-released on the cassette Fields Rattle. In 1993, Clark rejoined, playing sax and trumpet instead of drums, and new guitarist Dave Fontana and drummer Greg Hajic joined the group. This lineup recorded two live releases, the cassette-only Shroom Tit Arithmetic and the radio session The Exquisite Fucking Beauty of Crawlspace, released on CD by Majora. With a variety of friends and even a few ex-bandmembers, this lineup then recorded The Dark Folds of Infinity Grow Pink with Desire and Et II, Bluto?
By 1997, the band's lineup had solidified to a core trio of Flowers (now playing guitar as well as singing), Dean and Hajic, with occasional contributions by Clark and McCormick. The group's Slippy Sound label went into overdrive around this period, releasing 14 cassettes in 1999 and a dozen CD-Rs in 2000, including both new and archival material. In 2001, the proper follow-up to Et II Bluto?, Dogs Begin to Crawl, Snakes Begin to Howl, was released. ~ Stewart Mason, All Music Guide


The history of Crawlspace begins in the punk-rock era. The singer Eddie Flowers (who grew up in Alabama) moved to Bloomington, Indiana, to play with the Gizmos, who produced three 7-inch EPs, the first in 1976. At the end of the 70s, the group split up (after a different line-up of the group recorded the only album under the Gizmos name). Flowers moved to Los Angeles and played with Steve Wynn for awhile, before Wynn started the Dream Syndicate. [Eddie's note: Actually, Steve Wynn only jammed with Bill McCarter and me twice, in 1981.]
The decisive move for Flowers was when a few of his old friends from Indiana moved out to Los Angeles: the Lazy Cowgirls. In 1985, Flowers hooked up with guitarist Keith Telligman (who played bass in the Cowgirls) and the Allen Clark, and Billy Ray McCarter, and the group became Big Dad & 10 Lbs. of Swingin' Meat. For a few seconds, Clark and Telligman were one of the most spectacular rhythm sections of the period. The group's style (which was a natural fusion of the styles of the Gizmos and the Lazy Cowgirls) marked a return to the violent rock of Detroit, similar to the sound of the MC5 and the Stooges. [Eddie's note: I had met Billy Ray in Indiana, not the Cowgirls. They were his friends, who moved to L.A. in 1981, two years after Bill and I had both coincidentally moved West.] The early rehearsals will surface on the cassette Aluminum & Strychnine (Crawlspace, 1999).
Flowers, however, began to experiment with a more progressive sound that was a combination of a little of everything, from free jazz  to acid-rock, from Krautrock to the avant garde. The quartet began to practice a sort of collective improvisation that had less to do with punk-rock, let alone with rock in general. The jazz component ended up taking the upper hand in 1987, with the entrance of a second guitarist, Mark McCormick, as well as a guy named Lenny who quickly left the group (in order to join the Creamers). They debuted in April of 1988 with the compilation Gimme the Keys (Trigon Records; the same label who first recorded Claw Hammer and Fearless Leader) with the songs "Time For Fun," "The Void That Slithers," and the MC5's "Black to Comm." The teachings of a libertine ideology that includes (citing from an insert) Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Eric Dolphy, Miles Davis, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago were evident in their style, while they still maintained the experimental rock roots of Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Can, the Grateful Dead, and Yoko Ono, as well as their spiritual fathers of the hardcore scene like Black Flag, the Minutemen, and the Birthday Party.Their first 7-inch EP, Silent Invisible Conversation(Grown Up Wrong! Records), came out in December of 1988, with the bassist Sarge (who founded Fearless Leaders with Brick Wahl) taking the place of Lenny.
Recorded between September of 1987 and June of 1988, encompassing a long stretch of their history, in April of 1989 their first album came out, entitled In the Gospel Zone(Behemoth Records). The Lazy Cowgirls still had a strong influence on them. The sound is almost punk-rock, structured in more or less regular songs. The lyrics are sinister, almost gothic. But there is also a version of a Can song, "Little Star of Bethlehem," that lasts for half an hour and leads off in other directions. (Scaruffi.com)

Mid-'70s fanzine guru (and former Gizmo) Eddie Flowers leads this loosely constructed Los Angeles aggregation through a variety of blaring, but somehow pacific improv-rock styles, all of which reinforce the band's implicit motto: "The chemicals go in before the name goes on." Silent Invisible Conversation takes its name from a line in the Can song ("Little Star of Bethlehem") that fills Side Two and hints that the three adrenal, Germs-ish tracks on the flip were but a stepping stone to the harder-to-shake stuff.
In the Gospel Zone peddles a much slower-working, but ultimately more lethal, brew. Ricocheting in white-water-rapids-of-consciousness fashion, between beatnik nihilism, full-leather-jacket biker hatemonging and White Panther positivism, Flowers' rants reproduce the spirit of utter drug-rock derangement like no one since the (NYC) Godz. A public-service announcement for some, a call to arms for others. Solitude narrows the focus a bit, with the rambling "Solitude Smokestack Head" overtly advocating the use of cannabis (simultaneously discouraging it via the unmistakable evidence of brainpan burnout). The almost zen-like "Ocean = You," however, is actually quite beautiful.[David Sprague, Trouser Press]

Released April 1989. Recorded 1987/1988. 1500 copies pressed--first edition of 1000 on colored vinyl with lyric sheet; second edition of 500 on black vinyl with no lyric sheet. With Eddie Flowers, Mark McCormick (Ven. Bede), Keith Telligman (Doctor Butcher), Billy Ray McCarter, Sarge Adam, Chris Phillips, and Todd Homer on "Little Star of Bethlehem"; Eddie, Mark, Keith, Billy Ray, Allen Clark (Alien Rock), and Lenny Keringer on other tracks.

Long out of print

Category: Alternative/Punk | Views: 4799 | Added by: RainyDaySponge | Rating: 4.6/5 |

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