Man, were me and my record geek friends excited when all that DRUNKS WITH GUNS vinyl started pouring forth in the mid/late 80s. Exceptionally rare, exceptionally raw noise of a sort Iâ€™d never heard before, totally rooted in FLIPPER-fied sludge but taking the evilness and gutter-scraping depravity to a new low. It sounds pretty wack in this day & age, doesnâ€™t it? Years ago I tentatively rendered a posthumous Juke Box Jury verdict on these guys as INNOCENT, with this commentary:
â€œCould be a real easy one for most to dismiss without actually listening to their late 80s output, as their shtick revolved around way-â€œheavyâ€ topics like blood, guns, deviant sexual behavior etc. All well and good when youâ€™re in the naÃ¯ve, blossoming flower of youth, but it doesnâ€™t wear so well on a 35-year-old. But St. Louisâ€™ Drunks With Guns, who barely released anything back in the day that you could actually find without resorting to extreme ninja record collecting tactics, mitigated all of their youthful stupidity with the most flattening, bottom-heavy creepy crawl THUD that moved well beyond the benchmark set by FLIPPER into new realms of heavy ugliness. I listened the other day to some of their achievements, and tracks like â€œDrunks Themeâ€ â€œHellhouseâ€ and, uh, â€œDick In One Handâ€ still have it. They also were blessed with a terrific vocalist (Mike Doskocil) who â€œsangâ€ with an affected miserable, angry white trash drunkardâ€™s voice, and actually pulled it off. Many lesser lights have tried, and for all their raw, chapped vocal cords and belligerent posturing, their bandsâ€™ records are sitting in the 99-cent bins today (Iowa Beef Experience or god forbid, TAD, anyone?). Meanwhile, Drunks With Guns vinyl changes hands for $50+ for each of those impossibly rare 45s. JUKE BOX JURY VERDICT? Never mind the rarity â€“ for their bloodthirsty music alone, I call DWG INNOCENT.â€
A few years so, and Iâ€™m actually going with the 1987 â€œAlter Human Industrial Fetishismsâ€ (whatever that means) 7â€EP as their high-water mark. 500 copies on Dental Records. This was the last record with guitarist Stan Seitrich, who went on to form the tasteful and refined Strangulated Beatoffs (who were a lesser version of DWG by far). If pressed before a jury of my peers, Iâ€™d admit that this stuff is all pretty silly at the end of the day â€“ but ah, the memories of more simple, less judgmental times. Here are all three songs for ya.