21 November 2021

PECOLA The Mexican 1999




Artist Biography

by Stephen Howell

Math rock band Pecola wanted to create the heaviest, most intense live show they could think of when they began in 1994, so the group incorporated an air of violence in their sound and a stage show that breathed of fright, apocalypse, and pure force. All of their members were self-taught musicians who honed their craft listening to other music and through confrontational collaborations among each other. The one thing they were probably most known for was their constant tempo and time signature changes. In order to keep their audiences 100 percent involved in their live shows, Pecola decided to implement challenging structures into their music. This meant breaking away from the standard four/four time signatures that made up most rock. According to bass player Craig Thompson (aka Blind Willie Thompson), there was never a time change just for the sake of throwing one into the mix, but to serve the purpose of each song. It was in the beginning of 1994 in Toronto when Pecola received their start by communicating through friends and answering various newspaper ads. The first incarnation didn't last long, though, due to the fact that drummer Chris LaRue (aka Johnny LaRue) was leaving to join mid-'90s post-punk band Smallmouth, and one of the two guitarists wasn't fitting into Pecola's chemistry. This led to remaining guitarist Jamie Fleming (aka Dog Fancy) and Thompson holding tryouts for new replacements. They finally found guitarist Zak Hanna (aka Deep Throat Latrine) and drummer Gideon Steinberg (aka Gideon) to fill the vacated spots. After they realized that they all held common interests in punk, rock & roll, blues, and rap, they decided to play music similar to Drive Like Jehu, Shellac, Jesus Lizard, Polvo, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion that defied the standards of what rock was supposed to be. After practicing for almost a year, Pecola put out a cassette-only release on the Cheap Precious Metal label. They followed the release with a tour of the east coast of Canada with Smallmouth in one van. It was also during that year that they had their song, "Contact Lens," released on a compilation titled True Independence, Vol. 2. When 1996 arrived, Pecola members Thompson and Fleming, along with Smallmouth drummer LaRue, decided to put their own record label together. What resulted was Slipped Disc, inspired by bands like Fugazi, who did the same thing in order to get their product out. It was also at this time that future Teenage U.S.A. Recordings head Phil Klygo was running Skull Geek records. After Pecola approached Klygo, he agreed to help distribute the band's new 7" through Skull Geek. When the release came out, it was under the imprint of Skull Geek/Slipped Disc and included a Tony Walsh comic. The band toured the United States, hitting places like Philadelphia and others like Arkansas, where they incited a kid riot. In the beginning of 1997, Pecola wrapped up work on their first 12" vinyl EP, titled Dat Hoang, a Vietnamese name that meant the same thing as generic U.S. term "John Smith." Following the release, the group toured the United States once again. Later that year, the group had a song called "Bubble Needle Barbie" released on a cassette compilation titled Wish I Was on Lil' Red Wagon records. Pecola came as a recommendation to Lil' Red Wagon from their friends in Slowgun and Smallmouth. From the end of 1997 into 1998, the group toured with various bands, including Shotmaker, the New Bomb Turks, Polvo, Picastro, Do Make Say Think, Bardo Pond, Okara, Versus, Venus Cures All, and the Grifters. In mid-1998, Pecola released a split 7" with Smallmouth under a verbal contractual agreement with Teenage U.S.A. Their friends in the band Skinner Pilot also recommended Pecola to a Pennsylvania label called Monstro Records. The label listened to the group and released the song "Catabasis" from the Dat Hoang EP on a compilation called Importance of Falling. In 1999, another verbal contractual agreement was worked out with Toronto label Kosher Rock Records to release Pecola's first full-length album, titled The Mexican. This was to become the band's first and last full-length, though, because by mid-2000 the band's members grew tired of performing loud music and decided to call it quits.



Live God-Action TV2:58
1958 Envelope3:28
Worker And Parasite3:24
Saturday Matinée3:10
Dad's Dick Is A Mustang2:42
A Simple Man Loves His Car, American Car, American Car2:12
Suicide Watch2:13
You Left The Fucking Stereo On3:35
Late-Inning Closer 2:17
Sugarcane Is Aspartame3:47
Song #32:14
Take My Advice Or I'll Spank You Without Pants1:47
The Bullets Inside Are Very Hot. Why Do I Feel So Cold?2:07
I Am Damn Unsatisfied To Be Killed In This Way1:36

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