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Lost My Head For Drink

Lost My Head For Drink

12 Track, LP (2011, Dirty Knobby Industries)
Related: Bloodloss.

To be honest I wasn't all that impressed upon first hearing Bloodloss. Granted at the time I was a young, long-haired Mudhoney tragic. Sporting a Superfuzz Bigmuff shirt I'd make a weekly foray to Au Go Go Records on Little Bourke Street in Melbourne to sniff out all things Mudhoney/Mark Arm/Sub Pop. I picked up the bands 1994 Au Go Go release Misty for the fact alone that Arm sung vocals on some tracks and I knew there was a Bloodloss/Mudhoney connection: drummer Martin Bland played on Arm’s side project, The Monkeywrench; while bassist Guy Maddison took over for Matt Lukin in Mudhoney.

But upon bringing it home I was disappointed. Sure it had Arm's wild and raspy vocals and the guitar was slow and dirge-y, but unlike Mudhoney there wasn't the melodic head-banging grunge of 'In and Out of Grace' or 'Touch Me I'm Sick'. It was dirty but for a kid from the eastern suburbs who had been listening to Mudhoney and the Meanies non-stop, the album sounded too arty, too weird (it had saxophone!) Basically it sounded too St Kilda when I was looking for Seattle.

bloodloss - another one of you by dirty knobby industries

Since then I've learnt that like Lubricated Goat, The Scientists, King Snake Roost and feedtime, Bloodloss and their scuzzed-out, Beefheart-spastic, jazz-influenced punk rock have gone on to influence a swag of bands from Pissed Jeans, Slug Guts and Liars. Which brings us to Lost My Head for Drink. After releasing albums on Au Go Go, Greasy Pop, Abherrant, Sympathy for the Records Industry and In the Red the band recorded this in 1996 and it sat unmixed until summer of 2010. Maybe as I've grown older my musical tastes have changed, but this sounds nothing like the Bloodloss I remember. It's still as wild and loose but contains a mean and snarling sarcastic punk. This is the second or third incarnation of the band with Guy Maddison replacing Rick Bishop on bass to join Renestair EJ (guitar, sax, vocals), Arm (guitar, vocals) and Martin Bland (drums, vocals) and they play with a menacing skein.

bloodloss - my friend the moon by dirty knobby industries

Jazz has been a noticeable influence on the band. They named their debut album 'Truth is Marching In' after an Albert Ayler song and on 'Lost My Head for Drink' saxophone and trumpet feature heavily. The intro to 'Barber of Civility' takes on a loose free jazz feel and wild spirit, in general. While bands trying to pull off 'The Mystery Spot's swaggering, noisy and bluesy punk in 2011 are often accused of being forced, back in 1996 this truly was scuzz, appreciated by a few in a handful of cities – from Melbourne to Sydney and Seattle.

The title track is a meandering whiskey fuelled yarn of debauched hedonism. Actually most of the songs are about being debauched or losing a job. Or about being a freak. As Arm said in a 1996 interview: “For me [Bloodloss' main influence] was the weirdo side of punk – the bands nobody liked. And you hear other stuff and you're like, 'Fuck, I wouldn't be caught dead playing something like that', so that's an influence too. A lot of it is reactionary. I'm pretty reactionary when it comes to music.”

by Tim Scott

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Your Comments

melvo666  said about 3 years ago:

reading this you'd think that mark arm was bloodloss. he's all but an insignificant member of this (originally) adelaide band. renestai ej. martin bland. they're bloodloss.
debut album... try human skin suit (not counting the greasy pop cassette)
second or third incarnation... try fifth or sixth

cooper.  said about 3 years ago:

Still need to hear 'Truth Is Marching In'. Is anyone holding mp3's?

melvo666  said about 3 years ago:

this is a fkn great album by the way

melvo666  said about 3 years ago:

buy the double cd reissue through memorandum
or track down the lp version

geneclark70  said about 3 years ago:

Another shoutout here for the Memorandum reissue of The Truth is Marching In 2CD that came out a handful of months ago. It seems to have been unfairly ignored. The first CD is the real killer, on par with gonzoid classics by King Snake Roost and Grong Grong, perhaps better. Try 'Cold and Alive' or 'Blabbermouth', they're intense, addictive and have nothing to do with Mark Arm.

FrankieTeardrop  said about 3 years ago:

Early Bloodloss is the shit. Once they left Adelaide, they became kinda more... hmmm... streamlined, I suppose.

Ben  said about 3 years ago:

Yay! Bloodloss!

rigid  said about 3 years ago:

releasing albums on Au Go Go, Greasy Pop, Abherrant, Sympathy for the Records Industry and In the Red

Not to mention Reprise. Weird times in the years after Nevermind. I was lucky enough to get The Truth is Marching In on release, after reading a rave review in the last issue of B-Side. I'd only just digested Lubricated Goat Plays the Devil's Music so was broken in. Loved it to death.

melvo666  said about 3 years ago:

was a shame that the 7'' version of 'smell maching' never made it on to the memorandum release. far superior (and more hilarious) version than that on 'the truth is marching in'.

dzerzhanzhinskii  said about 3 years ago:

not bad for a bunch of so-called ayler fans from backwater country :-)

seriously, great band. wonderful album. i do feel the tracks featured in the article aren't as representative of their ''seattle-ization'' as say, 'bones of my ass', 'barber of civility', or 'a bottle and a grin'.

anyway, i'm not one to disapprove of the stuff with mark arm. matter of fact, i really like them, but the earlier recordings are, as rightly pointed out, something very special indeed. certainly of considerably more magnitude than have been given their rightful dues. especially the 1st on cassette (and zulu rattle as well) with sharron weatherill on vocals. lawd, that is some inspired devilry distended from the brazen arse-end. some of the finest shit this country has ever committed to recording technology. i take that to my grave.

FrankieTeardrop  said about 3 years ago:

My favourite two Bloodloss songs are 'Drag The Lake' and 'Jimmy Drove A Dream', from the Raw Cuts - Australian Nitro compilation. That was the Sharon line-up, I believe. Wish I had a copy of the cassette. That's some fine shit indeed.

FrankieTeardrop  said about 3 years ago:

yokota  said about 3 years ago:

'The Truth is Marching In' is easily top 5 oz albums for mine. There's some ok moments on the earlier stuff but the female vocals I think are the weak link for that era Bloodloss. Mark Arm period - I'll pass as well.

Nglist  said about 3 years ago:

first lp w/ female vocalist is definitely sub-par, 'truth...' is truly great...and coop, i believe that it has just been reissued on 2xcd w/ a bunch of bonus stuff. not sure exactly when or by whom, but i have a copy on the way.

was somewhat skeptical about this record, but it definitely is worth picking up. i hear much more killdozer than mudhoney, and obviously, that is a good thing.

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  • 1.   A Bottle and a Grin
  • 2.   Another One of You
  • 3.   They Mystery Spot
  • 4.   Chocolate Cake Factory Blues
  • 5.   Bones of My Ass
  • 6.   Declination
  • 7.   Hot Air Drives
  • 8.   Lost My Head For Drink
  • 9.   Awoken Groovy Village
  • 10.   Barber of Civility
  • 11.   Fruit On My Hat
  • 12.   My Friend the Moon
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