welcome
greetings from planet stupider
louder than dirt, thicker than mud!
covered with mulch
all the news that's fit to surf!
compliation appearances
ordering info
links
gregg spence homepage
big beef homepage
contact the mulchmen

Covered With Mulch

The Mulchmen's cassette-only release featuring cover versions of surf favorites and an entire side of Link Wray classics! Rooted Magazine of Austin, Texas called these recordings "some of the finest Link Wray cover tunes ever made, deftly conjuring up Link's instro-rockabilly style... Get this before it's gone!". Proceeds from the cassette are being donated to the Tim Taylor Memorial Fund.
Buy it directly from Big Beef!

Covered With MulchGAJOOB
A tribute album to musical influences and celebrating the life of Tim Taylor, a friend of the band. Side one is surf music, from the most obscure waves on the most mysterious beaches. Several cuts come from Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. The reverb is set just right and the guitar twists and twangs true. It's solidly played and at just the right tempo, not too fast, not too frantic, just cool. Side two salutes fuzz-twang guitar master Link Wray and once again they do justice to the influence. This album is well worth having, it's cooler than most anything you'll hear anytime soon, so pick up on it. - Kevin Slick

MUZIKMAN
The Mulchmen have released a special cassette only project in tribute to Tim Taylor, a good friend of the group who was killed in an auto accident in1997... One side of music is a typically driven and assorted mix of instro delights covered with mulch. The flipside is a tribute to Link Wray and his music. Wait until you hear "Jack The Ripper", Mulchmen style. The boys put some well know Led Zep riffs into the song to catch you off guard and rock you a little more than you would expect. It was a welcome surprise and done with all the insanity that only a good instro tune can deliver.
This group has no doubt carved their own special niche in the genre while gaining the plaudits of the critical mass and the utmost respect of their peers.

CRINGE (Columbus, OH)
The Mulchmen pound out surf punk covers from the likes of Link Ray, The Surftones and Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, recorded, explains co-producer Andy Valeri, "in a spirit of joyful spontaneity." The dark and briny sounds of "Bustin' Surfboards" and "Shake Some Evil"shift between upbeat breakers like "Cecilia Ann" and toughies like "Good Cop Bad Cop." You'll recognize these songs when you hear them. Nothing innovative, just good, pure fun. Proceeds benefit the Tim Taylor Memorial Fund - enough reason to check it out! - Jamie

REVERB CENTRAL
Dayton, Ohio's Mulchmen deliver a set of some surf and rock instro covers in their totally unique vision. The two cassette sides are labeled Side Surf (1) and Side Link (2), identifying their musical focus. A strong cassette. Should be on CD I think, even if just for me.

GOOD COP BAD COP - Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet's "Good Cop Bad Cop" is delivered with intensity and drive. Edgie surf for the Comedy Central generation. The intro is more a progressional thing, but the main melody is excellent. Full round tones, and precise playing. Excellent work, boys!

BUSTIN' SURFBOARDS - The Hollywood Tornadoes had their lone minor hit with this song. The Mulchmen give it a lighter treatment, less mean and smoother. The whammy dips are replaced by a three note sequence. The break works really well. Nice arrangement.

SHAKE SOME EVIL - Another Shadowy men on a Shadowy Planet song, sad an detectivist, moody and skulking in the shadows. Big drama and minimal complexity. Very nice.

HARLEM BY THE SEA - Again from Shadowy men on a Shadowy Planet, this really a variation on an old standard called "I Cover The Water Front," covered so well by among others the Viscounts. Spirited and fun, but lacking the charm of the vibrato-induced Viscounts take. The Shadowy Men enhancements take this into a more rock territory.

CECILIA ANN - This is a pretty straight slight modernization of the original Surftones track, closer to that than the Pixies or Chachi Bobba Fett & the Wookiee covers. It's edgie and modern, but reverent.

RAWHIDE - Link Wray's classic cowboy onslaught, moderately paced with spunky intense guitar, ringing with slight distortion, and driven with lots of edge.

COMMANCHE - Grinding mid-tempo rendering of the Linkster's oft-covered chord progression rifforama. Big and well delivered.

SLINKY - Totally cool version of Link Wray's tune. This is a fine balance of tribal fun, Link Wray intensity, and throbbing intrigue. Excellent track. I've often wondered if "Slinky" was named after the toy or a slinky female. Certainly the tribal strip-walk drums say femme fatale, and I think it slightly predates the advent of the amazing Slinky I loved so as a child.

RUN CHICKEN RUN - Covered by more than a few (including Los Straitjackets), this is edgier than most, less barnyard and more back alley, mean and playful.

JACK THE RIPPER - Using a melody line from Led Zeppelin in some pretty cool places, this stellar version of Link's best (IMHO) instro composition drives with a clean stripped down feel, major energy, nice subtleties, solid percussion, and a relentless and well phrased bass. Some of the variations on the arrangement and melody line are really cool. Among the best 50 covers... ok, there are a lot, but I love 'em all. - Phil Dirt

ROOTED MAGAZINE (Austin, TX)
I must admit that a couple years ago I was not a fan of the Mulchmen's murky sound. Then in 1997, the Ohio based Big Beef Records released "Louder Than Dirt Thicker Than Mud!", the band's first full-length album. The band ranked as #5 on the 1997 Rooted Top 10 surf releases. They combine modern rock/alternative and surf with a unique flair (especially with guitar heroics supplied by Nick Kizirnis).

The album was put together in support of the Tim Taylor Memorial Fund, an organization founded to help out the family of a prominent Ohio musician Tim Taylor. Taylor died tragically in an auto accident some time back. Recently, the band, helped out by Big Beef producer Andy Valeri, went into the studio to cut an all-covers album that reflects the group's influences. The result is "Covered With Mulch"; an 11-song, cassette-only release worthy of attention. I usually shy away from albums chock full of covers because surf bands seem to record the same old 60s tunes over and over. I mean, Who wants to hear another version of "Baja" or "Miserlou" revisited? However, once you pop this in your tapedeck, you'll find that the Mulchmen's prowess and intensity provide a notable exemption.

"Covered With Mulch" starts off with the Shadowy Men classic "Good Cop, Bad Cop".; It's great to see that now after the breakup of the much loved Canadian trio that bands honor the Shadowy Men's repertoire. For the uninitiated, Shadowy On A Shadowy Planet started out in the mid-80s merging classic surf sounds to punk and new wave rhythms with their trademark sound (remember the "Kids In the Hall" theme, or as it's better known "Having An Average Weekend". The Mulchmen also do the Shadowy Men's take of "Harlem Nocturne" called "Harlem By the Sea" as well as the spooky slow grunge of "Shake Some Evil."Also the band gives new life to the Tornadoes' "Bustin' Surfboards" and the Surftones' "Cecilia Ann."

The B-side is dedicated to guitarist Link Wray. Covering classic tracks like "Jack the Ripper," "Comanche," "Rawhide" and others, the Mulchmen deftly conjure up Link's signature instro-rockabilly style. For purists, these are some of the finest Link Wray cover tunes ever made (note: the album "Louder Than Dirt" featured the theremin fury of Link's "Ramble". The highlight of the B-side is the Mulchmen's ripping version of "Jack the Ripper." "Jack" kicks of with a grinding guitar riff borrowed from Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker" then rocks for four-plus minutes! During the track, Kizirnis lays waste to his guitar with shredding velocity and improvisational tricks. The new version pays tribute to Link's original in a way that I haven't heard before. My advice is to get this before its gone!

No word yet as to if these tracks will appear on any future Mulchmen releases. The word out is that these cassettes are in short supply. I believe that once surf fanatics get ahold of these they'll really sell. If the music isn't enough of a motivation to buy the tape, then thought that the proceeds of the album will be going to help out the family of a well respected Ohio musician should sway you. The Mulchmen have done it again. - Brian Parrish

EVERYBODY'S NEWS (Cincinnati, OH)
Yeah, The Mulchmen have a new cassette, and here's the special part: Side Surf (A) has the guys covering songs by The Tornadoes, The Surftones and Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. Side Link (B) is all covers of The Hillbilly Wolf himself, Link Wray. Among them being "Rawhide", "Commanche", "Slinky", "Run Chicken Run" and "Jack The Ripper". Anyway, the cassette's called "Covered With Mulch" and it's on Dayton's Big Beef Records. Proceeds go to the Tim Taylor Memorial Fund. - Bill Furbee

NEW GANDY DANCER (U.K.)
Brian, Gregg and Nick back on the cassette trail with one side surf covers - Shadowy Men/Tornadoes/Surftones, and one side all Link Wray covers. Works well and the guys are progressing with speed. Trio sound is full and ravenous and there's a nice cow on the sleeve. Best cuts are "Commanche" and "Bustin' Surfboards". Good. - Davy

MUTANT RENEGADE
This release is a collection of covers by bands such as The Tornadoes, Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet and Link Wray. The Mulchmen play with such gut-ripping intensity that you can't help but to like them. Proceeds from the sale of this release will go to the Tim Taylor Memorial Fund. For those of you not in the know, Tim was the frontman for the ever-electrifying band Brainiac. Tim passed away almost two years ago. For more information on this release contact Big Beef Records. I guarantee that you won't be disappointed.

CINCINNATI CITYBEAT
The Mulchmen have a brand new release, the cassette-only "Covered With Mulch". This powerful Dayton-based instrumental surf trio will donate proceeds from the sale of the cassette to the Tim Taylor Memorial Fund in honor of the late Brainiac singer/songwriter. The group comes to Cincy on Wednesday for a show at Sudsy Malone's with The Bomboras. Anyone who has seen The Mulchmen in concert can tell you it's well worth the paltry cover charge. - Mike Breen

CORE KILL ZINE
This is the new release by Dayton's own surf rockers. It's entirely devoted to covers of SHADOWY MEN ON A SHADOWY PLANET (who did the soundtrack for "The Kids In The Hall"), THE TORNADOES, THE SURFTONES (doing "Cecilia Ann", which was also covered by THE PIXIES). The second side is all LINK WRAY covers. I'm always impressed by THE MULCHMEN, and what's even better is that this is a benefit project to help raise money for The Tim Taylor Memorial Fund, which is to assist musical-related charitable causes in honor of TIM TAYLOR from BRAINIAC. Empty-V should invite The Mulchmen down to play a the spring break party! - Tom Watson