Dirt,Thicker Than Mud!
The Mulchmen's highly-acclaimed first full-length
album! Featuring crowd favorites like "Frank" and "Flippin' Out" as
well as the bizarre, theremin-laced "Sci-Fi Voodoo" and the humorously rocking Link Wray cover
Listen to it on-line!
Buy it here today from Big Beef!
THE PURE POP MUSIC STORE
The Mulchmen - Louder Than Dirt, Thicker Than Mud! - Far from anything remotely
pop, this band from the ever beachless heartland of Ohio is a Link Wray inspired surf band
that has a cool, muddy garagey sound. If you dig the surf sound filtered thru the 13th
Floor Elevators and The Seeds then you'll love this instrumental experience!!
EVERYBODY'S NEWS (Cincinnati, OH)
Instrumental surf rock conoisseurs The Mulchmen are celebrating the release of
their new full-length, Greetings From Planet Stupider, on Dayton-based Big Beef Records.
The follow-up to last year's acclaimed CD "Louder Than Dirt, Thicker Than Mud!"
and the more recent cassette-only release "Covered With Mulch", the new CD
features 14 more solid, surf-inspired explorations courtesy of guitarist Nick Kizirnis,
bassist Brian Hogarth and drummer Gregg Spence. Even people who don't think Dick Dale is
God won't be able to keep from digging the sounds this trio creates.
COLLEGE RADIO MUSIC REVIEW
Killer surf music from an instrumental trio in Dayton, Ohio!! There's a rockabilly
influence, too. As a gauge of respect from the surf community, The Mulchmen have appeared
with Dick Dale, Man or Astroman?, The Exotics, and Frankie Camaro. The album starts out
fast, slows toward the middle and speeds up again at the end. Favorite tracks include the
opening "Mudslide" and the closing "Bridge of Death." The theremin on
"Sci Fi Voodoo" and "Rumble 3000" is haunting. This CD demands many
Cool surf guitar coming from a place about a thousand miles away from any beach,
with songs appropriately titled "Mudslide" and "Bustin' Golfclubs" and
(my favorite) "A Man With No Reverb Is No Man At All". Sounds like Dick Dale on
slow dope, not the kind of surf music you twist and shout to, but the kind you sit around
and snap your fingers and shake your head to.
Who says surf music all sounds alike? Well, most people, and more often than not
they're right. But the latest releases by the Mulchmen and the El Caminos prove that the
creature called surf can sound like anything from an opium den to an auto race.
The Mulchmen's "Louder Than Dirt . . ." is
definitely the meatier of the two. These 14 tracks capture the very essence of quality
surf rock. The sun, the sand, those are givens, but there's a darker side, too. Even the
best wave can turn on you, and if it does, that brand new board might just leave splinters
in your cranium. It's easy to say the songs on "Louder Than Dirt" run the surf gamut, but
what's more remarkable is that the Mulchmen show there's a gamut to be run in the
often-repetitive world of the surf guitar. Many of the best tracks, such as "Bridge
of Death" and "Flippin' Out" head inland for a taste of that rockabilly
feel. The best track, however, is "Mudslide" which leads off the album with an
effortless mix of gleeful conquest and impending doom.
These songs flirt with the types of superlatives
that rock critics hate to use, but the fact remains that the Mulchmen have created a
richly textured album that vaults onto the short list of instrumental albums that remain
listenable and distinct from beginning to end.
THE NEW GANDY DANCER (U.K)
Nice boys as opposed to Spice Girls who we've liked since their samplings
on vinyl, and here is their eagerly awaited CD. It's no let down and the guitar
instrumentals are splendid, being thicker juicy slices of medium pacers rather than speedy
surf stuff which we have been accustomed to of late by so many others. The band provide
some tasty originals, especially in "Bustin' Golfclubs" and "Bridge Of Death". Liked also
their Wray appreciation with "Rumble 3000". The sound, as the title suggests, is thick, not
weedy with plenty of dare we say spaghetti western feel to several. The Mulchmen also get
a vote in out titles of the year show with "A Man With No Reverb Is No Man At All". Couldn't
have put it better myself. Wondrous.
NOISES FROM THE GARAGE
This guitar-instro trio comes from Dayton, OH and while there's a tendency
to dump all instrumental guitar bands into the dreaded "surf" category (not to
mention it's no doubt impossible to hang ten on the Great Miami River), The Mulchmen's
brand of twangy guitar music falls into a variety of moods, from the dark, low rumbles of
"Mudslide" to the punchy clarity of the aptly titled "A Man With No Reverb
is No Man At All". That, and guitar plunker Nick Kizirnis brings in a theremin and
adds a litlle space-age touch to the mix in songs like "Sci Fi Voodoo" and a
rewrite of Link Wray's "Ramble" called "Rumble 3000". Be prepared to
be rocked. And be prepared to be taken a little farther than usual. These guys are good.
THE DAVIS ENTERPRISE (Davis, CA)
What do Quentin Tarantino, Annette Funicello and The Mulchmen have in common? Aside
from that last sentence, the answer is,of course, surf guitar. Granted, the
all-instrumental music on this disc is a lot closer to Pulp Fiction than Beach Blanket
Bingo, but that won't stop you from doing The Swim during your next pool party, even if
some of you feel this music is better suited to your next murder-mystery weekend. The next
time you're discussing surf-rock with the upper echelon of surf-society, remember, Slick,
Thick and Quick, as in slick guitar melodies atop thick bass lines driven by quick, choppy
rhythms. Toss these terms into the conversation - along with a few dudes and far-outs -
and you're sittin' on top of the world. Louder... is a quality release in all of the above
categories, even if the CD detours in the middle - well, more like a lane change - with
Frank and Sci-Fi Voodoo. Overall, however, this disc epitomizes good surf-rock, despite
the fact these guys are from...and I'm not joking...Dayton. That's Ohio, as in "You
can't surf on Lake Erie"...dude. I don't get it either, but the next time you're
looking for tunes while surfing the waves, the 'net or the streets of Dayton, hang 10 on
HANG TEN (U.K.)
The Mulchmen hail from Dayton Ohio and their press release namechecks Link Wray,
Dick Dale, Duane Eddy and Man or Astroman? as influences (I would add The Pixies - check
out "Frank"). Well the influences are there alright, but The Mulchmen have come up with a
highly original sound all of their own. Nick Kizirnis' guitar playing nods towards surf at
times, but is generally a little more out of kilter, although the spirit is certainly
there, particularly on a tracks such as "Flippin' Out" and "Chiwahwah". "Bonfire Serenade" is a
beautiful Nouveau-Western thing, while "A Man With No Reverb Is No Man At All" wins my
nomination for the greatest title of the year.
There is also an unusual take on Link Wray's
"Rumble" - "Rumble 3000", with the lead taken by a theremin. I'm not aware of a UK release for
this album, so contact Big Beef Records if you want to know more.
SURF MUSIC U.S.A.
"Louder Than Dirt Thicker Than Mud!" is The Mulchmen's first full-length
CD. After a single release and appearances on compilation CDs the boys from Dayton, Ohio
get to strut their stuff big time. This three piece outfit has a full, raw garage sound to
them. The tunes are uniquely original. They have some punk overtones in their beat and
should impress many who will listen to their music. They have been playing a lot around
their hometown of Dayton and get fave reviews when ever and where ever they play. After
hearing the CD you will have to decide which is thicker, your coffee or this CD!
EVERYBODY'S NEWS (Cincinnati, Ohio)
By Bill Furbee
The Mulchmen. Maybe you've heard their 7" record, their brand-spankin' new CD
or one of their songs on a compilation disc. Or maybe you've seen them perform with Dick
Dale, Man...or Astroman?, Los Straitjackets, Ronnie Dawson or The Breeders. Whatever the
case may be, this Dayton, OH-based surf trio has been making a lot of waves, creating a
word-of-mouth buzz that has pushed beyond Dayton and Cincinnati. And, most important,
they're having a lot of fun. Nick Kizirnis, guitarist and occassional thereminist, writes
most of the material and is joined by Gregg Spence on drums and Brian Hogarth on bass.
"I've always been a guitar player, but this
was a challenge," Kizirnis says, "because the guitar has to carry the songs. In
past bands, my biggest problem was writing words. When I started writing instrumentals for
The Mulchmen, songwriting flowed a lot faster."
Kizirnis' previous band was the popular Dayton
group Cage, of which Spence was also a member.
"We weren't artistically satisfied,"
Spence recalls, "and we weren't making any money."
With that in mind, it took little more than the
two's plan to cover some Link Wray songs for the band to be conceived.
"But what will we call it?" Kizirnis
asked, to which Spence immediately replied,
"The Mulchmen" for as he explains,
"What else are you going to surf in Ohio?"
Brian Bagdonas was the original bass player for
the group. As Kizirnis recalls, "We always knew it was a part-time thing and he
eventually moved away. After he left, we played as a two-piece for awhile, which was a lot
of fun." Eventually, Hogarth, who had previously made music with Spence in the Dayton
band Sourbelly, settled into the lineup. "Brian's first time onstage with us was
opening up for Dick Dale at a sold-out Gilly's," adds Kizirnis.
The band members say their past experiences with
other bands have helped them to keep the right perspective with The Mulchmen.
"Things started happening at the right
time," Kizirnis says, and we just went with it. The phones would start ringing with
show offers, they say, and so they decided to enjoy the ride.
"We did so much 'show seeking' in the old
band," says Spence, "that (this time) we didn't want to push it. Our only
criteria for this band is that we have fun." But did they have to convert heavy
guitar riffs and the "rock" context to reverb-soaked guitar dances to have fun?
Spence offers the following view:"If a band's goal is to succeed and 'make it' and
get signed, and you don't, then at some point you should stop, or least shift your
priorities. That was actually the best thing we could do for ourselves."
The trio's major accomplishment is the creation
of instrumental rock'n'roll that refuses to be just background music. Slower numbers pull
on emotional chords, while more up-tempo compositions refuse too sit still. And if you
listen hard enough, a strange whistle, produced by Kizirnis' theremin, can be heard on
"The theremin has the shock/novelty value,
which isn't lost on us," Kizirnis admits, laughing," It's a really fun,
challenging instrument, and we've even seen people playing 'air theremin' while we
Although rumors circulate about The Mulchmen's
next record featuring bongos and crickets, that will probably be for the future. Their
debut full-length is still collecting impressive reviews and is bound to keep their phone
ringing for quite some time.
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