ETHYL MEATPLOW

ETHYL MEATPLOW – “HAPPY DAYS, web SWEETHEART” LP (1980)

Most people would call the sound on Ethyl Meatplow’s only album “industrial”, but in doing a fair amount of Google work, I found a better term: “dorkerotic”. Allmusic sez:

Ethyl Meatplow was a short-lived, yet enormously accomplished, pseudo-industrial alternative/dance-rock outfit comprised of vocalist Carla Bozulich, guitarist Biff Barefoot Sanders, and drummer John Napier. Formed circa 1990, the group released three independent singles before their only album, 1993′s Happy Days Sweetheart. The group earned a reputation for their live shows, which combined samples and electronics with live instrumentation. Happy Days Sweetheart earned good reviews in alternative/underground magazines yet the band spilt soon after its release.

There’s a lot from the ’90s that I’m coming onto for the first time, stuff which I probably should’ve been into at the time (but chose to fill my head with Rush and Yes instead). I’d much rather put this one on repeat than Nitzer Ebb, but then again, it’s not “industrial”. What makes this record stand out is the whacked vocal performance of Carla Bozulich (later of the Geraldine Fibbers and Scarnella), a raspy, syrupy, boyish drawl, kinda like if Bart Simpson grew pubes and wanted to fuck everything in sight.

Ethyl Meatplow – Happy Days, Sweetheart” (ZIP file)

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718 Responses to ETHYL MEATPLOW

  1. Phill says:

    “like if Bart Simpson grew pubes and wanted to fuck everything in sight.”

    Awesome.

  2. xopher.tm says:

    This is another one that I bought that kept getting “borrowed” into disappearance.

    It’s a great freakin’ album.

  3. julio says:

    hey thanks, been searchin this for a life! really love her later stuff, always been curious about this! thanks, thanks, thanks!

    hope ya the best,

    julio

  4. Jim Donato says:

    I always wondered about this album. I liked the song “Devil’s Johnson” from the clip I saw on 120 Minutes. I later bought the promo CD to get mixes of the same but never found the CD cheap enough for my tastes. Did I SEE Ethyl Meatplow opening for F242 on the last tour of theirs I saw? [upevil tour] It certainly seems so…

  5. Kevin says:

    I remember this record being serious hot shit when it came out. I don’t think it really stood the test of time.

  6. Oscar says:

    I’d much rather put this one on repeat than Nitzer Ebb, but then again, it’s not “industrial”
    That’s funny, the first time I heard this band was when I saw them open for Nitzer Ebb in 1992. They had a memorable live show. At one point the guitarist jumped into the crowd to punch someone in the audience.

  7. Jim Donato says:

    I have to say that when I cleaned out my collection of “industrial” in the mid 90s what left? NIN, Ministry & KMFDM [mostly]. What did I keep? Cab Volt, Nitzer Ebb, F242. Sure the last 2 are EBM but I am still impresseed with Nitzer Ebb. Why? Doug McCarthy’s vocals avoid the cliches and pitfalls of the genre. He has a bluesy delivery which is worlds away from everybody else who shouted into a distortion pedal. And sure the first album was DAF wannabe tracks and the last album just fell apart , but up to then they had an admirable range of styles explored and no two albums sounded the same. So I give a shout out to Nitzer Ebb for a good career.

  8. RAygun says:

    Another great post. This group was great in concert. I was luck to see them when they toured with Daisy Chainsaw. What a show! I just never got around to picking up the album once I heard they broke up and the lead singer started doing all kinds of solo projects.

  9. Marshall says:

    The first show I ever saw was a lame Depeche Mode concert at the Forum. Any love I had for music kind of died a little that night. Two nights later I saw Ethyl Meatplow (they were on a bill with front 242 – the UpEvil tour, who I had tickets for, but I didn’t know who they were), and it changed my life.

    Live, they were brutal, constantly in motion, dominating the room. Everybody was moving – my pants ended up around my ankles. I didn’t care, neither did anyone else. They had dancers. Carla Bozulich looked me in the eyes from the stage and I could feel her eyes scanning the inside of my skull. It was everything I ever imagined music should be, and to this day, everything I want it to be.

    For years afterward, this album was playing through long, long nights – I can’t escape associating every sound on it with the feeling of sweaty flesh and sound of heavy breathing. Happy Days Sweetheart is, and always has been the soundtrack to my most base and pleasurable thoughts. I keep an extra copy in shrink wrap “Just in Case.”

    A bit of trivia – back when Meatplow and 1000 Homo DJ’s were huge, KXLU had to ban requests because people were complaining that the station played them so much.

  10. i recently found a record by one of Bozulich’s early bands called Invisible Chains. weirdo electro post punk. here’s a track from it.
    http://www.robotsinheat.com/trax/SalMineoYouthGroupGrowingUp.mp3