I recently heard that David Yow was hospitalized back in January from a collapsed lung after a show with Qui, the band he now sings for. Given his fire nature onstage, this comes as no surprise. Best known for his work (and onstage antics) in The Jesus Lizard, Yow first came to be known as the singer for Scratch Acid. Justin Vellucci, writing for Delusions of Adequacy, sez:
“More people have probably seen Scratch Acid cited as an influence in interviews than have actually heard the band. This is a truth probably known all too well by Touch and Go Records guru Corey Rusk, who released a compendium of the Austin, Texas outfit’s complete works under the appropriate title ‘The Greatest Gift’ in the early 1990s. The collection should have hit at just the right time: it was released as one of the band’s most noteworthy and acclaimed offspring – The Jesus Lizard – was becoming a critical darling with explosive indie rock gems like ‘Goat’ and ‘Liar’. Sadly, though, it didn’t, and the band continued to be more name-dropped than actually heard, your average scenester not realizing how much Scratch Acid laid the foundation for countless punk and post-punk acts that followed them.
In mail-order catalogues from the early-90s, Touch and Go described Scratch Acid somewhat modestly, playing them up as ‘Tex-punk if you were eating barbecue tainted with the taste of Phenobarbital.’ The description is a fitting one and hints at the dark, disorienting tone of much of the band’s output, but it doesn’t really do enough to separate Scratch Acid from its Texan noise-punk peers, The Butthole Surfers. In their early days, both bands – like fellow Texans Big Boys and others – crafted an energetic and often chaotic brand of punk rock. But, while The Butthole Surfers went on to distort the medium with surreal soundscapes and an over-the-top, crazed sense of humor, Scratch Acid took a more straight-forward route, coming up with a sound than subtly blended elements of early punk, guitar-driven rock n’ roll and rockabilly, jazz, and electric blues.”