Thursday, April 9, 2009

The 3D's

Photo 593d

The 3D's - Girls Bikinis Guitars and Blood! [1998, Pequeno Records]

The 3D's - Your Heart is Black EP [1997, Arkham Records]

It’s been a long time, friends. But this blog is back in business -- for at least the time being -- with a few more selections of rare Southern punk rock vinyl.

Despite having every intention of being a traditional garagey surf band, The 3D’s stand out in my head as one of the more coincidentally interesting acts in this very narrow niche I’ve targeted -- and believe it or not, it has nothing to do with the fact I was one of the founding members. Rambunctious, barely-tuned guitars banging out basic mod punk riffs that reverberate wildly in and out of sync with a frenetic, virtuoso hippie drummer sounds on paper like it could really either suck or rule, but definitely doesn’t sound anything like the purist rock n roll outfit Joey Tampon intended. For all intents and purposes, it was his band (lots more about Joey in the posts below). He put the group together and it was his vision we circled underneath and inadvertently deconstructed in the process. As much as he wanted to recreate the purist motives of minimalist pioneers like Link Wray, The Sonics, and Nuggets-era Mod psychedelics, he had to rely on a rag-tag personnel of locals with dissimilar interests to see his vision through, steering it slightly off its course of intention. The result is an exercise in immediacy, efficiency, and just not giving a fuck; a reckless, revisionist romp through ‘60s subculture, filtered through modern punk aesthetics and old-fashioned, small-town Alabama angst.

These recordings are rife with mistakes, fuck-ups, and bad choices. The guitars rarely agree on a tuning. Bad chords, sour notes and the like are shrugged off in every song. The band rarely locks together tight with the songs sometimes teetering on the edge of collapse -- but never do. Somehow it all works. Everyone gets from point A to point B, and it’s all delivered with such urgency and certitude that that actually pointing out the shortcomings would just come off pretentious.

Flowery language aside, The 3D's started as an instrumental surf band and shortly moved into more psychedelic/garage territory but were at our very core still a punk band. We had 3 singers (two represented on recordings) total, 2 bassists (a different on each recording presented here), and eventually 2 guitarists when I left the band and was replaced by Robert Daniel (The Peeps, The Slackers, Counter Clockwise). We toured a bit, released some records, and all in all, it was a good time for everyone.

The first recording here is a long out-of-print 7” called Your Heart is Black. Each of the four songs also appeared on our self-released full length Action-Packed. While Joey sings on all of it, we had a new singer by the time this was released, Kevin Wyle. Kevin was replaced months later by Matt Bakula (The Peeps, The Jawas, Counter Clockwise) who sang on the other selection here, Girls, Bikinis, Guitars, and Blood! -- a 16-song, vinyl-only LP which actually features half the songs from Action-Packed rerecorded (we had a new bassist by this point as well). I still haven’t found my copy of Action-Packed, and the band released another 7” (a split with The Runarounds) after I left the band and which I do not own. So these will have to do for now.


Bubba said...

Hm, I don't fucking believe this. I been looking for that Knockabouts 7" that prank put out in like '95 (found it) and here this shit pops up.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before this shit resurfaced. I don't have the CD either. I can barely remember it.

I guess that's what the internet's for, so I don't have to. At least there's no Killed By Huntsville.

Love, that first bass player.

casiocasanova said...

hey. thanks. glad you dig it. i've kind of inadvertently become some kind of historian for this era, but i'm glad to do it.

and i'd love to have that knockabouts 7" to post on here.

Holt said...

Found this record in a Goodwill a few years ago. Your blog seems to be the only site that has any information on it.

Seth Graves said...

@Holt awesome find! these are the only records on this blog i played on (so far). i actually didn't get a copy of that 12" until about 2002 when i ran into the guy who played drums and discovered he had a few hundred copies (probably still does).

but yeah. both were short run pressings, neither had any sort of distribution. so i'm more than shocked when i meet anyone who's heard them.

Timothy Olver said...

Hey man, great post! Very informative and badass. I just picked up Girls, Bikinis, Guitars, and Blood! in a local record store in Vermont and I'm working on adding it to an online vinyl database called (definitely check out the site if your a collector!) The site is asking me for some details on the record, i.e. song lengths/release notes/pictures. I was wondering if you had any of that info easily available. Once again, awesome blog and awesome article! Thanks for the help.

Seth Graves said...

All I can really tell you is that it was recorded in spring of '98 and came out later that year on Pequeno Records (to my knowledge, the only release on that label).

I remember the engineer's name is Travis...

Personnel would be:
Matt Bakula: Vocals
Joey Tacon - Guitar, Back up Vocals
Seth Graves - Guitar, Organ
Harry Guenther - Bass
Shawn Webster - Drums

Lyrics by Bakula/Tacon
Music by Graves/Tacon

That's about the best i can do... haha. I apologize. It was about 17 years ago. It wasn't a big release, had no distribution, etc. That said, i would love to see it get a proper reissue. This kind of stuff is much more popular now than it was then.