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Pain Teens were originally a solo project started in the early 80's by guitarist Scott Ayers while he was a student a University of Houston. He had experimented with reel-to-reel tape machines, cassettes, guitar effects and created some tracks similar to those on "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" by Brian Eno and David Byrne. Except Scott's aesthetic was much more extreme and dark, very satirical and politically charged. His early songs included "Sexual Anorexia", "Symptoms", "Evil Dirt", and "The Secret of Good Luck" as well as dozens of other strange multi-track recordings. His first official release was a Houston cassette compilation in which he used a photo of hair forced through a windshield in a car crash from an old book he found in the UofH library, and this was about the time I saw his band Naked Amerika perform at a club in Houston called The Ale House. Also performing were other Houston stalwarts Grindin' Teeth and Culturcide. I was writing live performance and record reviews at the time for Houston's weekly free paper The Public News and I reviewed the show. Scott and I had been friends at UofH in Anthropology class, and I had also seen his band at that time, which was called Alien Labor and also featured Bart Enoch on drums, and David Parker on bass, both would play drums later in Pain Teens. I was interested in singing and making "industrial" music, so the two of us joined forces making home recordings at Scott's parents' old house about a mile from where I lived. At that time, 1985, we just started improvising stuff and I tried to get used to hearing my voice on tape. We recorded me reading out of an old and very bizarre Psychology textbook that Scott had on hand, as well as the DSM and other assorted sources, and I began to do some singing. Scott never lacked for new tracks, he was relentless in his daily recording schedule, so there was plenty to experiment with. I in turn got him interested in the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and M.R. James, which provided imagery and song titles on our early music, including "Brown Jenkin", "Count Magnus", "Mindless Piping", and of course the epic 20 minute "Shadow over Innsmouth". After about 2 years we were ready to release our first cassette, "Psychoactive" which was a 45-minute set of songs backed with recordings of Scott's project Anarchitex. Other tapes rapidly followed and we decided to create our own record label to release our debut on LP, named Anomie Records. Our self-titled album came out in 1988, sort of a "best-of" of our nine cassette tapes (all 90 minutes long except for "Psychoactive"). We also began performing live, our first show opening for Dan Workman's solo performance with Perry Webb, his partner in the band Culturcide, making 7-foot high symmetrical drawings during the entire performance. Our set was a bit tentative (I wore a veil over my face and Scott wore a mask like the killer in "Halloween") but very noisy and set the stage for more live erformances, each one trying to get more theatrical and outrageous.
Described by Trouser Press as "Austin's resident heirs to the Butthole Surfers' weird-rock crown", Ed Hall was a trio not containing any member of that name; Gary Chester handled guitar duties, with Larry Strub on bass. Drumming was originally by John Buron, who was replaced by Kevin Whitley. The provenance of their namesake was never revealed, although multiple explanations were proffered by band members, media, and fans. The track "Who's Ed" on debut album Albert does little to dispel the mystery. The band emerged from the music scene based in and around the Dong Huong, a Vietnamese restaurant-turned-punk club whose proprietor Phong encouraged and hosted loud, obnoxious bands too raw and/or unknown for established clubs. The Dong scene was documented on a cassette compilation called The Polyp Explodes (see Crust (band)), which ultimately brought Ed Hall to the attention of Boner Records owner Tom Flynn and to the unwanted attention of Jim Adler (The Texas Hammer) when a class action lawsuit was filed for loss of hearing and mental anguish of many of the band's fans. One of the more striking features was the habit of performing while painted with blacklight paint, accompanied by the appropriate lighting on stage. This was probably a sort of psychedelic homage to their heroes of Kiss.
Crust was a musical group from Austin, Texas that was active during the late-1980s and 1990s and was featured on Trance Syndicate Records, a record label run by King Coffey from the Butthole Surfers. The groups members were John Hawkins (vocals and misc.), Jerry Page (bass and misc.), and Richard Smith (percussion and misc.).
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