PRICE: $12.50
1-2 Weeks
Oil Tasters


Originally issued by Lexicon Devil in 2005. The Oil Tasters only existed between the years 1980-1983 and managed to release two 7"s and an LP in their lifetime. Out-of-print for well over 20 years, Lexicon Devil stepped up to the plate in an attempt to reintroduce this mighty Milwaukee juggernaut back into the general public with a CD compiling all their long-deleted catalog. A three-piece with the unusual line-up of bass/vocals (Richard LaValliere), saxophone (Caleb Alexander) and drums/backing vocals (Guy Hoffman), Oil Tasters set the Milwaukee scene alight in their day with their trailblazing mix of Dada-esque smart-arse lyricism, avant-garde jazz rhythms and skittering, punk-rock energy which blended together to produce a unique, unprecedented sound. Both Richard and Guy had spent time in the late '70s in The Haskels, Milwaukee's original punker outfit, and when that band called it a day, they decided to take a less orthodox musical approach. Roping in friend Caleb Alexander on saxophone (who actually learnt his trade from another '70s Milwaukee habituate and wildman, James Chance aka James White/Black of The Contortions) and inspired by a strange mixture of old Dixieland jazz, Coltrane and post-punk a la Public Image Ltd., they created something really different from the then-emerging cookie-cutter punk scene. Sonically, you could throw a few names around: in Oil Tasters one can hear traces of John Lydon's snarl in the way LaValliere barks out his sarcastic tomes; the menacing, angular punk-funk-jazz of the Minutemen, especially so in the meaty, Watt-ish bass lines; and the Dada art-rock styling of Pere Ubu ca. '81/'82. This release comprises both of their self-released 7"s and their subsequent LP released on Joe Carducci's excellent Thermidor label (they were actually recommended to Carducci by his good friend, Jello Biafra), all of which have been newly remastered at Dex Audio in Melbourne from the original reels which, funnily enough, had spent the last 5 years collecting dust on the shelves of none other than Henry Rollins' office. Huh? The CD reproduces the front cover of the original LP, contains an 8-page booklet with liner notes from longtime fan Keith Brammer (of Die Kreuzen/Boy Dirt Car) and Richard LaValliere himself, a plethora of band flyers and photos and a full 40 minutes of surrealist, one-of-a-kind post-punk.