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TAR BABIES- Face the Music 12″EP (Bone Air Records, USA, 1983)

I didn’t expect comments like some of those I received (I deleted the worst of ’em) in the last entry (POWERAGE). Frankly, I had no idea we have such idiots here. Not that I’m a p.c. kind of guy: I love it when opinions clash and there’s nothing wrong when it gets a bit rough sometimes (it’s a sign of passion), but on the other hand I’m not running a platform for racists.

The anger and, well – hatred conserved on this piece of plastic is overwhelming. I first heard TAR BABIES on the “Party or go home” comp. and when a while later I stumbled across this EP, I bought it without hesitation. I wasn’t expecting too much, frankly, maybe because it was a 12 incher and you would get to hear that kind of total sonic violence on a 7″ rather than on a 12″. But hell, I saw that the song from the comp. was on the EP too (“Confusion”, if memory serves) and that was reason enough. What can I say? As it turned out, the entire 12″ was loaded with music of the same caliber. What makes these songs so great is that while being “totally Hardcore”, they simultaneously transcend the genre.
Halfd of the songs were recorded in spring 1982 and produced by Bob Mould (1, 4, 6, 7), the other half (the more experimental stuff) was recorded in December 1982 and produced by Butch Vig who was responsible for the incredible sound of Nirvana’s “Nevermind”.

You need to hear MECHT MENSCH too (another great almost-german punk band name, like “Die Kreuzen”), if you haven’t already, as the two bands basically shared the same members. I couldn’t say which one I liked better, but TAR BABIES definitely is wilder and in the end lasted longer, with some fine experimental stuff released after this crazy debut. And if you like this monster, you’ll like BAD POSTURE too, which sound very similar to this.

Face the music!

PS: Anybody ever seen an insert going with this?

Be humble.mp3
Punch.mp3
The Word.mp3
Native Son.mp3
Triplets.mp3
New Poor.mp3
Confusion.mp3
Bubba.mp3

27 Comments

  1. crazydude1992

    Er, the links are broken.

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    Working now!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Jun-10 at 16:00 | Permalink
  2. sharky

    after downloading the first song:WHY HAS NOBODY EVER TOLD ME ABOUT THIS RECORD IN ALL THOSE YEARS??????????????????? 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Jun-10 at 16:22 | Permalink
  3. chano

    my god… a minor midwestern classic! one for the mental ward!! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Jun-10 at 16:29 | Permalink
  4. sharky

    heard the complete thing in the meantime. I’m speechless. how could I have missed this????

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Jun-10 at 16:45 | Permalink
  5. Nic

    Excellent choice E: horrible and nasty…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Jun-10 at 16:48 | Permalink
  6. chano

    mmmmmh… i can’t hear many similarities with Bad Posture. to my ears, Tar Babies sounds MUCH more twisted and disturbing.

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    I haven’t played the BP 12″ in years, but my memory tells me: “Sounds very similar”.

    [Reply]

    chano Reply:

    Bad Posture were definitely straighter and more rock’n’roll influenced. I don’t know… maybe it’s just me!

    [Reply]

    Dewey Decimal Reply:

    I can hear the Bad Posture, but Chano is also right that TarBabies have a more hardcore sound. Both brilliant. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting this.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Jun-10 at 16:57 | Permalink
  7. chano

    p.s.:i love Bad Posture anyway. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Jun-10 at 17:00 | Permalink
  8. howardx

    im sure all the racists are just lurking tryptikon fans…

    i liked this, reminded me of every night at seattle’s old gorilla gardens.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Jun-10 at 17:38 | Permalink
  9. Maikoholic

    Great record, old favorite of mine.
    Their second mini album is great also.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Jun-10 at 20:23 | Permalink
  10. Smitty

    Here’s another vote for “Never heard this before. It rules.” Had a later SST record which underwhelmed me way back when. Way better than Mecht Mensch in my book.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Jun-10 at 20:27 | Permalink
  11. eddie

    I love the HC tracks on this record and the non-HC tracks are ok. This band was related to Mecht Mensch and it sounds like they shared the same singer. Tar Babies second album sucks gorilla balls!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 03-Jun-10 at 01:42 | Permalink
  12. ian

    I’ve always liked this 12″ – always struck me as a pretty unusual thing – love the sloppiness & noiseness & the feeling of darkness on this thing! This was the same tar babies that later morphed into SST funk type darlings wasnt it (fried milk & all that) – with new members? Did Mecht Mensch do anything after the 7″ (great post too) – or did they disappear or get re-absorbed into later version of tar babies? I will check my copy for an insert…got a vague recollection of one maybe…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 03-Jun-10 at 01:47 | Permalink
  13. Dave G

    Great post Erich…I had forgotten all about this great record.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 03-Jun-10 at 04:54 | Permalink
  14. Sean

    Wow man I was really entertained by this. Aaah, from the era when “experimentation” brought RESULTS and not SHIT!!! Love the warpy guitar tone!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 03-Jun-10 at 05:38 | Permalink
  15. Clinton Chapman

    This makes me very happy. Thanks. this one I do not have a vinyl copy of myself. I’m still yet to hear the Mecht Mensch/Tar Babies split tape.

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    I’ll post it soon! It’s RAW!!!

    [Reply]

    i..o Reply:

    Please do that Erich. This is one of my favourite records all time and I too would love to hear the demo.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 03-Jun-10 at 10:29 | Permalink
  16. elliott

    i love that party or go home comp. that tar babies song is amazing and the rest is gold. yeah lots of racists. i don’t get it at all. very nice 12 ep you’ve put up. yeah what’s with these german names for american bands? actually the first one i thought of is kreig kopf. thanks for this.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 04-Jun-10 at 01:14 | Permalink
  17. I remember some purists saying this was no “Acceptance”, but I always loved it and “Fried Milk” too. Mine has no insert. Cheers!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 05-Jun-10 at 03:15 | Permalink
  18. Mathieu

    Hi E.,

    I had this 12″ 2times (lost it the first time), and it never was with an insert. Prost.

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    You’ve seen every copy of the pressing? Good to know!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 06-Jun-10 at 08:41 | Permalink
  19. Niels

    Thanks! Had this on a xxxxx-th generation tape back in the day. Yep, these very same Tar Babies were responsible for those late-80s jazz-funk-lite records (I liked No Contest… I don’t know, I’m a sucker for flutes). The Tar Babies who did Rejected At The High School Dance (on a Distorted Levels reissue split EP) were a different bunch.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 06-Jun-10 at 16:03 | Permalink
  20. Niels

    Also, I think one of them was Old Skull’s dad/ manager!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 06-Jun-10 at 16:06 | Permalink
  21. ian

    …no insert in mine either…that makes only 994 to check now…(how do I know there was a press run of 1000?I don’t…just made it up…probably not far off tho)

    [Reply]

    Posted on 07-Jun-10 at 01:00 | Permalink
  22. Thanks! Now I don´t have to rip my own copy for awhile ;). On a scale from 1-10 Tar Babies is about 12. This record eats babies.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Jun-10 at 21:23 | Permalink
  23. Zach

    This one is great! Thanks for posting it. Strange how I’ve never checked out this band despite liking the Mecht Mensch EP quite a bit.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Jun-10 at 18:01 | Permalink
  24. Vin

    Great record. Face the Music / Respect Your Nightmares CD is available on Lexicon Devil Records.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 04-Jul-10 at 04:57 | Permalink
  25. skeeter

    This is not the same as Black Flag roadies band?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Aug-10 at 09:29 | Permalink
  26. skeeter

    Sorry I had them mixed up with Nigheist for some reason, it is Black Flag roadies band.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 29-Aug-10 at 11:20 | Permalink
  27. UFO CHA CHA

    WOULD LIKE TO RE-ISSUE THIS ON 7″.

    ANYONE HELP WITH CONTACT DETAILS??

    [Reply]

    Posted on 18-May-18 at 19:47 | Permalink

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