Rare or Unreleased 14: US Maple

US Maple: «Sin City» [mp3]
Ah, Friday. Time to hit the tiles, go on a bender, paint the town red, etc. And what better way to usher in the weekend than a classic AC/DC tune, mangled by some deranged avantniks stumbling and rambling through it with no sense of reverence, respect or technical skill whatsoever?

So let me take you back—way back—to 1995, when comic book publishing house/record company Skin Graft released a quadruple sided 7" single, split between four scuzzy bands tarnishing each their AC/DC song. The most well-known of the bands was Steve Albini's Shellac, but even they were no match for the unhinged frenzy—part rage, part dementia—of the criminally overlooked (and by now defunct) US Maple.

Around this time, I saw US Maple live, in my unsuspecting hometown of Trondheim, Norway. People were positively agape as they watched the inscrutable spectacle up onstage, unable to tell whether they should pogo, fold their arms across their chests, or dare go up front. With the singer flailing and jumping wildly—wearing a white shirt (made see-through by copious amounts of manly musk ejaculating out of his pores) and some kind of a white glove (Michael Jackson-stylee), yelping the songs in a nasal whine I didn't realise were actually words until months later, when I got hold of a copy of their obscure debut CD—the floor was empty, save for myself and two old bums, who'd inexplicably made it into the venue and were absolutely loving it. They felt right at home as singer Al Johnson repeatedly jumped on top of skinsman Pat Samson's long-suffering drumset, bashing the main cymbal for some kind of punctuation. Samson, in turn, would ground the band in beat and keep time reasonably well, apart from lapses when he'd explode into violent rages, hitting at the drums seemingly haphazardly, screaming at the top of his lungs as if he'd already had enough of this shit! Up front, guitarist Todd Rittman would shuffle his heels so as to move to the left, then to the right, then left again, without ever actually taking steps with his legs, dancing to a melody and rhythm that simply weren't there. All the while, the other guitarist, respectably attired Mark Shippy, sat lounging languidly in a low camping chair, strumming his own, private melodies.

For a band that contrived to «deconstruct» rock'n'roll, they sure made a visceral impact. What a treat! Apart from revolutionary militias, it's not every day you get assaulted by intellectuals…

Anywho, here's one of their first recordings, a rare, vinyl-only deconstruction of AC/DC, of all bands.

It fuckin' rawks!


  1. Når kommer GvsB?

  2. Åh, det kommer! Watch this space... (Må jo gi deg en grunn til å komme tilbake, gang på gang.)