Hullabaloo is a punk/grunge band from Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, started in 1986 by guitarist/vocalist Sluggo and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist TQ. The band cites myriad influences from John Coltrane to Iron Maiden and King Diamond contributing to their at times "surreal" and "psychedelic" sound. They also employed unusual instrumentation for a band of their ilk; TQ playing trumpet, tenor sax and electric piano in addition to vocals.
Hullabaloo released several LPs and EPs on various labels over the years, and changed from a quartet to a quintet and back again with varying lineups. Guitarist Kevin James joined the band in 1989 and was a mainstay, with TQ, until the band fizzled out in 1993.
|Origin||Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States|
|Genres||Punk rock, grunge, alternative rock|
|Years active||1986-1993, 2013-present|
Toxic Shock Records
TQ (Thomas Quinn)|
Lloyd Dyson III|
Along with TQ and Sluggo, the original lineup included Lloyd Dyson III on bass and TQ's brother John Quinn on drums. Lloyd left the group within a few months to be replaced by Pete Foley. Both Lloyd and Pete appear on Hullabaloo's initial EP -- It's Not Enough to be Loud, You Have to Suck to. released by Gawdawful Records. Maximum Rock and Roll called it "Rowdy, dischordant, all hell-bent, psycho riotous musical mania."
Later in 1988, Hullabaloo collaborated with several other bands on Suffer This: A Compilation of Boston's Backwash, also on Gawdawful Records. Hullabaloo contributed three songs, including a cover of Judas Priest's Breakin' the Law.
In 1989 Hullabaloo was signed to the Toxic Shock out of Tucson, Arizona, which featured albums by such far-flung bands as Hickoids and Skin Yard They released their full-length Album, Beat Until Stiff, and toured the United States, performing with labelmates Hickoids, Jesus Chrysler, and House of Large Sizes at various dates. Other notable shows included Cows in Minneapolis, The Hell Cows in Seattle and The Mudwimmin in San Francisco. The Seattle show brought Hullabaloo to the attention of the burgeoning Seattle music scene, where they met Daniel House of C/Z Records and Nirvana.
Also in 1989 the band participated in Boston's famed Rock 'n' Roll Rumble. They narrowly lost their night to ultimate runner-up Ultra Blue, though they were favorably reviewed for their performance.
At the end of 1989, Pete decided to leave the band. A search for a new bass player proved fruitless, so JQ volunteered to move to bass, Chris Rossow was added on drums, and Kevin James, formerly of Loving Six, joined as a second guitar. The lineup produced a more grunge sound, with the dual guitar attack. They also continued to explore odd meters and unusual song forms. Dead Serious was also released in Europe on the Musical Tragedies label, where it caused quite a stir due to the cover art, being censored in Germany. The label blocked out the genitalia, then offered to send a sticker to replace it, if sent pornography in the mail.
As the band prepared to tour in support of Dead Serious a dispute with drummer Chris Rossow occurred, causing him to leave the band. At this point John returned to drums and Sluggo took over bass duties. The tour, which started with dates in Canada, abruptly ended in Dayton, Ohio when the band ran out of money.
Upon returning to Boston, this lineup recorded the LP Lubritorium for C/Z Records, after which Sluggo left the band for the west coast, where he founded the bands Ain't and The Grannies. Soon after John Quinn left as well.
The band released the EP The United Colors of Hullabaloo on Musical Tragedies to coincide with a European tour, which began in November 1992. The lineup at this time consisted of TQ, Kevin James and newcomers Scott Ewen on bass and Matt Lyon on drums.
In 1993 Sluggo gathered early, unreleased studio and live recordings together with the tracks from the It's Not Enough to be Loud... EP into a CD release entitled Regurgitator which was also released by Musical Tragedies.
The European tour was a moderate success, grabbing the attention of Zuma Records. Zuma released Bruiser; Hullabaloo's final studio album in 1994.
Over the years, the band released many songs on various compilations, notably Noise from Nowhere Vol. 2 on Toxic Shock which also included Hickoids, Sloppy Seconds, and House of Large Sizes, and Hard to Believe: Kiss Covers Compilation which featured Nirvana and The Melvins.
All of Hullabaloo's recordings have been re-issued in digital format, by Wondertaker Records, and are available on all digital purveyors. On Dec. 4, 2012 the band released, in digital format, a recording of their first performance at CBGB 25 years to the day after it happened. They subsequently released a recording of the band performing on WBCN's Boston Emissions show in 1990. They are currently planning to release, digitally and on CD, live performances from WMBR's Pipeline show to coincide with a reunion show for Pipeline's 25th anniversary.