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
|Members||TQ (Thomas Quinn)|
|Past members||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.
Beat Until Stiff is the second release, and first full-length album, by Hullabaloo. It was released in 1989 on Toxic Shock. For Beat Until Stiff, TQ had taken over as full-time lead singer for the band (though Sluggo sings on the tune "Taskmaster" and hidden track "Sea of Trash"), and his vocals that range from a growl to a scream begin to characterize the band's sound. The band's punk rock sensibilities are still in the forefront with fast, thrashy songs like "The Lickyerbutt Song" and "This is My Rifle", and with subjects like "Retardo Porn" and "Suicidal Maniac." But with the songs "Beat Until Stiff" and "Gotta Go" some slower tempos and heavier guitars are introduced, giving the album a proto-grunge feel. The trademark trumpet and saxophone solos are still present throughout. Kris Fell, in the Boston Phoenix said that the "lyrics on Beat Until Stiff are blunt, almost photographic representation of the grotesque..." This album features a guitar solo by Mr. Horribly Charred Infant of the Happy Flowers.Note that Hullabaloo rarely used their real names and instruments on the personnel listing of their records. The names on this record are their "British Invasion" names. These names are also scrawled upon a picture of the British invasion band The Hullaballoos on the inner sleeve.Beat Until Stiff's new songs were recorded and mixed at the Fort Apache South studio by Paul Q. Kolderie. Kolderie also re-mixed the two previously released songs for this album. The cover art for the album lists the producers as "Hugo & Luigi," but this is yet another allusion to The Hullaballoos, who were "packaged for U.S. consumption by Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, notorious vice presidents and A&R directors of Roulette Records.".Dead Serious (EP)
Dead Serious is the third release, and second EP by Hullabaloo. It was recorded in 1990 by Paul Kolderie at the Fort Apache Studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was released by Toxic Shock in the United States and Musical Tragedies in Europe. The band's lineup had changed significantly since their previous release, Beat Until Stiff. Their previous bass player (Pete Foley) had left the band. He was replaced on bass by former drummer John Quinn, who was in turn replaced on drums by Chris Rossow. In addition, the band added a second guitar player, Kevin James, formerly of noise-rock instrumental band The Loving Six. James also produced the recording.The five original songs on the EP show that the transition started with Beat Until Stiff had completed, as band's sound had moved away from punk, more fully into the territory of grunge. The extra guitar makes for a much heavier sound, and the tempos are slower and songs longer that on previous releases. Nonetheless, the band continued to experiment with unusual song forms and odd meters. And the unusual instrumentation comes to the forefront: the song "Die Laughing" begins with a prominent, blaring trumpet solo, and "Curse of Civilization" features TQ on an extended sax solo as well.
The record also includes a cover of Led Zeppelin's "The Rain Song" in which the organ parts are transcribed and played by TQ on saxophones.
This record caused quite a stir in Europe due to its cover art. The cover was censored, but the Musical Tragedies label allowed consumers to obtain a sticker with the missing organs if they sent in pornography.The CD, released in 1991, includes all of Beat Until Stiff as well, plus Hullabaloo's cover of Deep Purple's "Highway Star", previously released on the 7" compilation single "Noise from Nowhere Vol. 2" on Toxic Shock.As with Beat Until Stiff before it, Dead Serious was recorded at the Fort Apache Studios by Paul Q. Kolderie.It's Not Enough to be Loud, You Have to Suck to.
It's Not Enough to be Loud, You Have to Suck to. is the debut recording of Hullabaloo, released through their own Gawdawful Records label in 1988. According to an anecdote on the band's Facebook page, the misspelling of the final "to" in the title is intentional; the title comes from an epithet written on the wall of the bathroom in the band's practice space. The band assumed this was directed at them, as their practice room was adjacent to the bathroom. They copied the graffito verbatim and used it as the title for the EP.The band clearly emerges from the post-hardcore scene inhabited by such bands as Killdozer, Scratch Acid and the Butthole Surfers. They experiment with unusual instrumentation—distorted amplified trumpet, saxophone, and Wurlitzer electric piano are present here—and unusual song forms.Regurgitator is the CD reissue of It's Not Enough to be Loud... It was released in 1993 by Musical Tragedies. In addition to the six tracks on It's Not Enough to be Loud... it includes several unreleased studio tracks recorded around the same time, and covers of In the Dark by Toots and the Maytals, Breaking the Law by Judas Priest, Hole Lotta Rosie by AC/DC and a live recording of New York Groove made famous by Ace Frehley. While the unreleased tracks are not as complete or polished as the others, they show further experimentation with unusual instrumentation, song forms and time. Regurgitator specific tracks are listed as such below.Lubritorium
Lubritorium is the fourth release and second full-length album by Hullabaloo. It was released in 1991 on C/Z Records.Lubritorium was recorded after an aborted tour that took them through some apparently tough times in Canada—as evidenced by their song "Blow me Fucking Canada." The band returns to a quartet format here, with Sluggo on bass and John back behind the drum kit. This was the final appearance of Sluggo in the band before moving to San Francisco, though he is rejoining the band for a reunion in 2014.This record features five new original songs, plus re-recordings of three older songs. The older songs had remained in their live repertoire over the years; the new versions represent the evolution of the songs through the changing lineups. There is a reggae cover of Kiss's Calling Dr. Love; the band had previously released a straight version of the song on C/Z's Hard to Believe: Kiss Covers Compilation. The record also has three tracks marked "Filler #1-3"; see notes below.
This is the third of their records recorded at the legendary Fort Apache Studios, this time with Lou Giordano behind the controls instead of Paul Kolderie.The cover art is a painting by Slaughter Shack singer and artist Colin Burns.