Monday, April 11, 2016

"Caution: Fun Garage Rock Inside"

In advance of the Fleshtones' 40th anniversary this year, I'll be combing through the Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America's Garage Band archives for some little-seen nuggets. This one'e new to me: a promo "lab kit" sent out by Ichiban Records in support of the Fleshtones' 1995 Laboratory Of Sound, recorded by Steve Albini. Via the Ebay listing:
The Fleshtones—Laboratory Of Sound, Promo CD kit, includes sealed CD, 2 viles, protective gloves, a tiny glass container, in a plastic, zip sealed, "specimen bag".  Has a sticker on front that says "Official Fleshtones Laboratory of Sound Lab Kit, This Fleshtones Lab Kit belongs to ----------". 

I don't think that the promotion helped all that much. Laboratory Of Sound didn't sell well, but the recording experience did lead to the band's late-1990s/early-2000s era of self-producing with Paul Johnson, a period that generally revived the band.

Meanwhile, Peter Zaremba was annoyed for another reason. From Sweat:
Peter was stymied by Ichiban’s publicists who again overruled his choice for the album art, an in-joke photo montage of the guys devolving from Bill in a lab coat to Keith as a longhaired Hippie Rock Guitarist. Ichiban chose a somewhat dull, green-and-black color palette and a generic cover image of a scientist-at-work. “To avoid sales and people noticing the record, Ichiban actually came up with a camouflaged record placed next to other brightly-colored records, so that no one would even notice it,” says Peter, drolly. “And many people didn’t.”
What might have been. The image was used on the vinyl version released on Hitch-Hyke Records ‎in Greece.

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