This little piece of fluff music journalism typified the cronyism of the old-boy network that was the ’90s underground. Guilty as charged! What I failed to mention in this review was that I knew well the “brains” behind the Mono Cat 7 label (I don’t know why I put brains in quotes, that was mean). I think I even managed to squeeze some ad money out of these boys for the very issue this review appeared in (RW#2, 1994). Just another shameless plug and it worked: Mono Cat 7 would go on to become synonymous with iconic record labels like SST, Sub Pop and Matador, and what do I get?
MONO CAT 7 CATALOG
7” Singles (Mono Cat 7)
SCHWAH “I Love Bill Murray” b/w “The Living Most”
BUSHROCKS “Pigs Feet” b/w “Geek Love”
DITCHWEED “Tennessee Rider” b/w “Energy”
AFGHAN WHIGS/ASS PONYS “Mr. Superlove” b/w “You, My Flower”
SISTERN “5 Foot 9” b/w “Make a Move”
Dig this, I call up this guy who partly owns and operates Mono Cat 7 Records in Cincinnati and I say, “Hey, holmes, I’d really like to review your shit for this ultra-cool, cutting edge, way alternative music magazine that I write for. Dudes like, “No way, cool, I’ll send you copies of everything right away. What did you say the name of the magazine was?” “Chicago’s Subnation,” I says. Sucker.
So the records come in the mail a couple of days later and once again Muggsy’s charm does more good than harm, for Muggsy anyway.
In the quest for the next burgeoning music scene, certain publications have bent their regional concentration to the Queen City: Cincinnati, home of the Reds and the (heh, heh) Bengals and the rising star that is the Afghan Whigs and with any luck, Mono Cat 7 Records.
Mono Cat has only been committing themselves to vinyl and thus far they have a pretty impressive track record, no clunkers yet. The first release is by a band called Schwah featuring two of the label owners, Tim Davison and Jerrod Oldman (Jimmy D, local axe merchant, being the third party). “The Living Most” and “I Love Bill Murray” are haunting tunes, eerie catchy hooks; good guitar rock. Schwah has been compared to Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins, but then again, who the fuck hasn’t? I’ve seen them play live a couple times, chicks dig it, so you got to be into that.
Bushrocks: power punk, pop’n’roll, cool enough to overstuff yerself on their sugar-coated candy ride. Saw ‘em at Cincinnati’s Sudsy’s back in the day and they put on a more than OK live show.
Ditchweed is the, dare I say it, arrrrgh, GRUNGY record of the series. Sorry guys, I couldn’t resist. No, but seriously, I’ve been told the production wasn’t that great on this record but it still rocks, in a muddy in-the-ditch sort of way. “Tennessee Rider” is a stoner’s rock anthem wet dream. There’s some white trash genius behind this.
The Whigs lend more than just their name to help out their local scene. Doing a cover of local rockers, Ass Ponys’ tune, “Mr. Superlove.” The favor is returned by the Pony’s cover of The Whigs, “You, My Flower.” It’s a gem of a disc all around and hopefully, the big sell for the label.
The Sistern 7 incher; it’s hypnotic and kinda groovy in a reverby sort of way. It’s got strong vocals and well… I like it.
So there, I have not only justified my existence as a grossly underpaid music critic, but I have also paid for all these singles by pluggin’ them in this rag. I’ll even one-up Mono Cat by givin’ you their address in case you should want to check out these singles yourselves, Hell, buy me a beer and I may even give one to yah. (Address Deleted)–Muggsy McMurphy