Monday 17 April 2017

Where's My Towel/Industry Standard - Big Boys


I cannot believe this record's status isn't 'post-punk classic'. Minutemen, James Chance, Mission Of Burma and even Wipers get all the kudos for this kind of thing. Is it not the best American punky post-punk LP though? Big Boys were Texans who made ye olde angular punk that got pretty fuckin' fonkay at times. It was possibly a big influence on third albums by Meat Puppets and REM. This 1981 album didn't get a mention in Rip It Up & Start Again or its pdf appendix Discography Part Two: Post-punk Esoterica. Where's My Towel... is pretty hard to categorise which might be a reason it remains on the outside of subterranean rock historyAll Music Guide once again prove their irrelevance by giving it only three stars. Just because Where's My Towel... doesn't rate in the rock-crit consensus doesn't mean it's not magnificent though.

MCR, a Light In The Attic subsidiary, thankfully rescued this recording from languishing in obscurity in 2013. There was a cd compilation I've got, The Skinny Elvis on Touch & Go in the early 90s, which contained this LP in its entirety along with the Frat Cars EP and their side of Live At Raul's. The Skinny Elvis was endorsed by Rollins, Coley, Moore & Mackaye in its sleeve-notes (How 1993). However I don't need those dudes to tell me what a fabulous record this is. Maybe the cult of Big Boys is still building and one day they'll be more than just a footnote to Scratch Acid, Rapeman et al.


  1. I can definitely hear the mission of burma comparisons early in the album and also minutemen and even r.e.m. Not sure why I've heard of mob but not big boys. I really like the space in this recording. Bass, vocals, guitar and drums seem to have equal standing. I also like the occasional use of bass chords. A good and equal dose of society/government paranoia and angst. Thanks Space Debris!!

    1. the mission of burma comparison is spot on. i can't believe i've found this blog. these familiar names popping up from my past in country victoria.

    2. Not being a proper muso I don't really know about bass chords. Is that what Lemmy used to do?

  2. It's a bit like The Dictators meets Gang Of Four in a hardcore jam innit?

    Rock history is pretty phoney. It seems to have a thing going on on where certain artists are protected, some are allowed to grow as time goes by and the rest are just neglected. I get the feeling money and financial interests are at stake. It would be interesting to investigate connections between record companies, book publishers, documentary makers, magazine publishers, other media etc. to see what is up? You could write an essay and probably a book on this topic.