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The Malarians | Know/Finished In This Town

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Rock: 60's Rock Metal/Punk: Garage Punk Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Know/Finished In This Town

by The Malarians

Following up the recent reissue of Massachusetts' garage kings the Malarians' 1986 LP In The Cool Room, here are the band's 1988's blistering five-track vinyl EP Know and the equally feverish 1989 live recording Finished In This Town in a deluxe package.
Genre: Rock: 60's Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Good Times
3:16 $0.99
2. No
4:46 $0.99
3. Once Upon a Time (In Your Mind)
3:03 $0.99
4. Hexon Blood Beat
2:04 $0.99
5. What's New, Pussycat?
2:18 $0.99
6. Get Outta Dallas!
3:12 $0.99
7. Sky Wild
3:11 $0.99
8. Broke Down
3:27 $0.99
9. Action Woman
2:41 $0.99
10. Prison Habits
3:15 $0.99
11. #1 Hit Song
2:12 $0.99
12. Brightness
5:01 $0.99
13. Mighty Idy
2:25 $0.99
14. Paranoia
2:45 $0.99
15. Astral Plane
2:44 $0.99
16. She Lied
2:10 $0.99
17. This
4:33 $0.99
18. Hexon Blood Beat
2:56 $0.99
19. No/Good Times
4:01 $0.99
20. Don't Want You Either
3:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Following up the recent reissue of Massachusetts' garage kings the Malarians' 1986 LP In The Cool Room, here are 1988's blistering five-track vinyl EP Know and the equally feverish 1989 live recording Finished In This Town in a deluxe CD and digital package.

The Malarians' most successful release, "Know" featured the band's classic line-up: Mal Thursday, Johnny Tomorrow, Bob Medley, Slater Awn, and Lime Ricky. The record went top 20 on the CMJ charts and sold out of its original pressing in weeks.

With only Thursday and Awn remaining, the Malarians made an attempt at replicating the MC5's "Kick Out the Jams" LP by recording the new line-up, featuring Mike Sewell of the Lonely Moans, Steve Healey of Wingtip Sloat, and Peter "Spec" McHugh, at their second-ever gig with a mobile truck at Springfield's Zone Art Center. "Finished In This Town" was given an abortive release in 1990, when the band broke up prior to the pressing of the CD. Only the Cassette was issued, in very limited quantities.

Together at last, the Malarians' "Know"/"Finished In This Town" 20th Anniversary Limited Edition CD from Chunk Archives.

"Know" produced by Sean Slade and Jim Fitting

"Finished In This Town" produced by Sean Slade and Mal Thursday

From "The Chunk Records Story" by J.M. Dobies (a/k/a Mal Thursday):

Having grown disenchanted with the sound on our first album -- the overproduction, the dry mix, the Jiffy Pop drum sound -- we shopped around for another studio. I wanted to record at Fort Apache, a funky 16-track studio in South Boston where the Pixies had recorded some of their best stuff, and that's where we ended up. We worked with Jim Fitting, from the band Treat Her Right (which featured a pre-Morphine Mark Sandman) and Sean Slade, who would go on to co-produce Radiohead's The Bends and Hole's Live Through This, among others.

Unfortunately, we were a little short on cash, the chump change we made on gigs not being enough to fund another full-length. So we had to make do with an EP, which was a drag, because we were at our peak musically, had better songs, and we'd finally found a good place to record. We'd also figured out how to better market the band (although we were still pretty much clueless), and our second record, the Know EP, got good reviews, radio airplay all over the country, and charted on CMJ. For the cover art, we used an old photo of me taken by my Dad back in 1966 (our first LP's cover art was a variation on the Beatles' first album, Please Please Me, with the Northampton State Mental Hospital standing in for the EMI building).

All five songs on the record were worthwhile: "Good Times," was a strong cover of a hilarious Texas garage 45 by Nobody's Children; "Hexon Blood Beat," another number we borrowed from Kent and Eric's old punk band, was a vicious, hard-driving instrumental; "No," which started out as a Cramps-like creeper, had evolved into a gothic epic of malevolent fury; my favorite cut, "Once Upon a Time (In Your Mind)," which I co-wrote with Bobby, was a menacing blend of baroque folk-rock and all-out stomp; and our version of "What's New, Pussycat?" always used to slay 'em when we played it live.

However, we failed Economics 101 because we'd used a significant portion of the run as promos to get all that press and airplay, quickly sold out of the copies we had left, and never were able to repress. Instead, we went back to Fort Apache to record the Great Lost Malarians Album. So it goes.

CH1004: The Malarians: Finished In This Town

For reasons once clear and now obscure, the band began to disintegrate in 1989. For one thing, Kent had developed a severe chemical dependency problem, and road trips to gigs and to the recording studio often required a detour to the methadone clinic in Holyoke. Johnny was growing frustrated with a lot of things, and looked forward to having "a real band" with a "real singer." Bobby had an acoustic duo where he could indulge his obsession for XTC and "songcraft." When I started a side project with Kent and my friends the Lonely Moans, so I could play some Stooges-like stuff and be free of "group democracy," the other guys took this as an opportunity to bolt. Johnny, Bob, and Eric tendered their resignations during a rehearsal, to which I responded, "Well, I shall have to replace you then." It was straight out of Spinal Tap.

Kent and I soldiered on, honoring a commitment to open for Treat Her Right at the Rat in Boston. We used a cassette of backing tracks from our unreleased album and one from the Beach Boys' Stack-o-Tracks in place of the departed members. It was Garage Karaoke. When I explained to Mark Sandman that three-fifths of the Malarians had quit the band, he replied sagely, "That's sort of like when three-fifths of a marriage breaks up."

Out of spite, sheer orneriness, and lack of better things to do, Kent and I continued the band, recruiting Mike from the Moans, Steve from Wingtip Sloat, and a guy named Peter "Spec" McHugh (we called him that because we told him he had gotten the gig "on spec," meaning we didn't have to pay him). We hired a mobile recording truck and taped our second gig, at the Zone in Springfield, scene of many triumphant shows in the past.

The resulting live album, produced by me and Sean Slade, was a cassette-only release, because by the time it came to make the CDs, the band was no more. Kent and I overdubbed most of the lead vocals at Fort Apache, owing to the poor performances that had been captured live. I remember I had to talk him out of committing suicide prior to the dubbing session. "Just cut your vocals, man," I told him, "Then you're free to do what you have to do."

Since the live engineer had neglected to mic the audience, we covered up the depressing lack of crowd noise with random soundbites from biker movies, heavy on the Dennis Hopper.

After the 1990 release of Finished In This Town, I decided to get out of the rock & roll business altogether, but, like Michael Corleone in Godfather III, "they keep pulling me back in!" I started another garage band, Mal Thursday and the Cheetahs, and revived the Chunk label. But that story will have to wait until the next episode.



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