Tuesday

HUGGY BEAR - RUBBING THE IMPOSSIBLE BURST






Punk rock may turn out to be as durable as the blues. The music that marked rock's adolescent temper tantrum in the 1970's has become the idiom for disaffected youths, who accept nothing from their elders except punk rock's shouted vocals, clattering drums and choked power chords. The music's discordant noise and defiant amateurism keep it on the fringes of pop, to be rediscovered and renewed by wave after wave of marginalized fans and musicians.




Huggy Bear, calling its members "boy-girl revolutionaries," has added some Situationist (anarchic Marxist) theory to the riot-grrrl rhetoric, with lines like "They wanna make a T-shirt out of your dreams." The group's lead vocals are shared by a male, Chris Morbius, and a female, Nicki Elliot, who both sing about "my boyfriend" and about "feeling like girls, even the boys"; Mr. Morbius bawls a little louder. The band kicks up a righteous rumble, with Ms. Elliot's bass pounding alongside Karen Hill's drums, as Billy Karren and Joe Johnson on guitars churn up dissonant riffs and feedback. The songs pounded, howled and stopped short, in classic punk style.
(Jon Pareles New York Times 1993)



From Wikipedia,

During the course of their existence, they refused to be photographed or interviewed by mainstream press, nor gave their full names once they began releasing records formally. In spite of a major label bidding war, Huggy Bear stuck with Wiiija, an indie label.

“ The underground in London had deteriorated totally, there wasn't really much of an alternative . . . 'indie' just became an abstract term for a style of music, not ideas or values, 'cause they were all signing to major labels. The notion of selling out wasn't important. Punk rock wasn't important. Fanzines were seen as a sad joke, so we had to explain stuff that might have been obvious to American kids but was alien to young British kids. The reasons for being independent were snorted at.”




Rubbing The Impossible To Burst (Wiija)
1. Katholic Kunt
2. High Street Jupiter Supercone
3. Snail Messenger Loss
4. Single Bullets




The strange thing was that Huggy Bear’s musical template was hardly revolutionary. It was a relatively straightforward mix between the twee, non-macho, post-C86 bands such as Heavenly and The Field Mice, caught up in the DIY cassette and fanzine culture emanating from labels such as Calvin Johnson’s K Records, and Bristol, England’s Sarah Records, and the noise/pop experimentation of the sonic overlords/ladies Lydia Lunch and Sonic Youth…with a little Fifties beat poetry thrown in. No, it wasn’t so much the music that was revolutionary, as what they did with it. Scratch that. Huggy Bear’s deliberately na├»ve, anti-societal approach to playing guitar—there is no right and wrong way to play guitar, to paint a picture, to view art—was revolutionary inasmuch as it challenged accepted mores, forced listeners to re-evaluate their entire approach to music.



Kiss Curl For The Kid's Lib Guerrillas (Wiija)
1. Derwin
2. Sizzlemeet
3. Concrete Life
4. Carnt Kiss





Her Jazz (Catcall/Wiija)
1. Her Jazz
2. Prayer
3. Pro No From Now




In a way, the act of declaring oneself a revolutionary is revolutionary in itself. Despite their musical leanings, Huggy Bear with their rudimentary anarcho-syndicalism, ideas of equal ‘prime movers’ (not leaders) and impassioned feminism had more in common with mischief-mongers and Government-baiters Crass than any of the toy rabbit-clutching bands that followed. One listen to the fury threatening to devour the songs alive on their Wiiija compilation Taking The Rough With The Smooch proves that.
(The Outbursts of Everett True)




Our Troubled Youth (Catcall/Kill Rock Stars)
1. Jupiter Re-Entry
2. T-Shirt
3. Blow Dry
4. Nu Song
5. Into The Mission
6. Hopscotch
7. Aqua Girl Star
8. February 14



Don't Die (Wiija)
1. Dissthentic Penetration
2. Teen Tighterns
3. No Sleep
4. Shaved Pussy Poetry
5. Pansy Twist

All the tracks mentioned above are unavailable in the states but can be downloaded here Huggy Bear Vol.1





18 comments:

  1. flit
    thanks a load for posting this, I hadn't heard of Huggy Bear before, they great in that line of Crass and The Fall, very English but via No Wave somehow.
    I guess you have heard of Selfish Cunt who are similar annd also David Cronenbergs Wife who are less well known but currently massive in London. They have a myspace site with some stuff on it and they are well cool at communicating with fans if you message them.
    Hope ya all cool and lovely
    Nick XX

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  2. Flit
    Thanks for posting the music, it's good, sorta reminds me somehow of Sonic Youth, idk why there or why I have such a strong odd reaction to the teddy bear in the first video (! lol, hmm). It's rly cool music, always up for anything of this sort even tho I suck at remembering bands so if I heard something I like I spend like ten minutes on Google with the lyrics trying to figure it out lol.
    Doug

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  3. Nick, I am gonna check DCW, thanks for the tip.
    Nickster, Flitster (LOL) we are gonna have to start calling Dennis 'The Coopster', I will start.
    Much love Buddy

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  4. Doug, Cool to see you here. Glad you liked Huggy Bear... I think we need more angry queercore. Wanna start a band?

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  5. I know Nickster whats he like, thats like something ma dad would say... and I'm trying to get him to bite on my I saw Celine the other day doing his gardening but he's just ignoring me...LOL..maybe for the best.
    HHey will you sing my work as lyrics if ya start a band....please..please.
    anyway hope ya well
    Nick XX

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  6. YES!!!! I love Huggy Bear so much ... sighs ... yes!

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  7. Cool Thomas, I kind of got obsessed with the unavailability of their material in the states. I am searching for the Peel sessions so I can make a Vol.2 comp.

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  8. Billy Karren wasnt in Huggy Bear, he was in Bikini Kill. Jo Johnson was a woman, so it wasnt spelled with an E.
    Other than that, spot on.

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  9. dkeshiki, Hey, Thanks for the correction. I am gonna check out yr blog at LJay

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  10. Bill Karren was also in Huggy Bear--he played guitar with them on their only U.S. Tour in Fall 1993.

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  11. Thanks Tobi, and a bow for you.

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  12. Once again....Thank You for this great post,I never had been fortunate of catching H.B. live here in the states, however I did manage to catch many Riot Grrrl bands who played in the Boston area 91-95 Bikini Kill,Heavens To Betsy,Cheesecake,Team Dresch,Excuse 17,Chelsea On Fire,Double Zero,God Is My Co Pilot.. etc etc... you oughta check out The Element Of Crime "The Things You Do For Love" from what I understand it has Mobius of Huggy Bear (correct me if Im wrong)

    and I believe the only 7' that was released by E.O.C. on Soul Static Sound record label...my advice is to get this, if youre lucky enough to find it that is..

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  13. FRANKKUBB, Cool you liked the post. Did you see Tobi Vail former Bikini Kill member and Kill Rock Stars legend commented above! Fuckin cool eh?

    I am gonna search out your suggestion and check out your Blog.
    Thanks.

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  14. Hey thankyou..I loved Huggy Bear back then and I still do, but only had a little of their stuff on old cassette, so ta v. much.
    Once they played in Brighton and I was told it was one of their "girls only" gigs and it scared me off..I shoulda gone anyway!!

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  15. If anyone still wants that "Element Of Crime" E.P.
    ("The Things You Do For Love") it's on a great Blog called "The Blackened Air" and available for download..here:
    http://theblackenedair.blogspot.com/search/label/element%20of%20crime

    Or go straight here for download:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?yibt3jm5m5z

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  16. pinkpressthreat, thanks for your link and your support. Cool to have you here!
    FLIT

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  17. Great page. I've never seen that poster with the bloody face; they were the most authentic face of radical resistance I've seen first hand. I have some HB photos and a culture/poetry blog very much influenced by the Huggy Bear aesthetic if anyone's interested (http://www.apsharpoetry.blogspot.com/.)
    Thanks
    Aaron

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  18. Wow, thank you so much for this--I've had such trouble finding Huggy Bear stuff for years!

    xx

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