Andrew Hamlin 11 a.m., Dec. 26
Sound description: Gothic punk for punky goths.
RIYL: Sonic Youth, Drive Like Jehu, Rocket from the Crypt, Back Off Cupids, Hot Snakes, the Sultans
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- "Rock 'N' Roll Protoplasm" · Oct. 23, 2013
Inception: San Diego, 1986
Current Status: Split in 1990.
Influences: Mission of Burma, Sonic Youth, the Cramps, Rocket from the Tombs, Blag Flag, Dead Kennedys
Pitchfork was a post-hardcore band formed in 1986 and disbanded in 1990. They are most known as the first "real" band of guitarist John Reis, who would later gain fame as the frontman in Rocket from the Crypt, and as the first collaboration between Reis and singer Rick Froberg (the two would later form Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes). As an aspiring visual artist and illustrator, Froberg provided most of the band's artwork while Reis developed his studio skills by acting as producer on their records.
The lineup consisted of Rick Froberg on vocals (who would sometimes use the stage name Rick Farr or Rick Fork), John Reis on guitar and piano, Don Ankrom on bass, and Joey Piro on drums. In 1988 they recorded their first and only vinyl 7", Saturn Outhouse, consisting of three songs; it was released the following year.
Froberg recalls “[John Reis was a] cool guy with cool friends. Had a band. [We met at] Mariner’s Point Anarchy Picnic, 1986. I think we both liked RKL and Mystic releases — Don’t No, Dr. Know, Rat Pack, Manifest Destiny. But I turned him on to Blood Lake. John taught me to dress well. I see him all the time. Hot Snakes just did a bunch of shows.”
In 1989 Ankrom left the band and was replaced by Nick Frederick. They entered Radio Tokyo Studios and recorded their only album, Eucalyptus, which was released the following year on local label Nemesis Records. Froberg provided artwork for the album while Reis acted as producer. The band broke up shortly thereafter.
Following the demise of Pitchfork, Reis and Froberg formed the band Drive Like Jehu. Reis also formed Rocket from the Crypt and would continue playing in both bands until Drive Like Jehu's disbanding in 1995. From 1999 to 2005, Reis and Froberg again reunited in the band Hot Snakes. In 2003 Reis re-released Eucalyptus and Saturn Outhouse as a single CD through his label Swami Records. Froberg's current band is the Obits, formed in 2006, while Reis formed the Night Marchers in 2007.
The three-song vinyl 7" from 1989, Saturn Outhouse, was re-issued on CD in 2003, as part of the re-issue of Pitchfork’s only full-length LP, Eucalyptus.