Steel Pole Bath Tub back together

I’m curious how many people are as excited by this as I am.

Although they claim they’ve never really broken up, they have emerged from seven or eight years of silence and released the last album they recorded together, appropriately titled “Unlistenable” (this was the verdict of their last label, who refused to release it). After playing a one-off show in San Francisco last November, they’re planning on heading back to the studio.

There were a handful of bands that were hugely influential to me. Jesus Lizard. Cows. Helmet. Steel Pole Bath Tub. The first time I saw them, I was expecting walls of sequencers and samplers and triggers, and a drummer with a huge fancy set adorned with cymbals. What did I see? Two amps. Two Radioshack tape decks with foot switch pedals. A ‘jazz’ drum kit, with two toms and two cymbals. How could this possibly be the same band? How could three people make that much noise? But, they did. Now, I sit and wonder if I may get one more chance, to see them live again.

To date, I don’t know that I’ve heard anyone else on the board mention them. How about it, any other SPBT fans out there?

Me. My band opened for them in Dallas once back when I was cool. I’m glad I got a head’s up, I’ll be looking for the new album now.

Um…heads up, no apostrophe. The shame.


Thanks for responding. What was your band like, and what did you play?

If you get the new album before me, let me know what you think of it.

SPBT was always one of those bands that I should have liked but never really got into. A roommate had Scars from Falling Down – That’s all I ever heard and I was never really impressed by it.
I’d be interested to hear a new one, but I can’t say I’m excited.


Well, I suppose I’m going to give the standard, rabid fanboy answer and say that the album you heard was not a very good indication of what SPBT was all about. I’m going to avoid slamming “Scars” because it was on a major; I just don’t think it was a very good album.

Now, I know it’s pretty much impossible to go back and listen to something that came out nearly ten years ago and get excited by it, unless it’s just mind-blowing fantastic. But most albums sound like the era they were created in, whether they like it or not. I’m not going to say that SPBT was some influential band that others have copied, but elements of their sound have become more common in ‘popular’ music. I have a friend in his early twenties whose a music fanatic, but he’d never heard the Pixies. I shrieked in horror and promptly gave him my SurferRosa/Come on Pilgrim CD, expected him to declare them his new favorite band. I mean, he’s given me at least four CD’s where the bands cover the Pixies, but he’d never heard the actual band.

His reaction? Ehhhhh. They’re good, no doubt. Even great. But there’s just not a lot of fire, a lot of point in trying to get on a train that left nearly twelve years ago. Their mark has been left, and other bands, some greater, most lesser, have picked up their torch and gone on with it. For him, listening to them was a bit of a history lesson, but not something he could get fired up about.

I was a bit hearbroken, but realize that I can’t blame him. You can’t really go back.

But that’s all another debate.

My point, in a roundabout way, is that, in spite of all I’ve said, I’d like to extend an offer to you, mouthbreather. Since our musical tastes seem so close in so many other regard, I’d like to send you a copy of what I feel is SPBT’s masterpiece, “Some Cocktail Suggestions”. Maybe it’ll change your mind, or maybe not. But it’s a better indicator of the band, and, more importantly, it’s a great album. Drop me a line and I’ll throw something together for you.