Friday, February 15, 2008

Those Jangly Eighties, Vol 7: The Fleshtones & Full Time Men

[For the background on this series, see here.]

The Fleshtones really weren't jangly, but they were part of the same alternative-rock scene as the jangly bands, so I'm throwing them in this series. Besides having one of the coolest names in rock, The Fleshtones were the ultimate 1980s garage rock band. They called their style "super rock," which as far as I can tell basically meant fuzz guitar, farfisa organ, and a reckless attitude. Band members define it this way:

Peter Zaremba: "Super Rock is all of the great elements that make rock & roll the great and vital thing that excites people rolled into one, without saying, this is disco or this is garage rock. Putting it together and rolling it up into one big greasy ball."

Bill Milhizer: "Super Rock is taking the best, most exciting elements of rock & roll, and exaggerating and amplifying them beyond proportion, with no apology whatsoever."
This is kind of a timeless concept, so The Fleshtones sound less dated than a lot of their '80s contemporaries. Too bad their first two full length albums--both great fun from start to finish--are out of print.

Roman Gods (1982):
The Fleshtones – I've Gotta Change My Life.
The Fleshtones – R-I-G-H-T-S.

Hexbreaker (1983):
The Fleshtones – Hexbreaker.
The Fleshtones – Right Side Of A Good Thing.

The jangliest music in the post comes from a Fleshtones' side project led by guitarist Keith Streng (with special guest Peter Buck of R.E.M., whose Rickenbacker is pictured above). In 1985, Full Time Men released a three-track 12" EP called I Got Wheels. It's been out of print forever but is pretty darn good. I especially like the title cut, which is a great lost jangle pop classic:

Full Time Men – I Got Wheels.
Full Time Men – One More Time.
Full Time Men – Way Down South.

In 1988, Full Time Men (without Buck) released an L.P. called Your Face My Fist, which included this "lost Fleshtones" number:

Full Time Men – High On Drugs.

Unlike most of the 1980's jangle pop bands, The Fleshtones are still going strong. You can stream their new release here: Yep Roc Records.

Find more information about The Fleshtones (old and new) here: Fleshtones Hall Of Fame.


Nazz Nomad said...

thanks for this- huge fan of the fleshtones

great site- added u to my bloglog

Ramone666 said...

Thanks for the Full Time Men, never heard them before. The Fleshtones rule. Shadowline is probably my fave song of theirs. Saw them live one time way way back: big party.

Paul said...

nazz- Got you right back. Thanks!

bob said...

you have the best blog in the world.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I've been looking for Hexbreaker for a while from the Fleshtones! Any chance of you posting "American Beat '84"??? I believe it was from a soundtrack around that time (Bachelor party???).

Paul said...


You are a very good friend.