December 2001 • Rockbites Alternative Daily

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Rube Waddell’s bemusing, captivating noise
10 December 2001
San Francisco eclectic, low-fi DIY trio Rube Waddell (Larry, aka Reverend Wupass; Kirk, aka Captain Feedback; and Freddie, aka Mahatma Boom Boom) inhabit a mental & musical space several klicks outside of any mainstream you can imagine—commercial, college, whatever. In November they released their second album, Bound For The Gates Of Hell, on Oakland, California indie Vaccination Records.
    The new 14 song, 56 minute set careens among raw electric blues, oom-pah music, Kurt-Weill theatricality, string-band thump, rockabilly, warped Americana, and Residents-esque surrealism—all spawned into zombie life on a mix of store-issue and handmade instruments. As you listen, don’t bother wondering if they’re fucking with your head because they most certainly are.
    Rube Waddell (like another contemporary, iconoclastic band, Garland Buckeye, they take their name from a dead American baseball pitcher) came together on the streets of San Francisco in the mid ’90s. All buskers, they favored setting up on a spot in front of the Leeds shoe store for the obvious pun. In 1998 they released their 74 minute debut album Stink Bait on Vaccination. The same year saw the limited edition release of two versions of Hobo Train, a single-sided, six-song vinyl 12". The first 500 had pictures of the real Waddell printed onto the non-playing side, but “...after we suffered the fumes of nasty vinyl screen ink, we decided the second pressing wouldn’t include this feature.”
    Hobo Train is long out of print on the original vinyl, but Vaccination reissued the disc in October on CD along with seven bonus tracks: two recorded during the original Hobo Train sessions and five taped live on the floating, touring rock venue Motorschiff Stubnitz in the harbor at Rostock, Germany.
    Tracks on Bound For The Gates Of Hell are I’ve A Lovely Piece Of Lovely Crumpet In My Pocket, Jezebel (Wayne Shanklin), Assoi (Appropriated Javanese Dangdut Melody), Non Compos Mentis, Skippy Said, Stink Bait, The Ballad Of Little Billy Barnes, Wish I Had Answered (traditional), Nadie Va Al Cielo, Mannix, Born To Suffer, A Stink Bait Reprise, Bukka’s Bullshit Millenarian Blues, and The Cosmic Integral.
    Three bites out of five.

Rockbites ratings  5: life changing, 4: stunning, 3: captivating, 2: amusing, 1: annoying.

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