The Buck Pets are one of the more famous bands to come out of the Deep Ellum scene in the mid '80s, but nobody suspected they'd get so far. They did everything different from the other bands. It started when Chris and Andy were in high school. They hung out together, and started a band with friends in the summer of '85, in Carrollton. Their first gig was a New Year's Eve party at their drummer Tony's house. Their first public performance was at Theatre Gallery on January 16th with Western Alliance. From then on, they had an easy time getting booked. They were paired up with League of None, The Peyote Cowboys, The Trees, and almost every time the Flaming Lips played Deep Ellum, the Buck Pets were on the bill. They played the Prophet Bar festival on the roof, Clearview, 500 Cafe, and the Circle A Ranch. In '87, they were invited to be on the "Sound of Deep Ellum" compilation, and they were the only band on the album to be picked up by Island Records. Ian Beach joined the band on bass as they were headed into the sessions for their critically-acclaimed eponymous debut album, which came out in '89, followed by "Mercurotones" in '90. Another change was in the wind, and the Buck Pets got a new drummer, Ricky Pearson. This line-up is on their newest CD "To The Quick." The Buck Pets' original drummer, Tony Alba, can be found in a tough new trio called Thunder Pussy. The recording included on this CD is the very genesis of the band. It's from a four-song session the band cut in June of '86 and represents the first ever recording of this Deep Ellum band. It's a rare glimpse indeed and can be found nowhere else but on this collection.Andy Thompson- vocals, guitar, Chris Savage- lead guitar, Chuck Smith- bass, and Tony Alba- drums. Recorded at Crystal Clear Sound. Produced by Keith Rust. Written by Chris Savage & Andy Thompson. * PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
THE BUCK PETS are Ellum's definitive garage band; from the suburbs of Carrollton, Texas, (genesis January '86), to the bloodshot eye of that cyclone known as Lone Star punk. That's real punk, too: distorted bar chords, forehead-level fuzz and saturation guitar. Via the democrat's link to raunch, these Pets re-energize rock's most ragged edge. As the man who wrote 'Louie, Louie' once said, 'Have Love - will travel.'-- Cynthia Rose
The Buck Pets Iron CockThe Buck Pets How Delicious She LooksProducer: Ron St. Germain T Good DayEngineer: Ron St. Germain R InamorataIsland 91049-2 A Hammer ValentineReleased: 1989 C More and MoreTotal Time: 40:57 K PerfectSource - CD (AAD) S A Little Murder LostRating **1/2 Song For Louise Post (CD bonus track) - The Bad Sleep Good, Or Not At All
If youthful, noisy, guitar-driven rock 'n roll bands are your thing,then you probably ought to check out The Buck Pets. Their debut albumon Island Records is a solid outing, though it doesn't offer much thatis different from the many other youthful noise bands of recent years.Time will be the telling factor with this band. Future releases willtell whether they'll remain as a part of the pack or whether they'llbreak away from the pack with a handful of those other bands that findsome way to reach for that little something extra. The something thatmakes the difference. Songs like "Hammer Valentine" and "Song ForLouise Post" make me think The Buck Pets have a shot at finding thatsomething extra and sustaining it for an entire album.-- © 1989 Michael A. Murphy
An anonymous fan reports that the Buck Pets had an "interesting, wonderful review: it started with the guy saying this was his favorite 'hard-rock' album of the year and ended with 'there's nothing about this album that I don't like.' It also praised their 'intelligent, non-sexist lyrics' which I thought was quite ironic coming from Playboy." (Does anyone have a copy of this review?)
Sometimes superlatives and comparisons play themselves out. The Buck Pets are really really good rock. They've got some of the best riffs this side of old Black Sabbath, and hooky melodies. Put another way: you can stomp and hum at the same time while listening to the Buck Pets. "Moon Goddess" opens the album with three slamming sections of rocking intensity; then "Pearls" slams in with the straightforward lyrics: "I'm not lookin' for Eldorado/I just want this red-head girl." (Believe me guys, I can really relate to these lyrics.) There's some good acoustic action on "Some Hesitation," and "Libertine" (the sole track produced by the Dust Brothers on the album) grooves like a good That Petrol Emotion song. This is much cooler than any of the crappy recycled hippie shit out there now. (Island)
by Greg Cook
The Buck Pets thrive in dingy bars, have long hair, play electric guitars, and in a live setting, they're always louder than shit. They're no slouches on vinyl either.
People cringe whenever the term "power pop" enters polite conversation, but the label is a fairly apt categorization of The Buck Pets' driving guitar sound. But the band's "pop" influences are less of the jangly, R.E.M. "college rock" ilk, owing much to the big-ass hair/big-ass guitar, Soundgarden, post-Zeppelin school. In other words, there ain't much separating this from metal 'cept some darn near dramatic guitar drones, traces of psychedelia and a little funk.
These guys crawled out from under a big ol' slab of punk rock back around 1985, and their progression to this smart piece of post-punky metalloid fuzz breathes with more energy and better songwriting than the band's past work. This record shows what a tad more variety and a lot more restraint can do.
-- Brian Brown
AMG EXPERT REVIEW: The Buck Pets were victims of bad timing. Had 1990's Mercurotones been released only a couple of years later in a post-Nevermind world, they would have had at least a really good shot at temporary stardom on the level of, say, Soul Asylum. For one thing, producer Michael Beinhorn gives this album the same radio-friendly gloss he gave to SA's breakthrough Grave Dancers Union two years later. (Indeed, the Dallas-based group proved a good half-decade ahead of the curve, having the Dust Brothers produce one track, the slippery "Libertine," long before Beck hooked up with them to create Odelay.) The group's songs are a rocking mix of late-period Hüsker Dü, Squirrel Bait, and Pleased to Meet Me-era Replacements, with the frantic edge softened by a country-ish twang here and there. Good solid stuff that deserved to be much bigger than it was. -- Stewart Mason
They came from Dallas. They wrote traditional American riff-rock leaning on the punk side of the fence getting just the right juice out of the guitar you thirst for. This LP wanders into all different kinds of territories - from the Dust Brother produced "Libertine" (acidic dance beat thang) to the beautiful acoustic coda "Hey Sunshine" (also a 7 inch single); to the total rockin masterpiece "Ave F Blues" (with it's killer harp solo by Jimmie Wood), where they are firmly rooted. Often compared to the 'Mats; S.T.A.B. (Chris Savage - lead guitars; Andy Thompson - lead vocals; Tony Alba - drums; Ian Beach - bass) released one more after this one before calling in quits (the sub-par To The Quick).-- J Laramie
Hey hey sunshine try to stay in the sky ... they sure were one hell of a hard rock band.
"Mid tempo pop rock with dirty guitar and subtly raspy vocals. The first two songs blend one into the other and have the same danceable but not disco beat. They do an admirable version of the Who's 'Bargain.' "Thanks to Kristi Bicknel for providing the transcription of this review.