APOCALYPSE HOBOKEN: self-titled: 4-CD box set

May 27, 2009

One decade. 125 tracks (including covers of Roy Orbison, Bikini Kill, Kraut and Nip Drivers; radio appearances; and live sets). Only 250 of these box sets were made by the band, complete with a thick booklet that reads like a story, covering the ups and downs and detailing each recording session or where the tracks were culled from. If you've never heard of Apocalypse Hoboken, don't worry. You're in good company. They went on largely ignored, especially on the west coast, where I had the privilege to see them, eight or so years into them being a band, to an audience of three. Chicago-based, starting roughly in 1990, and eventually blipping on the national radar as the oddest signing Kung Fu Records had ever made (due to the fact that they're neither dumb as posts, sappier than an orchard of maple syrup trees, or peddling hair-gel emo to pre-teens), they're a true headscratcher of a band, taking their cues from classic punk rock, straining it into other arenas that weren't quite indie rock, that weren't quite experimental… well, that weren't quite right. I say that with the highest praise possible. They never fit, but they made great music the entire life of the band. It's spastic, irreverent, and generous in their intentional fucking with audience expectation and pushing their own envelope as far as possible. (For starters, they had a double seven inch called Daterape Nation, a song called "The Devil Has a Pussy.") I wouldn't be so bold to compare them to Flipper – AH always had a solid, very rock-based instrumentation amid the chaos to keep the beatings nice – but they weren't strangers to pissing humorless people off. If you've never heard the band and you're in your local record store and see AH's House of the Rising Son of a Bitch, Microstars, or Inverse, Reverse, Perverse (the three easiest to find) I suggest you pick it up. If you're already a fan, email 'em soon. I'm not sure how long these boxes are going to last. I'm floored by mine. This is DIY done right. I'm still bummed they broke up

 –todd (Apocalypse Hoboken)