12 O'Clock Track: Phleg Camp, "Corn Licker" | Bleader

Monday, April 9, 2012

12 O'Clock Track: Phleg Camp, "Corn Licker"

Posted By on 04.09.12 at 12:00 PM

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Phleg Camp on the back cover of the 1991 double seven-inch Bully My Pushy
  • Phleg Camp on the back cover of the 1991 double seven-inch Bully My Pushy
When Peter Margasak posted last week about Eric Chenaux's new album, Guitar & Voice, he mentioned Chenaux's old rock band Phleg Camp—a name I hadn't heard in more than a decade. When I was in college in Houston in the early 90s, I had a cassette dub of Phleg Camp's 1992 LP Ya'Red Fair Scratch, recorded by Steve Albini—the Toronto trio's only proper full-length. I'm not sure that tape survived my house fire in 1998, and if it did, I neither know where it is nor have a machine that will play it. But dang I liked that record, so today's 12 O'Clock Track is some Phleg Camp: "Corn Licker," from a collection of seven-inches and demo tracks called Repeat Until Change.

Phleg Camp was never terribly popular, and it doesn't look like too many people out there still carry a torch for the band. I can't find embeddable audio from Ya'Red Fair Scratch anywhere on the Internet (though admittedly I don't know where all the secret doors are). I suspect this song was retitled and possibly rewritten for Ya'Red Fair Scratch, because I recognize the bit at the end. Just imagine its considerable badassery—I'm hearing a little Jesus Lizard and a lot of Mule—enhanced by the badassery of Albini's signature sound.

Because I'd read Peter's post, I already knew something about what Chenaux had gotten up to since Phleg Camp, but I was curious about the rest of the band. All three members have been in lots of groups over the past two decades, and Phleg Camp bassist Sean Dean currently plays in the Sadies. Drummer Gavin Brown is an A&R executive for Universal Canada and a hugely successful producer—most notably, he's worked on platinum albums from Three Days Grace and Billy Talent. Kinda drives home what a long time 20 years can be.

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