Bobbing for Pavement is one of the many early 90's Seattle based compilations. Released in 1991 on the very short lived Rathouse Records it was almost unobtainable until a re-release by Broken Records. It's still pretty difficult to find and tends to carry a dollar value that seems a bit absurd for the music contained within. While a lot of the rare or hard to find Seattle compilation's that came out in the late 80's and the early 90's had a lot of hidden gems by bands that went on to bigger and better things, or tracks that were impossible to find elsewhere, Bobbing for Pavement lacks both of those things. To my knowledge the tracks by the bands here are otherwise unavailable, but the bands themselves aren't exactly bands that you go scouring for rare material. With the exception of maybe The Gits and Gas Huffer the majority of the artists featured here sunk into obscurity. They don't pull all their artists from one particular label, which is cool. Considering Rathouse only released a small handfuls of seven inches and two compilations in their short lifespan.
The album contains four artists on each side playing two songs a piece. The first is Gas Huffer with the tracks ''A Disgruntled Ex-Employee'' and ''Big Car Pile-Up''. I am a fan of the raw, punk rock spy music that Gas Huffer has perfected over the years, but both of these songs are more of nods to their early albums like ''Janitors of Tomorrow''. Which makes sense considering they were recorded early in their career. ''Big Car Pile-Up'' is probably the better of the two tracks if only because of the dismal lyrics and boxy fuzzed out guitar. The Gits are the second band on this album, and probably the most well known. The first track, taken straight from a line in the David Lynch classic 'Blue Velvet' is so aptly titled ''Heres to Your F**k''. And for all of us who remember that scene in the movie, we will like this song just because of the title. But like their other track ''Ain't Got No Right'', it's a straight ahead song in true Gits fashion. A diehard Gits fan shouldn't pass up on this album.
The last two bands on side A were new to me prior to this comp. D.C. Beggers and Bay of Pigs. I really liked both songs by D.C. Beggers. They play in the same vein as The Gits, with a female vocalist that songs more like Frightwig or Babes in Toyland than The Gits. Since I have no other music to compare this band too, this comp. did a great job at turning me on to a new band. Bay of Pigs on the other hand I wasn't quite as impressed with. They only have one song and I'm hoping it's a novelty because it's not even worth a mention really. It's titled ''Pirate Song'' and that's exactly what it songs like. Some beer soaked yo ho ho, pirates life for me garbage. I mean, it's fun and all but that's not enough for me to go out and want to hear more of their music.
The second side to this album starts with another band that I wasn't familiar with, Big Brown House. But after hearing both tracks they offer, I took a slight interest. ''The Raft'' and ''Another Drunken Winter''. They sort of sound like a generic Seattle band of the time period, but still good enough to possible look more into. They have the same feeling as bands like Swallow or Blood Circus. The next band Hammerbox is a band that I personally never was a fan of. They've always reminded me of Pearl Jam with a female vocalist. I'll be honest though, both tracks they do on this album are better than anything that I've heard off of their full lengths. ''Starry Matter'' and ''Garnet Mile''. The latter being the better. They not quite as polished as their full length albums, but I've always disliked Carrie Akre's voice. It has that same weird obnoxious howl Eddie Vedder has become famous for.
The last two bands, I was aware of but not well versed in. I had known the band ''My Name'' from the Terikayi Ashtma comps. I liked the song they did for that, and I like the song they do for this, ''Rap, Cholos and Oi'' but not near enough to go out and buy any of their albums. It sounds a little like The Warlock Pinchers or hints of Duh. The last band, The Derelicts are an early Seattle punk band that were never really lumped into the whole grunge schtick, but still played all the circuits and recorded with Jack Endino. Their song here ''Dirty City Rotten Life'' is a pretty basic tune that doesn't really impress, or disinterest.
Overall this is a pretty basic Seattle comp. that I wouldn't advise anyone to pay a high dollar tag for, or hunt down. If you're a collector of that type of stuff, such as myself then maybe. But otherwise, most of the tracks here with the exception of a few can be left forgotton. I do like the two Gits songs a lot, and being a Gas Huffer fan I enjoyed their two tracks. Not to mention this comp. did let me discover D.C. Beggers and Big Brown House. But it just screams average. If you're new to collecting stuff from the time period, get Sub Pop 200 or Deep Six. There are a ton of comps out there and this one doesn't stand out.
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