Here is the download: Fuel - Seven Bands from Athens, GA
This is the Athens I remember from my high school years, when I would drive up there at the ripe age of 16 or 17 and wander around the town for awhile, eat some pizza, not get into any shows as I was underage, and instead stand outside the 40 Watt peeking through the open door at some of these bands onstage. The 40 Watt is great for that, as you can see the stage directly from the open door, and I remember the doormen used to be pretty lax about keeping the door wide open for the entire show. I saw an entire set by the Fleshtones once this way.
The bands on this compilation just barely preceeded my enrollment at UGA, and stint as an Athens resident, but they are possibly the reason I decided to move up there in the first place. Unfortunately, by mid-1993 most of these bands had broken up, so what can you do. Luckily, the bands on the Refuel comp were in full swing, so I timed that one perfectly. This comp has the best of the best from Athens during the 1991-1992 time period. You have some early "smelly old cat" era Hayride, before Ballard Lesemann joined the group, you have the best songs Roosevelt ever produced, you have Five-Eight before they became national college rock superstars, you have Bliss which was originally my favorite band of the comp, and you have the mighty Jack-O-Nuts, which is one band here whose legend has grown exponentially with time.
I originally knew Hayride through the band Finletter, which was a high school band I played in with Kevin Sweeney's brother Brian. These guys were mainstays in the Athens scene for years, and still play out occasionally. Sometime after this comp and their initial Smelly Old Cat album, they were signed by Capricorn Records and released the classic Elfin Magic album, later Ghostmeat released their third album Curses, and there is even a Curses 2 out there. These guys are amazing musicians and make great music, but for some reason never seemed to get the national attention like Five Eight. The guys in the band are music geeks and have always been involved in several musical adventures, and I remember hearing a story about Kevin Sweeney and Kyle Spence touring with J. Mascis and the Fog as guitar/drum techs and playing the best classic rock songs as the opening cover band for the tour, which I'm sure was incredible.
Much has been said about Roosevelt on this blog, so I will move on.
I don't know much about Thorny Hold, except that I remember seeing their name on a lot of flyers from this era, and there seems to be some Youtube footage of them playing their last show at the classic Club Fred in Athens.
Five Eight was at least initially the big breakout band of this era in Athens. I can remember their album "Wierdo" being their big breakout album when I was in school, and touring the country playing to huge crowds everywhere. Chocolate Kiss played with them at the EARL around the time the Good Nurse album came out in 2000, and they were really nice, but then took all the door money for themselves. Funny guys. They are still playing shows, so check your local listings and see some classic Athens greatness for yourself.
Acid Lake was my favorite back when this came out. Later on I met Andy Baker as part of Chase Park Transduction studio, but I never talked to him about how much I was into his old band. I also love their band photo, totally mid-80s Dischord vibe from these guys. Later on Andy played in the bands Servotron and The Glands, and recorded pretty much every great local band out there.
I also know very little about Magneto, except what appears on this compilation. Larry Tenner played later in The Germans and The Lures, but maybe you can leave some comments and fill in the blanks here.
Here is a strange little comic by Chris Purcell that was included in the packaging.