Archive for September, 2019

MX Skroch – Ugly Music for Pretty Girls

September 23rd, 2019 Comments off

Album #: 69

Recording Dates: 1994-1997

Release Date: 2008

Catalog: SMR29


Here is the final release from the “InSkroMental”, “Loophole”, and “Ugly Music for Pretty Girls” trilogy. This collection was created when I decided to digitally remaster & EQ some of my best original material to optimize fidelity.

“Ugly Music for Pretty Girls” is a collection of songs written, performed, recorded and produced by MX Skroch at home during the mid-1990s. This is primarily a song-based rock album which occasionally also ventures toward the unknown.

Lyrical inspiration provided by my friends, my actual ladies, my “wish they were my ladies”, introspection, depression, excess, and my general impression of existence.




















Five Track Sampler

Track 02 – Monday on the Train Tracks (MX Skroch) – Back before the Internet we did things like walk down the railroad tracks to keep ourselves occupied. This song is kind of about that – but more about yearning. It’s got samples, acoustic bits, crunching riffs, wacky keyboards, and of course my sketchy crooning. A decent representation of the album as a whole.  [Scratch on Vocals, Samples, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, and Drum Machine]

Track 03 – Crusade (MX Skroch)  – Sort of a country-tinged ballad about coming undone. A meditation on motivation and devastation – also one of the slowest songs I ever mixed down to a Maxell cassette.  [Scratch on Vocals, Electric Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, and Drum Machine]

Track 05 – Average (MX Skroch) – Passing judgement on my fellow 20-somethings…I guess some things never change with me. Kind of a singer songwriter track for the disaffected set. Fairly unique here is the lack of electric guitar; but don’t worry – the keyboard picks up the slack.  [Scratch on Vocals, Samples, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, and Drum Pad]

Track 13 – Extra Drunk (MX Skroch) – A heavy rager after all that contemplation. This song describes a typical Saturday night in West Chicago as I experienced it while delivering pizza in the early 1990s. Cars with subwoofers so huge their bumpers dragged on the ground raised the flags of their mother countries high. And drank beer. Lots of beer. It was quite a scene.  [Scratch on Vocals, Electric Guitar, Bass, and Drum Machine]

Track 14 – Settle for Me (MX Skroch) – A good example of why I don’t promote myself as a singer – still I think this track tells a nice story. I enjoy that the bass holds down the melody and that the chorus sticks in my brain like tar.  [Scratch on Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, and Drum Machine]

Categories: 1990s - Early, 1990s - Late, MX Skroch Tags:

The Hidden – Chicago’s Thickest Band in the World

September 15th, 2019 Comments off

Album #: 68

Recording Dates: 1992 – 1994

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR28


This is a compilation that captures other works of the Hidden beyond “Stop. I’m bleeding.”, “Brave New Failure” and the two comps listed below. Unreleased songs recorded in rehearsal or in concert; five bonus tracks recorded for the “Brave New Failure” album; sonic anthropology of life on the road via “Ladies Night with the Hidden” and “The Turdcutter Files”, and the title track of our very first release.

The album art contains many flyers from our days on the road, as well as homebrew marketing materials and video stills of honest moments.



Four Track Sampler

Track 03 – Are You My Daddy? (The Hidden) – I guess you could consider this the early 90’s version of a meme. We had a tendency to ask this question over and over…and I don’t recall why.  [Scratch on Daddy]

Track 15Bone of Contention (The Hidden) – This menacing track is the most experimental thing the band released – and was the title track of our debut tape. Since I’m a balanced individual I recorded multiple news reports when the crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer were revealed. Zack and I used cassette tapes to dub the sample track of these tapes with recordings of movie clips and commercials. Then just add some droning moaning madness and you’ve got “Bone of Contention”.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 16The Cleavage Enhancing Wonder Bra (The Hidden) – A really rough recording from our leaning basement. This was the final track the band came up with before going their separate ways, and features a number of slow building sections. The addition of Brian M. on guitar made us that much thicker. This sample track ends with a clip of Erik hawking the band and recounting our history on Y108.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 17Gnawing at the Stump (The Hidden) – This short outtake from the “Brave New Failure” sessions gets its point across with no delay. Sing along now! “I cut my feet, they’re bleeding…“.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Categories: 1990s - Early, The Hidden Tags:

The Hidden – Covered With Blood and Touring

September 12th, 2019 Comments off

Album #: 67

Recording Dates: 1993 – 1994

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR27


The Hidden played live for a bit under two years. Our first appearance with Brian M. was at the infamous Czar Bar in January 1993. The band largely culminated with a three week tour in late 1994 that took us to Texas and New Mexico and back through Colorado. This collection features live renditions of eighteen original songs plus covers of Pink Floyd and Pat Benatar. A lot of these recordings originate from our VHS recordings from these tours. Yes kids, our VHS recordings. Despite this limitation many energetic rock occurrences erupt with reckless abandon throughout.




Four Track Sampler

Track 01 – In the Flesh (The Hidden) – Why not start a heavy rock show with this opening track from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”? It even works at the Czar Bar despite the always occupied pool table providing real-time ambiance.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 04Salamander (The Hidden) – Dynamics is the name of the game as our protagonist questions his mammality. Live from Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club in Kansas City, MO. [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 15B.O.F. (The Hidden) – While latter era Hidden often delved into longer more progressive tracks, this stormer shows we could still blast out a fast track as needed. Perhaps not appropriate for modern sensibilities.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 17The Specialist (The Hidden) – Ten different parts in three and a half minutes? Damn right! It’s the Specialist! [Scratch on Guitar & Backing Vocals]

Categories: 1990s - Early, The Hidden Tags:

40 Gallons – The McLennon, Peterson, Skroch, and Webb Collection

September 8th, 2019 Comments off

Album #: 66

Recording Dates: 1991 – 1994

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR26


After finally finishing up the Hidden’s “Brave New Failure” twenty-two years after its initial recording, I got the urge to re-evaluate our piles of recordings to finish filling out our legacy of non-success. First up was the initial era when I played with Paul, Zack and Erik as IMF and then for a while as the Hidden. This crew actually saw more recording studios than the later group – including time spent with Steve Albini and Chuck Uchida in Chicago. This collection includes live shows, radio performances and studio demo recordings.















Four Track Sampler

Track 10 – I’m Dead (The Hidden) – Acoustic guitars? Why not! The Hidden’s understanding of punk rock was indeed wide ranging.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 12How I Feel (The Hidden) – This one minute blast is the most frantic thing the band played live. A ruckus really. A beautiful beautiful ruckus.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 15I’m Your Bug (live on WZRD) (The Hidden) – In July 1992 the Hidden played a spirited live set in the Chicago studios of WZRD. It was a strange setup and I feel like maybe we were in different rooms? My poor memory aside, we delivered a rousing and thumping performance.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 16On the Mountainside (live on WZRD) (The Hidden) – This twisted love song gets a strange pulsing intro before blasting into its pre-emo big rock attitude.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Categories: 1990s - Early, IMF, The Hidden Tags: