The Beast AKA No Face Lives

Smegma, man, fucking Smegma. They started the whole damn thing. Sure there was Lee Rockey & some soundeffects 78s that set the crew in motion but screw it.. you wouldn't be blasting The Beast or any "weird handdrawn lp" with rotten ears if it wasn't for this truly motley crew. In high school my sweet momma would give me ten bones a week for lunch, come Monday by noon that shit was blown at the local rec shop. When I only had a couple of raggedy bux left from gripping Zorlac stickers, the only option was the dollar bin at the store. It was there that John Bender, Haystacks Balboa, Nik Reicnek, & Peter Catham lps blew open my teen mind to the netherworlds. Among the giants was this homemade wreckord by Ju Suk Reet Meat. Looked amazing… had no idea. Threw it on for nearly every day since. Mutant loops, improv from alien swamp prom & deviant horrible ideas. Changed my life. Just what a young mind needed to replace the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Found out later it was from the Smegma camp, a strange unknown mystery troupe from Portland. No photos ever... just a numbling clip on a RRR comp video Lessard gave me & Dilloway, a tunnel view into the spirtual mecca that would the Smegma klan. Before the first Wolf jaunt out west we dropped them a postcard saying it would be good to meet. Soon it mangled into a recording session. We would be so honored. The day came. The Smegma house, totally pink, queued us in to rainy, green Portland. We knocked. A femme voice said through the door, “use the bell”. Nate pushed it and out came a gargled electronic siren. The door openend, Rock 'n Roll Jackie, 5 foot tall, grinning & long beatiful grey hair. We all fell in love. Soon after we meet Ju Suk & one by one slowly met all the Smegmas in one of the strangest nights ever. Burned Mind, Meltzer, Stan, Amazon Bambi, others. All weird as hell, checking us as much as us checking them. Yep, this is who we wanted to be with the rest of our lives... the Michigan crew had never been so inspired & moved but by this unholy blending of mutant minds... So we jammed. It was fucking amazing. Here are the results. Every year we are going to see them & hang like the best friend weirdo family.A total pilgrimage. Nate & I once got so blasted from Portland cloud that we projected that Smegma has always existed, ever since the beginning of time. Someone will always carry it on... might be this dude in Ypsi who has no face. Really. No nose, barely a mouth, always has a broken arm or something.. smells like shit. Dude is totally in Smegma. Fucking life rules.

~ John Olson
Ypsilanti MI
Nov 2003


One of the hippest jam records to enter our sphere lately is The Beast LP (De Stijl) which pairs the glaspsy Midwestern otherness of Wolf Eyes, with the dundering of Smegma, the band perhaps most responsible (along with the Residents) for a real underground noise continuum in the US of A. Smegma, originally from San Diego, then based in L.A., and then in Portland, have been clucking out their own frantic brand of post-form madness since the early ‘70s. And it’s untaggable now as it was then – instruments, random noises, voices, electronics, everything flutters into a big vortex of wet cement, emerging as a perfectly-realized sculpture of confusion. This session happened because Wolf Eyes were touring out in Oregon and wanted to meet their heroes. So they did. And the results are just ducky. This is the first real extended recording we’ve had of Richard Meltzer vocalizing with Smegma, and he sounds great; almost like hearing Yogi Bear bumrushing the stage at Company Week. And the combination of the two units’ sounds is pretty seamless. You could break yr neck trying to figure out where one stops and the other begins, so be careful as hell when you listen to this. But do listen, ‘cause it’s good.

~ Byron Coley / Thurstone Moore
Arthur Magazine