The Gelcaps began as a solo project in 1993 with Derelict Hotel alumnus Doug Anson making improvisational music on a cheap guitar, Casio keyboard and effect pedals. In ’94 he started working with Vibrolux guitarist John Boothman, a.k.a “the king of noise.”
Anson played chunky and repetitive rhythm guitar riffs while Boothman filled out the soundscape with drones and plinks. The band’s first EP, Death Star From Budokan, was a remarkable balance of catchy pop-punk and trippy noise rock.
After going through several members, the lineup solidified in the fall of ’95 when bassist Mark Nolan and drummer Spencer Sweeney joined the ranks. They kept the bottom end just tight enough to give the arrangements structure and depth. The second Gelcaps release, the single “Cows,” was more straight-ahead, but still memorable.
A few months later, they started work on their third release. Songwriting was going so well that by the time July rolled around, the single had turned into a mini-album entitled 24 Hour Pythons.
In late July, everything fell apart. Boothman quit the band over creative differences. On July 27, Nolan died in a drug-related accident.
From City Paper story “Styling Gel” by Neil Gladstone Read More
Here is both of their 7 inches and cd – 24 Hour Pythons plus a live from Jackie’s show on WKDU . Thanks for the tape Jackie.
Derelict Hotel were Dane Wilson – Drums, Dave Birch – Guitar, Mark Nolan – Bass, Scott Slagle – Vocals & Doug Anson -Slide Guitar (on the Track from Compulsiv Comp No. 1 7″)
“DH was into old Punk and stuff on AmRep and Touch & Go. Brian Dilworth hooked us up with many cool gigs opening up for Laughing Hyenas, Agent Orange, Killdozer, Helios Creed and Steel Pole Bathtub. We were together 92’ to 94’. We loved to record with Art Difuria” – Steve
Sugar Skulls were a Philly band from the early 2000’s which was often referred to as Philadelphia’s answer to X. The comparison came in a large part due to the late Red Burns (Tequila Worms, Hellfire and Brimstone) and Heather Brann sharing lead vocals. Red also played Guitar along with Dave Birch (Derelict Hotel). Brian Murray (Psyclone Rangers) played bass and made all of the very distinctive art work for the band. Dane Wilson (Derelict Hotel, Sugar Skulls) was the drummer.
While the X comparison is easy to understand if you go deeper there is evidence of a lot of other influences that gave Sugar Skulls their own unique sound.
Their album Waking Hour is not included here, you can get it here or on itunes here. Thanks to Brian Murray for the cds and flyers.
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