The Meat Puppets weren't the only rock band to emerge from Arizona during the '80s, as proven by the emergence of another act, Tucson's Yard Trauma. Founding members Joe Dodge (guitar, vocals) and Lee Joseph (bass) had previously done time together in a precursor band, Johnny 7, before forming Yard Trauma at the end of 1982. Although hardcore punk was taking hold locally at the time, Yard Trauma decided to experiment with such odd sounds as drum machines played through fuzzboxes, shortwave radios, and tape loops merged with poetry read on top of the wall of noise. After doing a few shows as a duo, a real drummer and a keyboard player were added to the lineup in time for a debut single, "Some People" b/w "No Conclusions," as well as a full-length, The Red Album, before splitting up in January of 1984 when Joseph relocated to Los Angeles.
But after the album received favorable reviews in the underground press, Dodge and Joseph began having second thoughts. This led to the pair to writing songs by sending demos back and forth in the mail, before they reunited in Phoenix to record a sophomore effort, Must Have Been Something I Took. Dodge then followed Joseph back to Los Angeles, as the duo tried in vain to find a permanent drummer. Although they were unsuccessful (going through numerous skin beaters, including one who was briefly a member of one of G.G. Allin's many bands), Yard Trauma began building a following in Europe solely on the strength of the press attention given to their albums. 1988 saw the release of the band's third album overall, Face to Face, which included guest appearances on lead guitar by several other artists, including Brett Gurewitz from Bad Religion. Further albums followed, including 1990's Lose Your Head and 1994's Oh My God (during which time Joseph created and ran the independent label, Dionysis Records), before the duo decided to call it a day. ~ Greg Prato