You Lookin' for Treble?
Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments
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Comprised of material recorded between 1989 and 1994, You Lookin' for Treble? is the musical equivalent of Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments' junior-high yearbook. A document of the band's early, occasionally awkward stages, the album is marked by lineup shifts (detailed in the liner notes) and the usual trappings of a new band trying to find its sound. Over the course of Treble?'s 20 tracks, the band gels into an abrasive, yet danceable, noisy punk outfit (fittingly heavy on the treble all the way around) led by vocalist Ron House who was quite clearly trying to distance himself musically from his recently disbanded bouncy rock/new wave outfit Great Plains. With the rhythm section in an almost constant state of turnover, the band's sound is defined by House's snide tirades and Bob Petrick's nimble guitar work characterized by a winning balance of barred chords and false harmonics (also present in Petrick's other first-rate outfit, Girly Machine). Of the songs included on You Lookin' for Treble?, only one, "You Can't Kill Stupid," ever found its way on to a proper Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments studio effort (a cleaned up take appears on 1995's Bait & Switch), though several others can be found on the band's impossible-to-find early singles and their infamous promo-only 10", as well as various compilation records (at least half a dozen of the songs are available on volumes one and two of Datapanik Records' Greatest Hits). You Lookin' for Treble? serves nicely as the missing link between House's exit from Great Plains and Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments 1995 major-label debut, Bait & Switch, on the American/Onion imprint. However, musically and production-wise Treble? can't hold a candle to later TJSA releases like Straight to Video. ~ Karen E. Graves, Rovi
Formed: Columbus, OH
Years Active: '90s, '00s