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An underexposed and underrated combo from Long Island, Hypnolovewheel issued several albums in the late '80s and early '90s that offered a distinctive blend of power pop, dreamy psychedelia, noisy '60s-style garage rock, and tense, nervy post-punk. They drew comparisons to bands as far-ranging as R.E.M., Wire, and the Embarrassment, topping off their rather strange brew with a smart, quirky sense of humor that was most overt on their earlier material. Consisting of guitarists Steve Hunking and Dave Ramirez, bassist Dan Cuddy, and drummer Peter Walsh, Hypnolovewheel debuted in 1988 with Turn! Turn! Burn!, which was released on the small Fabian Aural Products label; the same was true of its 1990 follow-up, Candy Mantra. The group got a bit more exposure after moving to the somewhat higher-profile indie Alias Records, for whom they debuted with 1991's well-received Space Mountain.

Meanwhile, guitarist Ramirez moonlighted for a short time as the drummer for King Missile. Like its predecessor, 1992's Angel Food received complimentary reviews from those who noticed it, and it featured the fan favorite "Here Comes a Headache." However, for the most part, it remained undiscovered. Another album, Altered States, and an EP centered around its focus track, Peace of Mind, were released in 1993. Still struggling for exposure, the band decided to call it quits. Ramirez played with Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew's side project Dump, while Cuddy and Walsh teamed up in the Special Pillow, a psychedelicized indie pop group that often recalled Yo La Tengo themselves.

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1986 in Long Island, NY

Years Active:

'80s, '90s