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Brooklyn based Speedking formed in 1995, an intense post-hardcore band with thrashing guitar, propulsive synths and vocals traded off between all three members: bassist/keyboardist Miriam Maltagliati, guitarist Chet Sherwood, and drummer James Murphy. Intense, almost brutal rhythms, screamy male vox and the more melodic additions by Maltaglianti characterize their early material. Tours with Shellac, June of 44 and Six Finger Satellite secured them a reputation among punk progenitors as being a dedicated, loud and unpredictable touring band. Four 7"s on four different labels, including the brilliant Mononucleosis + Monosodium Glutemate single on Amish Records, matched this live intensity while showing the development of Murphy's preoccupation with sythnesizers and studio effects. In 1997 they recorded The Fist and the Laurels, an 11 track effort that was to be their debut album but before the project was completed, the band broke up. The unreleased masters were resurrected for 2002's The Fist and Laurels two-CD Speedking retrospective on Tigerstyle Records. The Fist… matches the punk meets dance vibe of Gang of Four, Joy Division with the art-pained fury of bands on the notorious Gravity Records label. The second disc of this set compiles the band's singles and some of Murphy's Speedking-era synthesizer projects, early indicators of his future success as a producer and owner of the DFA label, home to many of Brooklyn, NY's early '00s stars. ~ Daphne Carr

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