11 Songs, 45 Minutes


About Pipe

Formed in that music crucible, Chapel Hill, Pipe forged a ragged rock sound that drew on both the raw garage of '70s bands like the Sonics, punk's irreverent attitude and the post-punk/indie rock attack of the '80s underground. In 1992, with a lineup of Ron Liberti (vocals), Mike Kenlan (guitar), Dave Alworth (bass), and former Superchunk drummer Chuck Garrison, the band released the six-song Ball Peen EP (Sonic Bubblegum). But Kenlan, who with Garrison also played in Small (later changed to Small 23), left Pipe to concentrate on his other band. Clifton Lee Mann, the bassist of the area's legendary '80s punkabilly band, Bad Checks, was recruited to play guitar until a permanent replacement could be found. But Mann and Liberti found they worked well together splitting the music and lyric writing duties, so Mann stayed on as the full-time guitarist, and the band's new lineup recorded their first single, "You're Soaking in It," in 1993 on Amish Records, followed by their first full-length, Six Days to Bellus (Jesus Christ) in 1994. A riotous album of rumbling rock, it had a lot more in common with the Dead Boys than Nirvana and grunge. The band toured with Bad Brains, and upon returning home, began work on their second full-length. International Cement (Jesus Christ) was released in 1995, along with the "Raceway Park" single, again on Amish Records. The band toured with local faves Polvo and Archers of Loaf, but upon returning home, Alworth quit the band and moved to Seattle. Greg Adams replaced him on bass and they started work on their third album, Slowboy, released on Merge in 1997. (Merge then also re-released their two earlier albums and several singles.) A fully realized effort, Slowboy puts the sludge, motor oil, and road dirt back into garage rock. However, their tour with kindred spirits the New Bomb Turks proved ill-fated. Playing in Louisville, Garrison broke his hand signaling an early end to the tour. During Garrison's recovery, Mann crushed the tip of his left ring finger, sidelining him for six months. With the band's momentum flagging and nursing his injury, Mann quit and was replaced with original band guitarist Kenlan, but this lineup only survived a few shows before collapsing in the fall of 1999. Liberti and Mann reunited in 2000 with the Ghost of the British Soldier Who Loved to Rock (shortened to the Ghost of Rock). Kenlan joined Ashley Stove on guitar in 2001.

North Carolina



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