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An intriguing blend of heavy rock, punk dynamics, and occasional forays into sonic freak-outs somewhere between Sonic Youth and the early Butthole Surfers, New York art grunge trio Barkmarket can at times be frustratingly difficult to pin down, but their best work has a noisy, rattling power. Singer/guitarist David Sardy, bassist John Nowlin, and excellently named drummer Rock Savage joined forces in 1987, promptly issuing the self-released demo 1-800-Godhouse the following year. 1989's follow-up, Easy Listening, attracted the attention of Rick Rubin's newly renamed American Recordings, which signed the group and issued 1990's Vegas Throat.
Although Barkmarket's brand of noisy hard rock became more commercially viable starting around 1991, it wasn't until 1993 that the group finally released a follow-up, Gimmick, which was quickly followed by 1994's Lardroom. A label switch from American to Man's Ruin, owned by poster artist Frank Kozik, resulted in 1995's Peacekeeper EP and 1996's L Ron. But by this point, Sardy's sideline career as a producer and engineer was starting to take precedence over his own recordings. Barkmarket quietly broke up in 1997. ~ Stewart Mason
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