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A surf and lounge-inspired instrumental rock pseudo-supergroup, Phono-Comb first materialized to back Half Japanese's Jad Fair on his 1996 album Monsters, Lullabies...and the Occasional Flying Saucer. As members of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, drummer Don Pyle and bassist Reid Diamond had played with Fair at the 1993 Toronto Film Festival, where Fair was promoting a film about Half Japanese. Pyle and Diamond recruited guitarist Dallas Good for their album collaboration with Fair and opted to continue the group after the record was finished; Diamond switched from bass to guitar and the group added the Fifth Column's Beverly Breckenridge as a guitarist. After releasing a single entitled The Crass and the Switchblade, which featured the songs "Anarchy at the O.K." and a cover of the Ramones' "53rd and 3rd," they recorded the full-length Fresh Gasoline with Steve Albini. Fitting alongside the energetic output of Pyle and Diamond's former group, the record featured covers of Brian Eno's "Here Come the Warm Jets" and the Ramones' "It's a Long Way Back."