The Mistreaters a.k.a. “The Singles Compilation Double LP”

The Mistreaters

DMR-31
(2012)
Category:
Tracklist:
  • Live Like You
  • Nathan Lilley
  • Kate Is Great
  • Lie To Me
  • No, I Know
  • Good Thing [alt.version]
  • Fire Rock (That Nagging Voice)
  • Can't Shake You
  • Bye Bye Bye
  • Personal Space Invader [7" version]
  • Take You Down
  • Push You
  • Little Sassy Francis
  • It's Fine
  • Oh, Didn't I Say
  • Cannibal Lust
  • No More
  • Who Wants Knives
  • Walk On
  • Chock Full [demo]
  • Stranded [7" version]
  • Love Killed My Brain
  • I Think I've Had It
  • How Much For The Women
  • Leg Show [demo]
  • Santa Stole My Baby

80 minute compilation of nearly everything that the band recorded that did not appear on the band’s two full length LPs “Grab Them Cakes” and “Playa Hated To The Fullest”. Four unreleased tracks from the band’s final recording session in 2011 are but one highlight of a whopping 26 tracks on 3 sides – the aforementioned songs plus deep cuts from seven inch singles, compilation tracks, outtakes, alternate versions, as well as three songs from the band’s 1999 demo cassette “Don’t Do Drugs And Stay In School” – and more – all that PLUS a bonus 4th LP side (that plays from the inside out) featuring a lovingly-crafted 20 minute audio collage taken from live recordings, radio sessions, interviews and more. Includes full color gatefold and printed inner sleeves with scores of candid photos from throughout the band’s 13 year run.

review @ Terminal Boredom…
Career spanning double LP compilation of singles, odds and sods from one of the very best garage-punk acts of the past decade, Milwaukee’s Mistreaters. ‘Grab Them Cakes’ is one of the few classic full lengths of the 2000’s and their Estrus follow-up was no slouch either, and they released a fine string of singles along the way as well, just about all of which are contained here along with some choice comp tracks, demos, covers and a few unreleased gems as well. Along with the Baseball Furies and Clone Defects these guys were the heart and soul of the Rust Belt garage-punk boom that I was lucky to live through. The band always delivered live, with one of the most punishing rhythm sections of the time, a guitar player who knew how to play killer riffs and a highly entertaining frontman. These guys had the balls to make garage-punk heavy, while everyone else was treble-charging the ‘treaters attack was chock full of bottom-end pounding and even bordered on metal at times. And that’s not to say they didn’t have hooks either, as their songwriting was always catchy and full of memorable guitar parts. Twenty-six tracks here, and there’s not a single dud. Highlights include both sides of their killer ‘Personal Space Invader’ EP on Estrus, their under-rated P.Trash EP, their bloozy Goodbye Boozy covers record and even some nuggets from their ‘Don’t Do Drugs and Stay In School’ demo tape. I was also glad to see what I imagine was their final recording session from 2011 included here, four tracks that stand up to their best material. Aside from great originals these dudes could blow out some killer covers as well, always making them their own, and here you get the only Beguiled cover ever pulled off in the history of garage-rock. They do a Blowtops song better than the Blowtops and even do a great Tubeway Army cut. As I said, one of the best bands of their time, this stuff is absolutely essential. They sounded unique in a time when bands seemed to be striving to all sound the same. There should be a copy of this and ‘Grab Them Cakes’ in every home. One of the few bands I can honestly say I’ll truly miss. Scum stats: 325 copies only, which seems like a low number to me. Beautiful full color gatefold and printed inners with a shitload of pics showing their evolution from young men with brushcuts to the grizzled veterans they became. (Rich Kroneiss)

 

review @ SCENE Magazine…
It must have been early 1999 when the Mistreaters took the Cactus Club stage, opening for someone – maybe Detroit’s The Sights – when I first saw them. At this point the Mistreaters were not exactly what you would call a seasoned act. As they struggled to tune up, the guitarist told the bassist to pluck a string and reached across his bandmate and tuned it himself. Just such an unassuming punk rock gesture conjured a line of thought – is this what it was like to see the Stooges’ first gigs? Then the drummer counted off and the band delivered a maelstrom of lo-fi scuzzy garage rock that kinda aimed for AC/DC but really was this close to the Stooges in spirit. Thirteen years to the day of their first gig, The Mistreaters played a final show at the Cactus Club. As a final vinyl artifact the band has released an eponymous 26-track double LP on Dusty Medical Records. (The gatefold cover conveniently serves another purpose, as music fans of a certain age will note.) The band sold a limited CDR version on their 2006 European tour and this double album adds four tunes recorded at a final recording session in 2011. Side 4 is a grab bag of live material that offers a glimpse of the band as a hard charging riff machine with a sense of humor. As a genre of sorts lo-fi garage rock can be a dead end ghetto, but this compilation charts a sense of musical growth (and that’s not a bad thing). As early as 2001 the T-Rex crunch of “Personal Space Invader,” the doo-wop “Bye, Bye, Bye” and the R&B stylings of “No More” showed their radar was open to outside influences – Christreater’s vocals moving from snotty to snottier, as the material demanded. “Push You” (2004) heads for lean/mean Stooge territory (ok, maybe it’s just me but you know what they say about first impressions), while “Cannibal Lust” from the same session frustratingly sounds like a blueprint for something greater. And “Santa Stole My Baby” guarantees a reason to play the Mistreaters every Christmas. The music the Mistreaters made is a time capsule, a decade’s worth of high energy music from a band that steadfastly represented Milwaukee as they took their show on the road around the country and over to Europe. Like Bill Russell in 1969, the Mistreaters went out on top. For the band it was great ride…. well maybe except for the van that burned up in Texas with all their gear inside. They left a wide and rich recorded legacy on numerous record labels. Foremost among them was guitarist Kevin Mistreater’s Dusty Medical Records. With other killer releases by the Reigning Sound’s Greg Cartwright, The Goodnight Loving and Call Me Lightning the label is already a crown jewel. But that’s another story for another day. (Blaine Schultz)

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