Friday, November 21, 2008


This “Rat Bait” song from 1979 by the SWIMMING POOL Q’S is so gnarly I need to make sure as many good Americans & residents of the globe hear it as possible. It’s from this venerable band’s first 45, and a quick glance at their web site and at descriptions of their music is enough to assure you that they’re not quite making ‘em like “Rat Bait” anymore. Built around a wicked secret-agent spy riff & enough throbbing blues guitar to sink a pirated Saudi tanker off the coast of Somalia, the song was introduced to me as a freshman in college by my next-door dorm roommate. He had all sorts of weird American underground records, and in 1985 it was enough for me to propose that we both become college radio DJs together & host a wacky tag-team show. The pairing didn’t last long, but we played the smokin’ “Rat Bait” a lot. It’s subsequently been comped onto an early one of Hyped2Death’s “Homework” compilations, and it’s pretty much my favorite Dixie-fried bluesy spy punk song of all time.

Play Swimming Pool Q’s – “Rat Bait”

Download THE SWIMMING POOL Q’S – “Rat Bait” (from first 45)


Anonymous said...

Think about it!
It occupies a strange location somewhere between Beefheart and Clawhammer.

Anonymous said...

Yep, it rules. It's more easily found on their "Deep End" LP, the rest of which is sadly more in a cutesy-smartass way.


Anonymous said...

Yeah - it has that Ice Cream for Crow/Doc at the Radar Station vibe - "Ashtray Heart" anyone. In the end though, from '79 it is good stuff. It would take Clawhammer less than a decade to PERFECT what these folks attempt here though.

El Capitan

Brushback said...

Shit, yeah-- this is great!

Anonymous said...

Sorry bout the recent file posting problems, but glad to see that you persevere. Thanks, and keep up the god work! Happy Holiday!

J Neo Marvin said...

Wow, never heard this before. I avoided this band at the time because I thought they had a dumb name, but this is damn cool. "His name is ROY!" cracks me up in particular.

Anonymous said...

I must say this song does not do them any justice to their live performance. They were for a time playing in Tampa FL at the Buffalo Roadhouse in late 1979. One of the rare and talented punk bands in the area at the time. Very animated on stage, and their music was loud and full. Their female singer would hold up a Charlie McCarthy puppet head on a stick performing this song. It was great and fun to watch.