For a second-straight year, defunct Spokane punk combo Mother Load is reuniting for one show, at Ichabod’s North on Saturday.
Mother Load reconvened for a sold-out show last year on New Year’s Eve.
The band, which split up in 1995, hasn’t been a presence in Spokane in two years. The trio blames stagnation, both within and without, for the breakup.
“We weren’t writing any new music,” says guitarist/vocalist Scott Kellogg “We weren’t practicing. We just didn’t have any desire to continue.”
After Mother Load disbanded, Kellogg scurried off to Portland. Drummer Brian Parnell moved to Seattle. And bassist/vocalist Geoff Templeton relocated to Ketchikan, Alaska.
The big question: Does anyone still care about Mother Load?
Kellogg, speaking via phone this week from Portland, chuckles at the question.
“I’m starting to wonder,” he says. “I still get a warm reception from my friends and people still recognize me. I just don’t know if anyone still knows who Mother Load is. It’s been a whole year since we’ve played.”
To prepare for the show, the band will practice twice. The band shouldn’t be too rusty as Kellogg plays in two bands in Portland, Bomf and Elmer, and Templeton goofs off with various musicians in Alaska. Parnell, however, hasn’t played the drums much.
Come showtime, just like last year, the band will no doubt pull it together.
Although Kellogg hopes to one day start a new band with his former mates, he’s satisfied with the two bands he playing guitar for at the moment.
“If Geoff and Brian were in the same town with me I don’t think I’d play with anybody else. It’s pretty farfetched considering all of our (personal) situations improved since we left Spokane.
“I love (Bomf),” he says. “At first, I was apprehensive. It took a little time to get comfortable. I think everybody else is a little more confident and comfortable with me being in the band now, too.”
Kellogg’s also gearing up for his first show with hillbilly cow punker Elmer. What’s ironic, the guitarist never thought he’d be strumming for a country-oriented band.
“It’s funny. Geoff said that I didn’t even like country until I met him,” Scott says. “I always liked Johnny Cash, but he said that that didn’t count.”
Mother Load formed in 1989. The band quickly became one of the town’s most promising bands. In 1990, the threesome released its first record - a self-titled, four-song EP, on the fledgling Seattle label eMpTy Records.
During its run, the band embarked on two, summer-long, national tours which left it heavily in debt. Mother Load did shorter, less-exhaustive forays with bands like Buzzov-en, Schlong and False Sacrament.
In 1993, the band released its first full-length album, “Buck Toothed Dream.” For the next couple of years, the band appeared on a number of new releases. They did a split EP with Moral Crux and contributed tracks for compilations - “Mayfair Bound,” “Lie Lack City,” “Songs About Drinking Vol. 1” and “Vinyl Retentive.”
However, the band’s best work - 17 songs recorded in Seattle by Phil EK (Built to Spill, Steel Wool, Fumes) in 1994 - was never released, except for three songs which are on “Lie Lack City.”
“That was the stuff that would have put us over the top, man,” Kellogg jokes.
But seriously, “it was the greatest stuff that we ever recorded, sound-wise and song-wise. As far as I’m concerned, I was so blown away with what we did come up with that I’m ultra-disappointed that it didn’t come out.”
The Flies and Lopez open. This will be the Flies finally hoo-rah. Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $4.
Ending the year with a bang
The Fumes will be ringing in the New Year at Ichabod’s North with the irrepressible Fatty Lumpkin and Monas.
The Fumes have had a landmark year. The band has garnered dozens of positive reviews for its latest album “Self-Appointed Guardian of the Machine.” They signed a deal with Scooch Pooch Records, which operates under Sub Pop’s umbrella. And they pulled off a couple of successful West Coast tours.
Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $4.
A look back
1996 was a Spokane year for the local club scene. What do I mean when I say “a Spokane year?” Well, the word “Spokane” has become synonymous to no-show. With that, here are the best local club shows no one showed up for:
Guano at Ichabod’s North, Feb. 18
Likehell at Swackhammer’s, May 12
Rhythm Pigs at Ichabod’s North, May 16
Lollipop at Swackhammer’s, May 26
The Bananas and The Four Eyes at Ichabod’s North, July 19
Guzzard at the Northern Corner, Aug. 30
Your Mother at Ichabod’s North, Sept. 10
Zeni Geva at Ichabod’s North, Sept. 22
Hammerhead and Gnomes of Zurich at Ichabod’s North, Oct. 21
Saturn’s Flea Collar at Ichabod’s North, Oct. 22
Melt Banana at Ichabod’s North, Oct. 27
froSTed at Outback Jack’s, Nov. 12
Meices at Outback Jack’s, Dec. 3.