Janitor Joe - Singles (1992-93)
Joachim Breuer (on right on the picture) is an underrated genius. He was the leader of the Bastards at the onset of the 90's, whose noise was somewhere between Drunk with Guns and Unsane. Then, he formed Janitor Joe with Matt Enstminger on drums and Kristen Pfaff on bass. The music was less sludgy and more Stoogy I'll say, but nearly as good as the Bastards. The trio released 1 single on OXO and 3 on Amphetamine Reptile, and a superb album entitled Big Metal Birds. Unfortunately, Kristen was called by Courtney Love to join Hole and she went to live in Seatt-Hole, leaving Joachim to modify the line-up (see her doomed fate at the end of this post). With a new (male) member, the band released the fantastic Lucky album, maybe more direct, but a high standard on my personal scale (I don't know whether the expression is correct or not but I try it). After this LP, Joachim Breuer disbanded Janitor Joe to form Gnomes of Zürich, a rather deceiving band who released one album received with complete indifference. He then left the music world to become a PhD. I wrote to him 10 years ago and he was kind enough to answer. I don't know what he's doing now. In the Janitor Joe singles, most songs did not feature on albums (acually, only "Boyfriend", "Boys In Blue" and "Pest" could be found on Big Metal Birds (2 formers) and Lucky (the latter) respectively but "Pest" in a different version). It was a shame not to have the 8 other gems available, this is why I did this Singles compilation. It is to note that the Review Stalker Blog proposed one here (just one thing: I hate when blogs welcome you with unexpected music, turn it off please) but a song called "Void" from a compilation 7" called Up on Helter Skelter Records (and featuring Atomic 61, Sinatra and Superconductors) was missing, so I added it here with the 2 album songs. The only single song missing in action in both my and the RS blog is "Under the Knife" on an OXO 7" that I've never found. Either you got the LPs but not the singles, or not even know the name of this great band... enjoy it.
Some months after leaving Janitor Joe, Kristen Pfaff, was a heroin junkie and apparently unhappy of her experience in Hole. She decided to come back to Minneapolis and, according to some sources, was waited by Joachim and Matt to rejoin Janitor Joe. She did not have the time since she was found dead of drug overdose in her bathroom in june 1994, the day before she'd planned to get back home (at least it said so and it is all the more depressing). This was only 2 months after Kurt Cobain's suicide. Maybe I'm unfair, but I think great musicians should avoid any friend or loveship with someone called Love. Brian Wilson had his Mike to destroy him, Karen and Kurt had their Courtney. So sad, her bass playing was really great (listen to it in "Stinker") and she probably had achieved some great things with Joachim the following years.