Monday, December 5, 2016

The Grunge of Colfax Avenue

The Fluid
In my humble estimation the greatest rock band to ever come from Denver, Colorado, The Fluid were originally called Madhouse. After early 1980s Denver punk band Frantix broke up, bassist Matt Bischoff, drummer Garrett Shavlik and guitarist James Clower began playing as Madhouse. On July 5, with new band members Rick Kulwicki (guitar) and John Robinson (vocals), they played their first gig at the Denver Turnverein German House (about a block off Colfax Avenue) as "The Fluid", which was the only name all five members could agree upon. The show drew over 400 people.

In 1986 The Fluid released their first album, Punch N Judy on Denver based Rayon Records. The album was also licensed to and released by the German label Glitterhouse. They toured for the next two years in support of the album. In 1988, they released the album Clear Black Paper on Sub Pop. They were the first non-Seattle band to sign to the record label.

[The Fluid] are "one of the best American underground bands in existence." -  Phil West, The Seattle Times

Their last album, PurpleMetalFlakeMusic (Hollywood Records, 1993), is still arguably one of the best grunge-era records ever made, and almost 25 years later still stands the test of time and holds its' own with anything released by Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Soundgarden or Nirvana. The commitment by the band to the material is an all-out rock fight, their wailing and angst coming to a head as the genre itself was about to die.

Looking back, the album may have been released a year or two late to fully catch the grunge wave, and wasn't adequately promoted. Failure for the album to chart, or meet the expectations of the band commercially (considering the quality of the work) would be a reason for me to speculate it being the cause of the band breaking up shortly after its' release.

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