Bush Tetras – 99 Records – 1980

Too Many Creeps

Snakes Crawl / You Taste Like The Tropics

New York’s Bush Tetras had a no wave link, via guitarist Pat Place’s association with James Chance, but the band’s sound was neither frantic nor disjointed enough to be properly categorized with those bands. They played scrappy post-punk, with fellow Americans Pylon and Konk and Brits Delta 5 and Au Pairs as close contemporaries. If there’s any one song the Bush Tetras are known for, it’s 1980’s “Too Many Creeps” — the band’s most representative song and also the catchiest, made by the kind of jagged rhythms, slicing guitars, and sniping vocals that were used throughout their short lifespan. Perhaps the song wasn’t quite insistent or hypnotic enough to become a smash single of the new wave era (released on the small 99 label, its reach was limited), but it could be argued that Romeo Void wouldn’t have become popular without knowing about it. That band’s “Never Say Never,” a genius single in its own right, seemed to take a couple cues from the Bush Tetras; during a 2003 episode of VH1’s Bands Reunited series, Romeo Void guitarist Peter Woods matter-of-factly confessed to being inspired by the sound of Place’s guitar.After Place, bassist Laura Kennedy, drummer Dee Pop, and singer Cynthia Sley made their debut with an EP centered around “Too Many Creeps,” signed with the U.K.’s Stiff label, and recorded another EP, Rituals, produced by the Clash’s Topper Headon. The live cassette Wild Things, which included a cover of John Lennon’s “Cold Turkey,” was released by ROIR in 1983.

Text courtesy of allmusic.com.

  1. stirmonster
    September 17, 2008 at 1:55 am

    they’re playing in london next month.

  2. chris
    September 17, 2008 at 10:29 am

    woah!!! WHERE? Think they played at Optimo in Glasgow not that long ago and were meant to have been amazing.

  3. stirmonster
    September 17, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    they’re playing at corsica studios on october 17th.

  4. justin
    March 12, 2009 at 4:50 am

    You can really hear these guys in Romeo Void’s Never Say Never. Actually like these guys better.

  5. EdA
    August 6, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I cherish my copy. Did I actually buy it at 99 Records though? My memory is hazy. Sadly I only saw them once, opening for Gang of 4. Odd when I have all their vinyl and was in NYC at the time…

    Looking back I would have placed my priorities differently!


    PS: Please do yourself a favor and listen to this 99 Records retrospective:

  6. Henry Ponds
    Henry Ponds
    October 20, 2011 at 3:19 am

    DAS A RIOT!! 1st time I heard The Bush Tetras I was HOOKED!! I just want to say THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK! Cheers!,HenryPonds

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