Drunks With Guns frontman Mike (Myk) Doskocil is the subject of many amusing anecdotes told by the good people of St. Louis, MO. One story involves him hurling a hot, gooey bean-and-cheese-filled burrito at some art-guitar clown who was performing at a local club. In another, Doskocil and his girlfriend move into public housing as superintendents and sell drugs to its low-income residents. The all-time best, though, is that Mike once told everyone he knew that he had AIDS (he didn’t) just so they’d leave him the fuck alone.
It was that kind of genuine negative energy that made Drunks With Guns the greatest punk band ever to bulldoze St. Louis. An ongoing battle between Doskocil’s obnoxious mouth, Stan Seitrich’s Flipper/Black Flag/Sabbath guitar and the massive dumbo rhythm section of bassist Mike DeLeon and drummer Fred Broadhacker, DWG began its rampage in 1984. The quartet’s self-titled debut single sports one of a classic sleeve showing four sauced, weird-looking guys sitting stupefied atop kegs with beers in hand and countless empties of Milwaukee’s Best and Meister Brau at their feet. The three songs inside (mastered from cassette after the reels “accidentally got erased”) are some of the heaviest, stupidest post-HC around — messy, visceral mono-riffs with Doskocil groaning low-rent paeans to car races at the Kiel Auditorium, “giving drugs to little kids” and getting his lights punched out. Amazing.
Thirst for Knowledge has more songs, a thin sound and slightly less heft. With DeLeon off to join the Navy, Jim Broyles came on board to replace him on bass. The material’s not as crunchy as the debut’s, but “New Wave Negro Girl'”s demented swing and the autoerotic machismo of “Dick in One Hand…” are classic. Drunks With Guns, the first album, combines both prior records, remastered and resequenced to, uh, perfection with the addition of the Drunks’ best moment — a super-slow epic ode to suburban gluttony called “Wonderful Subdivision,” in which the vocalist approximates vomiting. (Revolver and Songs From the Album are the same record of previously heard moments, only with different sleeves.)
With both DeLeon and the thick (if still fucked-up) recording quality back, the three-song Alter Human Industrial Fetishisms is the original band’s most scorching, angry affair. More noise rock than punk, Doskocil’s processed scream and the band’s increased rhythmic skill (especially DeLeon on “Leprosy”) make Alter Human Industrial Fetishisms everything the Amphetamine Reptile roster aspired to be. With DWG sounding about to implode on record, it’s not surprising that they did it for real in 1987.
Seitrich formed the negligible, less rocking Strangulated Beatoffs with Fritz Noble. Doskocil played drums (quite well) for melodic HC middleweights Ultraman before getting kicked out and moving to Arizona. In exile, he released material with Bootbeast and Bullets for Pussy. DeLeon stayed home and founded Fruitcake. As a result of posthumous notoriety and general idiocy, Mike D. (along with one Malcolm Bliss) reformed DWG at some point. So did Seitrich and DeLeon around the same time, only they had the gall to hire some 12-year-old jailbait named Melissa as their singer. Resulting singles and EPs by both parties are simply flat. Doskocil’s version resembled a dull punk band covering Drunks’ tunes, while the guitarist and bassist version spat out raw riffery topped with Melissa’s annoying (if disturbingly funny) sex-and-blood whimsy.
Second Verses compiles demos by the authentic ’80s band, including “Drunks Theme,” a hysterically meaningless statement-of-purpose and an alternate “Wonderful Subdivision” that is most welcome (if abruptly edited). Side Two of the record (excluding “Two Minutes'” destroy-the-studio splatter) unfortunately compiles Doskocil’s later Drunks and, obviously, doesn’t attain nearly the same level of warped quality.
As of 2003, Mike DeLeon was playing guitar in a St. Louis garage punk band called Tomorrow’s Caveman. That group issued an album called Today! in 2001.