• Pitchfork
  • Eucalyptus (Nemesis/Cargo) 1990 

This pre-Drive Like Jehu lineup sounds pretty much like what it is — singer Rick Fork (né Froberg) and guitarist John Reis, with drummer Joey and bassist Nick delivering some formative scree, prepping to take over gosh knows what. Had the members of this unit simply faded into indie oblivion after its four-year (1986-’90) existence, Eucalyptus might not count for much more than a forgotten blast of adolescent dissonance. But Pitchfork laid a lot of the groundwork for the San Diego underground. When it disbanded, Reis and Froberg yearned to explore uncharted turf; hence the more satisfying, ahead-of-its-time flaying of Drive Like Jehu. On Eucalyptus, Froberg’s yowling isn’t as deranged and developed as in Jehu, but the map is made. Along with Reis’s overdubbed guitars, the sound compares well with the supersonic mania the two went on to compile in their next outfit.

[Mark Woodlief]

See also: Rocket from the Crypt