Had a Chance

Wiping up South Florida's punk-rock battlefield with the Crumbs

Back on their original label, the Crumbs this past August headed to Austin to record Out of Range, an evil, grease-stained, garage-punk record that fits right in with the town's legendary 13th Floor Elevators. The guitars rumble under layers of fuzz that would smother any Mudhoney fan. Classic's vocals still sneer, but this time the violence in his voice is muted by a time-worn, whiskeyed wetness that sounds more concerned with catching last call than inciting a barroom brawl. Even more significant is the Crumbs reclamation of Miami's punk heritage. Both '60s garage hellions the Tasmanians and '80s underground icons Charlie Pickett and the Eggs are represented with covers of their respective barnburners "Doing Me Wrong" and "If This Is Love (Then I Want My Money Back)." Classic explains, "Emil has tapes of every obscure Florida punk-rock band that's ever recorded. We loved those songs and wanted to spread their disease far and wide."

With Out of Range's release imminent, the Crumbs are already busy with new projects. The first chore is to break in new bassist Pep Flores, who came aboard when Emil had to find a real job to pay off some debts. The second is Pill City USA, a collection of new tunes and unreleased tracks to be issued on Recess this summer. And the Crumbs have already written half the material for an all-new record and are on schedule to record it by the end of the year. "We want to record another 20 songs and put half of them on an album and half of them on singles," says the hard-working Johnny B. "We need to remind the world that we're still here."

Finally out of the van, the Crumbs stretch their legs
Finally out of the van, the Crumbs stretch their legs

Asked to predict the Crumbs' future, Classic says, "I don't see an end to it. And even if everything goes to hell, we can always play Churchill's."

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