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Blast From the Past: Gutfiddle - Tomorrow in the Eye EP

Tomorrow in the Eye
(Stiff Pole Records)

In honor of Richard "Big Stiff" Konwinski, who passed this past July in Tampa, I'll be juggling between the County Grind and Crossfade blogs doing my Blast From the Past thing on the record label that he founded, Stiff Pole Records, that, in my opinion, came to define an exciting era in Florida's punk-rock scene.

Like all good indie labels, Stiff Pole Records did not limit itself to its local farm. Here's a nice, four song 7-inch slab from Gutfiddle out of Arizona. While I personally do not know much about the band, I know I picked it up because it came out on Stiff Pole Records. And believe me, there used to be a time when you trusted a label and bought whatever they put out. I'm thinking along the lines of early Epitaph, early Lookout!, Ebullition, Havoc and our sorely missed South Florida locals Space Cadette, Starcrunch and Far Out Records.

But enough about that, we'll have plenty of time within these pages to touch upon all that goodness. The personnel here consists of Jesse Pruett on vocals and guitar, Randy Mazick on guitar, Chris Reinking on bass and Sam Savage on drums. All members contribute background vocals and on the "Tomorrow in the Eye" track, Mazick handles the lead vocals.

These are four pop-punk songs that are agitated enough to land them as equals of middle-period Fat Wreck Chords with tiny tinges of ska-punk for good measure but always with a burgeoning Southern California-styled vocal harmony, which makes sense since the album was recorded out there. The tracks are "Tomorrow in the Eye" and "All the Way" on the A-Side, generally referred to as the Mountain Dew side and the having-nothing-to-with-the-title "Tom Pinched My Boob" and "Yesterday" on the B-Side, also known as the Quantum Leap side.

Existing throughout the majority of the 90's after their formation in 1990, Gutfiddle disbanded in 1999 with members going on to create the Parker Theory and The Asphalt. This little 7" was recorded in the fall of 1995 and was produced by Jeff Forest. I don't believe that it's an easy one to come by, but their 1998 effort, Kung Foolery, released on New Zealand's One Foot Records crops up in regularly.