The Micronotz – Smash

The Micronotz – Smash! (Fresh Sounds) 1983. Does anyone remember The Micronotz? Their records were everywhere in St Louis in the 80′s. They were another one of those super-great punk/alt/whatever bands from the midwest. They were contemporaries of The Embarrassment in the Lawrence, KS scene but they weren’t as self-consciously “arty” as the Embros. Basically, thier career in rock had two phases. One was with original singer Dean Lubensky. The second phase was with second vocalist Jay Hauptli. I am more a fan of the Dean years myself. I never felt Jay’s gruff vocals matched the music which got increasingly Husker Du-ish with each release.

The Micronotz released quite a bit of material:

MORTAL MICRONOTZ LP (Fresh Sounds, 1982) – I bought a sealed copy of this a few years back. I think it sucks. The one good song on it is “Old Lady Sloan” which was written by William Burroughs. Yes…the Exterminator himself spent out his twilight years in Lawrence, KS. I don’t know how much he was in to teen punk but I do know from reading his books how much he was in to teen boys.

SMASH 12″ (Fresh Sounds, 1983) – An absolutely brilliant followup. Thier high-water mark in my opinion. Amazingly enough, this one is listed on The Nation as a “desert-island disc”. Which is funny because I don’t think it was ever released as a CD. Hope you got your record player with ya on that desert island Frank.

VIDEO SOUNDTRACK 7″ (Fresh Sounds, 1984) – This is great too.

THE BEAST THAT DEVOURED ITSELF LP (Fresh Sounds, 1985)- Beginning of the “Jay-era”. Good stuff marred by Jay’s gruff vocals.

40 FINGERS LP (Homestead, 1986)- Final LP. Increasingly melodic and husker-ish.

They were also on the We Got Power 2 Comp LP on Mystic with Born To Kick Ass.

As alluded to earlier, Malfeitor posted the Video Soundtrack about a year ago on his great and now (sadly) defunct blog Dressed For The H-Bomb. If you are interested in the Micronotz, I urge you to read the comments in his post as they are very informative.

Feels Like
Cut It Off
I Got A Right

This entry was posted in Midwest, Punk Rock, hardcore. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Micronotz – Smash

  1. Anonymous says:

    hey man, the mp3′s are the same

  2. Joe Stumble says:

    all fixed, sorry

  3. b. brown says:

    Oh I LOVE the Micronotz. They’re a car-drive mix tape staple.

  4. malfeitor says:

    I forgot they were on Party Animal. I remember buying it but whenever I thought about putting on a 40 band compilation LP I always pulled out the first We Got Power. I don’t think I played the second one more than twice.

  5. Peter - KBDRecords says:

    Their records where all over in the used bins in Stockholm in the 80s. They sure did some really great tracks.

  6. jon manyjars says:

    I have the first two records and the “Fresh Sounds” cassette compilation, and was never much impressed by this band (except for their cover of the Stooges “I Got a Right”). I heard the Micronotz opened for one of the Embarrassment’s recent reunion shows.

  7. Ron Hotpad says:

    I had a punk show at our local community college in 1983, and “Smash” was one of the first records sent to me as a promo. I just played the hell out of it. I have wanted to burn this from vinyl for so long, but my copy is thrashed from so much play.

    For those of us who are cool enough to admit our uncoolness…this was also the first band a lot of us heard “I Got A Right” from, not Iggy. Thankfully the press material from Fresh Sounds made that clear and I found the original. Another one of those Midwest bands like Didjits or Man Sized Action that really doesn’t sound like anyone else. A totally cool post.

  8. Pyrophorus says:

    I recently sold (unfortunately) “Smash” and “The beast that devoured itself” to pay some bills. I couldn’t part with the self titled lp. I concur, the first singer was my personal choice as well. Great post.

  9. mike says:

    hoo boy, i’ve got a few items to say about this ‘un.

    Was a good friend of the band – had the good fortune to see them hundreds of times and witness their ascension (and demise) the same as many, many local types seeing their local band done good. However, they never got that far.

    The first tape was recorded in 1980 when the band members were 14-15 years in age. That tape was mastered at a slow speed on a finicky studio deck. (I’m thinking about re-recording the songs on that tape and gradually speeding it up using current computer software to see how it COULD’ve sounded.)

    As high school kids, they wrote many goofy, but awesome songs with titles like “Ken and Barbie” and “Weenie Roast.” They were crowd favorites but didn’t make the cut when it came out to put out records.

    The first record was produced by Wm. Burroughs’ manager and companion, James Grauerholz. While the connection extends to about that plus good friendship, the band benefited from the connection, and it exists on a few Burroughs “completist” discographies. (The band did get a bit weary 4-5 years on answering the “Burroughs question” radio DJ’s and fanzine types would ask!)

    There is a “Mortal Micronotz Tribute” CD released in 1996. Burroughs himself sang “Old Lady Sloan” with local act The Eudoras on that CD. I think he played the xylophone as well (the song was re-arranged in a quasi “soft rock” form.)

    All the records, IMO are great but suffered from limited studio budgets and recording technologies. Also, recording the songs more “in the red” would have been more representative of their live sound and attitude.

    (“40 Fingers” was produced by the drummer for the sucky classic rock band “Missouri.” That partially explains the drum-heavy sound on that record!)

    All the studio material has been re-released on CD, but to quote Jason Willis, recieved “super-limited local distribution.” I haven’t checked in awhile but local record shop the Love Garden ( may have a copy or two in the stacks.

    I could go on, but I’ll stop. It’s neat to see kind words about one of my all time favorite bands who are still friends. (I tend to like the Jay stuff more than some of you do, however!!)

    mike blur

  10. Joe Stumble says:

    Mike has a pretty killer collection of Lawrence, KS flyers here. Check em out!

  11. doggplasma says:

    We’ve got a new group on facebook:

    Fans of The Mortal Micronotz, Lawrence, Kansas

Leave a Reply