Pukesnake are named after a snake-like cylinder of cat vomit. Founding member Jeff Tobin recalls; “I remember the day, my cat got sick and barfed this…thing, a thing that looked like a fucked up snake. I thought of Pukesnake that day and tucked it away to be used for either a song title or maybe even a band name.” Eventually a band was formed in 2011. Tobin, bassist for Seattle perennial underground noisemakers Sleep Capsule, wanted an outlet for songs that were different than what Sleep Capsule was focusing on. Pukesnake was created as a result . The first lineup consisting of bassist Matt O’Farrell and drummer Max Opaque recorded the now fairly difficult to obtain Harsh Features, a collection of gritty songs, some of which still remain in the live setlist. Mermaid Skull, Bird Funeral and Rainbow in the Toilet are like an old friend who barfed on your fancy rug.
After a semi-barbaric West Coast/Las Vegas tour, the lineup began to destabilize. Max quit to pursue occupational endeavors and shortly after, Matt departed to do the same. Determined to keep the project alive Tobin recruited former Cunninghams member Tim Forsander on the bass and veteran Seattle drummer Ray Synn and together played a number of Northwest venues often shrouded in fog and low budget projections and light-effects.
The drum throne was eventually replaced with Eliot Freed, one of the northwest’s premier drummers having played with Tim in the Cunninghams as well as national act Daysleeper.
This completed the power trio and they began to play live and revamp some of the older material.
Is it punk ? is it hard rock ? Is it metal? It’s heavy and different so what is it ? It was beyond the self-proclaimed litterbox-rock that made up the Harsh Features release. Magnet for Misfortune is far more solid…clumping even.
Recorded at Sepulcher Studio in Tacoma Washington by Eliot Freed, 2015’s self-released Magnet for Misfortune unleashed a cannabis saturated Pukesnake, heavy and more thought out than before with an emphasis on production. Recording Magnet for Misfortune at Eliot’s Sepulcher Music Studio in Tacoma Washington the band took the time to rework a few vintage Pukesnake numbers and create new sonic landscapes. Zodiac Master, Mermaid Skull and The Ghost’s Clothes remain in the setlist still. Pukesnake was even granted permission from legendary country music artist and Convoy author C.W. McCall to record a pounding version of the long-haul truckers-nightmare anthem Night Rider, which is also included on the Magnet for Misfortune release.
The band continued to play live and work on new material through 2016 and began recording the followup to Magnet for Misfortune towards the later end of 2016.
Ass Jazz, again recorded by Eliot in Tacoma, took over a year to produce. With a goal to make a “Heavier, darker, scarier, Dark Side of the Moon-ish experience, Ass Jazz is lyrically and musically more introspective and confrontational than ever before.
The venomous opener Bootscraper is loosely based upon the tragic story of country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons. Bootscraper, channels heavy, chainsaw guitar work and anchor-solid bass playing while a stone-crushing groove propels the assault on the listeners ears. “Burned in a coffin in the desert ” indeed !
Do you Need Something ? asks the listener what they need out of life but ends as a passenger on an unidentified flying object all the while poured through a Slayer filter to keep things heavy.
Cops tells the true story of traveling on an Arizona highway and the arrest that followed. ” Vomit on the seat and he shows you he’s tough” “Why ya wanna be a cop ?”
Shit Flag confronts those that intimidate others when in a group but are powerless alone. Dig deeper and it refers to corporation-owned government and mind control. This song kills live.
King of the Red Lights is a swamp-dwelling blues waffle stomp with a Captain Beefheart meets Tom Waites edge.
The slide guitar induces hypnosis while the listener gets transported from the freeway to the dollar store, to finally the junkyard where “I got your door and fender from this junkyard just last fall“.
Bird Funeral, another live staple, is dynamic and powerful. Multiple meanings to the title and the lyrics keep this song at a mysterious level. ” You let me know, you let me go ! “
Black Clam is about being a black sheep. Unwanted. Nothing ever goes right type folks. It also touches upon the Northwest experience. Living where access to abundant seafood allowed Tobin to witness an actual black clam, a clam that had been left on the bbq grill overnight. This provided the opening lyric “Sittin’ on the bbq, no one’s gonna eat ya” . Black Clam, Set to a full-tilt-boogie pace, gets to the point in a little over a minute. Shit sucks basically. “Black Clam…that’s what I am !”
I Remember That Cloud is an autobiographical song about living in the desert town of Needles California. A harrowing experience of intense weather, drug addicts, bonfires and low-quality pot. This song is where the Ass Jazz journey peaks with the epic, progressively building chorus “I remember that cloud…and that cloud came back today !“
Kill Me Man (Please) is a synthesizer composition/decompression that transports the listener back to the real world, especially with headphones !
With the amazing cover art by Ian Hill completing the finishing touch, Ass Jazz is at the very least, a dark reinvention of heavy Seattle rock !
Midway through 2017, Pukesnake added second guitarist Dana Turner ( 3-D S&M, Green Apple Quickstep) to the lineup which fills out the live performances with a Gibson vs. Fender duel guitar attack.