The name is pronounced as a guttural scream, with “AAIIEE” being an approximate phonetic spelling. They claim they are Seattle’s hardest working band, but you have never heard of them. So let’s work on that.
Folly is the second album by a band that debuted in 1981 at a gig with Seattle legends the Fastbacks and the U-men – a proud follow-up their 2012 tribute to the 1962 World’s Fair, See You In Seattle.
Folly is an eclectic offering, with songs ranging from barn-recorded smash rockers like “Keep Clam” (a tribute to “Old Seattle” icon Ivar Haglund) to the dreamy psyche-jazz-prog of the epic title tune. However, there is no song stranger than the opener “The Sportsman” a psychotic angling tale with a monster fish inside a grain silo. Not now. Not ever. So beautiful.
How did we get here? Well, in ’81, Jeff Larson and Johnny Vinyl, veterans of early Seattle punk bands teamed up with jazzbo Craig Flory and drummer David Shumate to form AAIIEE, a genre-defying band who loved Pere Ubu, the Ramones, Sparks and everything in between. They saw no problem with using cellos, clarinets and saxophones while playing to an audience of hardcore punks. AAIIEE’s refusal to fit any mold allowed them to play with a plethora of bands. Of course, it also made it difficult to find a rabid following.
That version of the band went down the tubes by the mid 80s (though they somehow managed to release a 7” EP in 1990). Flory and Shumate were replaced by a second guitarist Greg Stumph and drummer Brent Petty. Newly inspired, AAIIEE performed at innumerable dive bars and appeared on a bunch of fine comps. See You In Seattle led to their “discovery” by GMR mogul Dyer, who demanded their second album in 35 years. And now ladies and gentlemen, without further adieu, it’s Folly!
Dec 31, 2012 Top 10 Albums of 2012
Top 10 Albums of 2012 – See You in Seattle “This record is ridiculous. Where else you gonna find a song about The Bubbleator I ask?” – Tom Dyer – Green Monkey Records