Northwest Underground rock 1980 'til the End of Time


Feb. 2014: Hobosexual II

OK gang –

It is time for another chunk of Pacific Northwest finery. For February (love month) we feature Seattle’s Only Rock Duo, Hobosexual, starring in Hobosexual II. As you might guess in a rock duo, the preferred instruments are guitar (electric, humbucker variety) and drums. They have beards. And singing. Or as they put it, “2 beards, 4 amps, and more raw talent than Jesus.” These guys put out a CD in 2010 called Hobosexual (they left off the “I”). It’s pretty good. Last October or so they put this CD out. I’m not so hip that I knew about them. I saw it on Marco Collins’ top 25 list and said wot the hell. Bought it. After one listen. it was on my top ten for the year. Sounds great every time. I fact I just love how this record sounds. Total rock.

No doubt somebody is saying isn’t this just White Stripes with beards? Fair enuff, but no. On Facebook they say they like these guys: AC/DC, CCR, John Lee Hooker, Freddie King, Nazareth, No Means No, Hot Water Music, Fugazi, Drunk Horse. Please note who is first on the list. If I was gonna add who is missing off their list it would probably be Beastie Boys. They might disagree.

Besides the fact they rock ridiculously, this is a concept album set in 2071 fer chrissakes. Who does that? Just these guys. Do they provide lyrics so you can read these concepts? Nope. You’ll just haveta listen. Did I mention I love “A Motherf#%kin’ Song About Robot”?

And you can see them tonight at Slim’s in Georgetown. Bang!

Ok so what else? Well, we are working on some new releases for the year. First up in March is The Queen Annes – Something Quick 1980-1985. I know you dug these guys when we put out the Green Monkey Anthology: It Crawled From The Basement a few years ago – well now it’s the full meal deal. Pretty great.

Jim of Seattle, who got on a bunch of Best Albums of 2013 lists, has informed me there will be at minimum one new JoS album this year. Maybe two. Optimistic devil. Mr. Jeff Kelly is making strides on Coffee in Nepal 2. The OF’s Scapegoat is nearing completion. Joe Ross and I are going to pull one more Green Pajamas nugget out this year, Happy Halloween, which originally had a release of about 10 cassettes. And I am nearly done reconfiguring my recording setup in preparation for recording “History of Northwest Rocks Vol. 1” with the same excellent band that cut “No Lou This Xmas” on this year’s holiday classic.

Gary Minkler is playing with both the Minkler Combo and Red Dress on the 8th at Darryl’s up in funky Shoreline. Go once, have twice as much fun.

The Of is playing the 15th at Wally’s House of Booze in Wenatchee. That’s funky too.

Oh yeah, that Superbowl thing. For the first time we are sending the Green Monkey Reporter to get the live lowdown. Mr. John Carey of the OF will be there in person, ready to report blow by blow. And yes, Seahawks will win.


February 2014

The Songs:

1. Switchblade Suburbia

2. Black Camaro Death

3. Squish It!

4. Annihilator

5. Hostile Denim

6. A Motherf#%kin’ Song About Robots

7. Bums of 2071

8. Ghettoblaster

9. Sex Destroyer

10. The Creep

11. BMX

12. Mechagodmothra


Hobosexual is Ben Harwood and Jeff Silva

Engioneered and Mixed at the Kill Room by Benjamin Donald “Jenkies” Jenkins

Mastered by Martyn Feveyear at Jupiter Studios

Cover Artwork by Adam Burke

Modeling provided by Kara Kay. Cover Type Design and layout by Bradley Lockhart

Copyright 2013 Hobosexual LLC and Bromandude Publishing





Photos: 2013 Jason Tang Photography

The press:

Hobosexual, Hobosexual II (10/4, self-released,

These guys are storytellers. That was clear on Hobosexual’s 2010 self-titled debut, and is even more so on Hobosexual II. For their sophomore effort, the local duo of Jeff Silva and Ben Harwood took the storytelling thing to the next level, mixing their love of  ’70s-influenced riffs and ’80s glam rock to create a complex story about a post-apocalyptic world. The year is 2071, the protagonist is Kara, and the mission is to save the radiation- and poison-infested earth from the grasp of the “Sex Destroyers” street gang. The scene is set instantly by the aggressive opening notes of “Switchblade Suburbia,” a sonic assault that makes the following track, the rolling, bluesy “The Black Camaro Death,” an even bigger surprise. The album’s high point is “A Motherfuckin’ Song,” a chant-heavy banger that’s part Sabbath and part My Chemical Romance (the catchy call-and-response thing, not the annoying emo-goth thing). It’s this variety of straightforward rock ’n’ roll and arena-ready anthems that makes Hobosexual IIso compelling. The duo has found a perfect mix of nostalgia and novelty on this release, and the result is an homage to the greats that showcases just how hungry we all are for another wave of epic, rowdy rock—with a punk disposition, of course. (Fri., Oct. 4, 2013, Neumos)

Keegan Prosser Seattle Weekly

More press:

The most rambunctious two-piece in local rock are back with a masterpiece of a sophomore album. That’s right, Guerrilla Candy’s pals Hobosexual have returned and their new album “Hobosexual II” is exactly what you would expect from the rough and rugged (yet also playful and lovable) rock ‘n’ roll beasts Ben Harwood and Jeff Silva. The guitar tones are sick, the drums sound amazing and the songs flat out rock. And like the band’s self-titled 2010 debut album, this record is best enjoyed when cranked up to 11. In fact, I’m pretty sure that in the future there’s going to be a law making it illegal to listen to “Hobosexual II” at any volume level lower than 11.

Speaking of the future, did I mention that “Hobosexual II” is a concept record set in the year 2071? The story involves an outlaw BMX biker gang called the Sex Destroyers that are led by an authority-fighting female named Kara (pictured above on the album cover) who has broken away from a society where corporate overlords rule the masses thanks to mind-control gas sprayed over cities and slipped into water supplies. During a battle with rival biker gang the Annihilators Kara rescues a scientist called Creep who is working on a project he calls Mechagodmothra, which is a giant rocketship that Kara hopes will take her and the remaining outlaws who are strong enough to resist the corporate mind-controlling tyrants to live on a distant moon of Saturn that Creep says can sustain human life.

Sounds pretty rad right? And like all good concept albums, the story is engaging but it’s the music that really sells the experience. Simply put, the 12 tracks on  this album marks the return of good old fashioned dirty, sweaty, loud and heavy rock ‘n’ roll to Seattle.

Oh, and if Hobosexual’s balls-out rock and a killer storyline aren’t enough to sell you on “Hobosexual II” here’s another reason you need to have this album in your record collection: it has a motherf#%kin’ song about robots. Excuse me, that’s my bad. It’s actually “A Motherf#%kin’ Song About Robots” since that’s the name of the song. Trust me when I say “Hobosexual II” is one of the few must-own local rock albums of 2013 and you will want to be at Neumos (October 4, 2013)to hear how bombastic and badass it sounds live.

By Travis Hay guerrillacandy

Even more press:

Local duo Hobosexual has just released their second album, handily titled II. Armed with only a guitar and a drum kit, the Seattle-based band manages to get a lot out of a little (check out the deep dark drag of “The Black Camaro Death” or the jean jacket swagger of “Sex Destroyer” for a heaping dose of “see what I mean?”) And did I mention it’s a concept album? Yeah, well, it’s complicated. On the approach of their big CD release show at Neumos on Friday, I talked with head Hobo honcho Ben Harwood about what it all means.

So… concept album huh?
Yes. Did you listen to it yet?

I did! I’m detecting some obvious Bon Jovi and Skid row influences on a couple of the tracks.
Not familiar with either of those bands other than by name, but it’s true, we are definitely aiming to revive some serious ass rock with Hobosexual II.

The 80’s were a pretty lousy time for concept albums, according to Wikipedia. Any recommended 80’s concept albums you could stack alongside this one? And don’t say Operation Mindcrime.
Not really. The entire point of this was a retro-futuristic exploration of a feeling/idea about a certain time. The album wasn’t about making a literally defined 80’s concept staple, it was more about an interpersonal exploration of an idea of a time, a memory in childhood of a time that i now look back on and envy. I remember there was a lot more mystery, personally defined senses of self among adults felt different. You know what I’m getting at? Like if you can’t look everything up in 3 seconds or reference 999 pop culture feeds a second via the internet. There’s a lot more of a sense of mystery, of beliefs personally held, or within a group, town, etc and all that translates to a vibe, a way of being that’s not plugged into the “self” but more into that bigger picture strata of pop culture icons. Am I making any sense?

You’re translating both the slowness and loudness of youth against the textures of today.
I realize any adult that lived through that era probably considers a lot of it a low point compared to today’s “freedoms”, instant access to information, etc., but in reality it’s just another, smarter level of social manipulation. And how can anyone be happy when they’re so plugged in, they’re not even living their own lives or within the basic creative tenants of their own minds?

It’s a tough balancing act. We have it all, and yet we have nothing when it comes to these sorts of things. I realized the same thing going through a few notebooks from 1995 the other day. 
A lot more is said and taken away in a face to face conversation than an email [or] a text… And to me, it’s not a balancing act because as soon as you fall into the current cycle we call our waking daily technologically driven lives, you lose creativity completely. [But] if you like the record, it means at minimum I was able to come back with and maybe even tap into something that we share in common. That’s the exciting part for me is potential to wake something up in someone if only for a minute, maybe get them to catch that vibe.

I do like the album. The sound of your music is a lot larger this time out even though you’re still just two guys. How much of that is drummer Jeff Silva and how much of that is studio magic?
It’s actually both. We worked a ton on creating more open space in the drums to maximize sonic punch and use of space, with Jeff deliberately going more Phil Rudd. He also slammed the holy hell out of the snare and kick. Additionally, we came up with a very careful and fairly unique approach to recording and isolating the drums without bleed from other instrumentation. This allowed us to crank any part of the kit we wanted in mixing without worry of a stray guitar in an overhead or kick drum mic etc. i wont bore you with the details on it, but it half combined the early “Mutt” Lange approach to kit isolation with a rather adjunct Phil Ek approach to the room and miking. In the end, we got maximum punch and a ridiculous amount of headroom to play with.

I have no idea what any of that means. Hey, here’s a dumb question to close things out. I know you’re a big Sylvester Stallone fan. What do you think his worst smelling movie is? I don’t mean the worst film overall, but in which film did he play his worst smelling character?
Oh, man, that’s a golden question I don’t have a golden answer to let me ponder that one. I can tell you that in terms of smelliness, Frank Stallone pretty much out BO’d his brother 10 days a week. I mean, just look at the guy You know he was that stinky kid in 4th grade. I was the awkward fat kid, so nobody has a better 6th sense for this observation than yours truly.

by Jason Josephes The Stranger

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