Monday, October 10, 2011
Brown Hornet- Greatest Hits (1995)
Visually reminiscent of Boris the Sprinkler, and sonically comparable to some Angry Samoans records, Brown Hornet were a cherished Essex County anomaly that i get requests for regularly. Ladies and Gentleman, Brown Hornet front man Ed LeBlanc:
"Brown Hornet got its start when JEFF (bass) and I (ED, guitar), skateboarded together back in high school in the early 1990’s. We’d skate Jeff’s mini-ramp in his backyard out in LaSalle and then jam out song ideas on his guitars. Jeff had already been playing guitar for a while and I had recently picked up a few lessons from another skate friend, Brad Matthews (RIP).
Influences around that time included many punk, indie and hardcore bands (think SST, Dischord, SUBPOP) we discovered through reading Thrasher or watching skate videos. The band name was borrowed from a character on the old Fat Albert cartoon from the 1970’s (look it up on YOUTUBE). The concept was to write short songs about random, weird topics and not take ourselves too seriously.
We eventually recruited two other L’ESSOR classmates, FRANK (vocals) and SCOTT (drums) to round out the Brown Hornet lineup. At first we played classic rock covers at school functions and assemblies. Eventually we built up the courage to play original tunes. Our first non-school show was an open-mic jam at a place in Leamington. We sat patiently through about 7 or 8 other bands. Then, right before we were about to play, a fight broke out and the place emptied out. Not an encouraging start.
The next show was at Jimmy’s Pub and it went over a bit better. It was memorable due to one band member drinking a bunch of whisky beforehand and starting off the set by puking in a bucket on stage. Despite initial worries we would not be invited back to Jimmy’s, we did go on to play there several more times between 1994 and 1995 with other bands such as The Implants, Evil Mind, Plastic Gary, and Shun. Besides Jimmy’s, we also played Windsor venues like the Coach, the Spotted Dog and the Masonic Temple.
We released one cassette towards the end of our run. It was recorded in Scott’s parents’ garage in St. Joachim, where we used to practice. It was recorded on a Ghetto Blaster style tape recorder, so the sound quality was decidedly “lo-fi.” (We had approached Leone’s about renting a 4-track machine but found their overall attitude and customer service skills unsatisfactory).
Brown Hornet pretty much dissolved after high school. Jeff and Scott left Windsor to pursue post-secondary education. Frank and I played a few more shows with JOHN on bass and GAVIN on drums before calling it quits.
Brown Hornet was great fun. Much love and respect to Jimmy’s Pub and everyone there who made that scene possible."
Related: Flying Bears of Vengeance, Way Too Gigolo, Hogfat, the Vaudevillianaires, etc.