“Ride With Zeke”

  • Category
  • Release # BFLD410
  • Limited to 300
  • Size Chart Clear
  • Product Description

    I first heard Zeke on the Galaxie 500 cassette tape—I still have it in a box somewhere. This was in ’92, I think. Soon after, they released another tape; can’t remember the title, but it had “Highway Star,” “West Seattle Acid Party,” and “Runnin’ Shine” on it. Suddenly I had a new favorite band. I started seeing them live around that time, which kicked everything up a few notches. Donny’s relentless kick and snare propelled the mayhem, a psychotic metronome pacing the soundtrack to the apocalypse. Mark Pierce held down the middle of the stage, eyes wide with a demonic grin, bouncing, bass slung low like an M60, spraying the crowd with low end. Dizzy’s side of the stage may as well have been a padded cell–he twitched and jerked around, throttling his guitar, occasionally taking the mic, chewing verbs, spitting nouns, vomiting garbled, unhinged soliloquies. And then there was Blind Marky, plying his guitar with furious rhythmic precision, punctuated by blistering, jaw-dropping solos, spinning grotesque tales of destitution, debauchery, and decay, his syncopated, percussive lyrical delivery augmenting the band’s unrelenting onslaught.

    A couple years later, I was hanging out in the studio in Seattle when Bill and Stephen from Descendents recorded Zeke’s first record, watching Marky do the vocals for “Wrecking Machine.” No warm up. Stephen gave him the high sign, and he went from sitting on the couch to screaming in 30 seconds. Whenever I hear the song, I can picture Mark standing, hands on headphones, eyes clenched, mouth agape in mid-roar. Pretty sure they used that first take. When their debut LP, Super Sound Racing, came out, my first thought was, This is riot music. This is The First Four Years. In my book, when it comes to hardcore punk, there’s Black Flag, and there’s Zeke. Then there’s everyone else. Soon after that I got the chance to sing “Runnin’ Shine” with them at the Lake Union Pub, and it was one of the most visceral moments I’ve ever had as a musician. To be part of that audio cataclysm, even for a mere minute and 55 seconds, was a rush I’ll never forget.

    Intersections and connections with the band continued through the years. We played together in Fort Collins. My good friend Joe Young–who worked at my first band My Name’s first label and roadied for us–ended up driving and roadying for Zeke. My best friend Trevor Lanigan ran sound for them for a while. My dear friend Jeff Matz, who played in Wretch Like Me with Trevor and myself, joined Zeke and played on two LPs. They did the first one, Death Alley, at The Blasting Room, and I was lucky enough to sing backups on it.

    My favorite lineup is probably the original: Marky, Donny, Dizzy, and Mark Pierce. But Sonny (RIP), Jeff, Donny, and Marky is a close 2nd, responsible for Death Alley and ‘Til the Livin’ End, two out of three of my favorite Zeke records (the first LP being the other). And the current lineup destroys as well–they seem to play even faster today than they did at any time prior, which doesn’t seem possible. I was so stoked when they were down to do this shirt. I based the drawing off a killer live pic by Brian Kasnyik–it took a little over 100 hours and just shy of 270,000 pen marks. Which is ridiculous. But I love this band. Two decades and counting. Never relenting. Hell, they’re on tour as I write this. So you know what to do: Throw on your Mopar Super Bee, hop that mystery train, and RIDE. WITH. ZEKE. -Abe Brennan

    LIMITED TO 300. Printed on Bella Canvas Soft Spun Cotton Apparel. LADIES’ SIZES RUN REALLY SMALL. Check the size chart.