The first Linus Pauling Quartet album was released shortly after the band came into existence. The album was recorded at the KTRU-FM studios mostly live on Scott Grimm’s 6-track-cassette recorder over a relatively short period of time. The tools were crude and the methods were less than sophisticated, yet it does provide the blueprint for the bandÕs future endeavors. With favorites like the “Linus Theme”, “Hamburger Girl”, and “Friendswood Development Company” it successfully made quite a few college radio stationsÕ top ten album rotations. Though loved by many, this first CD was not without its detractors. Most notably Michael Davis of Option Magazine suggested the band “should consider doing a few less bonghits”. Meanwhile, High Times placed it on their POT TEN list. Now who would you rather believe??
Narimasu Heights – Concept was for each person to pick a item for sound immediately record the band member for 90 seconds (independent of everyone else) and then throw it together. Probably the most foolish opening track ever. The title is in tribute to our good freind Bob Schamus who lived in Narimasu Heights during his time in Japan at the time. He is pictured in the booklet in his sumo class.
Hamburger Girl – Written by Clinton Heider, this was his ode to a woman who served lunch at the UT cafeteria though Jeff Erfurdt penned the lyrics.
Linus Theme – the anthem was improvised and when Clinton began shouting “We are Linus” it all made sense. It would take the band a few months to figure out the full band name. Other proposed band names included Linus Van Pelt but this seemed to be asking for a lawsuit and later Larry Liska lamented not proposing Linus Torvalds. Regardless this song makes it clear who we are as well as who we are not.
Astral Toads – A Clinton Heider tune written for the Blue Guys. The obsession with bugs, monkeys, and reptiles makes its first appearance. Lyrics here by Brandon Brown.
Friendswood Development Company – Steve Finley penned the music here. Clinton Heider wrote the anti-suburban lyrics. The namesake refers to Friendswood, TX which is not far from where most of the band grew up.
Drop It – Another Finley tune with Clinton raving about taking drugs. The theme of drugs makes its first appearance.
Penis Free Zone – a drum riff shamelessly lifted from Railroad Jerk and a lead guitar part shamelessly trying to emulate Captain Beefheart. The title referred to a spraypaint battle between the LP4 and another band. We had Drawn a penis behind the drummer’s kit and they drew a “no” symbol crossing it out. The song meanwhile has Clinton quoting a friend of ours from UH who discussed various things she liked. She will naturally remain nameless.
Class of ’85 – another Clinton “I hated my high school” song. The irony here is that Clinton actually would have been class of Õ86 had he not dropped out in Õ85.
Larry’s Song – Written by Larry Liska, this first surfaced in Schlong Weasel but never quite seemed completed. Once Clinton added his Lyrics this all fell into place.
Last to Know – Originally titled Opus 3 (after a keyboard) this is the band playing with time signatures. This is also early evidence that the band probably needed a more talented singer.
Turtle Song – Written by Ramon with the bridge written by Jim “Otto” Otterson. Clinton Heider penned the lyrics of this first forage into Pink Floyd psychedelia. Note when the band walked into KTRU one day a DJ had scrawled Pink Floyd Sucks on the station’s copy. The band was very complimented, of course.
Mournebong – This was a Schlong Weasel song. Mournebong (named after the Michael Moorcock blade of Elric) was the one bong that Mike GunnÕs mother could never destroy. We surmised that it must have been bestowed with magical powers. The myth went that the soot on its cylinder (which Mike never cleaned) was no mere soot but the very souls of its users. Thus the obsession with the Mournebong mythos begins and later is adapted into a concept record. Also of note, the rain at the end comes form the ÒEnvironmentsÓ LP. Scott Grimm would later sing in a Dunlavy Song “Ramon stole my rain” – we naturally sued his ass for such slander. [Ok actually we didn’t]
“A large red sticker proclaiming WEIRD ALERT could not make things plainer.” –Stuart Maconie Q Magazine(UK)
“Variety through dementia indicative of excessive drug use and boredom.” — Flipside
“I don’t know what kind of drugs they’ve put in the Texas water supply, but I hope they keep doing it, because now we have these mutant sons of Yeti.” –Factsheet 5
“A sensory-agitation session worth losing a few hundred brain cells over.” –Dave Segal, Alternative Press
“A quartet of Texas weirdos who’re smart enough to play it real stupid, mining that fine line between drug-induced idiocy and conceptual genius for way more than you might’ve thought it was worth.” — Kevin Moist, Deep Water.
“Compulsory listening for anyone interested in modern American guitar rock, or just plain alternative music.” –Crohinga Well (Germany)
“Gesang, der die platte so weit ins selbstironische zieht, dab man sie nicht mehr wirklich ernst nehmen kann.” — Gregor Kessler, Hayfever (Germany)
[actually we can’t read German so we have no idea what this says]
“Anthemic, stupid and selflessly unrestrained, the LPQ eventually attain self immolation of sorts during the sprawling chaos.” — Phil Mc Mullen, Ptolemaic Terrascope (UK)
” [the band] should consider doing a few less bonghits” –Michael Davis of Option Magazine
POT TEN listing –High Times