Today marks the first proper release of the self-titled album by French heavy rock band SOGGY by Outer Battery Records. Recorded in 1981, the 11-song album was originally pressed in a limited run of just 300 copies and is considered somewhat of a record collecting trophy piece by lovers of unhinged garage rock.
SOGGY started out playing cover versions of songs by Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, MC5 and the Stooges in 1978, but soon started writing and performing their own material. At first (and second) glance, the group looks a lot like the Ramones backing Brother Rob Tyner. Snarling lead singer Beb, a natural born frontman of the Iggy Pop school of onstage decorum, was a crazy shirtless motherfucker with a huge Afro and the group, with a foot in both the punk and heavy rock camps called their music “hard wave.” They released one single “Waiting for the War” and played more than 100 concerts, but the band split in July of 1982, finding it difficult to support themselves financially right when they were offered the opening slot for a European Judas Priest concert tour.
A few years back, a clip of SOGGY performing live on French television in 1981, was posted on YouTube and began making the rounds of rock snobs causing a minor sensation. Early on the SOGGY train, Dangerous Minds editor Marc Campbell called them possibly “the coolest thing to come out of France since Françoise Hardy” and “a French heavy rock band from the early 1980s who managed to channel the spirit of MC5 and The Stooges in ways that few bands have managed to do.”
Brian Turner, the music director at WFMU radio, had this to say about SOGGY:
“France’s unstoppable monsters of mayhem put the Motor City in your Motörhead. Face punching riffs, complete destruction, who the hell else could spit Iggy off the stage? They did in 1980. The power of Beb compels you.”
Beb returned to the stage for the first time in over 35 years when he joined The Shrine—who’d recorded a cover of “Waiting For The War”—in Paris last year. He also recently joined them onstage at a heavy metal festival in Las Vegas, with the journey being shot for an upcoming SOGGY documentary.
I asked SOGGY’s fierce frontman, the amazing Beb—who does 700 sit-ups each morning before he goes to work—a few questions via email:
Dangerous Minds: What was a SOGGY concert like?
Beb: Our music and attitude was very rough, we were always on a high-energy level (without any drugs apart from goat’s milk). And the audiences were usually a bit surprised because at this time most of the other bands were considered “cooler” than us.
How did modern day interest in SOGGY come about on the Internet?
Beb: In fact, all of the recent interest comes from our unique video which was filmed in the local FR3 television studios. It began to go viral on the net around year 2000 and led to our discovery by a new and worldwide audience.
More after the jump…