en-tro-py n. 1. Doubt/Free Me/Unknown/Snake Oil Man/
Blowin’ Smoke/Ad Infinitum/Captain Allen 2. Promise/
And Now/Know/Vengeance/Turn To/Andrew’s Hymn/Ash
1996 sees Arcwelder with their fifth full-length album to date called Entropy. Entropy is a fancy greek word for a bunch of randomness and chaos in a system. You know, there’s chaos in order, that kind of thing. It’s very heady stuff, the chaos theory business. It can make one dizzy. That very well describes the sound of Arcwelder. There is a system, a direction, that they use. Yet inside that system, there’s a bunch of crazy noise going on. Both things, the ordered system and the wacked-out noise and feedback, work together to form a cohesive unit.
To a lot of people, ourselves included, they simply just rock.
1988 was the year that Scott Macdonald, Rob Graber, and younger brother Bill Graber got together as Tilt-a-Whirl, only after Rob bought Bill a guitar and said, “You’re in the band.” Quite presumptuous, perhaps, but they soon recorded a single and an album, This, under that moniker before getting “the letter” from Sellner Manufacturing Corporation. It seems the S.M.C., the maker if the (in)famous carnival ride, didn’t appreciate the name theft, so it was on to the name Arcwelder. That whole situation is pretty damn punk rock.
As Arcwelder, they soon came out with the album, Jacket Made In Canada, also on Minneapolis label Big Money AND also produced by man-among-men Brian Paulson. Then in late 1992, the Arcwelder/Touch and Go merger was formulated over hot sticks and java with the first single Raleigh, and then furthered with the album Pull, and solidified with the 1994 album Xerxes. Both albums were recorded at Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota by Monsieur Brian paulson, with a little remixing by Bob Weston on a few cuts.
Arcwelder is not afraid to tour either, with nationwide tours with The Jesus Lizard, Tar, Flour, Kepone, and Mule under their belts. And plans for a 1996 tour are on deck.
Late in 1995, Arcwelder came out with the single “Captain Allen”/”White Elephant”. It was just a bit of the finger. The song “Captain Allen” sees the light of day again on Entropy, along with 13 other cuts. The album was recorded at Chicago Recording Company by Robert Weston and mixed at Somewhere In Chicago, Inc. There’s Scott’s sing-along falsetto of “Snake Oil Man”, the balls-out rock of “Unknown”, the stop-start catchiness of “And Now”, the somnambulism of “Ash”, and the electric, full-band version of “Free Me”, among others. Yeah, there’s diversity. There’s a common thread. There’s some variance, some chaos even, on the album. That’s the name of Arcwelder’s game. Entropy
po box 25520 chicago il 60625
312 463 8316/312 463 0849 fax
“Pint of Blood” 7″ (Sonic Boom) Jan 88
This LP/CS/CD (Big Money) May 91
“Favor” 7″ (Duophonic) Sep 92
“Raleigh” 7″ (Touch and Go) Oct 92
“I Am the Walrus” 7″ (Big Money) Nov 92
Pull LP/CS/CD (Touch and Go) Apr 94
Xerxes LP/CS/CD (Touch and Go) Apr 94
“Captain Allen”/”White Elephant” (Touch and Go) Oct 95
Entropy LP/CD (Touch and Go) Apr 16 1996
Publicity Director: Scott Giampino
Commercial Radio: Naomi Walker
Tour Promo: Brian Shallcross
Collegiate Radio: Hal Looby