Beakers, the

Four Steps Toward a Cultural Revolution [KLP163]

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The Beakers were a hack fit of four art-bashing funk wave arbiters who skronked into action Jan. 1980 and expired in Jan. 1981. In between they toured up and down the west coast, released a 45 and songs on two compilations, played shows with Delta 5 and Gang of Four, and recorded several times. The majority of the 17 songs on Four Steps Toward a Cultural Revolution (KLP163) have never been released before; the handful that were once available are now long out of print. The four Beakers: George Romansic (drums), Mark H. Smith (guitar & vocals), Jim Anderson (sax & vocals), and Frankie Sundsten (bass), were an abrupt, powerful force on the Seattle musical scene, who through the force of their personalities and charmingly abrasive music made that town quake, dance and smile.

The digital version of this album is available from Bandcamp

  1. Red Towel
  2. Walking
  3. Bones
  4. What's Important
  5. 3 Important Domestic Inventions
  6. Third In B
  7. Christmas Letter From HOme
  8. Fig. 21
  9. Dinosaurus Mambo
  10. I'm Crawling
  11. Use Your Fingers
  12. Line Up
  13. Insulation
  14. Thinking Postmodern
  15. Funky Town


“Red Towel (Mr. Brown) takes at least two listenings to come through, then kicks in hard. Push-pull rhythms, stuttering horns, laced and livened with farcical tootings, clever asides and nonsense ravings. Who are these guys? The address on the sleeve is in Olympia, Washington. Nowhere! Out there! Crazy cross-eyed American funk keeps on swinging.” NME, 1980

“In the early 80's, GOF shows were the most intense when we lucked into supporting talent who could make the evening rock. We loved Mission of Burma, Pylon, REM & the Beakers Scarily fine talent. Great bands show their stuff from their first moves, and Mark H Smith's team had talent by the truckload. Spiky guitars, left field words, great rhythm section...what more could you want. I loved their awkward intelligence and tunes. We all had a lot of fun as well, which was a plus. They were key movers in developing the alt West coast art-punk sound.” Jon King (Gang of Four)