When Peter Margasak posted last week about Eric Chenaux’s new album, Guitar & Voice, he mentioned Chenaux’s old rock band Phleg Camp—a name I hadn’t heard in more than a decade. When I was in college in Houston in the early 90s, I had a cassette dub of Phleg Camp’s 1992 LP Ya’Red Fair Scratch, recorded by Steve Albini—the Toronto trio’s only proper full-length. I’m not sure that tape survived my house fire in 1998, and if it did, I neither know where it is nor have a machine that will play it. But dang I liked that record, so today’s 12 O’Clock Track is some Phleg Camp: “Corn Licker,” from a collection of seven-inches and demo tracks called Repeat Until Change.
Phleg Camp was never terribly popular, and it doesn’t look like too many people out there still carry a torch for the band. I can’t find embeddable audio from Ya’Red Fair Scratch anywhere on the Internet (though admittedly I don’t know where all the secret doors are). I suspect this song was retitled and possibly rewritten for Ya’Red Fair Scratch, because I recognize the bit at the end. Just imagine its considerable badassery—I’m hearing a little Jesus Lizard and a lot of Mule—enhanced by the badassery of Albini’s signature sound.