STIFFS, INC. “CHELSEA / MARY PICKFORD MARRY ME” PROMO 7″ (NEW YORK CITY- ONION, 1995) Both songs from this promo 7″ also appeared on their much-hyped “Nix Nought Nothing” LP in ’95, which now lines cut-out bins and can be found for a few bucks. Onion musta pressed a ton of them in hopes that Stiffs, Inc. would be “the next big thing” thus the total glut. I cannot listen to that whole LP, though- the singer irks me about halfway through, and I’m even not that hot on the flipside of this single but “Chelsea” is genius. A very catchy ditty from the first note, and a very layered song. Check out how the guitar goes from being strummed in the beginning to kinda growling a little later and then back again. The band changes up the overall tempo of the tune several times which is nice, especially in the last 30 seconds when they finish it off with a whole different vibe that totally works for me and is a rightful finish to a great tune. These guys could really play, and they got it so right in these 4 minutes (far longer than my preferred song length too). “Chelsea” is melodic in all the right places but then driving and punchy in all the right places too. Right on. TRIVIA NOTES: Before signing to Onion, Stiffs, Inc. had two self-released 7″s in ’94 as just “The Stiffs” that were pretty good- the “Destroy All Art” and “Blown Away Baby” 45’s (“Blown Away Baby” also appears on “Nix Nought Nothing”). Then after their flop on Onion, they released the “Electric Chair Theatre” LP in ’97 on another label. It was a disappointment to me when I listened to it about 10 years ago, but maybe I need to give it another listen all these years later. Sometimes time heals wounds when it comes to some rekkids. [Case in point- when I first heard Cocksparrer’s thug-punk stomper “Runnin Riot” about 10 years ago it didn’t grab me for some reason, but now is a fave of mine and I don’t know what I was thinkin’ a decade ago. I was in my fucking 20’s, gimme a break] COLLECTOR SCUM NOTES: In the most recent issue of the great scholarly ‘zine Ugly Things Mr. Kugelberg happened to mention that he pressed up this promo 7″ in a run of only 200 copies. Never knew that until now, so that’s kind of cool to find out all these years later. I found my copy for 49 cents here in Chicago in a cheapo bin full of bad 80’s records- if you look closely at the above picture of the sleeve, you’ll notice a few things. First, some store employee put a black mark in the upper right of the sleeve, presumably this meant the thing was getting tossed into the cut-out bin. Secondly, the sleeve has a tear in the same area from where I tried to remove the price sticker- not a good idea when a sleeve is cardboard (doh). The sleeve is a thick cardboard job with no artwork, just Spartan informational details much like the Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments promo 45 that also came in a run of 200 copies on Onion.