Songs From the Grave

Jump Up!

The first time I saw Thumper, I was hungover. Singer Ted Riederer bounced onto the stage (in a white ninja costume, no less) and screamed into the mic, “I hope you have a sense of fucking humor!” Despite this assaulting introduction, and my general aversion to ska-core, Thumper was one of the few bands I loved . I saw them in three different states, and was always impressed with the fact they had a chick on sax (Loretta Fernandez) who actually went along with their antics (including dressing in the white ninja costume). So you can imagine my distress and dismay when I learned that Thumper had called it a day.

But yay! Thumper re-released their first two recordings, Rabbit Wreaking Havoc and Another Day , conveniently and neatly compiled on one CD. Early classics like “Guilt,” “Payin’ Our Dues,” and “Life Slips Away,” are featured, along with my favorite, “Show Up You” (which appeared on Moon Ska’s first Skarmageddon release), and a cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” In case you had the misfortune to miss them live, the two live tracks, “Holy Roller” and “American Ninja,” will bring the magic of Thumper into your home. Spliced between songs are snippets of recorded conversation and reaction to their studio catching fire. With titles like “burning down the house,” “hunk of burnin’ love,” and “hellfire and damnation” (which later became the title of Thumper’s final CD), these vignettes prove that Thumper were really a bunch of sick bastards. But that’s why I loved them.

Jump Up! Records, P.O. Box 13189, Chicago, IL 60613;

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