MARY :: HEAVY PROGRESSIVE POWER TRIO FROM VANCOUVER :: 1988-92
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Another footnote in the rich and varied music annals of Vancouver, Canada.


HISTORY

Mary came of age in 1989. A pimply creature, awkward in adolescence and trying to find a new way. Sometimes it didn't work. But when it did, as Kent used to say, "it was the best fucking thing on the planet."

Torn between punkified, overblown folk songs and an almost obsessive prog-like need to stretch out instrumentally, the sound was simultaneously familiar and unique. Punk without the posing. Rock without the pretense. Heavy without the metal.

The first version of Mary (1988) was formed when John Jansen joined Michael Lewis (Six Inches, Unnatural Silence, The Fabulous Wallies, etc.) and Deviant (Six Inches, The Economy, Deviant & The Clones, Pimmel, etc.) to form a new trio after sitting in during the final days of Six Inches. Michael Lewis soon left to pursue an acting career and was replaced by John Maxwell.

Three and a half quick years. The stragest part was that a band with no real release ended up doing a bit of touring, opening for a number legendary bands they had no business opening for, and getting featured on MuchMusic while playing a multi-night stint in Toronto. And that their demos were charting on college radio.

By the end of 1991, it smelled like Mary might actually make it through puberty and evolve into a fully realized woman. Then John Maxwell unexpectedly quit literally days before the band was offered a distribution deal and invited to play the CMJ Music Marathon. Rather than fake it with a new bass player on short notice, Deviant passed on both offers and eventually put the band on indefinite hiatus.

Several documents remain: the live Day of Infamy which captures the band's energy level in a "glorious" two-mic, lo-fi recording; What Never Was, the postmortem disc of recordings awaiting a final mix when the party ended, and the Roy's Head EP, as well some other odds, ends, and poscripts.



CONTACT

mogul [at] atomicmouserecordings.com

DISCOGRAPHY

1988 Friends / Negative Reality Inversion
(single) - listen/buy
friends
1988 Virginal
(cassette, limited CD re-issue)
virginal
1989 Him/Hippie
An aborted flexi-single.
(cassingle)
him v.1
1989 Roy's Head
3 songs: Out My Back Window, Martini Logic, Big Fishes
(all re-recorded for What Never Was).
(cassette, CD) - listen/buy
roy's head
1989 Mary Xmas
Carol of the Bells b/w Exodus. Great parody of the Roy's Head cover.
(cassette, included on Roy's Head CD) - listen/buy
mary xmas
1990 Gallow's Pole
One-off Zeppelin cover to support college radio.
(track on CJIV compilation)
CJIV comp
1990 AM GOD
(cassette)
AM GOD
1990 Mary
Demo mixes from first What Never Was session.
(cassette)
MARY EP
1990 Police Hunt / Saw My Daddy (Fuckin' My Momma)
(cassingle, 10")
Police Hunt
1991 Disposable Paranoia
Advance mixes from second What Never Was session.
(cassette)
disposable paranoia
1991 Day of Infamy
Live radio simulcast of the last show with John Maxwell;
CD contains bonus Nardwuar interview.
(cassette, CD) - listen/buy
day of infamy
1992 What Never Was
11 songs recorded by John Wright (NoMeansNo) and Cecil English.
(CD) - listen/buy
what never was
1999 The Ressurection Session
Rough edits from a 1998 impromptu/improvised studio session.
(cassette)
no art available
1999 Monstercock / Alone
(CD single) - listen/buy
monstercock
2000 Necromaniac
Contains edited/remixed tracks from The Ressurection Session
plus bonus tracks.
(CD)
necromaniac
2004 "Collateral Damage (live)"
Track from Day Of Infamy on an Atomic Mouse Recordings label sampler.
(CD)
sound in a vacuum
2006 "Monstercock"
Track from The Ressurection Session on an Atomic Mouse Recordings label sampler.
(CD)
sound in a vacuum 2
2016 Live Thunderbird Radio Hell
Live CiTR radio performance from 1989.
(CD) - listen/buy
live TR
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THE GUYS

deviant & the johns

deviant :: guitars and stuff :: strut and fret

jansen :: drums and stuff :: baker / bonham / krupa

maxwell :: bass and stuff :: progmeister doing the dü


PRESS QUOTES

"...Roy's Head, by Mary, has that rawness I was talking about. Deviant, plays/slashes fast and hard; bassist John Maxwell and drummer John Jansen aren't Victorian in their approaches, either. The Highlight is "Big Fishes", a tune that devolves (and that's a compliment) from power pop to industrial mayhem... the results are too satisfying to discount... part Cream, part Stooges, and all sonic pleasure."

The Georgia Straight
June, 1989



"...there's no doubt that Mary has found their niche, playing songs almost as loud and hard as they can get without losing all traces of melody."

Discorder
February, 1990



"...[Mary] played an adrenaline- pumping set. They were loud and good..."

Discorder
November, 1991



"...It's rare to hear something sound so clean and contagious while evil and noisy."

Discorder
July, 1990



"...promising upstarts were conspicuously absent in 1989 from the usually verdant Vancouver scene. Hard rockers T.T. Racer, Husker-Du-ish Mary, and acoustic popsters Green House were the notable exceptions..."

Music Express #144
February, 1990







"...distinguished songs [on this compilation] are by White Ballaz, Mary, and Hedonists Maybe."

Illinois Entertainer
November, 2005
"...their most recent claim to fame seems to be The Cruel Elephant's Discorder ad that gives them the double honour of (1) band to play The Cruel Elephant the most often, and (2) the band that says "fuck" the most... their cassettes are worth a spin both for the rock (straight up, one ice cube) and the lyrics (Deviant has a philosophy degree which he says "gives me the license to write about whatever the fuck I want")."

What Wave #20
Spring, 1991


"...almost straight off there's a line 'You think I care but I don't give a flying fuck', that should be written down in some list of great rock and roll lytrics. Maybe I'm totally off base here, but didn't these guys used to be associated with Deviant & the Clones et al? This is far from being noise, though... nicely produced and performed but not wimpy."

Discorder
July, 1989
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CHART HISTORY

College radio ain't what it used to be. After "punk broke", big labels started buying up little labels and started throwing money around. Those innocent young music directors didn't stand a chance. But back in the day, more things were possible. Mary had the good fortune to be opening for The Lemonheads the same weekend as a college radio conference. A lot of PDs, MDs, and DJs were at that show and took copies of Roy's Head home with them. What follows is a list of confirmed chart entries -- it's by no means complete or comprehensive.

date        recording          station  city            chart     position
---------   ----------         -------  -------------   -----     --------
30-Nov-88   "Friends"             CITR  Vancouver, BC   demo           #8
30-Nov-88   Virginal              CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #11
31-Dec-88   "Friends"             CITR  Vancouver, BC   demo           #8
11-Jun-89   Roy's Head            CKLN  Toronto, ON     single/EP      #20
18-Jun-89   Roy's Head            CKLN  Toronto, ON     single/EP      #18
25-Jun-89   Roy's Head            CKLN  Toronto, ON     single/EP      #19
31-Aug-89   "Him"                 CITR  Vancouver, BC   demo           #1
30-Sep-89   Roy's Head            CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #14
30-Sep-89   Roy's Head            CJIV  Burnaby, BC     single/EP      #2
31-Oct-89   Roy's Head            CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #10
31-Oct-89   Roy's Head            CJIV  Burnaby, BC     single/EP      #20
30-Nov-89   Roy's Head            CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #15
20-Dec-89   Mary Xmas             CJSR  Edmonton, AB    single/EP      #4
27-Dec-89   Mary Xmas             CJSR  Edmonton, AB    single/EP      #6
31-Dec-89   Roy's Head            CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #15
31-Jan-90   AM GOD                CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #16
31-Jan-90   AM GOD                CITR  Vancouver, BC   1990 demos     n/o
31-Jan-90   "Carol Of The Bells"  CITR  Vancouver, BC   demo           #22
31-Jan-90   "Gallow's Pole"       CITR  Vancouver, BC   1990 demos     n/o
31-Jan-90   Mary EP               CITR  Vancouver, BC   1990 demos     n/o
31-Jan-90   Roy's Head            CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #15
04-Feb-90   AM GOD                CKLN  Toronto, ON     singles/EPs    #17
11-Feb-90   AM GOD                CKLN  Toronto, ON     singles/EPs    #13
25-Feb-90   AM GOD                CJAM  Windsor, ON     album          #41
28-Feb-90   "Carol Of The Bells"  CITR  Vancouver, BC   demo           #19
31-Mar-90   "101 Knights"         CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #4
30-Apr-90   "101 Knights"         CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #49
30-Jun-90   "101 Knights"         CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #24
30-Jun-90   "Heaven's Gate"       CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #39
30-Jun-90   "Loving Ivy"          CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #50
30-Jun-90   Mary EP               CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #3
30-Jun-90   Mary EP               CFRC  Kingston, ON    album          #32
31-Jul-90   "Heaven's Gate"       CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #43
31-Jul-90   "Loving Ivy"          CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #10
31-Jul-90   Mary EP               CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #3
31-Jul-90   Mary EP               CFUV  Victoria, BC    cassette       #6
31-Aug-90   "Loving Ivy"          CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #9
31-Aug-90   Mary EP               CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #3
30-Sep-90   "Heaven's Gate"       CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #23
30-Sep-90   Mary EP               CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #7
30-Sep-90   "Police Hunt"         CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #26
30-Sep-90   "Three Men"           CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #52
31-Oct-90   Mary EP               CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #7
10-Nov-90   Mary EP               CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #9
30-Nov-90   "Heaven's Gate"       CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #4
21-Dec-90   Mary EP               CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #10
31-Dec-90   "Gallow's Pole"       CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #13
31-Dec-90   "Heaven's Gate"       CJSW  Calgary, AB     1990 demo      #14
31-Dec-90   "Loving Ivy"          CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #2
31-Jan-91   "Gallow's Pole"       CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #6
31-Jan-91   Mary EP               CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #10
28-Feb-91   Mary EP               CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #17
31-Mar-91   "Loving Ivy"          CFUV  Victoria, BC    cassette       #3
31-Mar-91   Mary EP               CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #10
30-Jun-91   "Police Hunt"         CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #5
30-Jun-91   "Three Men"           CITR  Vancouver, BC   single/cass    #25
30-Sep-92   Day Of Infamy         CFLR  Sudbury, ON     album          #13

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