Released August 1, 2016
Popboomerang are extremely proud to announce the release of College Heart, a retrospective compilation of the best recordings by 1990's Melbourne guitar pop band The Earthmen.
“1992. Back in the days before everyone had twitter feeds & could look everything up on wiki. Music wasn’t everywhere at your fingertips. You had to search it out. It was a small community, a club, of like-minded souls – avid music fans, bonding over whatever new LP they had just found that blew their mind, or some 7” they heard on an indie radio station. That’s what Summershine was – sort of the clubhouse for these wayward souls, a meeting place. I was trying to emulate my heroes from overseas – Postcard Records, Creation… and the bands doing the same. My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr, Sarah Records… That’s what I remember about The Earthmen. 3 years shining brightly on Summershine. There were 7”, CD singles, mini-albums. It was all seat-of-the-pants though. I handed numbered single sleeves, stuffed them in thousands of plastic bags. They sold out. The band cobbled together the recording side, though admittedly now the drums on that first 45 sound like cardboard boxes. But it was all about the spirit. This was no major-label spit polished glossy attempt at indie rock. It was the real deal – antipodean style.
And hell, it worked. I remember that big Melbourne Uni show supporting INXS. Lots of touring, up & down the country. Lots of effects pedals lined-up on the stage. The ‘Cool Chick’ 45, where The Earthmen joined Velocity Girl & Black Tambourine on Slumberland Records in the US. And yes, the first Summershine international record deal, with Atlantic-fucking-Records! Like huh? I still have the ½” thick contract somewhere. There was no plan, but suddenly on Seed Records, The Earthmen were label-mates with The Pastels & The Pooh Sticks. Come on, it doesn’t get much cooler.
No disputing there were rough moments. Members came & went. Sometimes people grumbled about whether a tiny indie band from Melbourne deserved to be on an American major. There was that US tour, with phone calls pleading for cash, after band members had spent all their PDs in a day or so, on drugs & records. A fist fight in Boston (at the storied Middle East no less.) But shit happens when you’re making it up as you go along. I deserted the band, for a job in Seattle. Guilty as charged. They did OK though – signing to a major, getting on TV, making way flashier records than I ever could.
Good times. Bad times...but mostly good. 20 years on it all seems water under the bridge. We’ve all found out the influence The Earthmen had – people who loved those records, seeing those shows – something special at a time & a place. Hell, this compilation wouldn’t exist it wasn’t for exactly that. Maybe they’re not a household name (though there was a release called ‘Teen Sensations’). No one made a million dollars. But there are some cool records to show for it. You can even find them now on the internet. And to some people, probably someone just like you reading this, The Earthmen hold a treasured place. And that’s what it was about. Doing it for the kids…” - Jason Reynolds (Summershine Records), 2016