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It was supposed to be one more and done. When the Uncommon Houseflies’ founder Kevin Gibson realized just how difficult it was to hold a band together, he decided it would be appropriate to gather the troops long enough to record one last time, and then call it a career.
“Band members were dropping like ... well, you know,” Gibson said. Two guitarists left the ’Flies in the span of a few months, and the band’s 2010 summer schedule was salvaged only because a friend was available to fill in for a few shows.
And then? Gibson ran into Butch Bays at a Bodeco concert at Headliners. An old friend of Gibson and former guitarist for Southern Indiana cover band Wood River, Bays jumped at the chance to join a band that performed original music. A year later, the new-look ‘Flies have a brand new EP titled Wretched Radio, released on Louisville’s Better Days Records imprint.
“Joining the Uncommon Houseflies has provided me with an outlet for some of my more quirky songs,” Bays said. “Elvis and the Beatles built the house of rock ‘n’ roll, and other bands have remodeled it over the years. Our approach is to T.P. the house. ”
That’s one thing the Uncommon Houseflies have always exhibited – a quirky sense of humor and a shoulder-shrugging attitude. It’s notable that Dr. Demento has played Houseflies songs “Disgruntled Shooter (in the Nursing Home)” and “Cotton Candy in the Rain” on his show. And audiences are often unsure how to react when they hear Gibson sing lyrics like, “Loving you is like taking a bath with my socks on.”
For the new EP, the writing team of Gibson and Bays cranked out songs like the title track, which takes a swing at broadcast evangelism; “Border Disorder (The Canada Song),” about a failed trip to the “Mexico of the North;” “Space Monkey,” which chronicles the tragic adventure of a hairy astronaut; and “Commando for Jesus,” a true story about a boy who gives up wearing underwear for Lent.
“Those guys are sick,” said Jeff Carpenter (Tim Krekel, Bodeco), who engineered Wretched Radio. “Fortunately, I’m a little sick too, so having them in my studio for hours on end was tolerable.”
“Wait until you hear our next CD,” Bays said. “How do you feel about hipsters and Mexican wrestlers?”