Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bulkhead - "Psychic" 7"

Bulkhead – “Psychic” 7”
Rockville, 1992
Acquired: Love Garden Shotgun Room, Used, 2007
Price: $.25

I love writing up these 7”s I got from the Shotgun Room five years ago. I typically start by googling the band, then the individual members, then the producers and engineers, all in an effort to put together the band’s family tree. Bulkhead’s only seems to be connected to Boston hardcore outfit SSD via drummer Chris Foley. Chris Foley is also the contact person listed on the insert, for some reason. I wonder if his phone number still works? Probably not, but I could always call and find out! More research reveals that Bulkhead released one album—Gas Giants—for Shimmy Disc in 1994. Based on the strength of “Psychic,” I’m gonna have to track the full-length down. It’s precisely the sort of song I hoped to find when I bought an armload of 7”s. Uncut, pharmaceutical grade college rock. It is unpretentious with aspirations probably not extending beyond the greater Boston metro area. It’s jangly like R.E.M. but Bulkhead bring their own energy to the table, and it’s sad that this 7” has gone through THREE different record shelving units in the past five years and gone unheard. The b-side tracks “Saw Ya” and the Roxy Music cover “Virginia Plain” are really good, but “Psychic” is the track I’m gonna save if the house is burning down (assuming I can only save one, and I have to choose between these three songs). The clear vinyl is fun too, and if I were giving this album a score Olympic gymnastics style, I’d probably bump my rating a percentage because I just plain fucking LOVE colored vinyl. ESPECIALLY if it is see-through. This is an artifact from a simpler time, when bands were content to just rock out and make whatever they wanted without having to worry about being extra-innovative or incorporating tape loops or children’s choirs whatever. Just good old-fashioned indie rock with heart and hooks.

Note: Jenny just said “this kinda sounds like the Pixies” and I was like “OF COURSE! THE BOSTON THING!” so there’s that.

I wish I could share "Psychic," but there are like four videos of Bulkhead on Youtube and they're all live and I don't have one of those line-in turntables (and then you get into the issue of using other people's music for your own personal use without their permission etc). But here's a live version of "Virginia Plain." They also have a song called "A Dong Market," the title of which cracks me up.


  1. Bulkhead also have a full length CD called Plunk which came out on Sonic Bubblegum records in 1992. You will love this album if you can find a copy of it.

  2. Hey, thanks for finding our single and more importantly, writing about it. I was one of the founding members of Bulkhead and got a kick out of your blog entry. If you're interested in more music or info about the band, hit me up and I'd be happy to provide a link.

  3. Here's a brand new Bulkhead Bandcamp page. All the Bulkhead that's fit to download.