The Seattle rock scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s revealed what may have seemed like an overwhelming amount of bands covering a wide range of music. The mainstream filters only allowed a select few to break through, and yet fans who loved the music and attitudes from the Emerald City found themselves looking for more than just what was on the surface. It wasn’t about breaking through, it was simply about rocking out and having a great time, and one band who knew how to do this: Gas Huffer.
The 4-piece band had released a number of singles, compilation tracks, and an album on a wide range of labels in a three year span. In the same year they released their debut album Janitors Of Tomorrow, they found themselves on Sub Pop where they would release a one-off single in the form of “Hot Cakes!” b/w “Beer Drinking Cavemen From Mars”. Since the beginning, drummer Joe Newton would do a number of illustrations for the band and was a work-for-hire for other bands and labels. It is his work you see on the back cover of the picture sleeve, but it is the goofiness of the front that I always thought was cool.
Here’s a band who were incredible in the studio and awesome in a live setting (I was fortunately to have seen Gas Huffer twice), but did not mind playing the fool in photographs, and this was no exception. When I interviewed them for my fanzine Intensity, I asked about this cover and was curious if they actually made a bunch of pancakes to create a sea of it in order for them to sit or lie down in. The answer was no. Instead, a piece of cardboard was cut with four holes for each of their heads. A number of pancakes were cooked up for the photo shoot but only what you ended up seeing in the picture. What you do see are authentic slabs of butter and real syrup drippings poured over the hot cakes. While the shoot only lasted a few minutes, it was taken outside on a hot day, and by the end they said for the rest of the day they themselves smelled like a pancake breakfast.