Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Detroit Punk/Hardcore Pioneers The Pathetx Return with 39-year-old "Lost" Debut Album The Pathetx - 1981 (Third Man Records)


The Pathetx were a "transitional" Detroit-based Punk band originally, albeit briefly, active during the early 80's and were often credited with bridging the gap between Punk & Hardcore in its earliest aughts. The Pathetx's core line-up consisted of frontman Mark Leavitt, lead guitarist Greg Kutcher, rhythm guitarist Tom McHenry, bassist Michael "Mick" Goldwater AKA Filthy McNasty, and drummer Ted Meek AKA Iggy Moon. The Pathetx quickly became infamous for their extremely fast-paced original compositions, zany covers, and spirited live shows, which were often filled with slam dancing, stage diving, and blood-drenched sweaty teens. The band frequented Nunzio's, as well as local venues, Bookie's Club 870, The Freezer Theater, and The Red Carpet. "The shows were fueled with blood and destruction. Bloodied faces, fists, broken guitars, cymbals, and limbs all became part of the show," boasts a recent Third Man Records press release. It appears as though The Pathetx disappeared as quickly as they burst onto the scene and never released a proper album, 7-inch, or single, for that matter, before breaking up; although, it HAS been widely reported The Pathetx recorded something at Reel Sound Studio in the fall of 1981. While the coveted multi-track reels for said recording sessions were "lost" soon thereafter, the master tapes remained with the band's manager, Steve Shaw, for over three decades.


Yesterday, Jack White's Third Man Records announced the first-ever release of the aforementioned Pathetx album, now known as The Pathetx - 1981. The "album" spans nine tracks clocking in at just 18 minutes and 16 seconds and will be released in both standard black and limited edition colored vinyl 12-inch/45RPM versions, as well as digitally. Along with the album announcement and release details, Third Man, additionally, shared album highlight and Side A opener, "Kmart Krowd." White's recent affiliation with The Pathetx makes complete sense, as his passion for Iggy & The Stooges, MC5, and early Detroit Proto-punk bands has been extremely well-documented in the past. Mark Leavitt, Greg Kutcher, Tom McHenry & Mick Goldwater reunited with manager Steve Shaw in recent years, although, sadly, drummer Ted Meek passed away in the early 90's. However, his son, Keith Smith, has followed in his father's footsteps and became a drummer, as well. Coinciding with their debut album release 39 years in-the-making, The Pathetx have announced a Record Release Show to be held on Friday, March 13, 2020 at their old haunt, Detroit's own UFO Factory. It's currently unclear, if Keith Smith will step behind the kit in his father's absence at the UFO Factory gig or if The Pathetx will enlist a fill-in drummer. Again, The Pathetx - 1981 will be released the same day as said Release Show, March 13th, on Third Man Records.

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