This week Dirty Water Records goes back in time to spotlight our catalogue on notorious Detroit rockers, The Hentchmen. Their origin dates back to October 1992, when founding members John and Tim, bored with commercial radio, set out to play stripped down, primitive Rock 'n' Roll.
Using the same blunt and essential instruments (organ, guitar and minimal drum kit) as their Sixties Garage Punk heroes, the boys rebirthed a savage "hit and run" sound that would soon prove to drive the young at heart into a feeding frenzy of countless brood to drive 'Detroit Rock City' all over the music map again.
The Hentchmen were one of the most popular live acts in lower Michigan throughout the '90s. Featuring organist/vocalist John Szymanski, Guitarist Tim Purrier, and drummer Chris Handyside. The band played its first proper show at Paycheck’s Lounge more than two decades ago (Feb. 20, 1993, to be precise) They began performing around Ann Arbor and Detroit, gaining a small but rabid fanbase. They released their eponymous debut and produced several indie singles, eventually scoring a contract with Norton Records in New York City.
"The Hentch" began touring nationally, keeping their home base in Michigan while seeing the rest of the country. They released another album before Handyside was gone, replaced by drummer Mike Audi. With Audi on board they recorded Broad Appeal and Motorvatin', both popular local hits that never quite branched out into larger exposure.
Still, one didn't need to pity the Hentchmen. They'd been at it for almost a decade, and had toured ten times more than your average garage rock slickers. In other words, those in the know already knew. In 2003, Norton issued the Three Times Infinity LP to critical and local acclaim; a year later, the band debuted on the Times Beach imprint with Form Follows Function. Italy released Hentch.Forth.Five, a collection of early works, in 2007. The band sometimes featured Jack White onstage and on record prior to him forming the White Stripes.
The Hentch-Forth album and Some Other Guy single released in 1998 on Italy Records are now much sought after by collectors. In 2010, Dirty Water Records released a collection of rare singles as a series (forming a jigsaw puzzle that is the album's cover art) onto a composite LP. You can get your filthy mitts on them right here.