combo drops bunker buster anthology.
Big Dipper’s two-album-and-one EP run
on Homestead Records set a standard for loud underground pop in the late ‘80s.
With one member of the Embarrassment (guitarist Bill Goffrier), two original
Volcano Suns (bassist Steve Michener, guitarist Gary Waleik) and a drummer of
the regional hardcore band XS (Jeff Oliphant), the Boston quartet combined the sum of these
disparate parts gracefully into songs about relationships, UFOs and a friend
who wrecked his house. A move to Epic yielded one disappointing album (Slam) and the band broke up in 1992.
To recapture the band’s glory, this
spring Merge released Supercluster: The
Big Dipper Anthology, a three-disc set with debut EP Boo-Boo and albums Heavens and Craps. Along with several bonus
cuts, it also includes 15 unreleased post-Epic recordings that rival their
early work in terms of sonic firepower. “Every song is kinda like one of your
babies in a way,” says Waleik, “and it’s nice to get these babies out of the
incubator and into the big wide world. It only took about 15 years, but I guess
it was worth it.”
To celebrate the release, the group
reunited for three shows in Cambridge and New York in late April. Waleik
emailed Mission of Burma’s Roger Miller for advice to a musician nervous about
a reunion show. “He said, ‘You’ve got to do two things: You’ve got to rock it
hard and you’ve got to do some new songs,’” Waleik says. “I think we’re going
to be okay for the rocking it hard, but I don’t know if we’ll have the time and
inclination to learn any new songs.”
As long as they played “All Going Out
Together,” the planets will align.