Something of a Chicago punk supergroup, Pegboy carried the torch for the city's classic post-hardcore sound into the '90s, albeit with a more straightforward, melodic approach. Founder and guitarist John Haggerty had been in the seminal Naked Raygun, while his brother, drummer Joe Haggerty, had played with Bloodsport and a later version of the Effigies. Vocalist Larry Damore and charter bassist Steve Saylors had both been in the Bhopal Stiffs, and teamed up with the Haggerty brothers in 1990, when all of their respective bands had given up the ghost (or were about to). Signing to Touch & Go subsidiary Quarterstick, Pegboy debuted that same year with the Three Chord Monte EP, then followed it in 1991 with their first full-length album, Strong Reaction. Later paired on a CD reissue, these two records bridged '90s punk-pop and seminal proto-alternative punkers like Hsker D, Mission of Burma, and the aforementioned Naked Raygun. Following a tour with Social Distortion, Saylors left the band, owing to a new, less flexible day job. Chicago legend Steve Albini filled in for him on the 1993 EP Fore, after which the group settled on a permanent replacement in Pierre Kezdy, another ex-Naked Raygun member who'd started his career in another early Chicago punk outfit, Strike Under (his brother John also fronted the Effigies). Kezdy debuted on the 1994 album Earwig, which was followed by a split single with Kepone. Falling silent for a couple of years, Pegboy returned in 1997 with their third album, the Albini-engineered Cha Cha Damore. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide Written by Steve Huey
Led by the sneering vocals of lead singer Daryl, The Bollweevils are direct inheritors of a Chicago hardcore tradition handed down from acts such as Naked Raygun and The Effigies.
Undisputed as one the finest Chicago punk outfits during the 1990s, The Bollweevils were, and still are, defined by their spirited live performances and a song catalogue that demonstrates both their roots and creative ability as a band.
Known for their connection with fans, The Bollweevils began their recording career on Underdog Records, but soon were noticed by Dr. Strange Records. And shortly thereafter, the band released the punk staple "Stick Your Neck Out," which featured favorites such as, "Dehumanize," "Bottomless Pit," and "John Doe." The album defined The Bollweevils sound, which is laced with high-paced drumming, aggressive guitar and bass workings, and witty and sometimes tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Because of this, The Bollweevils soon garnered one of the largest local audiences and became one of the preeminent bands during the 1990s Midwest punk scene.
During this time, the band began playing more shows throughout the United States and shared the stage with bands that were both influences and contemporaries, including Naked Raygun, Rancid, AFI, Pegboy, Down By Law and Youth Brigade—many of which who later appeared on the band's album liner notes.
The Bollweevils' second album, The History of the Bollweevils, Part One, collects previously released material from EPs and compilations. 1995's new studio effort Heavyweight boasted a more mature approach, with increasingly complex arrangements and backing vocals. The album concludes not only with a cover of the Bad Brains' "Pay to Cum," but also a 10-minute-plus, audio tour-diary entry.
And although the band went through several lineup changes, The Bollweevils never lost focus on creating an everlasting effect on the Chicago punk scene. Perhaps, one of the best representations of this is their release "Weevil Live." To see The Bollweevils live is not only an experience, but an assault on the senses and the album surely captures that spirit. The band gels on stage like very few bands can—with Daryl flying around stage and jumping on the audience, Ken and Bob shredding guitars and the fans just eating it all up.
However, like all good things, things had to come to an end and the band officially disbanded in 1996 when they announced, on the legendary Fireside Bowl stage, that they would be playing their last show. To put it simply, fans were not only stunned, but very disappointed as well. At that time, it appeared that The Bollweevils were destined only to become folklore to a new generation of punks.
But in 2003, The Bollweevils reunited for a one-off sold-out show for WLUW at The Metro with a new drummer, Pete. The show, at that time, was considered as the best Bollweevils' performance to date and whole new generation of Chicago kids were now even more intrigued by the band.
So when the band officially reunited once again in 2006 which included Naked Raygun, The Blue Meanies and 7Seconds, there was a resounding "Hell Yes" by the punk community because unlike many bands who have come and gone, The Bollweevils' music is as relevant today as it was when it was first written. In the upcoming months the band plans new releases, more shows and a dedication to its fans that will be rivaled by none.