Album Review

Coz The Shroom – “Bum Henry Adams and Craig Stewart’s Prince” – [SPASMS Cassettes / Emperor Jones]

Brian Damage   11/7/2022   12-inch, A Library

Coz the Shroom is the nom de tune of Shahrom Hawley, a singer/songwriter who was part of Austin’s Cassette Underground culture in the 1980s and early 90s. Owner of a microphone, an electric guitar, and a practice amp with its distortion knob permanently cranked to 10, Coz wrote, improvised, and recorded a seemingly endless stream of music in the mid- to late-80s.

He was a contemporary of Daniel Johnston – but Daniel skimmed the edge of the mainstream, and Coz didn’t. Local cassette labels SPASMS and Emperor Jones each issued several Coz releases in the 80s, but Coz seemed to be more prolific than these labels’ ability to get them out. Each release was put out on a C-90 tape (47 minutes per side) and Coz would fill the A side, and the B side was left blank for whatever the purchaser wanted to put on there.

This is a compilation on vinyl from six of Coz’s releases from 1987-89, supposedly cleaned up and mastered for this reissue. I say supposedly, because the quality is ultra lo-fi, likely never great to begin with, and degraded by time and duplication.

The music is classic 80s cassette underground weirdo – one listen, and either you will get it or you won’t. This being KFJC, this is very likely right up your alley. As far as individual tunes go, the titles give the content away — no obtuse titles here. If you choose “Destroy All Monsters,” that song is going to sound exactly like you think it would.

And the name? He wanted “a cool nickname like Captain Beefheart,” so he gave himself one.

A future KFJC Klassic.

you heard it 11 times on kfjc! most recently:
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