Boston rockers Dirt Merchants were formed in March of 1992 by the guitar-drums brother duo of Mike and John Malone. Enlisting Maria Christopher on vocals and a college friend of Mike's on bass, Alex Kisch, Dirt Merchants issued a debut single shortly thereafter, "Mindfuck" b/w "Beware of Dog," released in 1993 on their own V-Hold label. Another single was issued in 1994, "Purple Barrel" b/w "Love Apnea," making the quartet one of Boston's fastest rising rockers on the scene (winning radio station WBCN's Rock 'n' Roll Rumble the same year). By 1995, the group was signed to the New York independent label Zero Hour, issuing their debut full-length in April of the same year, titled Scarified. The album attracted the attention of Epic, who signed the band and reissued the album in February of 1996.
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