The New York City rock trio H.P. Zinker were purveyors of muscular, guitar-driven neo-psychedelia that often bordered on prog rock and, at times, bore comparison to Dinosaur Jr.. Singer/guitarist Hans Platzgumer and bassist/singer Frank Puempel were raised in Innsbruck, Austria, and had toured the continent with a bunch of bands before relocating to New York City in 1989 and becoming H.P. Zinker. The group's first release, ...And There Was Light, was recorded with a drum machine. It featured a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Dancing Days," and also happened to be the first-ever release on Matador Records. The effort threw down the gauntlet on the group's eclecticism, featuring touches of metal, jazz, folk, and noise. Nevertheless, 1990s Beyond It All represented a huge creative leap forward for the group as they settled into a power-trio format with the addition of American Dave Wasik on drums. On this LP, the group reveled in gargantuan riffs that nodded to '70s hard rock and often jettisoned off into instrumental excursions. The Sunshine EP in 1991 featured a remake of the first EP's "Sunshine," as well as a version of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" and the Lemonheads' Evan Dando doing a vocal turn on "To One in Paradise," among other sundries. By the time of Perseverance in 1992, co-founder Peumpel had left H.P. Zinker. Platzgumer and Wasik soldiered on and ex-Skunk guitarist Stephan Apicella (aka Stevie Apathetic) eventually came on-board to fill the third slot. Bassist Uvey Batruel joined up for 1995's Mountains of Madness (the title track's lyrics are by early 20th century horror writer H.P. Lovecraft), which represented the last proper album before the group's dissolution later that year. Staying Loose (A Compilation) assembles tracks from the group's first three albums and several EPs -- and is the best starting point for newcomers.
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