Formed in 1985 by vocalist/songwriter Dave Willie and guitarist Bob German, Nashville's Jet Black Factory quickly won acclaim for their powerful live shows and a dark-hued, somber sound that won the band comparisons to the Doors and the Velvet Underground. With bassist Phil Jones and drummer Jim Dye, the band released its first recording, the six-song Days Like This, in 1986 on its own 391 Records imprint. The five-song EP Duality followed in 1987. Ralph Pierce replaced Jones on bass, and a second guitarist, Roy Anderson, was added to the mix. The band released a full-length album, House Blessing, on 391 Records in 1990. Lance Frizzell replaced Anderson on guitar and the band's steady touring throughout the Southeast earned the album airplay on over 200 college radio stations; House Blessing eventually making its way onto both the Rockpool and CMJ college radio charts. Jet Black Factory caught the attention of Core Entertainment executive Keith Dressel, who signed them to his Oxymoron label. The Uncrossing was released in 1991, the album adding two new songs to nine remixed tracks from House Blessing. In its own way, Jet Black Factory provided a Dixie equivalent to the Seattle sound. In charismatic frontman Dave Willie, the South had its own Kurt Cobain, the deep-voiced singer delivering lyrics inspired more by Kerouac and Baudelaire than by Hank Williams; guitarist Bob German's droning six-string work providing a sonic counterpoint to Willie's lyrics. Label problems derailed the band's fortunes, however, and they broke up just as alternative rock was receiving a new lease on life courtesy of Nirvana.
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