Sometime partners with Half Japanese, Men & Volts early in their career pursued complex indie noise similar to Half Jap, but with occasional glimpses of melodic pop more in keeping with '60s roots rockers like the Band and the Grateful Dead. Formed by David Greenberger, also the publisher and editor of the fanzine Duplex Planet, the Boston-based group debuted with a bizarre record named Rhythm & Blues, which duplicated side one's tunes on the flip. After 1983's Hootersville, Men & Volts toned down the experimentalism and focused instead on rootsy folk for Tramps in Bloom. The band moved to Shimmy-Disc after a three-year absence, and returned with two Kramer-produced releases, The Mule and Stay in Touch. Their fifth album, Cheer Up, appeared on 50 Skidillion Watts, also the home of Half Japanese and Moe Tucker.
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