Based in Camden, London, England, Penthouse are purveyors of loud and dirty psycho-blues music that has earned them comparisons with the Jesus Lizard and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Formed by Charlie Finke (vocals), John Free (guitar), Tim Cedar (drums) and Graeme Flynn (bass), the band first burst onto the music scene with 1995’s limited-edition debut single, ‘Ript N’ Happy’. Their debut album for the independent World Domination label was produced by Teo Miller (Placebo). On the occasional slower track, such as ‘Voyeur’s Blues’ and ‘A Deviant Soiree’, their sound was reminiscent of the ‘swamp-blues’ of P.J. Harvey’s To Bring You My Love. It was the gloriously ramshackle ‘Road Rash’ and lustful ‘Face Down’ that set the tone of the album, however, capturing the band’s brutally primal rock ‘n’ roll at its best. A legal battle with the men’s magazine of the same name led to the band being forced to change their name to 50 Tons Of Black Terror in America. They also moved to Beggars Banquet Records following the demise of World Domination. A new single, ‘Valley Of The Sows’, appeared in November 1998, and a new album the following year. The success of rock ‘n’ roll revivalists the Strokes and the Hives in the new millennium failed to drag Penthouse away from their resolutely cult status, despite the release of the excellent Unt.
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