The Linus Pauling Quartet has been carrying the Texas Psych torch since the Mid-90’s. Following in the footsteps of cult favorites Mike Gunn & Dry Nod, this seven member “quartet” has been praised in the pages of Ptolemaic Terrascope (UK), Rockerrilla (Italy), Magnet (USA), and the Broken Face (Sweden), to name a few. Though often categorized as Texas Psych, the band has been known to dabble in various genres such as Garage rock, Stoner rock, Punk rock, and Heavy Metal. The band has appeared Terrastocks IV and VII as well as having performed at three official South by Southwest showcases (2004, 2005, and 2008).
Formed in 1994, The LP4 was born of the same musical cauldron that birthed such renowned Texas Psych favorites as The Mike Gunn, Dry Nod, and Schlong Weasel, bands which also included later members of Charalambides and Dunlavy. Guitarist Ramon Medina and bassist Stephen Finley recruited drummer Larry Liska and singer/guitarist Clinton Heider and the quartet began writing and recording songs for their first album, Immortal Chinese Classics Music, released in 1995 on their own Worship Guitars label. The album surprisingly earned considerable attention beyond their native Houston, garnering notable reviews in several music magazines such as Q Music, Factsheet Five, Alternative Press, Crohinga Well, and Ptolemaic Terrascope. The album also featured "The Linus Theme" and "Hamburger Girl", two songs which came to define the band's early years, and which the LP4 revisited many times throughout their career.
The band's notice by Ptolemaic Terrascope was particularly important, as the LP4 were invited to contribute a track to the magazine's double-CD benefit compilation Succour. An all-night practice space recording session yielded not only their contribution "Dartania", which was chosen as the lead track on the benefit album, but also yeilded a batch of tracks split evenly between improvisations and structured songs, which were ultimately released by the German label September Gurls in 1997 as a self-titled limited edition vinyl album.
Armed with a recording contract with September Gurls, in 1996 the band added analog synthesizer player Flip Osman and saxophonist/guitarist/singer Charlie Horshack, swelling their ranks and expanding their sonic palette, and this lineup released Killing You With Rock in 1998. The following year, they were featured on a split 7" vinyl single with Italian Psych band Kryptasthesie, contributing a very rare live version of their song "Jason Bill", a tribute to the erstwhile Charalambides guitarist.
The year 2000 was an active year for the Linus Pauling Quartet: they were invited to Seattle, Washington, to play at the fourth Terrastock music festival alongside such musical luminaries as Bardo Pond, Moe Tucker, and Ghost; and they released Ashes in the Bong of God, a "concept album" related to their ongoing saga of the "bongs of power", alien "bug people," and "the Great Singularity," issued on double vinyl in Europe through the September Gurls label and on CD in the United States through the Fleece label. It was also during this time that Flip Osman left Houston and the band added keyboardist and photo-theremin player Carol Sandin Kelly to the group. Curiously, while Carol and Flip remain as contributing band members in the studio, they perform live only when the whim strikes them as they both did, for example, when the band appeared at Terrastock IV.
In 2002, The LP4 contributed a notable version of Syd Barrett's song "Vegetable Man" to The Vegetable Man Project, a compilation of wildly disparate covers of that song released by Italian label Oggetti Volanti Non Identificati.
In 2003 the band released their final offering on the September Gurls label: C6H8O6, a massive slab of psych-rock showing the full range of the band's abilities, including MC5-esque garage rock, a psychedelic depiction of airplanes falling out of the sky, songs about bongs, a Metal song about eating Mexican food with Satan, and a lush in-the-studio psych-rock cover of Kraftwerk's "Hall of Mirrors".
The next few years may have seemed outwardly quiet for the LP4, but they were in fact hard at work recording a large cache of material which would go on to comprise much of their subsequent two albums, and continuing to compose more material for future releases, intermittently taking breaks to play shows in their native Houston.
All Things Are Light, the first fruit of those sessions, was released on Australia's Camera Obscura (on purple vinyl with a 12 page booklet) and delivered some of the band's heaviest music to date. The album garnered a considerable number of positive reviews upon its release in December of 2007 and sold out in Europe almost immediately. On the heels of this release, the band was again invited to perform at Terrastock in June of 2008, this time in Louisville, Kentucky, resulting in one of their most memorable shows, playing alongside such notable psychedelic groups as MV & EE, Robert Schneider's Thee American Revolution, Damon & Naomi, and Kawabata Makoto.
After a two year public lull the band returned in 2010 with a flurry of public activity. The band vowed to produce thee releases in three formats by one solar orbit. The first of these releases was in April - a 7" vinyl split single with Austin sister-band ST37. ST37 contributed a cover of Helios Creed's "Lactating Purple", while the Linus Pauling Quartet debuted an original piece "Monster". On October 23rd, the band completes its second release of the solar orbit, Horns of Ammon, on CD. The album consists of songs primarily dating back to 2003-2005. It includes the previously issued "Monster" as well as a variety of songs focusing more on melody and texture than pure guitar muscle. Yet, fans of the LP4's heavier material can take solace for the bonus track is the reissue of the Grey Ghost rarity "HAWG!!!" - a two-chord, Marshall-stack-fueled, eleven-minute, drug-addled, pill-popping-biker-in-a-hail-of-gunfire chimp-rock anthem.
The band has now completed its most epic, knuckle-dragging album to date - Bag of Hammers - which will be released mid September of 2012. Space City Rock sums the new album up best by saying, "Leave it to the Linus Pauling Quartet to come up with something like this, seriously: a monolithic, fuzz-drenched, utterly badass chunk of headbanging stoner-psych-rock all about Cimmerian gods, post-Apocalyptic wastelands, playing D&D, and (of course) somebody else smoking all your pot." The opening track, "Crom", is also featured in a claymation video which premiered on Vice Magazine's Noisey on August 3, 2012. Produced by Ramon "LP4" Medina, the video depicts a band of warriors taking on the God of the Strong himself - along with some wizards, a dragon, and a few other nefarious sidekicks. But the video is only a taste of what is yet to come -- when LP4 drops the Hammer on September 18, 2012!
Hide Your Women, Hide Your Children
We Are Linus!!
Clinton Heider - Vocals, Guitar
Charlie Horshack - Saxophone, Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitar
Stephen Finley - Bass & Backing Vocals
Larry Liska - Drums. and Backing Vocals
Ramon Medina - Guitar/ Vocals
Flip Osman - Keyboards & Vocals
Carol Ann Sandin - Keys/Backing Vocals, electronics
Immortal Chinese Classics (Worship Guitars, CD, USA, 1995)
Untitled (Alien LP) (September Gurls, LP, Germany, 1997)
Killing You With Rock (September Gurls, CD Germany, 1998)
VA - Succour (Ptolemaic Terrascope, 2X CD, UK, 1995) (Reissued by Flydaddy, USA 1996)
LP4/Kryptasthesie (Mizmaze, 7", Italy, 1999)
VA - Thou Shalt Expand Your Mind (Ptolemaic Terrascope, CD, UK, 1999)
Ashes in the Bong of God (Fleece,CD, USA, 2000)
Ashes in the Bong of God (September Gurls, 2x LP, Germany, 2000)
VA - The Vegetable Man Project (Oggetti Volanti Non Identificati, CD, Italy, 2002)
C6H8O6 (September Gurls, CD, Germany, 2003)
Songs Of The Cretaceous (Shifty Pope, CD, USA, 2005)
All Things Are Light (Camera Obscura, LP, Australia, 2007)
HAWG! - Grey Ghost#48 (Grey Ghost, CD, USA, 2007)
LP4/ST37 (No Label, 7", USA, 2010)
Horns Of Ammon (Homeskool Records, CD, USA 2010)
Bag of Hammers (Homeskool Records, CD, USA 2012)