It was supposed to be one more and done. When the Uncommon Houseflies’ founder Kevin Gibson realized just
how difficult it was to hold a band together, he decided it would be appropriate to gather the troops long enough to
record one last time, and then call it a career.
“Band members were dropping like ... well, you know,” Gibson said. Two guitarists left the ’Flies in the span of a few
months, and the band’s 2010 summer schedule was salvaged only because a friend was available to fill in for a few
And then? Gibson ran into Butch Bays at a Bodeco concert at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville. An old friend of Gibson and former guitarist
for Indiana cover band Wood River, Bays jumped at the chance to join a band that performed original music. A year later, the new-look ‘Flies have a brand new EP titled Wretched Radio, released on Louisville’s Better Days Records imprint.
“Joining the Uncommon Houseflies has provided me with an outlet for some of my more quirky songs,” Bays said. “My warped sense of humor finally has an outlet, much to the relief of my family. ”
That’s one thing the Uncommon Houseflies have always exhibited – a quirky sense of humor and a shoulder-shrugging attitude. It’s notable that Dr. Demento has played Houseflies songs “Disgruntled Shooter (in the Nursing Home)” and “Cotton Candy in the Rain” on his show. And audiences are often unsure how to react when they hear lyrics like, “Loving you is like taking a bath with my socks on.”
For the new EP, the writing team of Gibson and Bays cranked out songs like the title track, which takes a swing at broadcast evangelism; “Border Disorder (The Canada Song),” about a failed trip to the “Mexico of the north;” “Space Monkey,” which follows the tragic adventure of a hairy astronaut; and “Commando for Jesus,” a true story about a boy who gives up wearing underwear for Lent.
“Those guys are sick,” said Jeff Carpenter (Tim Krekel, Bodeco), who engineered Wretched Radio. “Fortunately, I’m a little sick too, so having them in my studio for hours on end was tolerable.”
“Wait until you hear our next CD,” Bays said. “How do you feel about hipsters and Mexican wrestlers?”
About the songs:
Wretched Radio (Gibson): This song was written after a road trip that went horribly awry, when Kevin
and his friend Laura found religion by way of radio. Did you know you can actually buy a video that will
show you what heaven looks like? We always figured it looked a bit like Wisconsin.
Border Disorder (The Canada Song) (Bays): A sad but very true tale of Butch's ill-fated attempt to
enter Canada. As anyone who has been locked in the icy stare of a Canadian border agent will attest, it's
no laughing matter. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent. Are we bitter? Oh, a tad!
Space Monkey (Bays): Not nearly enough recognition has been given to our simian cousins for their
risk-taking and dedication in the early space flight testing program. This song only begins to right that wrong.
Thank you Space Monkey. Thank you...
The Jam Band Incident (Gibson): Based on a true story. This details the indignity of getting dumped by
your girlfriend for some dude in a jam band. It still hurts - not because of losing the girl, but Kevin still hasn't
gotten the patchouli smell out of his pants.
Commando for Jesus (Gibson): This is about a real-life youngster who, instead of giving up soda or
sweets for lent, decided to give up wearing underwear. We like his style. Here's to you, Evan Solinger.
May every lent be so freeing for you.
Bowling Buddy (Bays): This song is about a couple of fellas that may have spent a little too much time
together at the old bowling alley over the years. Kevin's girlfriend described this as a bromance song; that
seems to cover it pretty well.