Back when I was first discovering the joys of Japanese indie music, I was very fortunate in meeting David and Betsy from Public Bath Records. They came to SF when Sekiri played their first show here, which was probably in 1991; maybe 1990. Jojo and Junko from Hijokaidan and Alchemy Records also came with them, which is another story (my friend Elden M. and I ended up playing an impromptu noise jam with them, which was released as the Live at the Starlight Furniture Company 7″ single).
Shortly after that, Public Bath started offering mail order not only of their releases, but of other things that David came across in Japan. I spent a lot of money with them, and at least a couple of times they just brought boxes of stuff with them to SF. I remember I got the first Cop Shoot Cop album that way (it was released by the closed-under-mysterious-circumstances label Supernatural Organization in Japan).
Allow me a spurious segue from CSC to the band at hand, Captain Condoms, since some of their Super Cool album — to my knowledge the only one they ever released — was recorded by Wharton Tiers in NYC and the liner notes thank CSC and list Tod as one of their “lyrics cooperators,” whatever that means. This was one of the CDs that I got from Public Bath, based on a good description in a mailer from them.
Certainly, the band’s style bears similarities to Cop Shoot Cop as well as other bands of that time like Phantom Tollbooth, Live Skull, even Missing Foundation to some extent. On the other side of the ocean, obviously the Boredoms, Korean Buddhist God, and the like were on the turntables of the members of Captain Condoms. And another influence, made clear by the title of the song I’ve included here, was the Birthday Party. Not a bad set of inspirations.
Recorded in 1989 in NYC and 1990 in Tokyo, Super Cool was released in 1990 on Bron Records (with two catalog numbers: ACD-0433, and Bron-Condom1). Bron was a pretty great label during its short life span; I’m not quite sure now who was behind it all. Can this CD be found anywhere now? I hope so, but it’ll likely take some searching. It’s definitely worth it if you’re into high-speed chaotic rock.