Thrash Hits

October 4th, 2012

Midweek Bootleg 001: Pulkas – Live Radio Session

While sorting out his record collection, Hugh Platt stumbled across a wealth of awesome bootleg recordings of bands you probably don’t remember or even care about. Not that he’s going to let that get in the way of him using this as excuse to blather on about Pulkas.

Pulkas promo photo Thrash Hits

In 1998, a band that only a small minority of you will have probably heard of came in at no.4 in Metal Hammer magazine’s Critics’ Album of the Year list with their debut record, Greed. They also came in at some ridiculous high placing in the annual Readers’ Poll in the Best New Band category – they were top 5, but I’ll be damned if I can remember exactly which place they had. That band was a London four-piece by the name of Pulkas.

At the time they were getting comparisons to Neurosis (yes, really), Tool, and a whole load of other “alternative” metal bands, although truth be told Pulkas were probably heavier and less experimental than these comparisons suggested. Whatever – their album, Greed, was a fierce slab of pre-Millenial Brit-Metal, and their antagonistic, bullish stage presence gave the tours of UK toilet venues they did to promote it even more intense. That intensity was only fuelled by the rumours about the band that were circulating in the press at the time. One story in particular – that their frontman, the permanently angry-looking Luke Lloyd (pictured in the top right up there), nearly died during one of the band’s rehearsal sessions after one of his lungs collapsed due to him screaming so hard – sticks in our minds to this day.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is brutal.

Earlier this week while cleaning out the forgotten depths of our CD library, we stumbled across a battered old CD featuring a bonanza of old radio sessions. We’ve got no idea who recorded these or where we got this CD from, but the first track on it was a 30 minute live bootleg of what appears to be a radio session Pulkas recorded at the very height of their buzz. Check it out:

What happened to Pulkas? Well, the entire sordid story of their demise can be found over on Digby Pearson’s Ask Earache blog.

The band – minus drummer Rob Lewis – reformed briefly under the moniker of I-AM-I (not to be confused with the band of the nearly-same name recently formed by ex-DragonForce frontman, ZP Theart) but to the best of our knowledge, that line-up never released anything. Bassist Jules McBride later showed up as a member of Murder One, a heavy metal supergroup of sorts, which also included members of Raging Speedhorn and Medulla Nocte. But that band was also short-lived, and they also split up. Since then, the band seems to have faded away into obscurity, except in the memories of nostalgic old bore-offs blogging about defunct heavy metal bands from their youth. Oh.

Watch the video to ‘Loaded’ by Pulkas:


Pulkas one and only album, Greed, is available from Earache’s webstore for less than £6 on CD. That’s actually cheaper than buying it digitally through iTunes. That’s a bloody bargain in our book.



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