The Suspects Discography
The Bad One (split 7″ single w/The Rudiments)
This was a split release with The Rudiments, a really good band from San Francisco, and the song “Wailing Paddle” is one of their best. There’s nothing better than your first record release! At the time, Thomas, Alan, and Bill all worked at the same warehouse and when the box containing the 7″‘s came in on the loading dock, we were giddy like little school girls.
Caffeine/The Dance (7″ single)
The songs that appeared on our first two seven inches were recorded at Sweatbox Studios in Austin, TX. Sweatbox has recorded plenty of very well-known Texas bands including The Impossibles, Paul Newman, O’Doyle Rules, and world-famous punk/indie guy Tim Kerr. We have two or three songs from the Sweatbox sessions that haven’t ever been released, but the three that did were definitely the best of the lot.
Spawn Of Skarmageddon (CD compilation)
Moonska’s most ambitious compilation series is probably also their worst… the Skarmaggedon comps really showed how deep they were willing to scrape the bottom of the ska talent barrel. That’s not to take away from the fact that we were all on cloud nine when this CD was released! Of note: our song on the comp is the instrumental “Sizzle” but is mislabeled as “Freedom”.
Ninety-Nine Paid (CD)
Our debut full-length release, recorded by Andy Bradley at the world famous Sugarhill Studios in Houston, Texas. We had been playing these songs long and well enough to the point that we were in and out in a relatively short time, but sometimes the lack of production shows through in the songs. No matter, it’s still considered by many old-school fans to be our best work, mostly due to Andy Hocker’s living ska legacy, “Caffeine”.
How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Ska (CD)
Our second full-length CD, again recorded with Andy Bradley at Sugarhill. Also, our first recordings with Thomas at the microphone… and in turn, our first recordings where we moved away from a rhythmic, rock-steady feel to a more melodic, smooth sound. We weren’t quite so efficient at recording this time, but overall it helped make a much more professional sounding disc. This was also our first release that Charlie Esparza didn’t do the artwork, and the lack of quality totally shows… Of course if Charlie had done the artwork, we would’ve ended up with a picture of his Ford Falcon on the cover.
Texas Ska Vol. 1 (CD compilation)
Viva Pinche Flojo! The Los Skarnales crew put out this fairly respectable comp, and it features one of The Suspects’ weirdest ideas ever: have the new singer record new vocals for songs from the first CD. “Caffeine (98 Version)” is only found on this comp.
We Plead The 5th (CD compilation)
This comp was released by Scott Doyle from the band O’Doyle Rules. I remember us all being surprised that he wanted us on the comp, ‘cuz we didn’t think he liked us.
Spare Me The Details (white-label 7″ single)
This was released as a white label, promo-only seven inch by Mad Butcher Records in Germany. We came to be associated with Mad Butcher through Jeremy Myers of Jumpstart Records, who had dealt with Mad Butcher a few times in the past. Mike from Mad Butcher was always very cool to us and very patient (too patient) with how long it took us to act on anything he proposed.
Skanking The Scum Away (CD compilation)
German compilation featuring “Spare Me The Details” as the lead track. I think this got us a bit of fame in Europe; we’ve received more than a few e-mails typed in broken English asking for information about a Suspects European tour. There are some pretty interesting tracks on this CD, the best (IMHO) being from a Japanese band called Nicotine.
KOB vs. Mad Butcher (CD compilation)
Another German compilation… they sure do like comps over there! I don’t remember too much about this CD at all.
Panic Button (CD-ep)
Our first CD not pressed and released under our own auspices, Panic Button was recorded with Andy Bradley at Sugarhill and released by Jumpstart Records of State College, Pennsylvania. Finished in the summer of ’97, these five songs sat on the shelf for three years while we tried to get organized enough to write five more songs to make a full album’s worth of material. During those three years we added two new horn players and went through two bassists, so when we did finally get around to releasing it on its own, it seemed a bit anti-climatic. Regardless, it’s an interesting snapshot of a band trying to decide just what they’re going to be doing for the next few years to come.
Ska Chartbusters (CD compilation)
Another German comp… but a comp that tries to make a difference! Well, not really, but it’s a pretty fun record none the less. Besides our take on “Seek And Destroy,” there are some really great versions on this CD… Bronski Beat’s “Small Town Boy”, some cool songs sung in German, and TWO versions of “The Final Countdown”!
Ska-Attack 2 (CD compilation)
Yep, that’s right… another German comp! This one has an interesting bit on the CD insert… a preview of the not-yet-completed German-only Panic Button CD cover that was to include songs from both of the Panic Button and How I Learned domestic CDs.
Lost Along The Way (CD)
Our finest hour! The most expensive, most melodic, most harmonious Suspect release yet… yet, almost nobody has it. Oh, the irony! The shame! The bills! (smirk) This CD really has it all: ska, reggae, rock & roll, funk(!), and even some stuff that isn’t easily classified. This is the record that everyone in the band will remember as our personal best.