When co-vocalist Brian Butler left pop quintet Quincy, the band changed both their name (to Lulu Temple) and their musical direction (from pop to white-new wave-funk). When Brian's brother, guitarist Stephen Butler, followed Brian's lead and left Lulu Temple; the two rejoined forces and formed Smash Palace, a crunchy guitar band heavily influenced by British pop, both old and new. With bassist Phil Barnett, rhythm guitarist Greg Persun, and drummer Harry Lewis, the band signed to CBS and released their self-titled debut album in 1985. Though the album was geared for a larger audience than both Quincy and Lulu Temple and their "Living on the Borderline" gained significant airplay, sales were dismal and the band was dropped. For most bands, this would be the end of the story, but not for Smash Palace. Strangely enough, in 1999, Imagine Records released Fast, Long, Loud, a brand-new Smash Palace CD. Though the Butlers were the sole remaining members, the musical vision remained the same: crunchy Brit-influenced guitar pop. With more intimate production, the new Smash Palace may not gain a larger audience than before, but they certainly deserve it. The darn thing rocks hard and better than bands half their age. ~ Steve "Spaz" Schnee
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