The Huntington Beach, CA, band Big Drill Car
blended pop, heavy metal, and punk years before Offspring
and Green Day
made it fashionable. Big Drill Car
were unsung heroes of the Southern California punk scene, carving arena rock hooks as sharp as Cheap Trick
's but with more ragged edges. Formed by Frank Daly
(vocals), Mark Arnold
(guitar), Bob Thomson
(bass), and Danny Marcroft
(drums), Big Drill Car
released its debut LP, CD Type Thing
, in 1989. The album's title actually varied with each format as an homage to Public Image Ltd.
's mid-'80s gimmick; for example, the cassette was called Tape Type Thing
followed in 1991, but Big Drill Car
couldn't find airplay outside of college radio and the commercial breakthrough of punk was still waiting to happen. After Big Drill Car
joined former Doughboys
singer John Kastner
and drummer Matt Taylor
in All Systems Go!
in 1998, recording a self-titled full-length that appeared a year later. All Systems Go!
then opened for high-profile acts such as Pearl Jam
, Cheap Trick
, and Cracker
, giving the group the mainstream recognition Big Drill Car