Skewbald/Grand Union - Skewbald/Grand Union (Cover Artwork)

Skewbald / Grand Union

Skewbald/Grand Union (1991)


In September 1981 Minor Threat broke up for the first time. Guitarist Lyle Preslar left the group to attend College but he had to know that that was a bad choice. This left the other members open to do other projects and that is exactly what happened. Brian Baker went to play with Government Issue and appears on the bands Make an Effort EP, and Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson formed Grand Union with Eddie Janney and John Falls. Grand Union began practicing at Dischord house that fall not really sure what would happen. It was during this time Ian found another name for the band after looking in a dictionary. He fell upon the word Skewbald and liked it. Ian and Jeff were unable to decide on which band name to go with since each of them liked one more than the other; Jeff Grand Union, and Ian Skewbald. They were unable to ever decide on one name so Skewbald/Grand Union is what they would go down in history as.

The band went into Inner Ear Studios that November to record three songs that were not intended for release, but instead just demos to share with friends. After the recording session the band fell apart and the songs found their way into people’s hands via tape trading. Most thought they were outtakes from Minor Threat sessions, but that idea was put to rest once Dishcord officially released the songs in 1991 to commemorate the labels fiftieth release.

Listening to the Skewbald/Grand Union seven inch, it’s hard not to think that these aren’t Minor Threat songs. The production is the same, and the songs have a very clear Minor Threat feel to them. I’m sure that was inescapable because of who was involved, and because of the quick influence Minor Threat had on their D.C. hardcore scene. The songs are good, but not great. The fact they even exist on a 7” record has to be purely for documentations sake, and you could live your whole life never hearing them and it wouldn’t make a difference.

Out of the entire cannon of Dischord Record this and the Egg Hunt release are pretty pointless. I mean, they’re good, but did anyone really need to hear these projects? I’m going to side on the no end of things. They’re both there to show the growth of not only the label, but a scene growing up and growing out. Since both of these do exist they’re pretty fun to check out, but they aren’t going to change your life.