Parasites - EP-onymous (Cover Artwork)


EP-onymous (2023)

otitis media records

While any new Parasites release is always welcome, this one requires some explanation and clarification. This 7-inch EP-onymous contains five tracks which were originally recorded in Ronnie Parasite’s basement in 1989. Founding Sweet Baby member Dallas Denery documents the details leading to this release in the liner notes. While on tour, the band met Dave Parasite and Ronnie Parasite at their show in Newark, NJ. The Parasites gave Dallas a tape of their songs which gave a lasting impression. After the encounter and hearing the tape, Dallas contacted Mel from Shredder for more information on the band. Per Dave Parasite, these songs were written at the request of Dallas for consideration on Sweet Baby’s second album. As most know, the band never finished their second album, so these songs were never recorded by Sweet Baby. More details on each song follows below. On these recordings, Dave Parasite handled all guitar and drum duties. Ronnie and Dave switch off handling lead vocals and bass.

“Perfect Girl” is the lead off track on the five song EP. Ronnie handles lead vocals on this one. Dual vocal harmonies carry this catchy love song which fits well in the Parasites extensive catalog of material. The track boasts quick chord changes throughout to make this short song interesting. The Parasites classic “Fool For You” follows. This song originally appeared on the debut LP Pair Of Sides released by Shredder Records in 1990. Musically, this early version is mostly similar to the album version. The vocals sound very bright. The catchy bridge sounds more audible than I recall. It is always a treat for fans to hear early incarnations of songs they have known for decades. “I Got A Crush On Donna” has a slightly darker surf-punk tone and feel compared to the other tracks on the EP. The highlight of this track would be the background “Whoas” in the pre-chorus. An effective key change in the bridge is another nice touch. The steady pace of this track makes for another potential classic. “Love Me Too” is a lesser known Parasites number which originally appeared on the En Homage Aux Beatles EP released by Shredder Records in 1991. As expected, this song is heavily Beatles inspired, through both Dave’s vocal style as well as use of tambourine throughout. Dave’s vocal range is specifically showcased on this one. “I Love Her, But She Don’t Surf” is the closing track on the EP. This Ronnie Parasite fronted number starts heavy and features solid dual vocals. This song reminds me of early Descendents material. The drum sound is solid and bombastic throughout. The song also features witty and fun lyrics such as “She loves the Beatles and the Ramones but she don’t surf.” This song would have fit perfectly on the Pair Of Sides LP.

As a longtime fan, I am very pleased to get the opportunity to hear these five songs which until now have remained basement tape recordings. Sweet Baby were definitely musical contemporaries of the time as the Parasites. Per Dallas Denery, it is possible that some of these songs may have made their second album. I also want to point out the fantastic audio quality of these songs, given their origin of being recorded on a 4 track cassette. Billy Blastoff of Vindictives fame transferred and edited these tracks. Matt Yonker (Teen Idols, Less Than Jake, etc) mixed the tracks at Drastic Sounds. This EP is highly recommended for any fan of early pop punk or power pop.