Bügsküll, The "False Alarm" 10" EP
Original catalog number: QX006-10.


  1. False Alarm
  2. Next Wave
  3. Sunny Day Song

Sean Byrne - Guitar, Vocals, Organ
Brendan Bell - Bass, Drums
James Yu - Drums, Bass, Violin
Susan Ziegler - Vocals, Bells

Hailing from far-flung Portland, Oregon, Bügsküll began as the name for Sean Byrne's solo efforts, some of which were released by Shrimper as a cassette called "Subversives." The earliest material was mostly tape loops and samples supporting stacatto guitar work, but was later fleshed out with the addition of James Yu on drums and Brendan Bell on fretless bass. Bügsküll was now a "real" band and started recording endlessly at Red Light Studios, their basement 4-track. This version of the band produced three full-length tapes, was included on two 7" compilations, released two 7" singles, an album, and probably much, much more.  There have been rumours lately that they have broken up, or that Sean is back on his own, but we're not sure.  Road Cone has an excellent website which you should check out for more Bügsküll information.  The History of Rock Music has a nifty bilingual entry for them as well.  Inkblot Magazine did a little review as well.

Their only Quixotic release was this now-legendary "False Alarm" 10" EP.   Contained within the groovy vinyl are just three tracks: "False Alarm," "Next Wave," and "Sunny Day Song."  Recorded at Red Light Studios, Winter 1992, it was mixed and produced by Brendan Bell.

Press Clips:

Chairs Missing
(#"strange" January 1994, Scott Munroe)
"(A Portland) quartet that covers many bases--most notably the guitar dissonance and semi-ethereal atmosphere of a Sonic Youth or Dustdevils and replaced with a slow lethargy of anti-energy like Codeine. However, the three songs in question are hauntingly beautiful, especially the ironically titled 'Sunny Day Song' which sounds more appropriate for a rainy Monday morning."

Second Skin
(#6 Jan. 1994, Alyssa Isenstein)
"This 10-inch is completely amazing. Even the cover art is beautiful... 'Sunny Day Song' takes up the whole b-side, all 11 gorgeous minutes of it. This is more of a soundscape than a song. There are no drums, just lots of graceful organ type drawn out tones and notes. Sean sings over and over, 'It's 4 am and it's cold outside...This is a sunny day song,' and it has an almost mantra like effect, even though he changes the words around on every 'verse'. You get such a sense of time and space from 'Sunny Day Song' that it's pretty breathtaking... Get this 10" and see what all the Bügsküll fuss is about."

The Gavin Report
(#1981 11/19/93, Seana Baruth)
"Bügsküll's largely hookless material relies on atmosphere to mesmerize and hold you. At times, they remind of a mysterious, less naive Unrest, an unstructured Red House Painters, a more melancholic Seam, or a delirious, meandering Sebadoh. 'False Alarm's' pared-down moodiness is anchored by a charming series of shy, neurotic notes and is occasionally interrupted by changing, louder interludes or rare full-on distortion eruptions. 'Next Wave' seems, by comparison, sinister. It offers a more inflected vocal and rare episodes of Slint-y dissonant plinking. 'Sunny Day Song,' the least constructed track, edges toward sparse ambience and, oddly enough, captures a rainy--not sunny--day mood."

Alternative Press
(#69 April 1994, Andrea `Enthal)
"Dissonant, arty, crisp, clear, and harsh: the sound of Bügsküll is both gentle and abrasive at the same time. There's nothing loud or raucous about them on this 10-incher. Tapped cymbals, chiming guitar, half-whispered high male vocals, lonely-sounding female ones, bells, violin, and organ are used to create their sound. It's the way they put those instruments together which makes those elements unsettling...they are a thinking person's sound-scape, not a party or dance band."

KTRU Spring Folio
(1994, Doug)
"Looking at the Blue-Note style packaging on this record, you might be led to expect some saxophone-tinged chaos or some other jazzcore wildness. However, the music of Bügsküll is nothing of that ilk at all. What it is, however, is so perfect that I really feel ill-equipped to describe it. The aural equivalent of floating in a lake might be a good description, for the music washes over one with the same inexorable force as the tide. A mix of lo-fi recording, floating psychedelia, and pop sensibilities combine to make what could be the most satisfying record I've heard in a long time. "

(#89 April/May 1994, Cake)
"Lo-fi, experimental jazz/noise which is reminiscent of the third Velvet Underground album meets the Residents and Joy Division... It's sloooooowwwww."

Baby Sue
(#17 Summer 1994, Steven Fievet)
"I've yet to hear anything on the Quixotic label that I didn't like, but this release reaches a new high. Bügsküll sound simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar...not an easy feat for a band. The vague, unexplainable traits of this band are endearing and totally mesmerizing. I command you to order this."

(#5 Spring 1994, D McG)
"Excellent Portland band that expands to a four-piece with this extended-play release. 'False Alarm' recalls the glowing warmth of Galaxie 500, with soft snare-drumming, roaming bass and dreamy guitar lines. They also launch into loud, distorto-guitar rants as well as Big Star-like passages. 'Next Wave' is a lethargic windstorm that takes its time building into a massive gust of divinely inspired six string exotica. 'Sunny Day Song' zones out with a Spacemen 3 feel and creates some of the most saddening notes and depressing tuneage I've cried to in a while. Beautiful full color sleeve and jazz design. Recommended."

Feminist Baseball
(#13 July 1994, Jeff Smith)
"I could see Forced Exposure going for this in a big way were it as well connected as Dadamah or any hippie act on P.S.F. They've got a vaguely NZ, lo-fi 1974 Eno demos feel that's real nice and warm... Maybe this is what Crayon would sound like if they were really stoned and only listened to Steve Hillage + Robert Wyatt.  'Next Wave' is a more straight ahead rock song, at least as far as 1994, post-Pavement rock. 'Sunny Day Song' takes all of side 2 and it's a sleepy but not boring 3 AM whispered vocal and organ groove that will bring you down easy and rock you gently and all those sundry things that Sonic Boom asks God or drugs or his lover in those old Spacemen 3 tunes we all know and love so well. He sings 'we can go outside and find a place...' but it's not really necessary as they've got more than ample roaming room, right here inside your head..."

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