Drive Like Jehu – Yank Crime

Drive Like Jehu
Yank Crime

In the early 90s, during the post-Nirvana major label signing frenzy, Drive Like Jehu’s second full-length, Yank Crime, was released. Its mind boggling that some record executive at Interscope thought that this could sell millions of copies. Needless to say, it didn’t, and the band soon disbanded: guitarist John Reis continued with his other group, Rocket From the Crypt; drummer Mark Trombino continued on as a producer of bands like Jimmy Eat World and Blink 182; singer Rick Froeberg continued to pursue his artwork; and bassist Mike Kennedy became a chemist.
At the time, there wasn’t really another band like Drive Like Jehu. They were too abrasive and punk for the college kids and too demanding of patience for the hardcore crew. So the record fell through the cracks of underground music.
However, as time has passed the band’s legend fostered, and in time they grew more popular than they had ever been while together. Hence this reissue on Reis’ record label, Swami. Included in the reissue are two songs (“Bullet Train to Vegas” and “Hand Over Fist”) off of a 7″ on Merge and a previous recording of “Sinews” that originally appeared on a Headhunter compilation, Head Start To Purgatory.
While this is a reissue, Swami seems to have really skimped on providing some extras to entice people who already own the originals to go out and buy the new version. There is no additional artwork, liner notes, or photos, just the three songs that aren’t really that hard to track down. My advice is that if you own the original version of Yank Crime, keep it and download the other three songs, if you haven’t already.
In recent years, Reis and Froeberg have joined forces again in Hot Snakes. The difference between Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes is that with Hot Snakes, Reis and Froeberg have trimmed off the musical fat that bloated many of Jehu’s tunes past the five-plus minute mark. Leaner and meaner, they are the obvious extension of what Drive Like Jehu would have become.