Drunken Boat

Drunken Boat

Copping their name from a Rimbaud poem, New York's Drunken Boat emerged from the same downtown '80s scene that spawned Bongwater, King Missile and Hypnolovewheel. Led by poet Todd Colby and featuring the twin guitars of Steve Gross and Todd Serbousek, Drunken Boat merged Colby's literary sensibility with driving off-kilter indie rock.

Drunken Boat, produced by ex-Hugo Largo leader Tim Sommer, teems with smart, concise songs characterized by Colby's passionate, aggro vocals, propulsive tom-heavy drumming by Colby's brother Michael and fine guitar work (Steve Gross and Todd Serbousek) throughout. While owing an obvious debt to Patti Smith, Wire, Captain Beefheart and the Fall, the avant-garage approach and Colby's penetrating songs clearly marked the quintet as a band to watch. And don't miss the great cover of Hüsker Dü's "What's Going On."

Drunken Boat's brand of edgy indie rock was swamped in the wake of the post-Nirvana tidal surge. The artsy last-gasp of Dressy Hat came and went virtually unnoticed, but the band's influence could clearly be heard later in the decade in such bands as Soul Coughing and Guided by Voices.

Since the band's demise, Colby has continued to write and perform spoken word, publishing a book of poems, Riot in the Charm Factory, and creating poemfone, a daily dial-a-poem telephone service.

Drunken Boat Discography Tracks


Drunken Boat Drunken Boat (Album) First Warning Records US 1991 Sell This Version
Drunken Boat See Ruby Falls (Album) First Warning Records US 1992 Sell This Version
002 Drunken Boat Dressy Hat(CD, Album) Yesha, Inc. 002 US 1995 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

72705-75777-2 Drunken Boat New Pop(CD, EP) First Warning Records 72705-75777-2 US 1991 Sell This Version
DTX018 Geezer Lake / Drunken Boat Geezer Lake / Drunken Boat - Split(7") D-Tox DTX018 US 1994 Sell This Version


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August 17, 2010
edited over 7 years ago
All I can clearly remember about this band is a weird spoken-word track called "Dream Wagon" off the album "See Ruby Falls" from 1992. It's a strange back-and-forth conversation between what sounds like an elderly couple, tossing off surreal dialogue for a minute or two. I used to play it on radio shows, it was spectacularly strange and well-written.

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