With personal and musical connections to the New York City Hardcore and Punk Golden Age of the late 1980s and early 1990s, The Putrid Flowers were founded in the mid 1990s by singer/bassist John B. and drummer Joe Guerrero. Both were undergraduates at Queens College where they first met at a Campus rally and the more they spoke to each other at shows around the city, the more they realized they shared an interest in punk music as well as literature, sociology and politics. The two soon joined forces with Ed Smith, whose enthusiasm for early punk/hardcore as well as a love for art-metal, made him a natural fit at guitar. The 3 piece, now calling themselves The Putrid Flowers, quickly impressed critics with their energetic live act and a social consciousness that they were able to couple with the spontaneity of old punk/hardcore acts.
Indeed, the band would often bring homemade baked goods and hand them out in the middle of their set. They soon implemented a policy that let fans see shows for free if they brought baked goods. Later, they went through a period of playing 2-3 gangster rap covers in their set, often taking out chairs and acoustic guitars and playing them as close as possible to the originals, adding to the fun and absurdity.
Their tireless efforts established a reputation among a loyal cache of fans who followed them around to scores of gigs in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. The energy of their live shows would be captured on a series of recordings of seven inches and singles recorded by Chris Fasulo, a student at 5 Towns College, in the school's studio on weekends and vacations. These songs were influenced by old punk acts such as The Misfits, The Hard-Ons, Token Entry and the Zombies, yet had sophisticated melodies and chord structures that were reminiscent of old Broadway songs. These early tracks were to surface on many prominent punk rock compilations of the mid-late 1990s.
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