From The Desk Of The Van Pelt’s Chris Leo: Golden Krust

The Van Pelt‘s Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves (1996) and Sultans Of Sentiment (1997), in hindsight, provided a number of significant indie-rock mile markers. The band was led by Ted’s brother, Chris Leo; Stealing recorded by Alap Momin (ex-Dälek); bassist Toko Yasuda went back and forth between TVP and Blonde Redhead after that record; and both albums saw the light of day via cult label Gern Blandsten. After being out of print since the turn of the century, the original tapes have been mined for reissue treatment by Spain’s La Castanya, allowing listeners to trace the band from its gorgeously melodic and incendiary, post-hardcore beginnings a la the Jazz June and Texas Is The Reason to a more subdued, Slint-like bent with Leo’s increasingly spoken-word vocal style by the time the last notes ring out on Sultans. Leo will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Leo: I remember sometime in the late ’90s or early aughts when Golden Krust announced the opening of its 100th store, then all of a sudden they started to shutter up one by one—yet not all of them. Like those odd Roy Rogers stuck in the ’80s that still have yet to get the memo that their chain went belly up three decades ago, if lucky enough one could run into the occasional still open Golden Krust refusing to face the fact that the vegie patty (note correct way Jamaicans spell vegie: there is only one “g” in vegetable and two “g”s back to back would make the “g” sound hard not soft anyhow) would not become the next slice of pizza. Hold on! Owner Lowell Hawthorne’s not giving up on making it out of the niche market. He may have conceded defeat to the slice, but he’s just begun waging war on the burrito. I wish him luck. Soy patty and spinach patty also very very good.

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