Shocklogic came on the Cincinnati scene in 1989, founded by Sou MacMillan and Steve Libbey who met at the University of Cincinnati. Sou was already an accomplished singer, and Steve had begun his infatuation with punk rock guitar only two years earlier. Instead of a lead guitarist, they thought instead to recruit Tom MacDonald, a violinist with an affinity for loud music. Bassist Dan Simon and Drummer Matt Kotlarczyk answered an ad in the student paper and joined in. Soon the band was writing a set and rehearsing in Steve’s fourth floor Clifton apartment above the map store, much to the chagrin of neighbors and businesses on the block.

A gig with the new band the Ass Ponys (later signed to A&M, and now part of Wussy) was nearly the debut; instead the Ponys canceled and another band headlined. Regardless, the room was packed with band friends curious to see what Shocklogic sounded like. Sou’s channeling of Janis Joplin and Patti Smith knocked the crowd out. It was a good sign.

Their one and only release, Sleeping with Pestilence, was recorded in that apartment, and you can read a fun semi-autobiographical documentation of the session in Sou’s novel Chrysanthemum.

As young bands do, Shocklogic broke up and moved on. Sou started the popular band Pet UFO in Columbus, OH, and continued publishing poetry and fiction. Steve, well, as you probably know, formed a million bands, several of which are rereleased on Thingmo. Dan Simon went on to be a session musician with jazz and blues acts, and teaches double bass in Delft, the Netherlands. Tom MacDonald finished medical school and started a family. Matt Kotlarczyk became a sculptor who crafted the Diggs Plaza Fountain on the corner of Burnett Woods in Clifton. For those familiar with these people and their work, it’s intriguing to look back at their early musical adventures.