April 19 street date. A Limited Edition Record Store Day Release! Compiles both early-Merge 7" singles, plus three Bonus Tracks. "Experiencing them as a live band was a monumentally cathartic frenzy of riffs. Their tracks broke songwriting rules as if they never existed in the first place. Stoic Bobby Donne on bass and powerful but precise Chris Farmer on drums were the perfect steel cage for Pen Rollings’ guitar to manically pace back and forth seeking a way out. It was a completely new thing. It felt complex and primal at the same time. (By the way, no one was talking about "math rock". That came later and probably not from anyone who actually played music.) Breadwinner’s music was the joy of the riff, at any tempo, sliced up, stopped before completion, and often set on a groove that was nearly locked. You can hear some influences such as King Crimson, SOD, Jesus Lizard (who they did two tours with), and early Melvins creep into the songs, but nothing is really that obvious. It truly was a band that was the sum of its parts, whose goal was to make music that made you feel something, and that 'something' was very, very heavy. It’s no hyperbole to say that anyone who saw them play live was changed and that the music you once thought was heavy.. mmmm, not so much anymore. On the other hand, there is so much Breadwinner humor in the music and titles you can’t help but feel invited to the party. They bully the riffs into compliance on everything in their path to the point that it just makes you laugh (have you ever had a 'Homecut' or 'Turtlehead'?). Also, 'Kisses Men on the Mouth on the Mountain' was exactly what heavy music needed to say in 1990. So, there you have it. Breadwinner. No reunions, no nostalgia tours, no new material. Just a document of people who made heavy music in a particular place at a particular time, who never thought twice about what they were creating because if they didn’t make it, it wouldn’t have ever existed." - Scott Hudgins
Merge Records was started in the summer of 1989, by Laura Ballance & Mac McCaughan, the same summer they formed the band Superchunk in Chapel Hill, NC. The first couple releases were cassettes (remember those?), by WWAX and Bricks, followed by the first Superchunk (then known only as "Chunk") 7" single. The vinyl 7" was the format of choice for the first 3 years of the label, with cash borrowed from friends to finance projects (including singles from Erectus Monotone, Angels of Epistemology, and more Superchunk) and bedrooms serving as Merge HQ until 1992, when the first Merge full-length release, Tossing Seeds by Superchunk, was released on CD, LP, and cassette. With this release Merge also forged a relationship with Touch and Go Records of Chicago, who have done an admirable job manufacturing and distributing the bulk of Merge's full-length releases since then. Since '92 Merge moved from one charming-yet-run-down office to another until 2001, when we finally made the move from Chapel Hill down the road to a fine old building all our own in historic Downtown Durham, NC. In 2004 Merge Records is celebrating its 15th birthday, and while our roster has changed, rotated, permutated and expanded over the last 15 years, the quality we look for in records as fans is still there in the music we put out on Merge. Thanks for listening!