"Fast, loud, and retarded."
That's how Jeremy Yoho describes the sound of the band he used to front, Topeka metal-punk misfits, Puke-O-Rama and, looking back, that's probably the most accurate description possible. Raucous, beligerant, and staunchly anti-social, the band formed in the mid-90s as a trio, the brainchild of guitarist/songwriter Seth Coulter who wrote songs about worshipping Satan, rioting against the cops, hating the fire department... All normal teenage stuff. Yoho was brought in later as a vocalist and the band gave several memorable performances in basements and abandoned houses in and around Topeka/Lawrence.
"Everyone in the band but me was really pretty talented," Yoho recalls.
Blurring the lines between metal and punk was the bands calling card. They mixed grindcore and melody, chaos and collision with tight riffs, and lyrically lambasted everything from love to music, even offering dance advice to listeners.
"Don't do the pogo / When you're jumping up and down / If you do the pogo /I'll knock you on the ground," sang Yoho in the appropriately named party classic "Don't Do the Pogo".
Unfortunately, Puke-O-Rama never amounted to much. The band recorded a split demo with fellow Topeka punks Count Zero in 1995 and Yoho left the band soon after. The remaining members continued on as a trio for a bit before disbanding in the late 90s. Yoho joined the army last year.
"I spend 50% of my time sitting on a mountaintop in Egypt," he says. "Sounds mystical - but it really isn't. The air's thin and it gets mighty cold at night. Presently, I'm sitting in my federally sanctioned bedroom a little bit closer to civilization and I just woke up with a wicked hangover. I don't really drink anymore though, at least not much, so I don't know how that happened."
Puke-O-Rama's legacy, however, is undeniable.
"I heard a guitar riff on the new Metallica album that was exactly the same as one that Seth used," Yoho says. "Not kidding. I'd accuse them of ripping us off if I didn't know that there is no way in hell they've ever subjected themselves to our demo."