Electric Chair Theatre
The Stiffs were formed in New York City in 1992 by Whitey F. Sterling (vocals), Paul Boering (guitar), R.X. Mauser (bass) and Donnie T. Tremors (drums). Initially, the dapper mob played their own brand of Anglophillic 70's punk, a la early Damned and Eater. No one could have foreseen their sudden signing by American Recordings, or subsequent mutation into demented neo-Victorian post-punks. Bryn Mars replaced Tremors on drums, the group was rechristened 'Stiffs, Incorporated', and their debut album NIX NOUGHT NOTHING was released in 1995. Keyboardist Byron Lang and bizarre 'Master of Ceremonies' Poison Eve were added to the line-up. Songs became opus-like: the music more complex, and Mr. Sterling's lyrics increasingly Byzantine. Their second album, ELECTRIC CHAIR THEATRE PRESENTS, was likened to 'Raven-era Stranglers scoring the soundtrack to Fritz Lang's Metropolis'. The later Stiffs, Inc. shows involved lines of Busby Berkeley showgirls, hardboiled crime motifs, and gory medical tableaux. Following the Stiffs' demise at the end of the last century, they remain the object of a tiny but virulent cult following.