A Madison, WI, trio renowned for their brutal, distorted country blues sound and smirking anti-intellectual stance, Killdozer formed in 1983 around vocalist/bassist Michael Gerald, guitarist Bill Hobson, and his drummer brother Dan. The group issued their debut LP, Intellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite, just a year later, quickly establishing both their menacing swamp rock sound as well as a lyrical outlook virulently attacking social and political malaise while celebrating life on the wrong side of the tracks.
Upon signing to the Touch and Go label, Killdozer returned in 1985 with the primal Snake Boy; the Burl EP — a collection of ominous, sludgy folk tunes topped off by a cover of Jessi Colter's "I'm Not Lisa" — followed the next year. 1987's Little Baby Buntin', produced by fellow Wisconsinite Butch Vig, found the Killdozer sound growing slower and more experimental, a trend continued by the following year's 12 Point Buck. After 1989's For Ladies Only — an all-covers collection deconstructing hits ranging from Deep Purple's "Hush" to the James Gang's "Funk #49" to Don McLean's "American Pie" — Bill Hobson left the band on the eve of a European tour, and was replaced by Halo of Flies guitarist (and Amphetamine Reptile label chief) Tom Hazelmyer. Hobson later re-joined the group, but again exited in the midst of recording a never-completed LP.
After a long layoff, in 1992 Gerald and Dan Hobson reformed Killdozer with new guitarist Paul Zagores. A single, "The Pig Was Cool," followed in 1993, trailed the next year by the full-length Uncompromising War on Art Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. After new producer Steve Albini helmed 1995's God Hears Pleas of the Innocent, Dan Hobson left the group to raise his family; he was replaced by ex-Die Kreuzen drummer Erik Tunison. Additionally, the roster soon expanded to include second guitarist Jeff Ditzenberger, formerly of Power Wagon. After recording a split single with Alice Donut, Killdozer disbanded in 1996 following the conclusion of the Fuck You, We Quit tour. ~ Jason Ankeny