If Guided by Voices are the Beatles of the mid-'90s lo-fi scene, then the Grifters' big, bluesy racket could certainly qualify as the Stones. Deliberately noisy, sloppy, and out-of-tune, the band masks their melodies under a heavy static fuzz of distortion. Based in Memphis and definitely influenced by their surroundings, the Grifters recall as well the proto-lo-fi musings of Royal Trux and Half Japanese -- unlike GbV, who arrived at the lo-fi sound by simply recording pop songs at home on sub-standard equipment. Formed in the late '80s, initially as A Band Called Bud, with vocalist/guitarist Scott Taylor, bassist Tripp Lamkins, and drummer Dave Shouse, the band released only a single and an obscure tape consisting of front-room recordings. By the turn of the decade, Shouse had begun sharing songwriting and guitar chores with Taylor, while Stan Gallimore replaced him on drums. The four-piece debuted on vinyl with the 1990 single "Disfigurehead" on Doink Records. In 1992, the band issued their debut album, So Happy Together, on the evidently like-minded Sonic Noise label. The LP continued the Sonic Youth approach to punk prevalent on the initial recordings, though the following year's One Sock Missing showed a more mature Grifters -- that is, the songs were slower, but no less skewered with distortion and tape splices. The album was the first released on their own Shangri-La label, which has also issued a single from A Band Called Bud as well as recordings from Taylor's side-project, Hot Monkey.