The Popstream: The Mummies, "Stronger Than Dirt"

Imagine how the Mummies must have come across to the average rock enthusiast at the end of 1991. Mainstream rock was just about ready to enter the flailing, hype-fueled downward creative arc of the grunge movement, indie rock was starting to get permeated with the let's-pretend-we're-bored ethos of arch smartasses like Pavement, and punk rock had started to resign itself to sounding, now and forever, like a petulant suburban California version of the Ramones. Garage rock revival wasn't quite the little cottage industry it became at the end of the '90s, where even the most Matador-enthused college stations snuck some artists from the Estrus label onto their playlists and eventually left unsuspecting ears primed for the next-big-thing success of the White Stripes -- so what to make of a bunch of dudes wrapped in gauze, hammering away at '60s-vintage Vox guitars and Farfisa organs and screaming like lunatics? Nobody knew, and the Mummies broke up the day after New Year's, 1992, leaving behind one of the best garage rock albums ever recorded -- Never Been Caught (aka Fuck C.D.'s, It's the Mummies) -- and a couple brief European tours in 1993 and 1994. Then they remembered that Mummies aren't necessarily supposed to stay dead.

Here's footage of 'em during a rare October 2008 reunion performance at something called the Funtastic Dracula Festival in Spain, performing their troglodyte-caliber single "Stronger Than Dirt" -- a song which pushes "You Really Got Me" into a locker and steals its lunch money and/or girlfriend. I gotta warn you that the sound quality in this clip is pretty blown-out and brutal, which is part and parcel of the whole Mummies' "Budget Rock" aesthetic -- but while I'm sending out warnings, I might as well mention that listening to this may also put a curse on you. That curse, according to their official page: "The Mummies were a stupid band. This is their stupid Website. You cared about them enough to get this far. Now you are stupid too. That's the Mummies' curse."

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