4 Walls Down
Formed in Galway, Ireland in 1977, 4 Walls Down started as an edgy outsider rock act with a punk edge and a heartfelt message. As the years rolled on, the group went through multiple phases, exploring everything from R&B to disco to ambient to noise rock before calling it quits in 1987 (shortly after the release of their flop fifth LP Deuteronomy Shrub).
Fronted by enthusiastic singer and lyricist Ron Harris (who went by the unusual moniker “Duri” for the Latin duri vox) and with a sound palette engineered by guitarist and pedal effects wizard Art Dietrich (who sported his own nickname, “The Fringe”), the band crafted anthemic music addressing everything from love to longing to war. But they weren’t always so serious. While Duri and Fringe liked to listen to Bowie, The Jam and Knuckle Merchants, bassist Phillip Fish had more eclectic tastes (for example, going through a phase in 1982 during which he listened almost exclusively to Tusk-era Fleetwood Mac and the entire Grand Funk Railroad catalog; this likely resulted in his contribution to 1983’s Wan, “LAMB”). Drummer Carl Levitt was the “silent Wall” but liked to dress up as an animal (it varied) during rehearsal. (Levitt is credited with actually forming the band, primarily because he is the one who placed a notice seeking members on the bulletin board at St. Hubbins Preparatory School attended by the lads.)