Boris the Sprinkler
Boris The Sprinkler were formed the night of the 1992 ShopKo fireworks in Green Bay. Veterans of numerous local bands (including minor Beer City sensations Suburban Mutilation), they opted to forgo most then-popular musical routes — long-stale hardcore, vaguely melodic emo-esque muttering, dull strummy plugged-in acoustic guitar crap — for the then highly-unpopular music they grew up playing: The punk rock of the late 70’s and early 80’s.
With vocalist and Maximum RockNRoll columnist Rev. Nørb (once memorably described by Ben Weasel as “a grown man who resembles a gigantic grasshopper”) flailing around the stage in a variety of increasingly ridiculous costumes and mighty guitar titan Paul #1 acting as a sonic anchor amidst the high-energy lunacy, punk rock inexplicably got big again – that wasn’t exactly Boris’s doing, but it floated their boat accordingly.
When label-shopping the band’s first album – 8-Testicled Pogo Machine — proved to be too slow and annoying a process for the band’s liking, Nørb launched Bulge Records, thereby releasing Boris product himself and bypassing the whole record label bit entirely.
Now augmented by the madcap drum antics of Paul #2 – a man occasionally led to the stage in chains while clad in nothing but a wrestling mask, trunks, and boots – the band released their second album, Saucer To Saturn, and exported their thoroughly Midwestern hijinx to a nationwide audience on a summer tour with the Riverdales and the Mr. T Experience.
With charming science-nerd bass whiz Ric Six entering the picture for the band’s third album, Mega Anal, the classic Boris lineup was complete, and the Earth wobbled on its axis to the group’s cheese-punk clamor.
Signing to New York’s Go-Kart Records, the band released two more albums, one of which was good.
Figuring (somewhat correctly) that punk rock wasn’t a particularly stable gravy train for thirty-somethings to permanently hitch their wagons to, the band never quit their day jobs. This neverending cycle of forty hour workweeks and weekend road gigs led to a high turnover rate among band members; amidst overly-frequent lineup changes and flagging enthusiasm, the band sputtered to a halt in 2003, leaving a legacy of five albums, nearly twenty 7-inches, a double live record, and Ramones and Circle Jerks tribute albums.
In 2009, the classic lineup of the band was cajoled out of retirement for an appearance at Insubordination Fest in Baltimore; in 2017, they started playing more-or-less annual shows. In 2019, they found themselves (under mysterious circumstances) in a recording studio together, with Vespa To Venus being the result. The band enjoys socks, soup, and most polkas. – Rev Norb