New Music

The original FIDDLEHEAD (1990-1995): rediscovering a lost gem of post hardcore and noise rock

1 min read

Unearthing another chapter from the 90s alternative scene, we rediscover Fiddlehead, a band once overshadowed, now stepping back into the limelight with a story as compelling as their music. Fiddlehead, the original noise-rock and post-hardcore ensemble from Atlanta, not to be confused with their modern namesake, re-emerges from the echoes of the 90s with a revitalized classic, “The Deaf Waiter,” now remixed and reborn as “The Chicago Reels.”

In an age where band names echo through generations, it’s easy for the origins to blur. The Atlanta-based Fiddlehead, active in the early 90s, embodies this phenomenon. Their story is one of innovation, fervent passion, and a music style that left an indelible mark on its audience, despite being overshadowed by a more recently famous namesake.

Deeply rooted in the alternative scene of their time, Fiddlehead garnered recognition for their robust, precise, and bass-heavy sound. Opening for scene giants like Green Day, Fugazi, and Girls Against Boys, they carved a niche that resonates even today. Their rich amalgamation of noise rock, emo, and post-hardcore astounds with its organic vigor and intensity, paradoxically aligning with the tastes of fans of the contemporary Fiddlehead.

Recorded by the renowned Steve Albini, “The Deaf Waiter” has been given a new life after three decades. Kyle Spence, the legendary drummer and producer who also played in Fiddlehead, has remixed and remastered it, adding new layers to the raw energy and emotional depth. This highly nuanced remix, dubbed “The Chicago Reels,” offers listeners a pure, unfiltered experience of Fiddlehead like never before.

In 2019, the discovery of the original 2โ€ reels in pristine condition allowed for a digital conversion and the modern treatment the album deserved. The reels revealed additional guitar tracks and vocals, enriching the record that was largely unfinished when released in 1994.


Fiddlehead’s journey in the early 90s saw them opening for iconic acts such as Fugazi, Green Day, Girls Against Boys, Jawbreaker, and Rodan. Their style, a mix of raw noise rock, emotive emo, and the edginess of post-hardcore, is an incredible fit for fans of the modern Fiddlehead, making it a remarkable oversight in the indie circuit.

Members of Fiddlehead have since ventured into various other bands, including Harvey Milk, Kurt Vile, J. Mascis and the Fog, Dinosaur Jr., Freemasonry, and John Brown, but their legacy as pioneers remains untouched.

The remix, “The Chicago Reels,” released on 12″ vinyl through Echodelick Records, offers fans and new listeners alike a chance to experience a classic album in a completely new light.


“The Chicago Reels” is not just a reissue; it’s a rediscovery of an alternative music history, a tribute to a band that, despite being overshadowed, laid the groundwork for the noise-rock and post-hardcore scenes of today.


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