Excerpt from "Tapping the Underground"
By John J. Thompson
in Syndicate Magazine #41
Although not really underground, The Strawmen are certainly independent. The Strawmen are--er, I mean were--the bass player and rhythm guitarist for The 77s before The 77s got back together ... sort of. Mark Harmon and Dave Leonhardt, along with Mark's big brother Bill who left the rock scene to study for the ministry, had a cool band out of the Sacramento area that recorded thirteen tunes in the garage about the same time The Sevens were slipping into oblivion. As the story goes, Mike Roe and Aaron Smith got the band back together and hijacked Harmon and Leonhardt to fill in the blanks. Although The Strawmen never even played a live concert, the recordings shed a great deal of light on the musical metamorphosis that changed The 77s from a slick but edgy euro-flavored mod-rock band into whatever they are now. Many of the tunes on this disc are songs The Sevens have gone on to record. The production is decent (would've been considered excellent back then) and the songs are good. Strong elements of The Police and The Cure run through the songs, and although several are recognizable, the difference of vocalists and rhythm section make them unique to themselves. You'll probably have to mail order, but it's worth the effort.