NOXIOUS FUMES was THE hardcore band after the NW's first wave (fartz, solger)
CALVIN JOHNSON (krecs) released a cassette of this in 1984 as well as including them in the Let's Kiss CS comp
the FUMES played regularly with bands such as the melvins and green river.. they broke up right before the sub pop 100 and their day outside of the shady NW sun..
Alot of people's lives would have been dramatically different if it wasn't for the Noxious Fumes. Although they were short lived this early punk band had a profound effect on everyone who knew them. - Heather Lum
Noxious Fumes from picturesque Tacoma Washington was probably the best punk band you’ve never heard of. Sure, they played larger shows in Seattle at such storied venues as The Gorilla Gardens, but I will always think of them in their natural environment, Tacoma’s Hell house.
Pick a Friday or Saturday night in the mid-80’s at the 56th street Hell House and you were likely to hear Noxious Fumes playing another blistering set of tight, hardcore punk. Before they played, their lead singer, Mike, would walk through the crowd of punks sharing a polaroid of his new “baby,” an especially shapely turd he’d just deposited in the Hell House toilet (a place to avoid if at all possible).
John Grant, the guitarist, would often just keep fairly quiet, but everyone knew the sort of wall of sound he was about to produce. John’s guitar style rivaled the best guitarists in much more well-known bands.
Purkey, the drummer, the other John in the group, looked to be little more than 13 or 14, full of energy. If you didn’t know better, you might wonder what a kids his age was doing at a seedy punk rock house party, but this was Tacoma. Tacoma was the land of the Asarco Smelter that dusted the neighborhoods with arsenic dust each night. All the houses near Asarco got luxurious new decks as part of a buyout to avoid lawsuits. This was also the land of Commencement Bay, one of the most polluted waterways in all of America. Both Asarco and Commencement Bay became subjects of Noxious Fumes songs.
Finally, the bass player, Lisa, seemed nearly as young as John. She also appeared quiet, unassuming, but you must remember, this is long before being a woman in a hardcore band was a common occurrence. There were no Riot Grrls in the mid-80’s. Once again, Noxious Fumes was ahead of the curve.
So, by now, I hope you can picture the scene. You are in the wasteland of mid-80’s Tacoma. Outside there is little more than the smell of Tacoma itself and the sprawl of urban decay. But you are in the Hell House and Noxious Fumes has turned on their amps. You are shoved up against a wall of punk rock flyers, the only soundproofing is a spray painted mattress. There is no stage, just a band and a sweaty group of kids who just want to move to music they can really feel, music that will shake their bones. And then, the band begins… - Bruce Purkey