The Punk Vault

Selections from The Punk Vault [Stiff Legged Sheep]

Stiff Legged Sheep – 7″ (1985 Smudged Records)

The year was, I believe, 1985 and I would ride my skateboard over to my friend Keith Lyons’ place for a punk show they put on at Keith Garage. It would be The Faction, The Drab, God (formerly Dead Fink) and some other band I’m forgettting at the moment, and there was a band who also played called Stiff Legged Sheep. I don’t remember much about them except they were from Iowa, which they announced before they played. I envisioned them living on a farm somewhere and being the only punks in the entire state. I don’t know what caused me to think that, but keep in mind I was like 15 years old. They were a really entertaining hardcore band and the crowd seemed really into them. Being the wide-eyed young punker that I was back then, I put their name in the memory banks as a band to seek out recordings by.

Not too long after that, on a trip to Wax Trax records I found a copy of their one and only release, this 7″ record, and I quickly snapped it up and showed all my friends that “hey, this is that band I saw at Keith Garage with The Faction”. Somehow none of them were really that impressed as a lot of my friends weren’t such marks for all things punk back then like I was.

After that record, the band vanished into thin air almost as if they never happened. I don’t recall reading anything about them before or since so what happened to them is a mystery and whether or not they recorded a demo before or after this record I don’t know either.

Upon doing a search on them, I came across the lineups for the band from the Iowa Underground Archives and they listed them as being:

1st line-up Members:
Ralph Johnson – Vocals
Matt Hall- bass
Dave Murray – Guitar
Paul Mc’Cue – Drums

2nd line-up Members:
Paul Neff
Matt Hall
Dave Murray – Guitar
Paul Mc’Cue – Drums

While a lot of old hardcore records sell for stupid cash on ebay, this one pretty much went unnoticed by the record hoarding masses and can be had for cheap.

As always, if you have any additional information, recordings of the band, or were in the band, please get in touch.


  • Line up correction:
    Ralph Johnson – Vocals
    Matt Hall (now “Double U”) – bass
    Dave Murray – Drums
    Paul McCue – Guitar

    Paul Neff – Vocals/Violin
    Matt Hall – Bass
    Dave Murray – Drums
    Paul McCue – Guitar

    Awesome band!

  • I’m married to Matt Hall — we live in Portland now.

    His e is matthewdhall[at]

    He can answer your Stiff Legged Sheep Qs!

    Paul Neff officiated the ceremony back in 1993.

  • I remember seeing SLS at Dean’s Parkade Lounge in Cedar Falls, Iowa way back when. I still have a copy of Garden Full of Secret Graves! Liner note gem … “Gas Chamber vocals overdubbed in our front hall with natural echo”.

  • If there is a hell, these guys are in trouble for not promoting and sharing their incredible talent.

  • Thanks for your write up on our band. We’re still working on the follow up to that first record, and should be releasing it in the next couple of decades.

    We did actually have two tracks released on the Insight Compilation “To Sell Kerosene Door to Door” which came out a couple/few years after the EP.

  • Keep us posted Paul. It is never to late to say you are sorry. This is the first day of the rest of your life. What comes around goes around. I’m never going to give you up, I’m gonna hold you if my arms forever. Let every loyal Iowan sing.

  • Dear Anonymous Author,
    I can get you a CDR of their first unreleased full-length (aka the Robot Sponsored) or a great show they played at Amelia’s as recorded by Illanos.

  • David – hell yeah, I’d love to hear it. I didn’t know there was any other SLS recordings! Email me at punkvault at gmail dot com please.

  • one of my favorite bands and damn nice guys to boot. the band I was in, horny genius, had the privilege of playing with them a few times in Iowa City. I’d love to hear the unreleased stuff as well as by the end they had an amazing set of songs.

  • Wow, 4 1/2 years after I posted a comment here, I get an email about a follow up! I’ll use it to plug a Dean’s Parkade Lounge reunion party this summer in Cedar Falls featuring The Drednex and T.A.R. Best place for info is on the “Fans of Dean’s Parkade Lounge” page on Facebook. Show is 8/7/10


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