The 1-4-5s formed sometime in 1994, like most bands, as a half-assed joke among friends. Garage rock was huge in the Austin punk scene at the time, and The 1-4-5s had worn out their copies of "Supercharger Goes Way Out" and The Mummies' "Never Been Caught," and sought to have as much fun as it sounded like those bands were having.
Dean Hsieh (guitar) & Anna Viniegra (drums) were already members of the kiddie-punk band Teen Titans at the time, though Anna had until then never touched the drums. Travis Higdon (vocals) & Gavin Scott (bass) had never been in a band before (but desperately wanted to), so with this mix of earnestness, incompetence and naivety, The 1-4-5s were formed. Travis later joined in on second guitar after learning to play along to The 1-4-5s' first single.
The name is a musician's in-joke about the classic rock'n'roll chord progression to which nearly all oldies owe their paydirt, and The 1-4-5s vowed never to stray from this time-tested songwriting formula. Within a few weeks The 1-4-5s had written a few silly songs covering the standard garage rock themes (cars, girls, male bravado, Gavin's pet rat, etc.) and learned a handful of covers, so with the final addition of a good gimmick (crash helmets & racing jackets), the band was ready to rock.
The 1-4-5s never intended to last more than a few months, but they recorded a single for posterity, which Travis released on his non-existant Peek-A-Boo Records label in early 1995. The "Unsafe at 45 rpm" EP contained six one-minute songs and was to be Peek-A-Boo Records' only release, with an initial pressing of only 300 copies. Recorded on 4-track in a rehearsal space, the EP sounded like crap and was probably the band's finest output. Surprisingly, Maximumrocknroll gave the 7" a great review, which led to many sales and subsequent repressings and encouraged the band to continue playing.
Estrus Records quickly took notice, and a second 1-4-5s single was released in the Estrus Crust Club. Later that year the band recorded a full-length album ("Rock Invasion") and a 10" ("Spook Party") for Estrus and embarked on tours in the US and Japan, far exceeding the band's initial goals of "maybe playing at a party or something."
The joke was never meant to last as long as it did, and eventually The 1-4-5s hung up their helmets for good, but not before playing at least 3 or 4 "last shows ever." One of these was captured via handheld tape recorder, dubbed several times and released as a 4th or 5th generation copy on vinyl by Houston's Twist Like This Records.
• Rock Invasion LP/CD (Estrus Records, 1996)
• Rock'n'Roll Spook Party 10"/CD (Estrus Records, 1997)
Singles & EPs
• Unsafe at 45 rpm! 7" EP (Peek-A-Boo Records, 1995)
• Inhalants / The 1-4-5s split 7" (Peek-A-Boo Records, 1996)
• Planetary Annihilation! 7" EP (Estrus Records, 1996)
• Ten Gallon Helmet 7" EP (Answer Records, 1997)
• Almost Good! live 7" EP (Twist Like This, 1997)
• Peek-A-Boo Bicycle Rodeo LP (Peek-A-Boo Records, 1995)
• Greenlight Go! CD (Bottlecap Records, 1995)
• KVRX 91.7 FM Local Live CD (KVRX, 1996)
• Texas Garage CD (Au Go Go Records, 1996)
Peek-A-Boo Family Tree
• Dean Hsieh: Teen Titans, Poopiehead, The Wontons, Golden Millennium
• Travis Higdon: The Kiss Offs, Golden Millennium, Black Lipstick
• Gavin Scott: The Kiss Offs
• Anna Viniegra: Teen Titans, Poopiehead