formed in Stourbridge, England in 1986. Comprised of vocalist/guitarist
-influenced indie guitar band, and issued their self-produced debut EP, The Poppies Say Grrr, in 1986.
While recording their follow-up, Poppiecock
became immersed in sampling, drawing material from sources ranging from James Brown
to Iggy Pop
; soon Crabb
emerged from behind his drum kit to join Mansell
as co-frontman, and a drum machine was installed in his place. Honing a fusion of rock, pop, and rap that they dubbed "grebo," the Poppies
kick-started a small revolution; by the release of their 1987 full-length debut, Box Frenzy
, and the hit "There Is No Love Between Us Anymore," grebo -- the name quickly given the entire subculture of similarly grimy and raunchy bands -- was all the rage in the British music press.
The influence of hip-hop was even more pronounced on singles like "Def. Con. One." and "Can U Dig It?," both included on Pop Will Eat Itself
's 1989 masterpiece, This Is the Day...This Is the Hour...This Is This!
, their debut for RCA. "Touched by the Hand of Cicciolina," an ode to the Italian porn actress turned politician, was another hit, while 1991's Cure for Sanity
marked an increasing interest in dance music. By 1992's The Looks or the Lifestyle
even added a live drummer, Fuzz (born Robert Townshend), to expand their ever-mutating sound.
In early 1993, the Poppies
issued their biggest U.K. hit, "Get the Girl, Kill the Baddies"; ironically, later that same year the group was dropped by RCA. After signing to Infectious in Britain, they were picked up in the U.S. by Nothing, a label owned by longtime fan Trent Reznor
; sporting a harder-edged, funk-metal sound, PWEI
resurfaced in 1994 with Dos Dedos Mis Amigos
. Prior to the release of a 1995 remix record, Two Fingers, My Friends
exited the group to focus on his side project, Golden Claw Musics. March
later gained fame in the big beat act Bentley Rhythm Ace