Formed in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1989, the alternative pop band the Dambuilders originally comprised vocalist/bassist Dave Derby and guitarist Eric Masunaga, both formerly of the Exactones.
Shortly after forming, the duo recorded a demo, dubbed A Young Person's Guide, which mysteriously made its way to Europe, where it landed at the offices of the Berlin-based label Cuacha; with only minor remixing, the label soon released the tapes as an LP, and the band subsequently toured Germany. Upon returning to the U.S., the Dambuilders relocated to Boston, issuing the single "Pop Song Equals Food" in 1991; later that year, they also released their sophomore album, Geek Lust. The band's ranks soon swelled to include violinist/vocalist Joan Wassar and drummer Kevin March, and with the new lineup firmly in place they cut a handful of singles, another LP for Cuacha (1992's Islington Porn Tapes) and an EP for the SpinArt label, 1993's Tough Guy Problem. After signing with the major label EastWest, the Dambuilders resurfaced in 1994 with the album Encendedor, followed a year later by Ruby Red. The 1996 collection God Dambuilders Bless America assembled 15 tracks -- single sides, LP cuts and the like -- from their ongoing '50 Songs for 50 States' project; the all-new Against the Stars appeared the next summer. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi