In late 1997, a Michigan trio of teenagers calling themselves 400 Pounds of Punk released their only album, a five-song cassette called He Once Ate A Small Child. Calling it obscure puts it mildly; until today, there was no mention of this release anywhere on the internet. “I doubt more than a half-dozen people even knew about it,” writes Third Man Records co-founder Ben Blackwell (that’s him on the left in the photo) on Discogs. Blackwell has changed that, posting a track from it in honor of Cassette Week. That track, a raw and rocking cover of Blondie’s “One Way or Another,” features a young Jack White on vocals.
From the first “Alright!” yelp, White’s voice is instantly recognizable even at such a young age. He shares singing duties with the band’s usual frontman Jamie Cherry, a much lower-voiced growler (it’s not hard to tell who sings what). Aside from a fascinating historical moment – imagine blues fanatic Jack covering Blondie right before he began singing Skip James and Son House with Meg – it’s a pretty solid cover, rough and loud and garage-y as all hell. Listen below.