The story behind No Monster Club's not-so-posthumous Posthumous Hits

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This week's Gossip Wolf has the scoop on the 50th release from Chicago-via-Michigan label Already Dead—it's a sampler called Dead. Joshua Tabbia launched Already Dead in 2010, and with the help of a growing team has put together an impressive and eclectic catalog. The label recently dropped a number of interesting cassettes, and one in particular piqued my interest: No Monster Club's Posthumous Hits.

The tape is billed as a collection of recordings "discovered" after the unexpected and untimely passing of Bobby Aherne, 24-year-old front man of Dublin garage-pop trio No Monster Club. I got sucked into the group's hooky tunes and grew more and more intrigued by the mysterious circumstances of Aherne's passing—or rather, the lack of any information about it. My curiosity led me through a string of morbid Google searches, but I found nothing.

I went straight to Tabbia to find out more about Posthumous Hits, and it turns out the "posthumous" part is a bit misleading. "It's like this weird thing, he's not actually dead," Tabbia says.

Tabbia first reached out to Aherne about a year ago, around the same time Already Dead released a cassette by Panda Kid, an Italian garage group that's shared bills with No Monster Club. Aherne expressed interest in releasing a small collection of recordings, and the project ballooned into the 46-song smorgasbord of Posthumous Hits. Tabbia says the "posthumous" idea was inspired by a 2004 Daniel Johnston compilation, The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered, whose artwork depicts Johnston standing in front of a gravestone with his name on it.

The band and Already Dead ran with that concept in the press release for Posthumous Hits, which states that the album's songs were "unearthed after his death" and it was "prepared for release by his bandmates, friends and family." Tabbia admits that Aherne is very much alive. "I'm pretty sure they're playing shows and stuff," he says.

Posthumous Hits is nearly sold out, and Tabbia is gearing up for a busy release schedule—four per month for the next year, he says.

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