Zoogz Rift PhotoAnother in the line of eccentric rock experimentalists led by Zappa and Beefheart, Zoogz Rift was influenced by those two as well as figures artistic (Dali) and literary/sociological (Ayn Rand, author of the objectivist pillar Atlas Shrugged). Born in New Jersey but later a resident of California, Rift began recording in the 1979 with Idiots on the Miniature Golf Course, for Snout Records. The album began a long association with his two major collaborators, Richie Häss and John Van Zelm Trubee (also a member of the Ugly Janitors of America), and proved similar to the zany freak-out of Beefheart, to whom it's dedicated.

Much of Zoogz Rift's eccentricities began to be overwhelmed by his growing musical ability in the mid-'80s, and though albums like Amputees in Limbo, Island of Living Puke and the three volumes included in the Water trilogy were hardly commercial propositions, they found Rift embracing synthesizers and samplers as well as the traditional guitars. His last LP in a long series for the punk label SST Records was 1989's Torment, after which Rift recorded for Trigon and the German label Musical Tragedies. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide