Party Boobytrap: The Story of Tally Hall’s First EP

In 2003, a budding young band called ‘Tally Hall’ got together to record their first self-produced EP…. And it happened in a bit of an unconventional manner…

Joe Hawley, (red tie, guitar, vocals) studied as a film and English major, and his technical abilites with film and music came together in early 2003 as he invited the rest of his bandmates back to his attic bedroom to record their first EP.
Tally Hall, which at the time had Steve Gallagher on drums, gathered and, synced with a metronome track recorded and transferred over to an iPod, recorded their instruments one by one by using a camcorder with a ‘line in’ jack input.
To ensure there was minimal room noise, they would resort to turning off the lights, the refrigerator, etc. These recorded tracks were then imported into Final Cut Pro, which is a video editing software, and not a digital audio workstation! But Joe had mastered the tools and persevered, so that the band could share their original songs with the world.
Each one laid down track by track, bit by bit, until it was finished.

The result, was the Party Boobytrap EP. Named as such, simply because it’s a funny palindrome, and it served as an indication of the band’s signature quirky humour. The boys were happy with the result of their work, and would sell the EP at live shows in April of 2003.

And that’s how the story went. This little self-produced EP was made by an underground band, a few of them got sold to fans, and in 2004 the band moved on to making another EP called ‘Welcome To Tally Hall‘… and then all the demos from both EPs would later be compiled into ‘Complete Demos

Now, we at Hidden In The Sand pride ourselves on chronicling Tally Hall history.
We know it all, we see it all, and if we haven’t seen it yet, we will! Former webmaster of Hidden In The Sand Coz Baldwin (RIP) prided himself on owning rare slices of Tally Hall history, and since HITS’ inception in 2006, until releatively recently, not even Coz himself had never seen a copy of Party Boobytrap. We knew about it in 2006, but as for the EP itself, It was lost media!
We didn’t know what it looked like, and we didn’t know for sure what tracks were on it. All we had to go on was a title, and what little the band would say about it in interviews (Which was mainly about the way in which it was recorded).

In 2008 the music video for Good Day was released, and in it there’s a brief nod to the EP in that there’s a fictional rap group called ‘Party Boobytrap’ who make a brief cameo


Skip ahead to 2009, we get a tracklisting:
1. Good Day
2. Greener
3. Banana Man
4. Ruler of Everything

Those of you who really know your Tally Hall history will know that Banana Man wasn’t recorded until November of 2003; and Party Boobytrap was supposed to have been released in April! …So what happened? Did we get it wrong? Did someone misremember the release date of the EP? We know more, but we understand less.

A DECADE PASSES.

I’m not kidding, we get 10 years of NOTHING.


Though that’s not from lack of trying! Many try to find it; in 2017 a collection of Tally Hall archivists create an archive of content called ‘Tallyall’. These determinded and likeminded media hoarders get together via Discord in order to band their efforts, and try to find out more information about Party Boobytrap. For years they scour the internet. Maybe they can see what the album art looks like, or if we’re lucky, maybe someone uploaded a torrent of the files? Maybe they’re a different mix from Complete Demos? Maybe someone uploaded a picture of it or something to tumblr? Myspace? Tally Hall keeps getting bigger, and the internet keeps getting more active, surely someone somewhere must have a copy of it lying around? Where is it?! Who has one?!! DOES ANYONE?!

The quest was unfortunately fruitless

Until March 2019.

A copy surfaced, from the source themselves. Andrew Horowitz listed a version of it on ebay to help raise money for Coz’s heart fund.

This was it. Our first chronicled look at Party Boobytrap since 2003. This is definitive proof that it exists. And there isn’t even album art!! It’s just a CD-R in a paper sleeve with a receipt-like slip of paper in it acting as the liner notes. But it’s a slice of history; the first EP by Tally Hall.

If you read back up to what we thought the tracklisting was; you’ll notice Stationary Love is track 3 here. We must have got the tracklisting wrong in 2009, then!

Mystery solved; case closed.

…Except that in 2022, a Hallmanac user called BlueYoshi notices something on a long forgotten website.

What’s that at the bottom?

partyboobytrap e.p. +1-1“? What’s that?!
BlueYoshi posits that it’s probably a version of Party Boobytrap with the 1-1 Overworld theme from Super Mario Bros. on it, as the band used to cover it live.
This means there are 2 versions of Party Boobytrap out there!

This version with the mario theme on it still hasn’t surfaced to date.

But earlier this year HITS moderator Ruby Red saw Andrew Horowitz live, met up with him afterwards, and he gave her a very special gift:

Ruby holds in her hands a copy of Party Boobytrap and a DVD of Natural Ketchup

Yes! Another definitive variant of Party Boobytrap!

Same track listing, but a bit more professionally printed. It’s got the identifiable Tally Hall logo on it this time around. So this one must have come after April 2003.

And just yesterday, Ruby got in contact with someone who owned a copy that looked like this:

For those of you counting, this makes (at least) 4 different versions of Party Boobytrap!

The fun part about this newest version is that it solves the mystery in 2009 about the tracklisting having Banana Man as track 3! We weren’t wrong, there were just multiple versions!! Because Banana Man was written in November 2003, this one must have come out after then.

We’re still on the lookout for a version with the 1-1 Mario Bros. Overworld theme. And we still don’t definitively know what the ‘Welcome To Tally Hall EP’ looks like. So if you bought a Tally Hall CD from a live show way back in the 00s, and it’s still kicking around, get in touch! We’d love to see it!

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