The Blackouts were a punk rock band formed in Seattle in 1979 by singer/guitarist Erich Werner, bassist Mike Davidson, and drummer William Rieflin, who were all former members of a local punk band, The Telepaths. They were joined by Roland Barker, first on synthesizer and later on saxophone.
Following a single and EP on small local labels, Davidson was replaced by Roland's brother Paul Barker in 1981. This line-up recorded the "Exchange of Goods" single for English label Situation Two, and relocated to Boston in 1982. There they met Al Jourgensen of Ministry, who produced their last recording, the Lost Soul's Club EP for Wax Trax! Records.