Saturday, October 29, 2005

Red Snerts

Gulcher Records has been putting out Midwest punk, garage, and new wave records for close to 30 years now. Their 1981 all Indiana compilation Red Snerts - The Sound of Gulcher runs the gamut of Indiana's underground music scene, from the no wave sounds of the Dancing Cigarettes to the classic punk of the Zero Boys. In between there's everything from pseudo-dub (Amoebas in Chaos) to ska (Freddy & The Fruitloops) to art damage (A. xax). 16 bands altogether. As a result of this variety Red Snerts can be an up and down ride like so many early punk/new wave comps. Still, I find this an enjoyable "time capsule" release, with the Dow Jones & The Industrials and The Panics tracks being my top tracks. Gulcher reissued Red Snerts on CD in 2001 and it's still available.

The Gizmos - The Midwest Can Be Alright.mp3
The Panics - Drugs Are For Thugs.mp3
The Defekts - Peer Pressure.mp3
E-In Brino - Indianapolis.mp3
Zero Boys - New Generation.mp3
Dow Jones & The Industrials - Ladies With Appliances.mp3


  • A comprehensive Red Snerts page complete with insert pages and band info
  • E-In Brino is actually Paul Mahern of the Zero Boys and ???? Any info?
  • Gulcher Releases available from Midheaven Mailorder

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    Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    Riverboat Gamblers

    I don't care what anyone says, I dig the Riverboat Gamblers. I've read a great deal criticism of them on various message boards that state the Gamblers records are "too rock", or their shows are "too choreographed", or they're "rockstars" for playing the Warped Tour. Hell, I too was skeptic, but a listen to 2003's Something To Crow About made me a believer. It flat out smokes. Their 2001 self titled is also a worthwhile rawk investment. To me the band sounds like a tougher version of the Supersuckers jamming with Sugar Shack, cranking out melodic, anthemic rock action. Good stuff.

    Despite all of the praise I'll warn you off of 2004's Backsides, which is supposedly a 'contractual obligation' deal. By comparison to the previous releases Backsides is relatively mediocre, dragged down by lackluster songs and muddy production. I'm hoping the band's planned next album (supposedly being recorded now) plays like proper follow up to Something To Crow About. Here's a couple:

    from 2001's self-titled debut
    Riverboat Gamblers - Jenna.mp3
    Riverboat Gamblers - Drink Alone.mp3

    from 2003's Something To Crow About
    Riverboat Gamblers - Rattle Me Bones.mp3
    Riverboat Gamblers - Ice Water.mp3

  • Buy Riverboat Gamblers releases
  • official Riverboat Gamblers site
  • Photo swiped from Gearhead Records
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    Monday, October 24, 2005

    Social Distortion - demos

    Someone out there has to know the real deal on this. Perusing Soulseek I came across what is purported to be Social Distortion's first demo tape from 1979. Now, if this were really from 1979 then it would most likely include the original lineup of Mike Ness with Rikk Agnew on guitar, Frank Agnew on bass, and Casey Royer on drums. I can't find any evidence that this lineup actually recorded anything before the Agnews and Royer split to form the Adolescents. I suspect these tracks are actually from 1980 or 1982 or so, as "Lude Boy" and "Telling Them" sound like the same versions as those that appeared on the comp Hell Comes To Your House. I'm pretty sure the remainder were cleaned up for official release as Mainliner: Wreckage From the Past. The versions here appear to be nth generation dubs complete with tape hiss and volume issues. Take them for what their worth:

    Social Distortion "1979" Demo
    Social Distortion - All The Answers.mp3
    Social Distortion - Lude Boy.mp3
    Social Distortion - Mainliner.mp3
    Social Distortion - Moral Threat.mp3
    Social Distortion - Orange County Jail.mp3
    Social Distortion - Playpen.mp3
    Social Distortion - Telling Them.mp3


    Friday, October 21, 2005

    Alive and Kicking

    So here's another great DC hardcore comp - Alive and Kicking. Released in 1985 on local DC label (and studio) WGNS. This one is pretty solid from beginning to end. United Mutation kick it off with a blast of their twisted, rocking hardcore mayhem, complete with sax. Gray Matter's "Walk The Line" is a rougher, less intense rendition than the version that would appear on the Take It Back 12". Beefeater's track is more punk than funk, Tomas Squip almost sounds like HR at moments on this one. Mission Impossible, featuring a teenage Dave Grohl on drums, play some quality emo-infused DC hardcore (the MI split with Lunchmeat coming in a future post). Marginal Man's eponymous track is rawer than the version on their Identity 12". The only real clunker on the whole comp is Cereal Killer, which plays like KBD toss-off. Take a listen:

    United Mutation - Sensation Fix.mp3
    Gray Matter - Walk The Line.mp3
    Beefeater - War In Space.mp3
    Mission Impossible - I Can Only Try.mp3
    Cereal Killer - Knife.mp3
    Marginal Man - Marginal Man.mp3


    Wednesday, October 19, 2005


    Another one of my favorite noise rock bands, Surgery originally formed while students at Syracuse University before relocating to New York City in the late '80's. In NYC they became part of the underground rock scene that produced the likes of Helmet, Unsane, and Boss Hog. Surgery's sound wasn't as pummeling as some of their contemporaries, instead infusing a blues/boogie backdrop with shards of noise guitar, feedback, and growling vocals. Like Helmet, they would join the Amphetamine Reptile stable and go on to release 3 singles, an LP, a 10" and numerous compilation cuts before signing with Atlantic to release 1994's Shimmer. The two proper albums (the aforementioned Shimmer and 1990's Nationwide) are the best starting point for the curious. Personally, I always preferred the singles, especially "Little Debbie"/"Queen To Queens Level Three". I finally tracked down the "Not Going Down" single this year after years of searching. Funny how this things work, it seems I'm finding "Not Going Down" everywhere now. As far as I know these things are all out of print, and can usually be found on Ebay for reasonable amounts.

    from their 1989 debut 7"
    Surgery - Not Going Down.mp3
    Surgery - Blow Her Face.mp3

    1990 - Scale 27
    Surgery - Feedback.mp3
    Surgery - Fried.mp3

    1992 - Scale 45 also released on CD5 with an extra track ("Exquisite")
    Surgery - Little Debbie.mp3
    Surgery - Queen To Queens Level Three.mp3


  • Singer Sean McDonnell passed away in 1995 as a result of asthma attack
  • Surgery also released a 12" called Souleater in 1989 on Circuit/Glitterhouse. I can't remember my source, but AmRep apparently rejected the album due to poor production and weak songs. A listen to the record confirms this [EDIT - a very informed source states that this wasn't true - Surgery entered into an agreement with Circuit before signing to AmRep]
  • AmReps pictorial discography
  • TrouserPress on Surgery
  • Buy Surgery releases

  • While we're talking AmRep, can anyone help me out with the following ecords? Prefer vinyl but mp3's are fine...
    Lonely Moans - Scale 14
    Gear Jammer - first 7"
    Thee Headcoates/Lollipop Split 7"
    Silver Salute - 4 Song 7" on Teenage Burrito
    Bludgeon - AmRep #1 that came with an issue of Your Flesh magazine


    Monday, October 17, 2005

    Rocket From The Tombs

    Man, I was thrilled when I finally tracked down a copy of the Rocket From The Tombs archival juggernaut The Day The Earth Met... Even with all of the hype I was still floored by the amazing sounds contained therein. For those in the dark Rocket From The Tombs where a proto-art-skronk-punk band from Cleveland circa 1974-1975 and served as the first band for underground rock dudes David Thomas, Peter Laughner, and Gene O'Connor (aka Cheetah Chrome). The band disintegrated before reaching a studio, but many of the track would gain new life in the members new bands. Thomas and Laughner would go on to form the legendary avant punk outfit Pere Ubu, while O'Connor and RFTT drummer Johnny Blitz would later surface as part of the Dead Boys.

    As for the disc itself, well it contains 19 cuts of raw, vintage rock culled from rehearsels and live recordings. Track include early versions of Pere Ubu and Dead Boy classics, covers of The Stooges and the Velvet Underground, and tracks that never reappeared in any form. In short, this is a must listen for anyone with an interest in primal American punk.

    Based upon the success of The Day The Earth Met.... Rocket From The Tombs regrouped (with Television's Richard Lloyd filling in for the deceased Laughner) to tour and properly record many of the tracks for release as 2004's Rocket Redux. These kinds of endeavors usually raise a red flag, but Redux is a solid, surprising rock album that deserves a listen. Below are a couple of my favorites:

    From 2002's The Day The Earth Met....
    Rocket From The Tombs - Never Gonna Kill Myself Again.mp3
    Rocket From The Tombs - 30 Seconds Over Tokyo.mp3
    Rocket From The Tombs - Search & Destroy.mp3

    From 2004's Rocket Redux
    Rocket From The Tombs - What Love Is.mp3
    Rocket From The Tombs - Life Stinks.mp3


  • Buy Rocket From The Tombs releases
  • Lots of info at the Ubu Projex
  • A band history and bootleg listing at Perfect Sound Forever
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    Friday, October 14, 2005

    Rain, Rain, Go Away...

    I think it's been 8 straight days of rain now, but to be honest I've kind of lost track. My area ain't as bad as other parts of the Northeast US, but it's been bad enough to flood the basement and generally make life miserable. Doesn't appear to be any end in sight, either. What the fuck? Anyhow, here's a playlist for a rainy day. Sorry, "It's Raining Men" wasn't available.

    from 1994's Palomino Pizza 12"
    Cosmic Psychos - Rain Gauge.mp3

    from 2003's excellent Complete Recordings 1976-1979
    Testors - Rainy Night.mp3

    from 1988's landmark Daydream Nation double LP
    Sonic Youth - Rain King.mp3

    an aural bludgeoning from 1998's Occupational Hazard
    Unsane - Smells Like Rain.mp3

    Vic Bondi's '90's group. From their second album
    Alloy - Hard Rain.mp3

    one of my favorites from 1987's Huevos LP
    Meat Puppets - Look At The Rain.mp3

    Lead track From 2002's Time Bomb High School
    Reigning Sound - Stormy Weather.mp3


    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    The Bellrays

    God as my witness, I thought The Bellrays had broken up. Apparently I was misinformed, as their Saturday night date in Rochester attests to. Huh. For a couple of years there the Bellrays were all the rage with their brand of "maximum rock 'n' soul", a mix of punk drive and powerful vocals. The best approximation I could come up with was Patti LaBelle fronting an overamped MC5, take that for what it's worth. 1998's Let It Blast was a staple in my CD player for many months. 2000's Grand Fury was more of the same but failed to stick with me, which may be the reason I drifted away. Since then the Bellrays have released a couple of more discs, including their latest The Red, White, and Black on Alternative Tentacles. Here's a couple from their earlier releases:

    from 1998's Let It Blast
    Bellrays - Hole In The World.mp3
    Bellrays - Cold Man Night.mp3

    from 2000's Grand Fury
    Bellrays - Heat Cage.mp3
    Bellrays - Under The Mountain.mp3


  • buy Bellrays releases
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    Monday, October 10, 2005

    The Plugz

    I'm not sure if Los Angeles's The Plugz really were the first Latino American punk band, (claims I've read multiple places) but when it comes down to it does it really matter? Ethnicity aside, The Plugz 1978 debut 7" is a classic punk record plain and simple. All three tracks from the Slash released disc have been comped on the Killed By Death/Bloodstains series, for good reason - they're twitchy punk gems. Guitarist/vocalist Tito Larivva would form his own label Fatima to release the bands follow up 7" and LP's, 1979's Electrify Me and 1981's Better Luck. [Edit - Electrify Me wasn't released on Fatima - it was released on the Plug label]
    The LP's are pretty good, but are tame when compared to the spitfire first single. Hard to believe this material is out of print considering the reissue craze of the past 10 years, but it appears this is the case. Take a listen:

    From 1978's Move 7"
    Plugz - Move.mp3
    Plugz - Mindless Contentment.mp3
    Plugz - Let Go.mp3

    From 1979's Electrify Me LP
    Plugz - The Cause.mp3
    Plugz - Adolescent.mp3
    Plugz - Berzerktown.mp3


  • A nice Plugz bio
  • MXV's post on the Plugz
  • Photo found here
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    Friday, October 07, 2005


    After this weeks post on the Catatonics I received a request for the Clitboys, so here you go. Featuring 7 tracks of speedy midwest meat & potatoes hardcore, We Don't Play the Game is the Clitboys lone EP, released in 1983. As I mentioned in an earlier post this 7" was booted along with Active Ingredient's Bringing Down The Big Boys EP, the Catatonics Hunted Down EP, and Mecht Mensch's Acceptance EP on one LP. An interesting compilation of some forgotten records. As for the Clitboys, well I have no idea what became of the members. Someone out there can probably fill in the blanks.

    Clitboys - No Such Thing.mp3
    Clitboys - Have Faith.mp3
    Clitboys - Sheep.mp3
    Clitboys - Gay's OK.mp3
    Clitboys - Slogan Boy.mp3
    Clitboys - So Funny.mp3
    Clitboys - We Don't Play The Game.mp3


    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    Questions & Recommendations

    A couple of things:

  • Is anyone receiving popup messages when loading this site? I'm trying to determine if this is a spyware issue on my machine or something that's been added to my template. Nothing against people that have ads, etc on their sites, but I'm not interested in making money of this. Just so everyone know that I haven't added anything deliberately.
  • My needle is shot. Can anyone recommend a good cartridge or stylus? I'm currently using a Stanton D72E cartridge with an old Pioneer turntable and I'm having trouble finding info on stylus replacement or cartridge replacement. Recommendations appreciate.
  • If you have the chance I'd recommend seeing Bob Mould on this latest tour. Full band, songs from Sugar and Husker Du, very energetic and loud. We saw the Toronto show and it was well worth the drive.
  • Anyone listening to anything good? I'm spinning my wheels trying to find something new and exciting.

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    Tuesday, October 04, 2005


    The schedule has been pretty tight the past couple of weeks, and this week looks to be no exception. So here's a quick rundown on the 1984 Hunted Down EP from the Catatonics, one of Syracuse's first hardcore bands. Member Belvy K would go on to drum for 7 Seconds and the UK Subs before starting Libertine some time in the late '90's. In addition to this 7" the Catatonics had a cut on the Flipside Vinyl Fanzine Volume 2 that was left off of the CD reissue. The whole 7" was included on a bootleg of four old hardcore singles that included the Clitboys, Active Ingredients, and Mecht Mensch. In between the surface noise you'll hear fast, screaming hardcore in the NYC vein, which to be honest isn't very exciting to me anymore. Still, some punk related history from my adopted home town that isn't about Earth Crisis. "Hunted Down" is the best track, but decide for yourselves:

    Catatonics - Never Again.mp3
    Catatonics - Bet I Will.mp3
    Catatonics - Hunted Down.mp3
    Catatonics - What You See and What You Say.mp3
    Catatonics - Obstinate.mp3


  • Anyone know a good way to reduce surface noise on MP3's? I've been using Goldwave with some success, but as you can tell there's obvious room for improvement
  • Info and graphic taken from the KFTH Catatonics Page