Top 10 Punk Compilations

07
Dec

Top 10 Punk Compilations

Number 10
Tooth and Nail
Label: Upsetter Records
Released: 1978

I remember seeing this at my Uncle’s place when it first came out. It was the first L.A. or West Coast punk album I ever saw or heard. So, I’m including it for sentimental reasons. Mostly rough & melodic LA punk rock, Germs, Flesh Eaters, Middle Class and Negative Trend stand out. Classic compilation.

Rating: *** ** three out of five stars.

Number 9
Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three
Label: Sanctuary Records
Released: 2002

I dig Henry’s new version of Rise Above, Chuck D’s intro brings a new level of intensity to the track. The track smokes. Henry’s dialogue before/between songs is real cool, a quick way to get acquainted with the case and still enjoy the music. Rollins really stepped up his game, this is the best I’ve heard him in years. And he did it for a great cause.

Rating: *** ** three out of five stars.



Number 8
Let Them Eat Jellybeans
Label: Alternative Tentacles
Released: 1981

Let Them Eat Jellybeans “17 Extracts From Americas Darker Side,” is one of the earliest compilations of underground music from the Bay Area, and its original release included an insert of all of the punk bands known to be playing in the U.S. and Canada at that time. The first side of the album features songs by a number of bands that formed the canon of the Frisco hardcore punk in the 1980s, while the second side features more of an art rock sound.

Rating: ** *** three out of five stars.

Number 7
Cracks in the Sidewalk
Label: New Alliance Records
Released: 1980

Contains the Black Flag track Clocked In.

Rating: *** ** Three out of five stars.

Number 6
Rodney on the ROQ
Label: Poshboy Records
Released: 1980

I originally bought this to complete my Flip Side magazine collection (a free issue inside), but was stoked to hear one of the very best songs ever written – “Bloodstains” (Agent Orange), Amoeba by the Adolescents, The Circle Jerks do Wild In The Streets, and Black Flag does No Values!!

Rating: *** ** three out of five stars.

Number 5
The Decline of Western Civilization
Label: Slash Records
Released: 1981

I remember when this was first released; I had the movie poster on my wall and the soundtrack in constant rotation on my turntable. I believe it was scheduled to open at the Nuart Theatre; I picked up their newspaper listings that came out every month, at Licorice Pizza. I had the date circled, and I was raring to go. A week before Decline was to open my Uncle Rick offered to take me. Here’s where I get bummed: my Mom tells him “No.” I wasn’t, quite yet, fifteen and she reminded me that I had to be seventeen to see it, and she mentioned a few recent police riots at the local shows. I tried to plead my case, and my Uncle promised to look after me, but still “No.” As it turns out the police were outside the theater when the movie, let out, and a small-scale riot did, indeed, ensue; to Mom was right.

Rating: *** ** three out of five stars.

Number 4
Total Noise
Label: Total Noise Records
Released: 1982

I can’t remember how or when I got this exactly. It may have been a magazine freebie; it was my first exposure to The Gonads, and Dead Generation. Stand out track: Blitz – Voice of a Generation!!

Rating: **** * four out of five stars.

Number 3
Punk and Disorderly
Label: Poshboy Records
Released: 1982

Great collection of music, I never understood why the Dead Kennedys were on here, though, maybe to help boost American sales? Anyway, great stuff. Stand out track: Blitz – Somebody’s Gonna Die!!

Rating: **** * four out of five stars.

Number 2
Someone Got Their Head Kicked In
Label: BYO Records
Released: 1982

BYO’s very first release, and classic punk album, Someone Got Their Head Kicked In is still one of the best comps around. Some of LA’s “mega stars” and some newcomers share this record; mostly melodic punk rock / HC. While the big bands like Social Distortion or the Adolescents have great tracks, some of the “smaller” bands still have some difficulties.

Rating: **** * four out of five stars.

Number 1
Public Service
Label: Smoke 7 Records
Released: 1981

Like most of my record collection back then, I picked this up at Moby Disc. I saw the ad for it in Flipside in early 1981, and it was a chance to add some more Bad Religion recordings to my collection. I don’t remember if this was first or the Bad Religion EP was, but I ended up owning both. Another reason I bought this was the Circle One tracks.

Rating: **** * four out of five stars.

Honorable Mentions: Charred Remains, and Carry On Oi!

 

 

misconceptions_of_hell_001

Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Last One To Die – REVIEW

01
Dec

So, I sat down on the edge of the building and waited for the show. Bill started crawling on his belly, military-style, until he got to the edge of the building, once there he started beaming oranges at any car that drove by. Now Bill came from a relatively upscale neighborhood in Encino, so the cars he was nailing were BMW’s and Mercedes. Fifteen minutes of this— sirens came blaring. Which made Bill extremely excited (he was possibly ADD or ADHD, which is ADD in HD) and he tells me not to worry he has this planned out. He just yelled to follow him and we went down a drainpipe, through a school gymnasium, over some other fence and finally into his backyard.

Once we got into his house I asked him what was that all about? He said he was hoping to “hang out with somebody who was down for some real punk rock stuff.” I just shook my head and asked: “how was that punk rock?” And Bill says “Punk rock is about going ape-shit!” I told him “Bill, I’m not an authority, but tossing oranges at your neighbor’s cars isn’t exactly punk rock.” -Michael Essington, Last One to Die

In a time when olde school punk nostalgia has reached the proportional magnitude of the late Poison Idea guitarist Pig Champion’s beltline, there comes a point when 40 and over hardcore kids such as myself thirst for something beyond the literary pale of yet another unearthed 86 tour diary from another subcultural legend…or another “oral history” told by aging proto scenesters about how much dope everybody used to shoot and why their particular locale invented everything cool for everywhere back in the day. I mean, that stuff is all certainly righteous enough and great to read…but too, it’s like you start to think and really it’s just as true that in punk-perhaps more than in any other musical or cultural underground movement of the past thirty-odd years it was, and is, “Tha Punxes” who are all legendary in their own right. You can’t even say it was “the fans” that made it what it is as a lasting sub and quasi-counterculture. Because, going all the way back to Joey Ramone singing “Gabba Gabba We accept you as one of us” and through the hardcore call to arms anthem of anthems delivered by a DC ice cream store manager turned frontman for his favorite band, Black Flag, when he forcibly declared “We are tired, of your abuse, try to stop us, it’s no use-RISE ABOVE WE’RE GONNA RISE ABOVE”…all throughout the history of punk, especially in it’s early and more D.I.Y. Manifestations, there’s that inclusiveness. That destruction of the barrier between performer and audience. There’s that thing that tells us, all of us are making this happen, that we’re all inhabitants of a certain piece of cultural real estate that engenders a whole other state of mind.

But let’s face it. In the 1980’s it was a dangerous piece of real estate to call home. Thus, you know, it’s just so perfect to read a collection of stories from just one of the punks who lived through that time, and who still maintains an outlook shaped by being in the thick of it all. And even better is it’s not some guy pontificating on the impact his garage housed record label 25 years ago has had on a musical landscape, still overrun to this day with crappy pop (even worse, crappy pop than thirty years ago mind you), or stories about how horrible it was to sleep in a van while touring Europe in 87. No, this is more the real deal. This is workingman’s punk literature or would be if a phrase like workingman’s punk weren’t rather oxymoronic. Well, I guess it’s not. I mean, a lot of us have to have jobs to be able to afford those Terveet Kadet 7”’s off of eBay these days.

But really, I sat down to read Last One to Die and I was kind of expecting one of those kinds of punk books you know, a memoiresque tour de force of just plain fucked up shit and crazy situations that would read like a Jim Carroll poem set to a soundtrack by Fear and D.I. Not that I wouldn’t have loved it if it was like that and Last One to Die certainly doesn’t lack in the retelling of crazy, intense situations department…but it was just more. It actually revealed as much of the person behind the words as it did the stories themselves. And it revealed that Michael is in no way trying to cultivate any type of phony “Old Time Punk Guy” persona. It’s obvious from the get go, dude was and is, punk as fuck. However, you get a look into what made him tick as a person back then. As well, you get to see through stories ranging from everyday encounters on city buses to time spent involuntarily barbering for the California Department of Corrections, to writing about his children, what has continued to make him tick over the years.

And because of that Last One to Die is way more than just a punk book. It’s a look at a life and values shaped by the early California punk/hardcore scene, but it’s also a book that touches on themes of redemption and even justice and retribution without ever presenting the matters in anything like a heavy-handed approach.

And yeah, Michael was in a punk band too back in the day but he doesn’t make a big deal of it in the book. And he went to some fucking amazing shows, a few of which are wonderfully documented inside. He also got to interview some way fucking cool people. All that stuff is in there. But more important, he’s in there. One of us, the punxes, and more generally, perhaps, more importantly, another human being who’s got some great stories to tell. So definitely, check out Last One to Die. I don’t care if you’re most treasured record is a sealed copy of Soc. D.’s Mommy’s Little Monster or if you’re rocking Deadmau5 on an iPod. It’s a worthwhile read.

But for fuck’s sake, if you’re 40 or over while still into punk/hardcore music here’s to ya! And especially here’s to you Michael, thanks for hammering out a killer book.

David Gurz lives, works his real job, and writes from a small Northeast Penna. Borough nowadays while enjoying life with his wife and two children. He was a member of a few dreadful sounding hardcore punk bands during the mid 80’s through the 90’s that maybe a hundred and fifty people ever heard of. Bass player in the Greensburg State Correctional Institution prisoners band in the early to mid-aughts; he also edited a ‘zine, Usual Suspect, during his captivity and his writing has appeared in Profane Existence, Mishap and Words Break Bars. He is the author of the widely unread Subterranean Emerald City Blues, a proof of concept shot .at doing the whole eBook thing. Dave is lackadaisically working on another book to be self-published in 2013. You can read his blog and purchase his latest book too if you feel like it.

 

 

misconceptions_of_hell_001

Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past

29
Nov

The Menzingers
On The Impossible Past
February 20, 2012
Epitaph Records

Tom May – Guitar, Vocals
Joe Godino – Drums
Greg Barnett – Guitar, Vocals
Eric Keen – Bass

1. Good Things 2:23
2. Burn After Writing 3:03
3. The Obituaries 3:17
4. Gates 4:04
5. Ava House 3:41
6. Sun Hotel 3:51
7. Sculptors and Vandals 2:10
8. Mexican Guitars 3:08
9. On The Impossible Past 1:33
10. Nice Things 3:28
11. Casey 3:42
12. I Can’t Seem To Tell 3:05
13. Freedom Bridge 4:12

There was so much buzz about this album I decided to pick it up (what, you thought Epitaph sent me promos to review?!). Pretty good album. There is definite Against Me/Your Arsenal vibe. The pained vocals, the subtle folk influence, punk, but not too punk.

Decent album, Chris Wallace from Your Arsenal is still untouchable vocally.

If you don’t own it, give it a listen.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

On with the story . . .

On Friday, February 17, 2012, I hopped in the car and spent damn near an hour to get downtown to the La Cita bar. Billy Caldwell of Million Kids and proprietor of the illustrious Spark Plug Magazine put together a very cool get together for staff and friends of the magazine. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to bring my Mike Check column to their pages from the very first issue.

Anyway, after approximately an hour and eight acts of severe road rage, and the GPS re-mapping my directions I get there.

Once inside, there are members of Million Kids, Brainspoon, Gary 84 and (wait for it . . . ) me!

Here’s the thing the place has a great outdoor patio that plays great punk music until about 9:00 pm, then it changes into a Spanish dance club. Fun place.

So, shortly after 9:00 p.m. I walk two friends, Kathy and Sasheen, out to their car. We walk out of La Cita, and head down Hill St., when out of the corner of my eye I see a homeless man standing staring off into space.

Normally, when I’m walking female friends or women in my family I put myself in between them and the homeless guy, shaved head guy with his area code on his forehead, that kind of thing.

But the weirdest thing happened, just as we’re right to the homeless guy, my friend Kathy Fox, runs over calls the guy by his name, hugs him, stuffed some money in his hand, and starts talking to him about music, and different events around town.

Now, giving money to a homeless guy isn’t amazing, nor is it the point to the story, it was the physical change in the guy. He was staring into space, catatonic. What Kathy did was show some kindness and respect, not pity (married guys, remember years ago when you were single had were treated with kindness and respect? Yeah, me neither.)

Kathy treated this guy as a person. No one wants to be out there on a cold night, hoping to grab a few bucks for a warm cup of coffee.

This is not my typical punk memory, it was more of an eye-opener. I try to help, I give money when I can, but Kathy went one step further, she made a connection, talked to him and made him feel human, even if it was only for a few minutes.

I was humbled. Cheers Kathy!

 

 

misconceptions_of_hell_001

Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Fozzy’s Hero, Symbol Six, New Resin, and Imperial – LIVE

22
Nov

Fozzy’s Hero, Symbol Six, New Resin, and Imperial
The Airliner, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, March 24, 2012

I missed Imperial. The show started at 9:00, and I’m not sure which side of the bill they were.

The funny thing about Weber’s is it’s less than a half a block away from where my dad used to live. So we spent many years skateboarding on the street where Weber’s is located. Brings back all kinds of memories.

So, this was the first time in about a year that my wife and I hit a show together. We’ve seen mellower bands like Volbeat (crazy slam-pit), and Continental, and a few others. This time, since the show was so close, she came along to catch Symbol Six.

We met up with vocalist Eric Leach in the parking lot, rapped for a bit then went inside. Sat towards the back, and watched New Resin. Now, how do I word this? They are not my type of band. This cookie monster style is huge. People love it, there are festivals where every band is screaming for cookies, but it’s just not for me. Other than that, I guess they were good.

The second band of the night was the mighty — Symbol Six. If you haven’t seen these guys before, go. Every one of their songs is worthy of being a single. The last two years have turned them into a frickin’ Sherman Tank. I’ve seen them many times over the years, and they have never been tighter, like — stop on a dime tight. Tighter than an ant’s a-hole.

As I’ve stated in the past, when you see Symbol Six there is always the feeling that this is the show. Symbol Six is always upping their game a few notches. Not to say the other bands aren’t good, I’m saying if another band is playing a good set, Symbol Six will play a great set, and Eric Leach will howl the vocals from the pit. Symbol Six steamrolled into their classics, like Beverlywood, and Symbol Six and new classics like Dog Days, with everybody, is singing along.

A cool moment was when Eric Leach started throwing shirts from the stage, one hit the ceiling and my wife was able to catch it.

One of the best parts of the set was as they were about to launch into their last song of the night, Dog Days, from their Monsters 11 album, they called members of Soul Trash to the stage, and everybody rushed the stage. So everybody that could fit on stage, took the stage and belted out the loudest, raunchiest version of Dog Days I’ve ever heard. F’in’ perfection.

The only annoying thing of any merit was the broad standing next to me (blonde) was waving her arm up and down during Symbol Six’s set as if she was watching Naughty by Nature. Part of me wanted to lean over and whisper, “Go back to Simi Valley.”

After Symbol Six wrapped up, the wife and I said our goodbyes and went home to relieve the nanny.

All in all, a great show. The PA was good, clear view of the bands, and I had fun.

 

 

misconceptions_of_hell_001

Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Top 10 Punk Logos

15
Nov

My Top 10 Logos

Number 10
The Screamers

Gary Panter’s great illustration of the screaming punk is great. I knew the logo from the old Slash Magazine days before I even knew of the band.

Number 9
Social Distortion

I always thought this was kind of cool. More so than the new swanky logo. It’s simple, but kind of encompassed the band.

Number 8
The Germs

Simple, but very cool. With the armbands, it kind of came off third reichish. The tie-in with the “Germs Burns” was weird.

Number 7
Crass

Great look. You always knew who this logo belonged to.

Number 6
Circle Jerks

The great logo ripped-off from the late Shawn Kerri. Yes, she passed, but unfortunately, there is one dude who has been writing to all the sites on the web trying to say they hung out a few years back. Hey, not everybody has a hobby. Shawn Kerri was a great cartoonist, RIP.

Number 5
45 Grave

Creepy, but memorable. 45 Grave used this “Satan” imagery a few years before Motley Crue and the rest of the bands jumped on board.

Number 4
Bad Religion

Simple, but catchy. The logo really translates to “No Religion,” but who am I to nitpick?

Number 3
Public Image, LTD.

Very corporate, and hip. Always reminded me of an aspirin, go figure.



Number 2
The Misfits

I wasn’t sure if I should include this one, the ghost was stolen from an old movie called The Crimson Ghost, and the font from the old Tales From The Crypt comic book, but together they create the most recognizable logo since the Nike swoosh.

Number 1
Black Flag

The genius of Raymond Pettibon’s logo is the concept of the “black flag” being the symbol of anarchy, the bars being the flag. Great stuff. This logo has been spray painted all over the world.

Honorable mentions: Honorable mentions: 7 Seconds, Bau Haus, Battalion of Saints, Circle One, Cramps, Danzig, Dead Kennedys, Dickies, Exploited, Fear, Ramones, The Residents, Sex Pistols, Shattered Faith, Saccharine Trust, The Vandals, Wasted Youth.

 

 

misconceptions_of_hell_001

Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

© 2016 Strange Reaction – Punk, hardcore music, stories and more. | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)

Your Index Web Directorywordpress logo