Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Warren Commission: Tricked By Cleverness (2001)

I read Punk Planet’s review for Tricked By Cleverness when it first came out and I remember thinking that The Warren Commission sounded cool. If I recall correctly, the venerable mag (RIP) said something like the band had girl/boy singing and evoked an early nineties indie feel. Further, the reviewer liked the girl’s songs over the boy’s.

That's about right. The songs where the girl sings are musical crack. Once you're hooked it's impossible to stop listening. You'd rather sell your grandma down the river than give them up. They're just so, I don't know, sweet.

The boy's few songs are awful. I keep thinking that it's like he wrote lots of the music for the band and felt entitled to sing solo at least two songs on the record. It was the least the rest of the band could do to repay him was his thinking. He thought wrong, but judge for yourself.

This was released by Espo Records and as far as I know, is out of print.

11. A.B.T.

Download The Warren Commission: Tricked By Cleverness

An Open Letter to the Honorable Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism for Canada

325 East Block House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Kenney:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your government for adverting a national security disaster. By preventing Scottish politician George Galloway’s entrance into our country you surely have saved countless lives. The citizens of Canada are blessed to have your wisdom as an integral part of the government.

As you know, Galloway, whose speaking tour "Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar" was to bring him to Canada, clearly violates domestic law through his active support of groups you deem as terrorist organizations. That, and his outspoken stand against the state of Israel’s expansionist policies makes him unworthy to step foot in our peace loving country. The fact that he has never fired a shot at one of our allies and his assistance to groups like Hamas is purely humanitarian is hardly the point. What is right is right and the citizens of this country know that you love to be right.

May I now mention what is wrong? What is wrong is that the groups who tried to bring Galloway to Canada are getting away with murder. They must answer for attempting to bring this terrorist to our sacred land. I’m sure the RCMP and CSIS have extensive records for you to exploit on The Council of Canadians, Canadian Civil Liberties Union, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, along with the anti-war coalitions, labour unions and community groups who conspired to bring him here. Can you see about deporting them?

At this stage in the game, when terrorists surely can make a winning move anytime and topple our peace loving democracy, I am thankful to have you in charge of my children’s well being. The opposition Liberals are as spineless as cluster bomb casualties and will not stand up to these commie pinko bastards. Plus, you have the added satisfaction knowing that you will have appeased the Zionist lobby that your party so actively courts. What would they have said about allowing an outspoken champion of Palestinian rights into the land of the free? Better not take the chance.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate my thanks to you for sticking up for democracy. I am glad to have you on freedom’s side. By the way, did you have a chance to shake George W. Bush’s hand when he was in our country a few weeks ago? I am sure he would be very proud of your principled stand.
Adam Durose


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Better Yet...Connecticut Hardcore compilation (1988)

Subtitled “Fresh in the Summer of 88”, this comp is the fist release by Skene Records. I have to admit being drawn to the bands for purely superficial reasons at first. Like how I appreciate the name Big Gulp for a punk rock band name because not much says teenage ennui and frivolousness as much as that name. I’ve also been fascinated by Fallback. Their cassette release The Scene Is Back, also on Skene, looks like it could be a real ripper. Too bad I’ve never heard it and every effort I’ve made to unearth it has been fruitless. If you have a copy please get in touch.

Flex ( largely dismisses this release, giving it a six out of ten. I’d say it’s worth more than that. Thew music is solid and there’s some funky bass on this, giving credence to my claim that lots of punk rock bass players at then end of the eighties thought they could play like Flea.

Side 1: Big Gulp - Fresh as hell & Proud to be a carnivore / Freedom of Choice - Know who you are

Side 2: Fallback - Fucked over / Forced Reality - Don't let it happen / Scooter X - My dad'll eat anything

Download it now! Better Yet

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another Shot For Bracken compilation (1986)

Like most comps, Another Shot For Bracken is really a hit or miss affair. And boy, the misses are so spectacular they explode right of the vinyl. Like, the Scream tune, which is laughable in its wannabe rock lameness and I really could’ve done without Scram’s reggae cover of "Imagine". These are the bombs that you wish were labeled as ‘duds’ on the assembly line.

Ok, now that the negativity is out of the way, let’s focus on what’s good. The Dissonance track rules and I’m really stoked to have found their 1985 demo on the Flint Underground Music Archive. I’m linked to it now and I totally recommend the site. There are a whole bunch of demos from Flint bands over the years for download, plus some other cool things. It's definitely worth a visit.

Before Motley Crue made it acceptable for generations of shitty hair bands to cover "Anarchy in the UK", Adrenalin O.D. beat them to it and dare I say it, did a way better job than any crappy metal band could ever do. There’s also the Entirely Distorted tune, which is, as far as I know, one of only two songs they committed to vinyl. I’m still desperate to find a copy of their demo, but what can you do? Not much, but enjoy what you got, watch Being Erica and try to laugh along the way.

1. Flag of Democracy - The Family Knows
2. Scream - Green Eyed Lady
3. Short Dogs Grow - Grandstand Play
4. Dissonance - Cruise Control
5. Verbal Assault - Untitled
6. Entirely Distorted - I Could See Myself
7. The Brigade - The Last Frontier
8. Outcry - Someday
9. White Flag - Suicide King
10. 7 Seconds - When One Falls
11. 5 Balls of Power - Radio Station A.S.O.L.
12. Adrenalin O.D. - Anarchy in the U.S.A.
13. Scram - Imagine
14. Care Unit - Little Circus Man
15. Youth of Today - We Just Might
16. Action Figure - Use Your Head
17. Sins - Crazy River

Cover image from

Download it here: Bracken

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ninth Configuration: Ninth Configuration (1987)

The first time I saw was NiCon was at a local dive in the spring of 1990. Like about half of the other people there I was underage (RIP Ambassador, AKA The Ambo, The Slambo, and whatever else rhymes with bow). I don’t remember who else played but I sure the hell remember Ninth Configuration. They owned the stage. That little slab of wood couldn’t cage them as the singer fiercely sang to music that had the power of an elephant gun. It was absolutely incredible.

Later, when I bought their tape Vegas, I was slightly disappointed. I was looking for hardcore but got something a little less aggressive. It took a while to grow on me, but once I got it, it made more sense than blackjack. Their first tape might’ve been more to my taste at the time, but I had no idea it even existed. Luckily my pal in Vancouver sent me a burned copy a few years ago and now we can all enjoy it. Together.

Download the second NiCon tape, "Vegas", from the Calgary Cassette Preservation Society:

I got the image from Punk History Canada. Thanks to Golden Rock for having the eyes of an eagle and seeing the date for this tape's release.

1. Walkaway
2. Stalin’s A Vampire
3. Brune Hilda
4. Die For You
5. Blowin’ In The Wind
6. No Hope
7. In My Dreams
8. Say It Again
9. Party Girl / Corner Of The Room

Download it here: Ninth Configuration

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bullyproof: Uno Glan├žero (1998)

Another band from Edmonton that should've been huge. Funnily enough Bullyproof feature a few members of the other band from I feel should've been colossal, The All Woman Brothers Band.

Jack Endino flew to the Badlands to produce it, which was a big, big deal. Even mainstream media reported it. It would've rocked without him, but having Endino at the helm certainly didn't hurt the cause. Regardless, what Bullyproof ended up providing us was an absolute ripping record: crisp barre chords recklessly shatter anything within screeching distance while the bass dances a jig and the drums smash them both together nicley. Oh, and the sugary vocals are almost sweet enough to cover the singer's despair. Almost, but not quite.

1. Pud
2. Way Away
3. Untie Me
5. Hot Water Bottle
6. Tick
7. Jeeves
8. Dunt
9. Suffer
10. Lunar Eclipse
11. Public Relations Baby
12. Newsmonger
13. Resolver

Download it here: Bullyproof

Sunday, March 15, 2009

X-Men: X-Men (1988)

I have to admit that I was scared. For my birthday, my sister bought me a 1988 record off eBay by a band called the X-Men and the prospect petrified me a bit. I worried that the X in question connoted some straight edge affiliation. Not that I don't like straight edge hardcore; it's just I've had my fill lately. Too much generic straight edge music makes me want to drink and I haven't had a drop for years. Then I remembered the label that released it was Adrenalin O.D.'s Buy Our Records and as far as I knew, AOD had little to do with straight edge.

I also had to struggle with an inner geek who was stoked to find a band named X-Men. A melding of hardcore and comics seemed like such a rad thing to my little nerd. "What if they dressed like the uncanny X-Men when they played and had stage names like Wolverine and Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde sang for them? How cool would that be?" The cover only served to stoke his imagination.

When I finally got the record, the back photo scared me more than anything else because a couple of X-Men looked like they could've been in Def Leppard. I was sure that this record would be the worst hardcore record ever with generic straight edge lameness sung by comic geeks who wanted to sound like Warrant. Great.

Turns out I was way wrong. What the X-Men deliver is solid mid-tempo hardcore with decent playing and singing. They're catchy and totally undeserving of my paranoia.

1. This thing of ours
2. The ball and chain
3. Kid blast
4. Not in my eyes
5. Fall into you
6. Exiled
7. I never close my eyes
8. Red box
9. Parasite
10. Down on the grip
11. The underworld
12. Black widow

Download it now: X-Men

Friday, March 13, 2009

Various: Bobbing For Pavement comp (1991)

1991 was important year for me in terms of compilations. Three in particular stand out. The first one to get the ball rolling was the New Red Archives comp “Hardcore Breakout USA”. This was the first time I heard great bands like Samiam, Hogan’s Heroes and G-Whiz, amongst others. It was truly revelatory and showed us that there were still scenes all over filled with fucked up kids like us.

The next two comps were both put out by the Better Youth Organization and both ruled. Listening to 1982’s “Someone Got Their Head Kicked In” was a trip to southern California punk rock heaven, while 1984’s “Something To Believe In” had a SNFU cut that is worth the price alone.

“What’s your point?” you may rightly ask and all I can say is that I miss the days when comps were meaningful. Back then, a comp was often a genuine representation of a scene, a real voice about what was going on that time. Now, any moron can manufacture and distribute CDs for cheap. There’s little care and even less meaning. They’re just free throwaway CDs in your mailorder now.

Which brings me to this post. I would've liked Rathouse Records' 1991 comp Bobbing For Pavement (reissued later by Broken Rekids but now out of print). Yes, it’s a Seattle comp but who cares. The bands are good, and the songs are diverse. There's little or none of that 'g' word that rhymes with expunge. The Gits deliver some smoking songs, one of which would show up on their first record. There’s even a pirate tune and we all know you can't go wrong with that. For me though, Hammerbox really stole the show. Their songs are catchy and just a little dirty. Enjoy.

Gas Huffer: 1. A Disgruntled Ex-employee 2. Big Car Pile-up
The Gits: 3. Here’s To Your Fuck 4. Ain’t Got No Right
D.C. Beggars: 5. Tale Of Lies 6. Narrow Is A Sin
Bay Of Pigs: 7. Pirate Song
Big Brown House: 8. The Raft 9. Another Drunken Winter
Hammerbox: 10. Starry Winter 11. Garnet Mile
My Name: 12. Rap, Cholos, And Oi
Derelicts: 13. Dirty City Rotten Life

Download it now! Bobbing For Pavement

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Dog Popper - 668: The Neighbor of the Beast (1988)

In the late eighties, My Dog Popper took a stand that not many others did. On "Honky Night In Canada", they said fuck you to the burgeoning commercial hip hop sound that would ultimately culminate with the likes MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice a few years later. And the crown jesters of Canadian punk had a good time doing it too.

This is another band that I heard first because of a mix tapes. Fuck, I miss the lost art of the mix tape. There were so many quandaries you had to face when making one: what song leads off, how you do finish side 1 as opposed to side 2, how many songs will you able to fit on either side. The list is endless. Now it seems like all you have to do is drag some songs over to some software and then you got a mix CD. Magic. No fuss, no worries. It’s all so mechanical, like counting beans.

This record has some immortal moments, like the despairing (yes, despairing) “Gino (I Lost My Job to A Guy Named…)”. Regardless if someone named Gino ever jacked some work from you, I think we can all relate to the hopeless hilarity the singer feels. Listen to it and you’ll see what I mean. There’s real insight here too, like the line “666 equals 7-11”. My Dog Popper knew the deal. Wisdom on wax.

1. Limbo Leader
2. Pushead’s a Wanker
3. Green Eggs and Ham
4. Gino (I Lost My Job to A Guy Named…)
5. Suck My Cock
6. Deep In The Heart Of The Night
7. Homard Au Carmen Miranda
8. We’re Old, We’re Fat and We’re Slow
9. Honky Night In Canada
10. Jethro (Suede and Leather)
11. Acid Flashback

Download it now! My Dog Popper

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Junction: A Collection of Random Mishaps (1995)

A long time ago I went far away to work. A friend, being the cool dude he is, made me a mix tape with all sorts of great tunes on it. I listened to it a lot in the ol’ country. One of the songs he included was by this awesome group called Samuel. Their song had these great male and female vocals that traded sharply off each other. It was fantastic and I was really bowled over by the power of the girl’ voice. It wasn’t that devastating diva shriek that seems to count for so much in the recording industry. She had a rough edge, yet could still deliver some finely honed vocals.

Eventually I learned that Vanessa, for that was her name, sang in Junction before Samuel. They existed from 1990 to 1993 and I believe their music now out of print. Junction played very cool indie rock in the early nineties vein. That is, they had loud, well written songs that thankfully never got wanky or too complicated. They were even a little funky. Catchy and hooky, they were my lullaby soundtrack last year. Pleasant dreams.

1. Mouth as a gun
2. Sugar mess
3. Pinewood derby
4. Timepiece
5. Swoon
6. Second skin
7. Auto body
8. Booster
9. Ivy
10. Sister
11. Big machine
12. Basking bridge
13. Admirable
14. Saturation
15. Transit

Download it now! Junction

You can download Samuel's discography here:

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Knockabouts: On Suffering Remembered (1995 release of tracks from 1983’s Angry Young Men/Aggressive Isolation demo)

Ah, to be punk in Alabama in the early eighties. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying it just might have been hell. Call it a hunch, but this hell must’ve fueled The Knockabouts’ fire like copies of Huck Finn at a book burning. Can you imagine a place where the rednecks are the tolerant ones standing next to the KKK? Maybe I’m just stereotyping but it comes through in the music, which rages and rallies against bullshit. And yes, the Skynrd cover is funny but there is more here than just a shitty song being castrated. This is cool hardcore.

Lyrics are here: Knockabouts Lyrics

(image of the demo from Kill From The Heart)

1. The Beautiful
2. Shit Home Alabama
3. Where's My Vietnam?
4. Sick Society
5. Freedom Fighter
6. Aimless Youth
7. Fire Escape
8. Fast Pulse

Download it now: The Knockabouts

House of Commons: Patriot (1983)

Vancouver’s House of Commons played dark punk rock. I don’t want to say goth or anything ridiculous like that, but if it was released today some reviewer would recklessly slap on the “g” word like it was a ton of black eyeliner going on a pasty face. No, this is gloomy (a better “g” word) punk with downcast vocals. Ironically, a lot of the lyrics are positive. Go figure.

(image from Kill From The Heart)

Lots of information about the band is here: HOC

1. Way Down South
2. Low
3. Gotta B. Alive
4. 1999
5. American Patriot
6. Institution
7. Live For Today

Download it now: House of Commons

Various: It Came From The Pit (1986)

This is a classic comp from Canada. There are definitely many highlights on this one: My Dog Popper’s two tracks kill and feature this classic line from “Equal Time”, “Censor something you don’t even need / You fucking American Americans can’t even read”; “Abstinence” from Entirely Distorted rocks and is one of the few songs they put on vinyl (if anyone has their demo I’d sure love a copy of it); skinhead favorites Gassenhauer rollicking track “Local Youths” sounds like it could’ve come out of London at the time; and SNFU’s cover of “Poor Pitiful Me” is hilarious.

1. Exit death – S.C.U.M.
2. Rock stars are assholes – My Dog Popper
3. Equal time – My Dog Popper
4. Teenage barnacle - Enigmas
5. To our glorious dead – Sudden Impact
6. Drunk driving – Sudden Impact
7. Abstinence – Entirely Distorted
8. Count down zero – Count Down Zero
9. Casual design – Ruggedy Annes
10. Poor pitiful me – SNFU
11. Thrashin with yer parents – Problem Children
12. Mr. Prophylactic man – League of Dead Politicians
13. Local youths - Gassenhauer
14. Everyday – October Crisis
15. Old man understand – Stretch Marks
16. No sex – Nomeansno

Download it here: It Came From The Pit

Image from

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stretch Marks: What D'ya See (1984)

When I moved to the middle of nowhere I was pretty sure I’d be the only adult with any ties to punk rock. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see punk panhandling kids on the corner begging for change or squeegee kids doing my windows at the four way stop. So when I saw a guy wearing a SNFU shirt at our kids’ daycare, I was excited. An older punk dude here? No way! "Can we be friends?" I almost squeaked excitedly. I was giddy as a kid going to play with my friends at the, well, daycare. And that’s the great thing about punk, especially when I was younger. You’d see a complete scenester stranger on the bus or the street or wherever, and you knew and they knew how cool you both were by virtue of the music you listened to and hopefully, the values you shared.

So after I got my kids settled, I went up to Mr. SNFU and managed to say “Hey man, cool shirt,” and he said “Thanks,” and I’m surprised my voice didn’t break and in honor of that, blast this classic hardcore from the Stretch Marks.

Get it here: Stretchmarks

1. What D'Ya See
2. Time in Black
3. Another Tragedy
4. Family Affair
5. Turnbuckle Stomp
6. Lookin' for Danger
7. Preacher
8. Deaducated
9. No Answers
10. Tomorrow Will Be Better (If There is One)
11. Just a Game
12. No Freedom
13. Bad Moon

Monday, March 2, 2009

King Face: s/t (1987)

King Face was a part of the DC scene that had changed drastically after 1985's “Revolution Summer”. That was when musical vets decided to change their sound, focusing more on melody and structure rather than the blitzkrieg speed of hardcore. This all came about as an attempt to steer the scene away from right wing skins that had started crashing shows.

It’s into this scene that King Face was born. Now, as much as I would love to have a PhD in punk rock, I am not an expert when it comes to Revolution Summer, but from what I know, King Face seemed not to fit in. I say that because they are much more rock oriented than say, Embrace. They made no bones about how much they liked Ted Nugent and others of his musical ilk, but don't hold that against them.

I could never do justice to them in just a few short paragraphs, but here is a decent article if you want to know more: article

1. Crawl into tomorrow
2. I don't want to be anything
3. Lull-a-bye
4. Anyone
5. Lick the moon
6. Like a king

Download it here: KingFace

Target of Demand: Man’s Ruin (1983)

This album is dangerous. Incendiary. Put it beside the deviled eggs at a corporate luncheon and it will explode. Drop it onto suburbia and the effect will be more devastating than napalm. Shoot it at a battalion of riot cops and they’ll cry into their tear gas canisters. Blast it during a stupid lesson at school and watch your classmates hit the deck and lick the gum on the floor.

This is why you got into punk in the first place.

Download it now: Target of Demand

1. The Poor Rich
2. Funny, Huh?
3. Government
4. Man's Ruin
5. Not the One
6. Brain Loss
7. Judgement
8. Deploy the Rich
9. Botchalizm
10. Plastic Bullets

I got the image from where you can also get the lyrics.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

All Woman Brothers Band: mid-nineties indie stuff

This band should’ve been huge. All Woman Brothers Band had incredibly well written songs, and amazing vocal harmonies. One singer has a fantastic, very feminine voice which contrasts so well with the gruffer vocals of the other singer. It’s like eating sugar with broken glass. I call it indie rock, but it just doesn’t do them justice. They were above such labels.

I saw them a few times, including once when they opened for Tilt. After AWBB broke up, a friend gave me a tape with everything he had. He knew one of the members and had most everything. I got to know their drummer too. Woldboy's a very cool guy and I told him many a time how good this band, and the one he had with another member after AWBB broke up, were.

I come back to these songs time and time again. They’re so good, so perfect, and so totally essential to my survival in this world. "Enough hyperbole!" you're screaming, and I understand but I still can't recommend this enough.

Here’s a MySpace page, where I got this image: - 81k -

All You Can Eat demo:
1. Rubber band
2. Poor favore
3. Straight thru
4. I’m found
5. Favorite jeans
6. Outta sight
7. Suffer
8. Get out of my face
9. Holy cow
10. Shut up
Payback 7:
11. Payback
12. Witchhunt
At 164 BPM 10":
13. Pure pressure
14. Suffer
15. Looking down
16. Just can’t see
More songs:
17. Insane day
18. Newsmonger
19. Shoot the skyline
20. P.R. Baby
21. Cancer schtick
22. Another day
23. Suck it
24. Rubber band
25. Witchhunt
26. Shut up

Download it here: AWBB