Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Wrecks: Teenage Jive demo tape (1982)

The Wrecks were a trailblazing all female band from Reno in the early eighties. This tape is the complete package, complete with snotty vocals, a garagey sound (which has to be done right, otherwise it'll suck, but The Wrecks pull it off with reckless abandon) and provocative lyrics. Yep, this is the shit and if there was any justice in the world, they'd be better known than the Go-Go's.

Image is from Kill From The Heart

1. I Love to Shoplift
2. Couldn't Believe It
3. High School Anthem
4. Communist Bucks
5. SBS
6. Lullaby of the Womb
7. Slow Boat to Yuba
8. Punk is an Attitude
9. This Land is Your Land

Download it here! The Wrecks

Down By Law: s/t (1991)

Every now and then, a record comes along that defines a period of your life. Right place, right time sort of thing. This record fits the bill exactly for me and sadly, I think it’s out of print. Luckily, I picked this record up at a store in what was then the world’s biggest mall.

I got Down By Law’s first record in December, 1991. It was a particularly unstable time for me. Typical teenage crap, and I felt as if my life’s foundations were built out of wet bread sticks.

This record really spoke to me. A lot of the lyrics deal with following your dreams and being true to yourself. Dave Smalley knows how to put pen to paper and produced such profound nuggets like, "In order to be good, does that mean we must be great?" from "Vision" and these hopeful words from "Dreams Away":"Hold your head up/Target their world /Just let em fly/Dreams away".

For someone who was in an existential crisis, words like those were a salve to my despair. And to satisfy my need to change the world, Smalley penned "Matt Gleason Is God". Put together a cool bass line, a catchy tune and earnest words like: "There's so much darkness in our day/Bleed the planet, kill each other freedom what a price we pay/I'd swallow all the poison to make it go away . . ." and you get one fuck of a song. To top it all of, the refrain "We've gotta go!/We're gonna see it through/Your times are calling you" inspired me to try to commit to a better world.

The words would mean shit if the music didn't rock, but thankfully Down By Law delivers. If you someone like Smalley, who cut his teeth with DYS, helped to reinvent hardcore with Dag Nasty and even found time to be All's first singer, together with the rhythm section of the Chemical People and a guitarist from Clawhammer, you've got a wicked combination. Smooth melodic hardcore with a jumpy surf beat is a decent description, me thinks.

Image is from

"Best Friends" is a cover of song by The Outlets. The blog "Rocket Science" has the original for download.

1. Right or Wrong
2. Vision
3. Dreams Away
4. Down the Drain
5. American Dream
6. The Truth
7. Best Friends
8. Matt Gleason is God
9. The One
10. Can't See It Still
11. Surf Punk
12. Too Much Grey

Download it here! Down By Law

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Urban Assault: s/t (1982)

Urban Assault, the name that was so cool to early eighties hardcore folks that two bands (two!) took it as their moniker; one from San Francisco and the other from Reno. The Reno one put out a demo and was on a few comps as well. Their problem, to paraphrase an old review of a Reno comp, was that they suffered from the typical Skeeno problems of poor production.

This is the San Francisco Urban Assault. The production was dismissed by Flex as being weak, but whatever. This rules, and is worth a listen just for "Join The Army" alone. This song represents punk rock alienation to a T, with the attitude to boot. Check these lyrics out:

Be a cop, patrol the street, busting heads and kicking ass
Go to church, be real neat, say your prayers and go to mass
Because they’re all stupid fools
They’re all wasting their time trying to be so fucking cool
Because they’re all stupid fools
And they can all go to hell

Definitely the shining moment of the record.

Oh, there was an Urban Assault from Johannesburg, South Africa as well. What is it about this name?

Image is from Kill From The Heart

1. Urban Assault
2. Shock Value
3. Join the Army
4. Product of Society

Download it here: Urban Assault

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

We The Living: Carnival of Vice (1985)

Smoking hardcore from the American dong state, Florida. Lots of the lyrics are impossible to understand, but on rippers like “Shamade”, it matters little. Actually, it makes the song better. The one song you can hear the words is “Mixed Up World”, their cover of Madonna’s “Material World”. Their version is priceless as they tear the material girl's song to shreds with over the top vocals and the occasional spazzy part, making you realize you can't put a price on this, umm, material.

Images are from and Kill From The Heart

1. Fudge Ripple
2. Shamade
3. Bingo
4. Abortion Attempt
5. Mixed Up World

Download it here! We The Living

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Prevaricators: No Kidding (1983)

Cool release from Virginia’s The Prevaricators. I was really into this record a few years back. If you’re ever surrounded by wannabe cool dudes, crank “I’m So Cool”. The sarcasm literally drips off the wax with snotty lyrics and a catchy chorus that goes “I’m so cool, I’m so cool, don’t you wish you were too?” Wicked!

It all starts off, however, with the awesome “Ode To Uncle Ed”. That song makes me think of this old drinking buddy of mine who, coincidentally, was named Uncle Ed as well. Funny that, eh? We used to drink pretty hard back a while ago and some good times and some sad times were had by all. Rest in peace, Uncle Ed.

Images are from Kill From The Heart and the band's My Space page.

Download it here! The Prevaricators

1. Ode to Mr. Ed
2. Hanky Panky
3. Livin' in Khaki
4. I'm So Cool

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gash: G.A.S.H. (1986)

Three girls and one dude from Australia deliver some killer punk. The music screams contempt at a sick society and to think they succeeded against who knows how many sexist barriers makes you admire their drive and courage. Hell, even now in supposedly liberal countries like Canada they would be an anomaly and face many gender based obstacles and music critics would only blabber about their femaleness, forgetting how good their music is.

So, I’ll spare you all the clichés about female bands who rock hard, trite things like “If you think they can’t hold their own with the boys, think again”, or presumptuous things like, “They must be lesbians,” or downright insulting things like “people only like them because they’re girls.” Whatever.

The fact of the matter is that G.A.S.H. is awesome and holds it own with any record released by any band. Gash’s hardcore is played fast and mean. The vocals are nice and ferocious and the music is as powerful as a Mack truck. Every song packs a punch, with “Because You Are A Woman” stands out for its angry pace and snarled vocals. The whole record is like that and is a real shot in the face. Words like awesome don't even come close to describing how good Gash is.

Image is from

Band bio is here:

1. The Future
2. Cleo Cosmo
3. Gash Thrash
4. I Hate You
5. Coppin Shit
6. Because You Are a Woman
7. Civilized Man
8. Lovegame Bullshit
9. God Is Dead
10. Stick A Needle
11. Environmental Rape
12. Baby Seals
13. Gash for Cash
14. South Africa
15. Aquarius
16. Corpses

Download it here: Gash

Friday, June 5, 2009

Genetic Control: Brave New World (2005)

I got this CD as a freebie when I ordered the S.C.U.M. Born Too Soon reissue from Sonik's Chicken Shrimp Records. From what I gather, it’s long out of print. That’s a shame, since this CD includes Genetic Control’s 7”, which is one mighty slab o’ wax. When I first heard First Impressions, I just about jumped out of my dumpster dived chair and slammed danced with my empty bottles of liquor.

The version of First Impressions I have has a different song order than this CD. That’s because I have a CD reissue and on Brave New World, the song order stays true to the original 7” release.

It is said that good things come in threes, and the three leading songs of the first CD reissue, consisting of “Suburban Life”, “Urban Cowboy” and “1984” prove that cliché to a T. They are three of the most urgent, sarcastically snotty and angry songs placed beside each other. “Suburban Life” pokes fun at the myth of suburban happiness; “Urban Cowboy” is a shot at those losers who think they’re John Wayne and like to pick fights with anyone who looks different; while “1984” chastises complacency as Big Brother takes over our lives. Taken together, they are as good as anything out there. To be honest, these three songs are so good that I never listen to the rest of the EP. I’m too spent picking up glass from broken bottles and fixing my chair. Enjoy.

Genetic Control's My Space page:

Punk History Canada has a band bio and an image.

1. intro
2. Suburban Life
3. 1984
4. Puff the Magic Dragon
5. Dirty Rocker
6. Abandoned At Birth
7. Meet Billy
8. Big Takeover
9. Right Brigade
10. Brave New World
11. First Impressions
12. Gilligan’s Isle
13. NFS (new fucking song)
14. Drunk Again
15. Love Rat
16. Rockin’ With Seka
17. Urban Cowboy
18. Betray
19. outro
(Live from Montreal, 1998)

20. Suburban Life intro (Nasty Race)
(Primitive Air Raid comp, 1984)

21. Suburban LifeCheck Spelling
22. Urban Cowboy
23. Love Rat
24. Brave New World
25. 1984
(First Impressions EP, 1984)

26. The End

Download it right here: Genetic Control

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Zero Boys: History of the Zero Boys (1984)

People go gaga over the first Zero Boys full length, Vicious Circle, but for my money this cassette only release rocks much harder than Vicious Circle. It’s faster, tighter and definitely much more catchier. and the praise doesn’t get much better than when Tim Yohannan in Maximum Rocknroll #15 compares them to the Circle Jerks “as prime exponents of brisk, hook-laden thrash and punk.” A pretty lofty comparison, but entirely deserved on this tape.

In short, it shreds. It rips, it rocks, it rules. You could even say History of the Zero Boys is the feudal overlord to the peasant Vicious Circle. Like I said, you could, but I won’t :)

Image and quote from Kill From The Heart

1. Drive In
2. Black Network News
3. Splish, Splash
4. I Need Inergy
5. Johnny Better
6. Dingy Bars Suck
7. Seen That Movie Before
8. High Places
9. Blood's Good
10. Human Body
11. Mom's Wallet
12. Down the Drain
13. Outta Style
14. You Can Touch Me
15. Trying Harder
16. I'm Bored

Download it now! Zero Boys