I’m a lover of basically all P.I. records, and so while it might not be Feel The Darkness, “We Must Burn” is still a pretty great record with only a couple of relative missteps. In comparison to the rest of their career this is probably the most straight Rock ‘n Roll they ever did (along with the accompanying “Religion and Politics” 10” e.p. from the same sessions). P.I. for most of their career though had as much Rock as they did Punk in their sound and so it’s no surprise they can turn out a pretty convincing and good rock lp.
The opening cut, “Don’t Ask Me Why” is actually one of my favorite tracks they ever did, working on a mean sounding later Motorhead template (Phil/Wurzul era) with Jerry spinning some more pessimism about the human race your way. “Hung Like A Savior” and “Hard and Cheap” continue in the same vein with just enough glam sleaze added in to give the tracks a little swagger. Filthy rock music, guitarists with cigs in their mouths, beers lined up on top of amps, all that shit. Real deal though, not downtown fantasy douchebags.
Track 4 is an amazing curve ball: a cover of GISM’s “Endless Blockades for the Pussyfooter” sounding amazingly spot on and energetic. The solos are pitch perfect, the vocals are right on. Poison Idea is probably one of 3 bands that actually can pull off covering a band like GISM. Closing out side A is a great organ led track called “Not The Last”. It sounds like something that ought to crash and burn but it’s probably my second favorite on the album. Firmly in the rock vibe and definitely a bit glammed out, it has a nice big riff in the verse and some heart break kinda lyrics. I feel like shit saying this, but I kind of pick up almost a G’N’R type vibe on this one, but mostly in the way that I could see Izzy penning these riffs. I hate G’N’R though and I like Poison Idea so this song wins the race by a mile.
The B side has a couple more highlights, like the opener “When I Say Stop” with the classic line “when I say cum, unload” and more thrashy Motorbanging. “Foiled Again” is a quicky that’s over in a minute and twenty, and “Jessie’s Arms” is a PI take on the NY Dolls, which is good but I could do without. Glam to the MAX. “Slumlord” and “Stare at the Sun” close it out definitely on a Rock note, but the riffs are again pretty strong. This was the last proper PI album until 2005’s “Latest Will and Testament”. It’s a good havin’ a bad day lp. I think they’re all pressed on splatter vinyl like this so I wouldn’t pay the BIN price if I were you.
Last December I actually got to see the Abused, reunited after 25 odd years of not playing. I couldn’t believe how good they were (blowing Antidote and Urban Waste off the stage in terms of performance) after 25 years. Kevin Crowley’s barking, teeth gritted delivery was still perfectly intact. Raf Astor’s guitar playing was still spot on, including his solos which might have even been more fluid than the ‘83 live ape I have. Dave Colo’n and Brian Dundon still brought the savage and primitive stomp of their glory days. I really mean it, I’ve seen plenty of reunited hardcore bands, plenty stink, and most are merely passable but the Abused were one I’ll always remember for utter greatness. I responded in the only way I could of course, slamming my brains out till I was panting, hanging off the bar, and grabbing for water while my heart tried not to explode.
Of course it wouldn’t have mattered how good they played if it weren’t for their lone (and still not properly reissued!!!) “Loud and Clear” E.P. (as well as their rare and oft bootlegged demo). Loud and Clear is one of the first pure hardcore records to come out of New York City, and also one of the first anywhere that was more Hardcore than Punk. In 1983 this was the new sound. The sound of the youth rising up. The Mob still had some of the old NY Punk sound in their pedigree, AF were basically just cavemen bashing and thrashing in 30 second bursts, but the Abused were a band that could have both the compositional maturity and genius of the Mob, and the crushing brute force and power of AF.The opening cut, (the title track) opens like Sabbath’s War Pigs rewritten for the A7 crowd. Massive power chords crashing down through all the overdrive a cheap amp can muster, cymbals and drum fills match the guitar attack, and even though there’s no air raid siren, there might as well be, because this song hits like a bomb. Kevin Crowly’s inimitable bark kicks in declaring things like “Won’t be pushed around no more, cause I know I’m not alone”. Dead serious and loud as fuck. Of course it’s 83 so this one’s over in 1 minute but not before a proto death grunt that simply proclaims “YESSSSS” under a wash of endless reverb. A few seconds later “War Games” is coming down on you with Raf Astor busting a Ron Ashton quality, fret grating guitar solo over another bomb raid level intro. It helps that the song actually contains lyrics like “flying low your target’s set” and “blow them up and shoot them down”. It’s an anti war song, but it sounds so violent it’s easy to forget. It’s also maybe the first song by an NYHC that has a pretty pronounced heavy metal influence. Metal in NY was also exploding around this time, and these solos must have singed the eyebrows of any metal head who happened to be lucky enough to lay ears on this. The Krakdowns, Sick Of It Alls, and Warzones of the world used a similar formula of simple heavy hardcore with metal accents a few years later, so in some ways this is (as well as probably Antidote’s 7″) is the first instance of the typical 80’s NY sound.And what else…
And what else? 6 more songs of perfect thrashing, stomping, barking mad hardcore punk. Want to hear one of the most perfect songs ever written (of any genre) - check out “No End In Sight”. I could have wept hearing this one so perfectly executed live, but I was busy throwing myself across the dance floor like a maniac. It’s so simple just a mosh part and a thrash section that each repeat twice, but just listen… everything just perfectly falls into place like every other perfect song on Earth. It’s far more than the sum of its parts. The thing is though basically all the songs are this good.
Oh and btw, I think this copy might end a little low because it’s in Japan and has a high opening bid. Who knows though…
It’s just shy of six months since I last made a bidhardcore post. There’s no specific reason as to why I haven’t bothered to look at the site more than once or twice in that time. I’ve made some changes in my daily routine, and my work duties have changed pretty drastically which are both contributing factors. I was in a bit of a funk for most of this year, and I think sometime it’s easier just to cut out the shit you don’t feel is necessary for a little while. I’ve been online the least ever in the last 6 months than I have anytime in the last decade. So a lot of days would go by where I didn’t even think about “blogging”. I’ve still been up to the same shit, playing in some bands, doing recordings, playing gigs… I had a pretty fast paced but generally high quality summer. Everything’s fine, and I’m feeling like a little stimulation via writing might be fun again, so I’m going to try and have regular posts coming your way. No promises, but hopefully someone will still want to read this (AND LEAVE COMMENTS). AJ and I also still want to do a redesign on the site at some point although there’s no concrete plan for that.
Anyway down to business. Somehow I’ve never actually done a real Abused “Loud and Clear” post despite the 7″ being linked several times on here. It seems fitting for a “first post back” since for my money, it’s one of the truly great US Hardcore 7″s, and possibly the best of the early NY crop of releases.
(part 2 tomorrow)
When Mike played drums for Youth of Today, he was a very reserved, quiet guy. You could’ve never pictured him in a million years singing for a band because we’d go on tour and he’d literally say maybe a few words a day. He didn’t seem angry then but there were a few instances on that tour where the “Mike Judge” of years to come reared his head. Once when YOT were playing a show with Uniform Choice, I think it was Detroit, there was a fight in the pit during UC between two skinheads. Mike actually walked over to try to break it up when the girlfriend of one of the guys fighting told him to mind his own business, pushed him and then slapped him FULL FORCE right across the face. Mike’s hands instantly flew up to punch her but then he stopped himself because, well, she was a girl. But he was in a rage. He just stood there, with a big red slap mark across his knotted face, breathing like a snake, just wanting so bad to haul off on that skinbird but somehow he was restraining himself. But there he was in the middle of the pit, teeth clenched, fists in the air, looking like a time bomb that would go off if somebody breathed heavy. The two guys instantly got scared and stopped fighting, and the one dude made a quick exit with his squawking foul-mouthed girlfriend in tow. I remember thinking “Damn, Mike’s actually a pretty intimidating guy.” Little did I know.
You might have noticed that CC is taking a break. Don’t remove us from your bookmarks / readers though — we’ll be back someday.
Hails to Finland. Sweden is over rated. YES I said it. Let us not forget Sweden is responsible for both Slaughter of The Soul AND Wolverine Blues, the two biggest poxes on death metal forever after. While many of the Finland mighty did fall to the Death ‘n Roll curse, I can’t hold them responsible for the bad idea that Entombed started. So many Finnish bands go overlooked from the dawn of the death metal craze, well I hope to at least set a few people on the right path.
Belial (who by the way did unfortunately go death ‘n roll eventually), had a great little run for a couple years with a demo, a 7″ and a mlp. That 7″, “Gods Of The Pit Part II” was one of the first releases on the at the time newly minted Moribund label. Things bust out with a completely savage guitar charge on the opening track The Invocation and never let up. The old Finnish bands had a certain atmosphere that the Swedish ones never quite matched. Along with Belial, the early releases by bands like Disgrace, Necropsy, Abhorrence, and a lot more were able to bring a sort of mystical sombre feel to their metal. It makes me feel almost the same way some of the early Norwegian black metal does, although sound-wise it’s completely death metal. Swedish bands also seemed to often have some melodic underpinnings whereas more often than not Finnish bands of the same era were just dealing in full on brutality. Absolutely forgotten classic this one is.
Really, one of the biggest mistakes that Greg Ginn has made in his 30+ years of SST, is ever letting The Dicks “Kill From The Heart” go out of print. This is not only one of the best releases the label ever saw, but one of the best rock lps ever to come from Texas. It’s got that drunk sweaty swagger that riffers like ZZ Top had, or pscyhe punks like the 13th Floor Elevators could show off, but it has its own context. So while the sun-baked twang of “Pigs Run Wild” is Texan in tradition, it took a bunch of left leaning, queer punks to play it just like this. For the record, they play the fuck out of it. It’s criminal this album isn’t available to the masses ON ANY FORMAT, and that it isn’t mentioned nearly as much as other greats of the day, many of which it outclasses.When the album opens with Anti Klan Pt. 1, there’s echoes of “You’re Gonna Miss Me” surging through it, but with a completely new sentiment in the lyrics. Disgust at their surroundings. Dicks vs. The World. This record is great cruising tunes (and I mean that both if you’re just out for a springtime drive, or you know… if you’re cruising). I caught the Dicks in Austin in 2006 and they were still pretty great.Peep the sweet condition this copy is in. For whatever reason, whenever you can find this lp it’s always hammered with ring wear and bashed corners. A copy in sweet condition like this with shrink still covering most of it is pretty rare.
What to say… a collection of invoices… more Brainwashed Youth songs than Integrity… the autographs and photos. Hilarious.
Disclose was a band that will probably be remembered more for their fetishizing of aesthetic and sound than any tunes they actually wrote. They really defined the modern noize-beat style along with Gloom and others that so many misguided myspace crusters try to emulate now. Their records celebrated genre conventions and the way they could define a band. Each new release (and there were more than I care to count) took influences from spikey jacket message heavy hardcore/punk that came from the UK, Sweden, Finland, Brazil, Japan, and then shot it through the meat grinder of founding member Kawakami’s hellish guitar sound and growled vocals.Someone, like maybe Stuart Schrader, could write a term paper on what Disclose means in the grand scheme of punk, the way their releases were in a way DISposable… the way they were paying tribute to the most minute details but at the same time putting their own stamp on everything… it might be post modern. Like Quentin Tarantino. But I’m not totally qualified for that kind of a write up, and that’s okay.Whatever the relative ups and downs of the Disclose legacy, Nightmare or Reality to me is their most essential release, or at least the best introduction to them. Mainly because it’s extremely high energy and heavy. There’s good song variety, that sizzling guitar sound, and pounding meaty drums. It opens with Fear of the Nuclear Age exactly like you expect, sounding structurally like an outtake from Why? but with a lot of added fuzz and Kawaikami’s very Japanese delivery. For a “rawpunk” band this record actually has a highly layered sound. There are at least 3 guitar tracks, possibly more, the drums are well recorded and not at all pots and pans sounding, the bass manages to actually have its own sound in the mix, and the solos are either double tracked, or played through an octave pedal. They manage to cut through in a very unique and somehow more over the top way than almost any other solos I’ve heard on this sort of record. Check out the solos after the break in Future Extinction. Sounds like it could be an octave pedal and doubled solos there. Wild stuff.Kawakami died in his sleep almost two years ago, and I know for a lot of people there’s still a gaping hole left in his absence.