For many different reasons, the first DANZIG album is my favorite of their work. If you are a fan of this band, then DANZIG – VHS is a must-see for you. This film captures the band on stage and behind the scenes…This is when they still had punks in the group and is definitely their best line-up!
New York punk band Ivy rip through seven songs in just under ten minutes on this demo cassette of messy, belligerent hardcore. These songs are rough, sloppily recorded, for the most part indecipherable and catchy as hell. The vocals for most of this release are barely distinguishable from the rest of the band, a distant, drowning, antagonistic presence – and good luck discerning even a single word of lyrics. That being said, these guys actually have some real hooks. While I have no idea what’s being sung, the vague, wavering, snotty, out-of-tune chorus line of ‘Antsy’ is seriously so catchy and will be stuck in your head for days.
There’s not really much else to be said here. You could listen to this album a few times over in the time it takes to read a review, and your time would be much better served. Get on it.
Label: Dischord Records
Growing up in an era that pre-dated the internet meant that sometimes the closest we could get to seeing bands were washed out xerox photos. Me and all my homies had mad love for the DC scene – it didn’t make a difference that it was 3000 miles away from us. One band that never toured out West was VOID and since hearing them on Flex Your Head I was a fan. I enjoyed the FAITH, but it was the other side of the record that I kept on constant rotation. VOID knew how to blend metal and punk better than most bands at the time. Today CVLT Nation celebrates one of the raddest bands to do it during the 80′s: VOID. Peep this full set of them killing shit in Philly…the year was 1983…
’84 Rollins/Kira/Ginn/Stevenson – this is the lineup of BLACK FLAG I saw the most and I never got bored of seeing them! In my book, this is the era that went on to really influence sludge, doom and even grunge. This is also the time when Henry started to come into his own as a performer. Watching them back then was almost like checking out a jazz band because they would totally go off on these tagents. In 1984, BLACK FLAG changed what a hardcore band had to sound like and were expanding minds everywhere. Now peep this intense performance of them wrecking shop in Amherst, Mass in 1984…BLACK FLAG was the shit!
Alright, besides the 70′s era Z-Boys, I would have to say the the Alva Posse days were pretty fun for me. I dropped out of the tenth grade and started silkscreening skate boards for Alva in 1985. All I can say is every day was an adventure and that time is a part of my life that I will never forget. A couple years later, I moved back to Venice and got real close with Jef Hartsel and John Thomas, who took me ramp skating on the daily. The Alva Posse had a major influence on skate culture in the 80′s and beyond…Check out this retrospective of the bad boys of skating!
While I lived in San Francisco in 1984, I ran with a close knit crew of weirdos, both punks and metal heads. The interesting thing is that we didn’t treat the kids who lived on the street any different from those that had homes. There was a strong sense of sisterhood and brotherhood that bonded us all, and we always had each other backs. When I watch the 1988 documentary SADOBABIES it hits home, because that could be me or my homies. This film follows some Bay Area punks as they go through their daily lives. I’m glad that films like SADOBABIES were made, because they offer a look at a world that was underground and underrepresented or misrepresented in mainstream culture. A interesting fact is that many of the kids in this documentary are now dead. I can relate to that, since many of my friends from that era are now dead as well. Check out the film SADOBABIES – it gives a voice to kids that society wanted to dispose of!
When it comes to music I’m a huge fan, especially when artists can take me back to my childhood. One label that does this like no other is D.C.’s Dischord Records and the man behind it, Ian MacKaye. Honestly, the first time I saw him in person I totally lost my shit, and my then 16 year old daughter got to see her father become a fanboy for one of my childhood heroes. Later that day, I got my shit together and introduced myself to Ian, who was awesome! In memory of that day, my now 20 year daughter sent this to me, and I knew I had to share it with our readers. Ian MacKaye changed so much in underground music over the past three decades, it’s almost hard to put into words. Anyway, check out this really cool mini interview he just did with NPR! Minor Threat & Fugazi still rule!!!
The other day, I watched the documentary Last Fast Ride: The Life, Love and Death of a Punk Goddess that tells the tragic story of Marian Anderson of The Insaints. This film made me think about my past and my friends from the punk scene. It also made think about how so many kids in the scene had damaged home lives, but through all of the bullshit they were able to create outstanding art. Marian’s music spoke to a generation of youth that were raised on TV dinners and parental disfunction. She was willing to sacrifice herself for the empowerment of other humans. Let’s not forget that she had an amazing voice and her stage show was off the chain! Check out the killer documentary Last Fast Ride: The Life, Love and Death of a Punk Goddess, narrated by Henry Rollins….RIP to all of the street punks that never made out of the 80′s!
Take it down a little slower, or just get a little weirder…better yet, get a little more FLIPPER. This bunch of sonic freaks crossed all boundaries in the 80′s. I never understood how me and my friends were so into this band in the 80′s because their music went against the norm of our tastes. We all had their album in our collection, plus we all had their logo hand drawn on our jeans. Looking back on it, FLIPPER were way before their time and were willing to create music that was different from the hardcore of the time, which made than heavier and more original than many bands that were on the scene. Thanks to Target Video we can witness them in their full glory. So check out the demented side of American Hardcore and watch FLIPPER – Live Target Video 1980-81 – this band still rules!
New Jersey hellraisers Razorheads sail in on a burst of feedback and get straight to work doling out some rough-as-guts corrosive hardcore that is also insanely catchy. Classic rock riffs and eighties metal swagger are not so much heard as felt through all the chaos that is Black Leather Hounds, whose title perfectly encapsulates Razorheads’ latent cock rock tendencies lurking beneath their ferocious canine snarl. Now you’re not gonna hear any wailing falsetto or hair metal hooks in this slab of noise – if anything, Razorheads’ singer has perfected the art of vocalizing destruction, spewing guttural noise at a pitch that blends almost perfectly with the wall of distortion issuing from the guitarists’ amps – but there are some definite stadium rock stylings buried under all the hardcore raging. Dive bombs abound in the muck as well as the occasional burst of ripping old school shred complete with copious abuse of the whammy bar.