Having been born toward the tail end of the 1980′s I missed out on tons of great music that came out of various underground scenes around the world earlier that decade. From the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal [or NWOBHM] which inspired and informed the American Thrash scene to the first generation of American hardcore punk the influence of the early 80′s resonates in every aspect of today’s international underground punk and metal communities. It was a time when lines were being drawn and flags were being raised. When kids actually cared about the music they listened to because it meant something so inexplicably urgent to them. Metalheads were metalheads and punks were punks. These kids and their music burned with life during a time and political landscape when the threat of total death was constantly hanging in the balance. No band better embodies the American hardcore aesthetic than NEGATIVE APPROACH, to my mind. In just a little over twenty tracks and less than an hour’s worth of time Negative Approach laid down what would be one of the ultimate examples of American youth frustration and the art that it spawns in trying times of both social and emotional *pressure*. The simplicity of Negative Approach’s song writing speaks directly to the barbaric nature of my soul. Their music is more than just hardcore, it’s “no bullshit” blues straight from the soul. Unlike all of the more popular music that got labeled as “punk” which I had to grow up with, these were real kids who were really angry about real shit. I remember when I used to work at a record store in Pittsburgh a few years back and my boss was an older guy who was part of that previous generation of punk kids that paved the way for me and my generation. Through hanging out with him I was able to soak up part of what I missed out on and had wanted to know firsthand about the music and scenes that came before me. Bands like AMEBIX, DISCHARGE, THE ADOLESCENTS, and Negative Approach were in heavy rotation at our shop, weither the customers liked it or not. My generation may have missed out on all the groundbreaking music that informed everything we were given to sift through but history has a way of repeating itself. Let me put it to you like this, September 11th, 2001 was only my second day of high school just across the river in New Jersey. For months the air was filled with smoke and parking lots full of cars that never made it back the their home’s garages in my neighborhood so generally speaking, I think I have a right to be hostile.
Aborted Society is doing something exemplary for the global punk community today, and we encourage CVLT Nation readers to show their support. You all have probably heard about the 64 punks in Aceh, Indonesia that are being held by police for “reprogramming” back into the religious drones that the state wants them to be. The police are acting under shariah law, they are clamping down on these kids’ human right to express their beliefs, and are claiming that they lack morals. As a show of punk solidarity, Aborted Society are collecting mixtapes from punk rockers around the world in order to show the Indonesian authorities that the world is watching them, and to combat the societal branwashing being imposed on Indonesian punks! Read about Aborted Society’s initiative below, send in your mixtapes, and stay tuned for a special CVLT Nation Aceh mixtape next week!
Mixtapes for Aceh!
December 14th, 2011
We read the news about punks being apprehended and detained in the Aceh region of Indonesia recently, and like many of you, were extremely disturbed at the thought of the police sweeping these kids off the street, shaving their hair, and forcing them into some sort of bullshit military training to deprogram them. We are privileged to live in a society where we are free to express ourselves as we wish, and while the US and other Western states have their fair share of police injustice, this incident is a harsh reminder to how good we really have it. That is why we are starting a small initiative in solidarity with our friends overseas, to let them know that we stand behind them and fully support them.
The mixtape is a crucial part of our subculture, and is solely responsible for the spread of punk influence worldwide. Mixtapes have introduced myself and many others to so many amazing bands, and the act of making them is one of the most sincere forms of friendship that exist in our world. So, we are asking our friends, our community, and anyone else who remotely gives a shit to make and donate one mixtape cassette to the kids in Aceh who were forced into detention solely for being punk. It’s a small gesture, but it means a lot to people who need our support. The content entirely of their choosing as long as it’s somewhat falling in the punk/hardcore/crust genre. If you have an awesome tape you never listen to anymore, or would like to make a new one specifically for this endeavor, that would absolutely rule. We are collecting these tapes to send out in early January, so your deadline to submit is December 30th, 2011. We know that the post office is fucked right now with holiday shipping, but right after xmas it frees up largely, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Please try and pack as much music onto these tapes as possible, and try to avoid sending a short 10-min long demo cassette. This is an out-of pocket initiative for me (Rob) personally, and I’d like to make what we send as substantial as possible. And include your address in the tape, you might just make an international buddy out of the process!
You can send your mixtapes to our label address:
Aborted Society Records
attn: Mixtapes for Aceh
1122 E. Pike Street #1377
Seattle, WA 98122-3934
We are currently investigating the best way to get these over there safely, so if you have any specific ideas please email us and let us know. Thanks for listening, we really encourage your participation, and hope that something like this can never happen again.
Stay strong, stay fucking punk.
I’m pretty sure many people would agree that one of the sickest hardcore bands that ever came out of the South Bay of Los Angeles was BLACK FLAG. The one constant member of the band was Greg Ginn, although Chuck Dukowski held it down with him for mad years. I have so much love for Greg and Chuck because of what they did for underground music, both as SST and as BLACK FLAG. Also, because of all of their tours across America in fucked up vans, Black Flag spread the ethos of punk rock across the states. And with each personal shift, their sound would change just a little, but they still always remained BLACK FLAG. It’s always a trip to ask someone who was their favorite BLACK FLAG singer – some will say Dez, some will say Chavo, some will say Keith and some will say Henry. It’s too hard for me to choose, but I will say the night I saw all of them perform at the BLACK FLAG reunion gig in ’83, I spazzed on all of them, but out of all of the singers, I got to see them perform with Henry the most. Kill that Cat captured their 1981 show at the Mabuhay Gardens with Dez on vocals and Robo on drums, and BLACK FLAG blazed through a killer set. So after the jump, break out your six pack and watch the punk band that kills ANTS!
Let me tell you what’s radical: when you and your homie have teenage dreams that become a reality. This was the case for Dan Clements and I – both of us are products of the Venice Beach of the 70′s. We watched Suicidal Tendencies do their thing, and even before we started going to gigs, we knew what we wanted to do was start a band! In 1983, with the help of his homie Adam Siegel, Dan formed Chaotic Noise; when Shaun Ross joined in 1985, they became Excel. From 1987 to 1995, this band put out some game-changing records that spoke to their generation. Excel were a band that that had the hardcore/metal vibe down to the T, plus Dan was one of those frontmen that knew how to work the crowd into a rightous frenzy. Today CVLT Nation wants to take you back to 1989, with Exel wrecking shit at The Country Club in Reseda all captured by the almighty Kill That Cat. After the jump, peep this killer gig and see if the joke will be on you!
One state that was full of weirdos during the early 80′s was Texas – it’s seems bands from there made a huge impact almost at the same time! I’m just saying, The Dicks and The Big Boys were the first wave, and both were totally fucking awesome. Two bands that really changed the game were M.D.C. with their 7″, and D.R.I. with their EP. It’s a trip, because both of these bands pretty much relocated to the Bay Area at the same time, where they continued to cause noise damage. Before D.R.I. made their journey up North, I got to see them wreck shit in Hollyweird at the Cathay de Grande. During this time they were known as the fastest hardcore band in America, since their 22 song EP was just over 16 minutes. These dudes had the homeless style to the max – when I saw the singer hanging out before the gig, I actually thought he was homeless, until I saw him kill shit on stage! D.R.I. blazed through the EP and were way beyond tight, and they left everyone in attendance in total fucking amazement. Later on they embraced thrash harder than many bands, plus they pulled it off better than most punk bands that tried to make the same musical transition. And if you listen to their EP, you can hear that they were already on some metal shit, which was cool with me. Check this ultra rad live footage of D.R.I. slaughtering shit in 1984 at CBGB’s. So after the jump, see that Texas punks were faster than most!
Let’s give the middle finger to the whole world, and then let’s buy beer for 13-year-old punk rock snots! My brain is stepping back in time to when Los Angeles hardcore weirdos rule my existence… There were so many killer bands from back then, but they all sounded different; some had more melody than others. The Angry Samoans were one of my favorite bands back then, they wrote funny songs that hit home with my generation. Their album Back From Samoa wasn’t politically correct, but we didn’t care about that shit back then, because the term did not exist. That being said, that album fucking rocked! These dudes could write awesome melodic punk tunes that were catchy as fuck. They did not overthink their lyrics, but they wrote about subjects that have resonated with youth for generations to come. From my point of view, they just have not received the amount of respect that they deserve. When we knew The Angry Samoans were playing a gig, we were beyond in the house, we made sure we started the pit! So the time has come today – CVLT Nation will celebrate The Angry Samoans with a “we do not give a fuck” video essay! After the jump, peep this gnarly live footage!
The Slog Movie is one of the best representations of the 80′s SoCal hardcore scene ever created, and it was made by Dave Markey, the drummer of Sin 34 & Painted Willie. This human captures youth culture in a unique way because he was a part of the scenes he filmed. The Slog Movie was filmed in 81/82 all over Los Angeles, and in some pretty gnarly places. It features footage of bands that you might not ever get to see but in this film. Dave filmed the likes of TSOL, Circle Jerks, Wasted Youth, Fear, Red Cross and Circle One and many more, all killing shit. What makes this movie so special is the way that Markey focuses on the young kids that make up the scene, hanging out at their local spots like Oki Dogs, and he is able to shine a light on the twisted sense of humor we all shared. A good example of how we got down back then can be seen from the footage of Red Cross and Sin 34 performing on the Santa Monica Pier- it turned into a giant food fight, I was on to witness the mayhem! Props must be given to Jordan Schwartz, the creator of We Got The Power fanzine, who was Dave’s partner in madness. As a director, this dude has made a huge impact on the world and most of the world doesn’t even know it! Markey was a mammoth part of the grudge scene before it even had a name – he directed many Sonic Youth videos, plus he made the stellar 1991 documentary, The Year Punk Broke!. After the jump, see The Slog Movie that started it all, plus some bonus Sin 34 live footage!
It has fun being young and even more fun being a young punk in ’82; we could go to any ghetto and fit right in! It should be understood that back in the day in Los Angeles, African Americans were cool with punks because we both got our heads kicked in by the same downpresssor: the LAPD! In the true spirit of DIY, back then promoters booked shows wherever they could, and lots of times that meant gigs were in the straight hood of South Central. Deeper than that, I remember the first show I went to was at a black lodge/biker bar, where Sin 34, Caustic Cause, Channel 3 and Social Distortion all played, the latter being the subject of this post. This OC band had that “we are the shit” factor about them, I guess nowadays you would call it swagger. Just like Rock n Roll, Punk can trace some of it’s musical roots to the blues, but with the Cali bands you also get the surf beat. On their debut album, Mommy’s Little Monster, Social Distortion showed the world they could write rad songs that were dark and gritty, but dipped in Americana/pop. Mike Ness was great at writing stories with his lyrics; if you listen to this album closely, it’s almost a time capsule of what weirdos faced back then. This band knew how to use melody as a weapon to make sure that their songs would stick in your head. On a personal level, I think all of the kids in the scene could relate to the lyrics of “Mommy’s Little Monster.” Today CVLT Nation would like to celebrate Social Distortion with a video essay from their golden era of the early 80′s. So after the jump, go into another state of mind and peep our world!
So what happens when you get some O.G. hardcore heads together to start a band and bang out some atomic tunes? You end up with a band of brothers that go by the name of Arson Anthem, who released an off the hook album entitled Insecurity Notoriety via Housecore Records. I’m a product of the 80′s hardcore movement, and there is a certain way I want to hear my hardcore – Arson Anthem gives me that fix plus more! I know some of the heads in this band roamed the streets of New Orleans in the 80′s as punk rock weirdos, and that shit never left their DNA. What’s so fucking radical about Insecurity Notoriety is that these motherfuckers can play their instruments better than most bands could during the 80′s, and this brings a different edge to the sonic mayhem that they discharge with every tune! Arson Anthem set out to make an album that had the spirit of a bygone era, but they were also smart enough to allow their musical experience beyond hardcore seep into their tunes. These dudes channel some off-kilter beings in the way they write – they layer SST weirdness on top of metallic angst. Arson Anthem’s songs at times hold your face in the dirge of caustic mud, and they slap you in the back of the neck with a subversive melody. This album has many zany catchy moments – it sounds sweeter than southern Kool Aid, just check out the guitar/drum parts on “Initial Prick” or “Death of an Idiot,” then you will get where I’m coming from. Lyrically, Mike IX is spot on, and his vocal delivery is filled with rancid attitude. Arson Anthem do just that: create some nuclear anthems of that could have the whole universe stagediving. I have one bone to pick with Arson Anthem – where were they in ’82? I would have loved to paint their band’s name on my jacket or spray paint “Arson Anthem” on walls! If you dig hardcore, get with this fucking slab of mayhem!
If there are two words that can make me think of 1981 and hardcore punk, they are FLIPSIDE Fanzine. This West Coast zine was a lifeline to our local scene, plus it connected its’ readers to what was happening on the international tip. I remember how excited I felt when I bought the first issue, and how I would wait every month for the new issue to come out, which I would read until the paper was worn out. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the creators of FLIPSIDE were way before their time, because they decided early on to start doing video zines. I’m so glad that they did, because now we have killer footage of shows from the early 80′s. Mind you, back then the cameras were not small, so these people really made an effort to capture something special that would later become history. I trip out when I watch these videos because they transport me back to being 13 and drunk on the nighttime streets of Los Angeles. FLIPSIDE Video Fanzine #2 has off the hook footage of Minor Threat, 7 Seconds, Battalion Of Saints, The Big Boys and more. Because of these videos, today’s generation gets to see how we looked and how we related to the music back in the day. Anyone out there that was a part of this era will state that they wouldn’t trade this time in their lives for anything. So after the jump, get your stage dive on and peep FLIPSIDE Video Fanzine #2 in full! Peep history after the jump!!!