Thursday, January 10, 2013

BAND OF MERCY - "Vulgar Display of Vegan Power" Pantera rip-off shirt


Back to the present although they pause at the moment. Band of Mercy also have a Carnivore rip-off shirt but this "Vulgar Display of Power" homage is still the winner.

For the first releases Band of Mercy was mainly a duo with Daniel from Die Young being the driving force. They deliver a mixture of Portland and fast Swedish d-beat combined with where Die Young left off.  Besides being quite dead serious concerning veganism they add a lot of humour and side blows which is quite rare - even today. Their demos are available as free downloads via Headfirst! I might post them in the future including all artwork.

NEW AGE RECORDS - "watching you fall only makes me stronger" hooded sweater


This was once a present by Robi I think, the problem was: I am a big guy! No matter who hard I tried I did not fit into a hooded sweater size M. So it became and still is a pyjama top for my better half.
They have been printed in large quanities on different colours, also the printing was in different colours and I am not quite sure but maybe New Age Records Europe also printed them, but that's just a hypothesis. Speaking of being a big guy: I had this once with a brown golden printing on a longsleeve with sleeve printing in XL. It was that large, that I was nearly strapless. I sold it right after Ebay Germany started, must have been around 1999 or so. I still have a shirt version which had those nice sleeve printings we all loved about US shirts back then (thanks to the Dubar family by the way!): I will pull out that one later!
New Age really followed the early 80ies Boston, late 80ies New York straight edge footsteps in the early 90ies. Some give them credit others just saw the third wave of stereotypes. I again was caught between two stools.
The slogan on the back (the picture shows Unbroken's singer) led to many discussions. I never read it as a holier-than-thou, Lebensreform-like attitude - the way most Europeans read it: I simply just saw the Straight Edge stereotypes: being angry with kids who were big-mouthed about "true till death" etc. and then leave. It has a lot to do with identity, personal letdowns, deprevation of appreciation and distinction. And these are good points to be criticised but that never happened. There is a short statement by the titular Saint of my Blogger/ posting name in the booklet of Assay's LP "Pisschrist", it somehow went into that direction, although I did not agree on the act on instinct, need for social relations part, but let's not dig out those old jokes.

Here is a short passage from an interview with Mike Hartsfield where he relates to the slogan:
"Onto those famous two words…straight-edge still holds a big value as far as the label goes – I think almost all of your current roster are edge and you have just started an self-proclaimed edge band, do you ever feel like the images of those bands or their 'aesthetic' – do you ever feel like that overtly straight edge message has lost currency in today's scene?
Not to the kids here today. From my position i have seen 99% that claimed they would be "true till death" come and go so I could be bitter about straight edge but it's not that way at all. It makes me reflect on an old New Age straight edge shirt that said "watching you fall only makes me stronger". That is something that relates to me daily. I really feel that the YOU and the ME are most important in that phrase. The overly straight edge message can seem passe to those gone from it now, but not to those who still believe. In regards to the label and a straight edge message, it goes back to the fact I listen to our bands. I love the straight edge, simple as that. So straight edge will always dominate most of the roster. "

But hey: maybe someone else wants to do this one? A scientific critique of straight edge would be nice considering parts of the ideology merging into the views and lifestyle of the parvenu middle class and official politics, nourishing strange antagonism concerning society's delevopement if you consider the findings of Alain Ehrenberg, Robert Pfaller and others.

Anyway getting back to the European viewpoint: I couldn't care less and who really gets stronger by watching friends and family suffer from drugs - legal or not?!
The only thing I cared about when I was younger was being fed up with intolerant big mouths giving others a hard time for the short period of time they are involved with some need for identity be it straight edge or whatever: you guys were, are and always will be the real nazi punks. And we all know that you became educationists, members of the Green Party or bartenders in left wing residential communities.

BACK OF DAVE - Glory of... (Picture 7") Thick Records #THK-012 1995

A careful reader refered to a blog, where both demo tape versions and the first 7" including the tape version with an additional song can be found (thanks!):

BACK OF DAVE - 1993 demo / two versions
BACK OF DAVE - Dirty Boy 7" plus the bonus song from the tape version
BACK OF DAVE - a live set which is not online anymore

Thick Records had a picture 7" series for a while, I think they stopped around 2000. The most well known release of those singles might be the At The Drive In/ Burning Airlines split. The label's best release to this date is The Bomb's "Indecision" which was later released on vinyl by No Idea!

Honestly I do not like picture discs, most of them sound shitty, no discussion: the layer above the picture is thinner, it's like a flexi glued to plastic and we all know how flexis sound (okay, does not count for Ripcord's "The Damage Is Done" - I didn't care about the sound). And many of them look like shit (people who bought Lana Del Rey's "Video Games/ Blue Jeans" picture 7" might skip this part)!
Advice for record labels and bands: if you are ever going to make a picture disc or worse combining it with shape, make sure you use the format wisely!!! Metal labels, hardcore bands, pop monsters etc. they all had a right touch for ugly picture discs. One might ask: you actually play your picture discs? Yeah, since most of them look ugly what's the use other than playing those records? I used to be a bit ambivalent towards The Stalin's Mushi LP, but man, that changed fast.

Here is a nice little chamber of horrors worth to check out:

Terry's Picture Discs

If you post on forums or Tumblr you might start a best of!

Okay, back to the posting, back to Back of Dave. I think their picture disc was the first in the series by Thick Records. It looks nice which is not the band's or the label's credit but Van Gogh's and da Vinci's. But while they got better technically their sound got a bit too hail-fellow-well-met in my opinion. It was the heydays of bands moving towards the popular radio rock. Initial Records, Doghouse, Jade Tree, Revelation, Caulfield Records and so on and their roster paved the path. Do not get me wrong: I dug all that stuff! I have all the records, but still: something was missing. I think "hail-fellow-well-met" is what describes it best, I do not want to claim that for Back of Dave of course, but I do for that period of time and the direction many bands were going (for some: boring rock music).

Scanner has been cleaned/repaired (although I broke some plastic parts while doing so it still works! Planned obsolescence my ass) and I started tagging the files properly.

BACK OF DAVE - Glory of... (Picture 7") Thick Records #THK-012 1995

side a:
1. Glory of...
2.  Pick Up Atredes

side b:
1. Springloaded
[MP3, 320 kbps, mirror 1, mirror 2, mirror 3]

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

BACK OF DAVE/ PROZAC MEMORY - split (LP) SubFusc Records #SFC-005 1995

Okay, my scanner is fucked up, there are serious scratches on the class and it's even smeared from inside (who or what is living inside a scanner?). I will fix that later by opening that thing, hope that will work out.

This 12" record is one of the many hidden gems of the early/ mid 90ies emo wave. I am not quite sure, but I think SubFusc had only little distribution (I know you can't image a pre-Bigcartel time), their "most well known" release must be the "How the Midwest Was Won..." compilation, which I will post too.  But still it seems that the record slipped the attention of many listeners.
Prozac Memory slowed down a bit compared to the 2nd 7" which still had some pop punk, Lookout, Jawbreaker etc. feeling to it; those five songs are somehow more rockish, better in musicanship. And again: there is this bass player I'd like to cuddle. The production really does him justice: dry and voluminous.
Back of Dave who even did a one time reunion show in 2003 already ogled with what many people might call the "Chicago sound" a bit and there is even a slight touch of Unbroken/San Diego in their sound (listen carefully to the guitars in the first song). The second song was also co-written by Dave Claibourn, Unbroken's singer.
Looking back the past 10 years many emo bands from that era got nicely done discograpy CDs or even double vinyl versions with with great efforts concerning layout, packaging etc., neither Back of Dave nor Prozac Memory haven't! Why is that?

BACK OF DAVE/ PROZAC MEMORY - split (LP) SubFusc Records #SFC-005 1995

side a:
Back Of Dave
1. quickie
2. automatic drip
3. rifle arm
4. plankton
5. digger

side b:
Prozac Memory
1. beneficiary
2. meniscus
3. drawn into
4. blind ascension
5. seven
[MP3, 320 kbps, mirror 1, mirror 2, mirror 3]

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

PROZAC MEMORY - chisel tone/ mapmaker (7") Faye Records #F04-12 1994

First of all: I hope the rip sounds fine. I had some problems with background noise and even muffled radio sounds due to a cheap RCA connector in the past and bought a new needle for the record player. I also hope the volume is alright, I stopped using the normalization! Otherwise drop me a line.

I will leave the password from now on (or as a start) and the Winrar-file includes all scans (for the future: maybe assembled in a PDF document).
Way better than their first 7" as far as I can remember - since I can't find it anymore. But I think it already had those great bass lines but the singing was weaker. If you can provide a good rip and scans of the 7" and you want to upload it for the blog: please contact me.
Anyway their second 7" is great. I stumbled across them through the XXX compilation by Ebullition (worth a posting? Maybe the unreleased Via stuff is, for which we all were hunting in the Audiogalaxy days!).
They really learned their Verminscum etc. lesson well. "Chisel tone" is topnotch: I was listening to the song about 30 times in the last few days. The bass is just brilliant.
I do not know anything about them, but their drummer was in Wintergreen later and sadly I haven't heard the Breaker Morant split album yet.

side a:
1. chisel tone

side b:
1. mapmaker
[MP3, 320 kbps, mirror 1, mirror 2, mirror 3]

No goodbyes cruel world? Hello 2013!!!

Of course I prefer Brutal Truth over Pink Floyd. Because we all do not listen to Pink Floyd after "Animals".

I am going to start slow again. The worldwide web 2.0 changes made it hard for music blogs in 2012. Many blogs I followed do not exist anymore or the writers simply stopped mainly due to the one-click hosters deleting their files. Mediafire deleted many of my files again due to a complaint by a porn company - some band's name sounded like some porn title - I already forgot. Although I can't remember myself posting Youth Of Today's "standing hard" - nah, that was a groaner.

2012 was quite nice:

- fourth year in a row: Sacred Bones (man, you have to slow down a bit!)
- Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
- Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, M.a.a.d. City
- Mississippi Records doing a rerelease of Gurdjieff's Improvisations
- Thanks to A389, Halo Of Flies, Vendetta, Headfirst!, Vitriol, Gilead and many others I followed hardcore punk a bit again! And it wasn't such a waste of time!
- Stefan and Robert somehow forced me to some shows after 2 years of almost absence  - me standing in the first row with rose dress shirts feeling old and watching Throwers, Tempest, Kids of Zoo, Full of Hell and many others. It was great.
- Eden Ahbez - Eden's Island vinyl repress!!!!
- Thrill Jockey 20 years vinyl represses
- Full of Hell... they are young, they will improve, they will get tighter!!! I became a diehard follower. Not reinventing the wheel but they have all my sympathies. When I was 17, 18 this was everything making punk interesting: teenage angst, anger, humor, shyness, speed, autistic traits, high and low culture references and finally: bookworms scarring the audience again! Jeez, even the right shirts! For some parents a nightmare but I must admit: those four boys are a pipe dream as a desire for children!!!
- Besides to many fillers: the new Chromatics double LP is a great postdisco whatever pop album.
- Tor Lundvall - the shipyard LP (although I still do not get DAIS pressing quantities)
- the Torch Runner 12" still makes me wanna go out and kill tonight!!!
- the "US black metal we came from a hardcore punk diy background saga" continues with Ash Borer, Velnias, Barghest/False, a vinyl rerelease of the Skagos album etc.
- And of course: Band of Mercy! Because veganism really needed some past 30 guys with at least a bit sense of humour!!!

I could go on for hours.

Hope you all still hate your job like I do!