Friday, May 29, 2009

Torture Garden - Live at the Knitting Factory 1990

As John Cleese would say "And now for something completely different..."
Torture Garden was "the Japanese side of Naked City", and played the shorter, more hardcore/grindcore oriented songs of John Zorn's Naked City project. They never recorded a studio album with this lineup, but played some shows in New York, one of which is documented here.

If you've heard Naked City's "Torture Garden" album, then you'll know what to expect here, as this is pretty much all material from that album. If you've never heard it, just expect complete insanity. Free form jazz grindcore with Zorn's screaming sax and Yamatsuka Eye's almost inhuman vocals. It just has to be heard to be believed. This set was recorded live at the Knitting Factory in NYC on October 6, 1990, and the sound quality is excellent. Thanks Ronald. Enjoy.

Torture Garden Live

John Zorn on Torture Garden:
I hear you have a hardcore band in New York. Is that true?
Zorn: Well, in Japan, I have got a group of musicians that I have worked with a lot, that concentrate just on the hardcore stuff, say, that Naked City has been working on. We have like a repertoire of sixty songs now.
Wow. Does it have a name?
Zorn: It's called Torture Garden: Yoshida, the drummer from the Ruins; Eye is the vocalist, Ema Hori who is an incredible guitar player. And the bass player is also from the Ruins, this guy Kimoto. We just played at CB's last week. I brought them all over to New York to do some gigs.
Great. Is there going to be anything coming out on vinyl or CD of that band?
Zorn: For that particular band, nothing is planned yet. I'd like to do a twelve-inch with 5 songs or something like that. All the Torture Garden material has already been recorded by the band Naked City. That'll come out on Earache out of Great Britain and Shimmy Disc here in the States [ed. note: It came out in 1991].
Shimmy Disc is licensing the Earache record?
Zorn: Well, it's a complicated thing. Basically, this Naked City record (the first album on Nonesuch) came out, right. In the middle of it are about ten songs that are really short and hard. I said I wanted to do a record of 40 of those pieces, cause I was really interested in the compression and compactness of form that that music gets to. 

You can read the entire interview here.

Zorn's discography seems to be endless. His band Painkiller with Mick Harris (Napalm Death) on drums, and Bill Laswell on bass, is also worth checking out. A great mix of thrash and ambient, mostly improvised. I'd also recommend the first Naked City album, which includes covers of movie scores, as well as songs in the more psychotic style of the Torture Garden album, with Yamatsuka Eye (Boredoms) on vocals, and some other goodies thrown in. Zorn and Eye were both a huge influence on Mike Patton, who also collaberated with Zorn and sang for Naked City for a while. Outside of Naked City and Painkiller, i've never really checked out any of Zorn's other work. The volume of his recorded work intimidates me i guess.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Outburst - 1987-1989

Tons of great hardcore bands came out of Astoria, Queens during the '80s. Kraut, Leeway, NY Hoods, Token Entry, Murphy’s Law, Abombanation, Breakdown, Fit Of Anger... and one of all-time favorites, Outburst. Their demo (recorded in 1987 at Don Fury studios) has stood the test of time for me as one of the best demos to come out of the late '80s NYHC scene. Just total anger and energy put to tape, with such a massive guitar sound and pissed off vocals. The way hardcore should sound. Thanks to drummer Joe (a hell of a nice guy) for letting me use this demo as part of this collection, even though it's on the CD released by Blackout, along with the Miles To Go 7" from 1989. I'm not sure if the CD is still in print, but if it is, buy it. Also included here is the band's 3 tracks from the classic New Breed compilation tape from 1989, two studio songs not on the demo, and one live track. Next up is the band's set recorded live on WNYU's Crucial Chaos in 1988. The sound quality on the first track starts off a bit rough, but it gets better. Then there's a set recorded live at CBGB on 2/28/88. Same deal as the WNYU set, it starts off a bit rough, but gets much better as it goes on, and it's a great set that ends with kick ass cover of All Twisted by Kraut. Ending the collection is GB Foolaround, kind of a partial cover of Gorilla Biscuits' No Reason Why, recorded at Don Fury's during the demo sessions. These are all the best sounding rips i could find of all this stuff. It's not always perfect, but this is raw and angry NYHC, so it's not meant to sound pretty. Enjoy!

Outburst Collection

VOCALS: Brian Donahue
GUITAR: George D'errico
GUITAR: Jay Rufino

BASS: Chris Bruno
DRUMS: Joe Songco

members after original lineup:
VOCALS: Chris Benetos
BASS: Mike Welles

Besides the tracks here, the band also recorded 2 songs for the NYHC: Where the Wild Things Are comp LP and a 7" entitled Miles To Go, both released on Blackout Records in 1989.

For some great Outburst photos, interviews and stories, check out the Double Cross web zine (check my links). Just type Outburst into the search box, you'll find lots of cool stuff.

The band's Myspace is here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

GO! - Rarities 1989-1991

Here's a great collection of GO! recordings not found on their discography CD entitled Existence. Here we have the original version of their first ep And the Time is Now, originally released on Noo Yawk Rehkids in 1989. This record does appear on the Existence CD, although for some reason they decided to re-record the guitar parts for that discography to go for a more metalic sound. As you'll hear in this collection, the original versions are far superior, and i can't imagine why they would choose to tamper with those recordings. Also included is their split 7" with Bad Trip, Pay to GO! on Skene Records, their live 7" Only Sheep Need a Leader, their 2 second track from the legendary Slap A Ham comp Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh!, and the entire 12 track demo recorded in 1989, shortly after Mike Bullshit left SFA and was replaced by Brendan. The Existence CD, which is currently being repressed, contains the band's 4 studio eps, and 4 tracks from the demo. It's well worth your money, as the Your Power Means Nothing 7" is an absolute classic. GO! also released a great live flexi in 1990 called Root Canal, which i didn't include because it appears in it's entirety as bonus tracks on the band's 2006 CD ep Reactive. Also worth your money. I'd say between Existence, Reactive and this odds 'n' ends collection, you'll pretty much have all the GO! you'll need as far as the early stuff goes. The band put out a couple more 7"s after Reactive, and are still kicking. Although at the moment i think they're looking for members. You can check out the band's website here and Myspace page here. Thanks as usual to Andy (Mortville) for his great vinyl rips and for boosting the sound on the demo. Enjoy.

GO! Rarities 1989-1991

As far as the music goes, in case you haven't heard GO!. They were from NYC, and played great hardcore. Far removed from the NYHC sound of the early '90s, they played fast and aggressive punk songs, with anti-homophobic, anti-sexist and anti-violence dominating the lyrics, although still having a great sense of humor. And Mike is one of the nicest guys you'll ever talk to.
And The Time Is Now... 7"EP
Recorded Nov. 1989 at CMA, mixed by Don Fury
Vocals: Mike Bullshit
Guitars: Aaron
Bass: John
Drums: Ronn

The Word Is Go! Demo
Recorded April 1989, engineered by Jaques Kralian at the Music Box
Vocals: Mike Bullshit
Guitars: Aaron
Drums: Ronn

All music by Go! 1989-1991 except:
"You Say You'll" by Javier Villegas,
"Electricity" by OMD, and
"Milk" by Billy Arbizu/SFA 85/86

All lyrics by Mike Bullshit except "The A-Train" by John

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rites of Spring - Live on WMUC 1985

Here's a great sounding live set from Rites of Spring recorded at WMUC in College Park, MD during the winter of '85. This captures the bands live intensity and chaos perfectly. It's just complete madness, that always sounds like it's at the brink of falling apart completely. The quality is quite good, although a bit on the loud side, to the point of breaking up at moments. In other words, don't crank it. Enjoy.

Rites of Spring Live on WMUC

What can you say about Rites of Spring? You either love them or you hate them. I love them obviously, and consider them one of the biggest influences on the whole "emo" scene that evolved from the late '80s into the early-mid '90s. It seems the subgenre broke off into different directions, with bands like The Hated taking cues from Husker Du, bands like Moss Icon, Native Nod and Indian Summer incorporating elements of Slint into their sound, and on the more aggresive side, bands like Merel, Assfactor 4, and Heroin taking the Rites of Spring approach to a more hardcore level. That's just scratching the surface.

As much as i love all that stuff, the emotional intensity of Rites of Spring was never matched.

Guy Picciotto - vocals/guitar
Eddie Janney - guitar
Mike Fellows - bass
Brendan Canty - drums

Rites of Spring were from Washington, DC and were active from 1984-1986. They formed from the ashes of Insurrection, a hardcore band featuring Brendan Canty (drums), Michael Fellows (bass), and Guy Picciotto (guitar). When Insurrection's broke up, Eddie Janney joined in on guitar, and Guy took added vocals to his duties. The band released one s/t LP in 1985 and one 7" entitled "All Through A Life", which was recorded at Inner Ear studio in early 1986, and released in 1987. Both records were produced by Ian Mackaye and released on Dischord Records.

Rites of Spring split up in January of 1986, when Michael Fellows left the band. The rest of the band went on to form One Last Wish with guitarist Michael Hampton of Embrace (Janney moved to bass). The band recorded one LP (which remained unreleased for years). In 1987, the members of Rites Of Spring reformed as Happy Go Licky.

Picciotto and Canty eventually teamed up with bassist Joe Lally and Ian MacKaye to form Fugazi.

Guy Picciotto on Rites of Spring and the "emo" scene

I've never recognized "emo" as a genre of music. I always thought it was the most retarded term ever. I know there is this generic commonplace that every band that gets labeled with that term hates it. They feel scandalized by it. But honestly, I just thought that all the bands I played in were punk rock bands. The reason I think it's so stupid is that - what, like the Bad Brains weren't emotional? What - they were robots or something? It just doesn't make any sense to me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Krakdown - 1985-1990 Discography

Revised: 5/22/09, to include a much better sounding rip of the '87 demo (the one posted before was slightly sped up, and had major tape-hiss problems). I also added some more tracks, including the 1985 demo with Chris Notaro (Crumbsuckers) on vocals, plus the comp tracks from NYHC: The Way It Is and Seeing With New Eyes.

Here's a great collection of all the best sounding Krakdown recordings you're likely to find. Krakdown were a great, fast hardcore band from New York who went through many lineup changes, played lots of shows in the late '80s, and never really got the recognition they deserved. This collection is most of the band's recordings between 1985 and 1990. Enjoy.
Krakdown Collection: Revised Edition

First off is the band's self titled 7" released in 1989 on Common Cause Records. Excellent sound quality on this, unlike most of the rips i've heard online, including the especially awful one on, which has an annoying buzzing sound running through the entire recording. Thanks to Jared (B9 board) for this one. Next we have the band's recordings from 1988. I'm not sure if this was an actual demo, although that's how i've always seen it labeled. These recordings are rumored to be their side of the unreleased split LP with NY Hoods, which unfortunately never happened. Thanks to Andy (Mortville Records) for boosting the sound on this, and cleaning it up, finally giving these songs the power they lacked for years online. These are some of my favorite Krakdown recordings, they just sound massive and pissed off here, powerful stuff. That split LP would have been a killer album, maybe one of the best things to come out of the late '80s NY scene. I'm not sure if the NY Hoods side ever actually got recorded, but i'd love to hear it if it did. Next up is an instrumental track recorded during the Pipeline Studios sessions in '88, which apparently was the band's recording sessions for their 7", followed by the band's cut from the Revelation comp "NYHC: The Way It Is", released in 1988. After that is the amazing '87 demo. This demo was my introduction to the band back in '87, and it rips from beginning to end. The sound seems to drop out for a few seconds on a couple of tracks (most noticeable on Trust), but that's how every recording of this demo i've ever heard sounds since i first heard it in '87, so i'm guessing that's how it sounds on the original tapes. I'm happy with the quality on this demo finally. Nice and loud, full sound, and minimal tape hiss. Also included are 5 tracks recorded live on WNYU's Crucial Chaos in 1987. These 5 tracks were mastered for the bootleg CD compilation "Those Were The Days Vol. 2", which also has tracks from Nihilistics, Token Entry, Norman Bates and the Showerheads and Warzone, all recorded live on WNYU. Ending the collection are 2 covers (Void and Negative Approach) recorded live at CBGB in '88, and finally the band's first demo recorded in 1985. Most of the versions i've seen of this tape have 4 songs (5 if you include the intro), this one has 6 tracks. The quality is a bit rough, but it's the best sounding rip of these recordings i've heard so far. Last minute edition to the collection: the band's cover of Sock Woman by Mental Abuse, released on the Seeing With New Eyes comp 7" in 1990.

The lineup during the '85 sessions:
Chris Notaro - vocals
Richie Dowling - guitar
Bob Cuomo - bass
Phil - drums

The lineup during the '87-'88 sessions ('87 demo recorded at Don Fury studios):
Jason Surface - vocals
Richie Dowling - guitar
Damon Tillman - bass
John - drums

J-Bird replaced Damon on bass for the 7" in 1989. After that their were some more lineup changes, some more shows, and the band finally called it quits later that year.

Besides the recordings here, the bands also had tracks on various compilations, including "New York/Montreal Connection" and "Thrasher Skate Rock Vol. 9".

Apparently there's been talk of the band reforming, with Richie and John being the only members from past incarnations. We'll see...

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Accused - demos 1982-1984

Here's a rare batch of early Accused demos recorded between 1982-1984. Many of these songs were later re-recorded for the split LP with The Rejectors released on Fatal Erection Records in 1983. Thanks Zeno. Enjoy.

The Accused: Early Demos

The lineup during these demos:
John Dahlin - vocals
Chibon "Chewy" Batterman - bass
Tom Niemeyer - guitar
Dana Collins - drums

John Dahlin's notes on these sessions:

1982 demos

So here's a brand new recording of this tape. I used a better program to record a 32bit version for improved fidelity.

Chewy, Tom and Dana had been doing versions of the Accused as a 3 piece for most of 1981. I joined in June of 1982. We did a fairly well received 22 song demo tape on some dude's 4 track, but were always recording on anything we could find. This is something done in late 1982 in Tom's basement on a console 2-track cassette recorder. Go to your local thrift store and you'll find a similar unit. This "demo" was probably only given out to friends.

1984 demos

Here's some more tidbits of early Accused Material. This is the last stuff I did with them.

The first 4 songs were recorded in Seattle on a 4 track. I really like the rawness, much better than the LP. Surprised to hear No Accusations - a song the guys had written waaayyy early on. I think there may be 1 other song from this recording, but I can't find it. Not sure the exact date to these, but I think it was early 84.

The next 5 cuts were recorded in April 1984 at 2 basement practices in Mt Vernon, WA. The last of the last I recorded with the Accused.

For the official record, I DID NOT QUIT the band, nor did they "fire" me. It was a pretty amicable decision for three 16-19 year olds. I was finishing up community college and was offered a free ride toward a bachelor's degree. This took me to Bellingham which is a couple hours in the wrong direction from where the rest of the guys were heading. My biggest surprise was that they kept the same name, since the band sounded and looked so completely different. I saw some of the early Blaine shows and hell they were amazing!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Leeway - Demos and Live 1985-1986

I've been on a huge Leeway kick the past few weeks, so i figured i'd share some rare recordings i recently aquired. Leeway were a great band from Astoria, Queens NY who effortlessly blended thrash metal with NYHC, and for a while during the late '80s they seemed to be on the bill for just about every hardcore show i went to in New York. The vocalist, Eddie Sutton, who couldn't have weighed more than 130 lbs, was constantly stage diving into the crowd and jumping around on stage like a madman. He was a great front-man with an incredible voice, and the band was always tight and intense. Many bands have tried to pull off Leeway's sound since, and none have come close. Their influence is still present today (check out Iron Age).
Anyway, on to the collection. Here we have the "Enforcer" demo from 1985. There are 2 known versions of this demo, one with 5 studio tracks, and the version that's most common on the internet which has 4 studio tracks (usually mislabeled) and 2 live tracks (Tools for War and Unexpected) recorded in February of 1986. The version here is the original 5 song demo. Also included are 2 live sets, both recorded in NYC. The first was recorded live at The Ritz on Dec. 27, 1986, and was sold at that time as a tape called "Unexpected" with printed covers. The other set was recorded some time in '86 at CBGB. Both of these live recording have great sound quality, and both are powerful performances, capturing the band in their prime. The Ritz set is one of the only recordings you'll get to hear Mackie (Cro-Mags) on drums, as he replaced Saso, who played on the demo, and left before the recording of the first LP (Tony Fontao played drums on that album). So here's the music. Thanks to Chris (Cooch) for all the help! Enjoy!

Leeway: Demos and Live

1985-1986 lineup:
Eddie Sutton - vocals
AJ Novello - guitar
Jose Ochoa - bass
Saso Motroni - drums

Mackie - drums on the Ritz 1986 set

Leeway was formed by guitarist AJ Novello and vocalist Eddie Sutton. They started out as Unruled.
"We might have helped open up a can of worms by bringing suburban metalheads to shows. Years later, it kind of ruined things in the scene, but I can't say I have any regrets."
-AJ Novello

Check out the first Leeway album "Born to Expire" if you somehow haven't. It was recorded in 1987 and released in '89. Classic.

Thanks to Joe (Outburst) for the lineup info.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

C.I.A. - 1982-1985 Discography

Classic early hardcore from Connecticut. The Hendex 1982 demo (my favorite stuff by this band) sounds like 2 different recording sessions, and 5 of the songs are repeated. All of it is excellent, and the sound quality is great. Then of course we have the legendary God, Guts, Guns 7", which is considered by many to be the best punk record to ever come out of Connecticut. No argument from me. This is a quality sounding rip, taken from the Lost & Found CD. Next up is the s/t LP (recorded with a different line-up) which seems to constantly get a bad rap. I like it. Also included are the tracks from the Big City: Nice & Loud and Connecticut Fun compilations. I'm pretty sure this is most of the band's output from 1982-1985. They also had a version of the song Violence on the Empty Skulls tape from 1984, but since there are 3 different versions of that song already here, i decided not to include it. Enjoy. 

C.I.A. Collection

1981-1983 lineup:
Mike Hammond "Bones" - vocals
Kenny Peterson - guitar
E.J. Marquardt - bass
Bill Knapp - drums

Chip Moody replaced Bill Knap on drums in 1983, and played with the band until '86.

Kenny Peterson and Mike Hammond went on to form 76% Uncertain, and both Bill Knap and Chip Moody played drums in the band during different periods.

Bill Knapp also played for Reflex From Pain.

I have no info on the C.I.A. lineup after 1983. So if anyone can contribute any info, please leave a comment.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Damage - 1984-1986 Discography

Powerful, fast and tight hardcore from NY. This band simply rages, and the sound is pretty far removed from the typical NY hardcore sound. Double bass, double guitar, pounding drums, and monstrous vocals. Angry and relentless. You won't want to miss this.

There's not much info on this band online. The Sins of Our Fathers LP was recorded live at CBGB’s on 7/18/1984 and later remixed and overdubbed. The demo in this collection was recorded in 1985, and although it doesn't quite capture the intensity of this band's massive sound the way the live albums do, it's still a great demo, with pretty good sound quality. Apparently the band also had another demo recorded in 1986, but it seems almost impossible to find. Also included is the band's ultra-fast track from the great 1986 compilation LP, There's a Method to Our Madness, and another live album entitled Live Off the Board (1986), also recorded live at CBGB, and released on CBGB's own lable. Not many of these were pressed from what i've read. The band also had a few live tracks on the Mutiny on the Bowery compilation released on Mystic Records in 1986, and most likely those same versions appear here on the Live Off the Board LP. Mike Kirkland of this band later went on to form Prong. Enjoy.

Damage Collection

Original members, 1983-1985: Boot (Steve Hudecek), Mike Kirkland, Steve McAllister, Denny Morrison, Ted Warner.

Second lineup, 1985-1986: Patrick Blank, Mike Kirkland, Steve McAllister, Denny Morrison, Ted Warner.

Third lineup, 1987-1988: Steve McAllister, Sean McDonough, Virgil Moorefield, Denny Morris
on, Ted Warner.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Die Kreuzen - 1981-1983

A collection of pre-LP Die Kreuzen recordings. The sound quality on the Cows & Beer and Master Tape tracks are excellent, as they were ripped from CD, not vinyl. After that we have the band's earliest recordings. The 2 tracks from the Charred Remains tape released in 1981, followed by the rest of the studio tracks from the same sessions. The vocals are much more subdued on these recordings, but these are my personal favorite versions of these songs. Also included is the entire demo from 1982, the 3 tracks from the America's Dairyland tape, 7 tracks recorded live in Madison, WI in 1983, and an interview with the band done some time in the early '80s. You can easily find the entire Madison set online with some searching. I just included a handfull of tracks, all of which are not otherwise in this collection besides Pain, which i included because it's my favorite Die Kreuzen song. Enjoy.

Die Kreuzen Collection

Dan Kubinski - vocals
Brian Egeness - guitar
Keith Brammer - bass
Erik Tunison - drums

After the 1981-1983 material posted here, the band released their amazing 21-song s/t LP on Touch & Go Records in July of 1984. The follow up was October File, released in May of '86. This album was much different than anything that proceeded it, but it's an excellent album full of discordant, brooding metal, very similar to early Voivod (who were obviously inspired by Die Kreuzen to begin with). They released a few more eps and albums after that (none of which i've heard) and finally called it quits in April of 1992 when Brian Egeness left the band. The remaining members formed a band called Chainfall.