Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Update 11/26/09: DFPS

Blog to check out: Dave K's Digital Fanzine Preservation Society (DFPS) blog. An archive of scanned hardcore zines spanning the early '80s into the '00s. The site has been up for a very short amount of time and already Dave Koenig and company has amassed well over 30 zines, including issues of In Effect, Boiling Point, Even the Score, Urban Decay, and of course every issue of Dave K and Brett Beach's classic Hardware zine. Plus much more. As if that wasn't enough, there's a the "History of Hardware Omnibus". Dave K:

This PDF has my history of Hardware Fanzine, Brett's intro, all the flyers were made and handed out to advertise the 'zine and interviews conducted by others with us. This pretty much lays out what Brett and I accomplished with Hardware.
And the icing on the cake. A free download of Dave's
unfinished book "New York Hardcore 1986-1993: A Time We Will Remember". Just over 200 pages in PDF format. If you're reading this post right now, chances are this is a book you'll be interested in. I can't wait to sink my teeth into this one myself. NYC during the late '80s and early '90s was an amazing time for hardcore.

So take a trip down memory lane. If you're an old timer like myself, you'll find this blog to be a goldmine. Stop by, download some zines you lost, sold, or traded 15+ years ago, and leave a comment letting Dave know his hard work is appreciated. It literally takes 10 seconds to say "great job, keep up the good work" or whatever. I'd say this is one of the most important hardcore related blogs kicking right now, and hopefully it lives on for a while.

The DFPS blog is always looking for help. If you can contribute in any way by contributing or scanning old zines etc., i'm sure that would help a great deal. Check the blog for more info on how to help out.

And spread the word. If you have a blog, link DFPS. Tell people about it, put it on messa
ge boards... whatever.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Altercation - 1987 (the revised collection)

I posted an Altercation collection back in April, but after recently listening to it, i decided it was about time to revise as much of it as i could. Basically i was able to clean up the bare essentials: the 1987 demo, the 3 unreleased rehearsal tracks, and the CBGB set. Unfortunately the WNYU set and interview were beyond repair, but the band only wrote 10 tracks, and most of them are already here twice. I'd say this is all you really need, but if you want to check out the radio recordings, the old Altercation post is still on the blog. I think the demo came out great. The first track is still a bit rough, but after that all the tracks sound really clean, and each instrument clearly audible. Since this is my favorite NYHC demo, it's great to finally hear it like this, as opposed to the muddy wall of noise i've been listening to for years. Two of the three rehearsal tracks, "Liberty or Death" and "A New Tomorrow", also came out really well. "Getting Away With Murder"... not so much. The CBGB set came out pretty good, considering the source i had to work with was a blown-out mess under a thick blanket of tape hiss. Bottom line... this is as good as it gets. Which is a shame really. If ever a NYHC band needed a legit discography, this would be it.

So here you go. 18 tracks of fucking Altercation. Best quality you'll find. Thanks again to Patrick Lindenhof (great guy) for his help (even though i didn't use his version of the demo).

Altercation: 1987 (the revised collection)

Crazy Jay Skin - vocals
Rude Paul Crude - guitar
Myles Reiff - guitar
Eddie Cohen - bass
Andy Guida - drums

The Altercation demo was recorded at Don Fury Studios in 1987.

Andy Guida on the Altercation demo:

I remember bits and pieces of recording the demo at Don Fury's but nothing worth nothing. Vague memories of listening back to each take and sitting in the tiny shit ass drum booth he had. We tried to record a second demo at some studio in Brooklyn but I think Eddie didn't show up and I don't know what happened to the tapes.

I think the songs are great, the lyrics are pretty stupid but we were kids. Actually Paul's girlfriend at the time wrote the lyrics. I think we played really well for a bunch of kids. I still listen to it for enjoyment once in a while. We were so short lived but we got to leave a mark. We were lucky. I still meet new people who tell me that they really like that demo. There was a time when I was embarrassed by the band but I am grateful now that I was a part of it.

Excerpts taken from Double Cross. You can read the entire interview here.

The three rehearsal tracks were recorded at the Grid Box Studio in Brooklyn on April 3, 1987. There were actually 3 rehearsal sessions recorded, the other two recorded on March 4 and March 21, both rehearsals of demo tracks. The final session (included here) was a 3-song rehearsal of the songs that didn't make it to the demo. "A New Tomorrow" and "Getting Away With Murder" also appear on the CBGB set, but "Liberty or Death" is exclusive to this session. Info by Chris Minicucci. You can read more on the Grid Box sessions here.

Andy Guida on the beginning of Altercation and the Grid Box days:

I went to high school with Myles, who played rhythm guitar in Altercation. He and I were trying to start a band. We had some songs and we practiced in my parents' basement. He knew Eddie, who played bass in the band, from the hardcore scene. Eddie knew Jay (vocals) and Paul (lead guitar) and the three of them were trying to put a band together. We were all kids from Brooklyn so we got together at a studio that was called Gridrock (Grid Box), in Brooklyn. I still remember sitting in McDonald's after one of our rehearsals trying to come up with a name. I was looking through the newspaper and I came across the word "altercation." It seemed a sufficiently angry word which fit our collective mindset. We were a study in varying degrees of teenage anger and frustration. Some of us started or got into a lot of fights and did a lot of drugs. Altercation rehearsals were a cloud of pot smoke. Amazing we remembered our songs because we smoked a shit load of pot. How were we so stoned and still so angry? Amazing.

Excerpts taken from the always great Double Cross.
According to Andy, Altercation only played 4 shows, 2 at CBGB and 2 at The Pyramid. The live set in this collection was recorded at CBGB on June 7, 1987, with Sheer Terror and some metal bands. The other CBGB show (4/5/87) was a double record release party for Warzone and Youth of Today, also on the bill was Side by Side. Apparently a great sounding soundboard tape of this exists. If anyone has it, please get in touch. Thanks to Chris for the info.

Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Moondog, Rival Schools) on Altercation:

Altercation were so amazing that they scared me. They were so good but so evil and fucked up. There was a second there when I thought the dark side just might win. Altercation were fucking awesome Brooklyn skinhead metal... it was the first time I ever heard metal techniques in hardcore, like a proper guitar squeal. Biohazard probably capitalized on their spirit, but say what you will about them, I think that Altercation was about a million times better.

You can read the entire interview with Rival Schools (Walter and Sammy) here.

Altercation's last show was at the Pyramid with Death Before Dishonor. Shortly after that show, Jay and Paul left Altercation to join Warzone and Altercation broke up. Mark Ryan, vocalist of Death Before Dishonor (now called Supertouch), was so impressed with Andy's drumming at the Pyramid show, that he asked him to join Supertouch.

The break-up of Altercation came too soon, as (according to Sammy Siegler of Side By Side, Youth Of Today, Judge, Project X, Gorilla Biscuits...) there was talk of Schism releasing an Altercation album shortly before they broke up. That ranks up there with the Krakdown/NY Hoods split LP as a record that would have destroyed most anything else at the time. Oh well, i'm just glad we have the demo. It's timeless.

Sammy Siegler on Altercation:

I think Altercation were the best unsung band from back then.

I agree.

Some notes of interest:

Eddie Cohen also played in Sick Of It All and Leeway.

Myles Reiff went on to do some great things in the entertainment business. Including co-writing The Road to Graceland, a trilogy of animated prequels to the Warner Bros. release, 3000 Miles to Graceland, starring Kevin Costner and Christian Slater. From there he went on to do work for Universal , Lions Gate Films, A&E, the History Channel, FX and Bravo. You can read his IMDB bio here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Clenched Fist (NYC) - 1987 Demos and live

Clenched Fist were a great, but short-lived hardcore band with members in NYC and North Jersey. Kind of a NY hardcore supergroup with members that were in (and would go on to be in) Mental Abuse, Breakdown, Born Against, Life's Blood, Citizens Arrest, Jersey Fresh and Outgroup. This is a collection of the band's 1987 demo, and 6 songs recorded live at CBGB. Great sound quality. Thanks to Chris Fist for the info, and for letting me put this collection on my blog. Enjoy!

Clenched Fist: 1987

Demo lineup:

Perry Pelonero - vocals
Chris Fist - guitar
Neil Burke - bass
Dave Jones - drums

The band formed in '86, and before Perry joined, the infamous Sid Sludge of Mental Abuse was on vocals. Apparently there are rehearsal recordings that exist with Sid on the mic. Maybe one day they'll surface. After Dave Jones left the band, Daryl Kahan and Todd Waladkewics both filled in on drums for a while.

I discovered Clenched Fist back in '87 on Pat Duncan's radio show on WFMU. The songs "Eagle Eyes" and "At the Beach" were on Pat's playlist most Thursdays (which i taped every week religiously). It was only a couple years ago that i was able to get a copy of the entire demo, and the live set. This stuff sounds just as good as it did over 20 years ago.

The demo was recorded in New Jersey in '87. The song "Inner Strength" would later be the template for the song "Eulogy" by Born Against, which was released on a 2-song 7" (the other song being a cover of X's "Riding With Mary") on Vermiform Records in 1990. It came with issue #37 of Sam McPheeter's zine "Dear Jesus". The last track on the Clenched Fist demo, "Get Away" was originally an Outgroup (pre-Mental Abuse) song. Mental Abuse would also play this song live on occasion, and it's probably been covered by bands countless times. It's a NJHC classic.

The live set was recorded at CBGB on July 5th, 1987, with Tommy Prong working the board. Also on the bill was Dag Nasty and Suburban Uprise. The first track, titled "Mud Party", was the music to another old Outgroup song called "I Hate Japs", with the lyrics altered to be less offensive. The original Outgroup version was barely 30 seconds long. The rest of the set is basically all the songs from the demo.

CF also played shows with Youth of Today, Sheer Terror, Dag Nasty, Token Entry, and many other great NYHC bands.

Perry Pelonero was in Krieg Kopf (for about 2 weeks). Dave Jones was in Mental Abuse, Outgroup, and most notably played drums on Agnostic Front's classic "Victim in Pain" album. Chris Fist was in Breakdown, Mental Abuse and Life's Blood. Neil Burke was in Life's Blood and Born Against. Daryl Kahan was in Citizens Arrest, Born Against, True Colors and many death metal, black metal and powerviolence bands. Todd played in Jersey Fresh. Sid Sludge played in Mental Abuse and Outgroup (and i'm still not sure if he actually passed away).

Members of Clenched Fist have recently reformed, and Chris Fist is in the process of writing material for a new ep. It's going to kick ass so keep your eyes peeled.

You can check out the Clenched Fist Myspace page here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Up Front - 1987-1989 Rarities

Up Front were (and still are), a great straight edge hardcore band founded in NY. This is a collection of rare material recorded between 1987 and 1989. Raw and fast hardcore punk in the vein of bands of the time like Pressure Release, Unit Pride, Wide Awake, Our Gang etc. Thanks to David Michaels (once again) for helping with the music, and Jeff Terranova and Jon Field for helping with info, and for letting me post this collection. Enjoy.

Up Front: 1987-1989 Rarities

Demo (1987)

Steve Keeley - vocals
Jon Field - guitar
Jeff Terranova - bass
Dan Pettit - drums

The band's first demo was recorded in April of 1987 (only about 2 months after the band had been together), and was recorded in Jeff's parents basement by Mitch Mitchell on an 8-track recorder. This demo is a personal favorite of mine. It's the band at their most raw and abrasive. Certainly not the tightest of recordings, but for me that only adds to it's charm. Many of these songs were later re-recorded for the band's first LP, "Spirit", released in 1988 on Chris Daily's Smorgasbord Records (now run by Jeff Terranova), and the track "One Step Ahead" was recorded for the 1987 comp ep "X Marks the Spot", also released on Smorgasbord (and also featured tracks by Wide Awake and Pressure Release). The three Up Front tracks on this comp, "Something To Strive For", "One Step Ahead" and "Live and Let Live" were the band's first officially released material.

As to not cause any confusion in thinking some of the demo tracks were labeled wrong (as i did the first time i heard it), the track "Up Front" was later renamed "Our Best", and the track "Growing Stronger" was later renamed "Up Front".

Time Gone By (live 1987)

This unreleased song was taken from an early show at The Anthrax in 1987. It's a much more straight forward punk song (and pretty catchy too) than any other Up Front song that i've heard from that time period. I like this track a lot.

Jeff Terranova on "Time Gone By":

Time Gone By was an Up Front song that we used to play live... When we recorded the OG demo tape, we actually recorded like 11 songs and multiple versions of a few songs, which have never been heard by anyone. There was a time that I was contemplating releasing a "Demos" CD because the band recorded other demos over the years... one in 1991 and 1996.

Hopefully an Up Front "Demos" CD gets released one day, as i'd love to hear the studio version of this song.

Live on WNYU (1988)

Steve Keeley - vocals
Jon Field - guitar
Jeff Terranova - bass
Jim Eaton - drums

In December of 1987, Dan Pettit was replaced on drums by Jim Eaton. The band played on WNYU's Crucial Chaos show 3 times. July of 1988 with Steve on vocals (posted here), June of 1989 with Roger on vocals, and one more set years later with Jeff on vocals. Five of the eleven tracks from the '88 WNYU set were released as the "Doin' It Live on WNYU" ep, released on New Direction Records in 1996.

Rehearsals (1989)

Roger Lambert - vocals
Jon Field - guitar
Jeff Terranova - bass
Jim Eaton - drums

In December of '88 (a few months after the recording of the "Spirit" LP), Steve left the band. He was replaced on vocals by Roger Lambert in January of '89. These 14 rehearsal tracks were pulled from a session that was closer to 20 tracks, but since some of the tracks were different takes of the same song, and other tracks suffered from awful sound, i chose these 14. It's a great session consisting mostly of "Spirit" material. Roger does a perfect job putting his vocals to these classics. Soon after these rehearsals, Jim Eaton left the band and was replaced by former Enuf drummer Ari Katz.

I made it a point not to clean the tracks in this collection as much as the last few collections i've posted. I was able to get rid of the tape hiss and surface noise, but made sure to keep the raw, rough sound of the recordings. I think that's how these songs should be heard.

Up Front released a bunch of great records after "Spirit", went through some more lineup changes, break-ups and reformations, and are currently back together and playing shows.

If you're new to Up Front, i'd recommend checking out "Spirit" first, then "Daybreak" and "Movement" (my personal faves). From there you can make your way though the 7"s, which are all conveniently collected on the "Five By Seven" CD available from Smorgasbord Records.

For an extensive history of this band, plus discography, pics, current info etc, check out the band's official site here, and the band's Myspace here.

You can check out Jon Field's amazing collection of live hardcore footage (that he's digitized from his own personal collection) here. Lots of stuff by Up Front, Unit Pride, Pressure Release, Supertouch, Judge... you get the picture.

And lastly, don't forget to check out Jeff's "Anti-Emo Empire" radio show, which i'll plug even though i like emo. Ha.