Thursday, December 24, 2009

Straight Ahead collection revised

File revised on Dec. 12, 2009 for far superior sound quality on all the studio tracks. Trust me, it's worth the download.

I figured i'd finally put together a collection of all the best sounding Straight Ahead recordings i could find. First off is the entire 12 song demo. 9 of these 12 songs were released on the End the Warzone compilation 7" on One Step Ahead Records in 1986, alongside some other great bands (Larm, Pillsbury Hardcore and Attitude Adjustment). The entire demo included here sounds great and has a nice loud, full sound, and is by far my favorite material by this band. Fast and chaotic, short but memorable songs. Just perfect, no bullshit hardcore. Also included is a nice sounding rip of the classic Breakaway 12" ep released in 1987 on I Risk Records (and bootlegged countless times since), and a set recorded live at CBGB in March of '87. Of all the live sets i've heard by this band, this is my favorite. Good sound quality, great performance, and they play just about every song they ever wrote, including 3 unreleased songs, Knockdown, The More Important and Take Control. There's also a couple of songs from the NYC Mayhem days (actually, most Straight Ahead songs are just modified NYC Mayhem tracks), and Amount to Nothing is a re-working of Nothing Song. To top it off there's a cover of Agnostic Front's "Friend or Foe" with Vinny Stigma singing along on stage. Ending the collection is an interview with the band recorded live on WNYU's Crucial Chaos. Enjoy.

Straight Ahead Collection

Tommy Carroll - vocals

Craig Setari - bass
Rob Echeverria - guitar
Armand Majidi - drums

According to various sources, Tommy Carroll played drums on the Straight Ahead demo (credited as XXX), and Armand played on the Breakaway 12". I've also seen Gordon Ancis (NYC Mayhem) credited for playing guitar for Straight Ahead. Maybe the demo?

Besides NYC Mayhem, members of Straight Ahead also played in Youth of Today, Sick Of It All, Rest In Pieces and Agnostic Front. Probably many more as well.

Supposedly there is a session recorded live at Don Fury studios from 5/20/87 with the unreleased songs. For reasons i'll never understand, it seems nobody is allowed to hear it, as it's under "lock & key".

There are many other recordings of live Straight Ahead shows. The ones i know of are: CBGB 3/16/86 (first show), Albany 6/22/86 (i have 3 songs from this one, it sounds ok, but the bass is very overpowering), CBGB 7/20/86 (there's video of this show as well), CBGB 3/21/87 (possibly the set i posted although mine was labeled 3/1/87), CBGB 5/3/87 (last show). If anyone has any decent quality rips of these shows, please get in touch. I'd love to make a second collection.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No For An Answer - 1988-1994

The late '80s straight edge scene in Orange County, CA had it's share of great bands. Insted and Uniform Choice come to mind as being at the forefront. But No For An Answer, fronted by the always outspoken Dan O'Mahoney, were my personal favorite. They seemed to be on another level. This is a collection of most of the band's released material, aside from the "You Laugh" ep, which is still available through Revelation Records. Great live versions of all the songs from that 7" are scattered throughout this collection, so all the songs the band wrote are in here. Sound quality is excellent. Thanks to Mark Anthony, Claude, Graig and anyone else who helped with the music. Enjoy.

No For An Answer collection

A Though Crusade LP

Dan O'Mahoney - vocals
Gavin Oglesby - guitar
Sterling Wilson - bass
Chris Bratton - drums

NFAA's full-length was a huge step up from the band's debut 7", both musically and lyrically. "A Thought Crusade" was recorded at Spot Recordings 8/88 through 10/88 and originally released on Hawker Records later that year. It was re-released in 1996 on CD with the Carry Nation "Face the Nation" ep as bonus tracks. Carry Nation was a Dan O'Mahoney and Gavin Oglesby side project band, who's only ep was originally released in 1989 on Workshed Records. All versions of "A Thought Crusade" and the CD re-issue with Carry Nation are long out of print.

Free For All comp LP
This classic comp was a 4-way split (Token Entry, Wrecking Crew, Rest in Pieces and NFAA) all recorded live at CBGB on April 9, 1989. Released on Hawker Records in 1989.

The Icemen Cometh comp 7"
This comp featured Pushed Aside, Hard Stance, Slapshot and NFAA, all recorded live at the Whiskey in Hollywood on May 17, 1989. It was released on Nemesis Records in 1990. Great live version of an unreleased song called Man Against Man. The recording here was taken from the CD version.

Open Your Eyes Vol. 1 comp tape
This was the first in a series of cassette compilations released by Open Your Eyes fanzine out of Seattle. Vol. 1 (released in '89) was a collection of various demo and live tracks from lots of great bands, including Unit Pride, Breakaway, Brotherhood, Insted, Our Gang and Trip 6 just to name a few. Vol. 2 (my favorite of the 2) had tracks from Infest and Turning Point (among many others), and a full live Antidote set recorded at CBGB tacked onto the end. The 3 live No For An Answer tracks from this tape are a bit rough sounding compared to the rest of the collection, but i cleaned them up as best as possible. The live version of "Just Say No" kills.

Live in Treviso, Italy
Recorded on Feb. 11, 1994. Easily the best sounding No For An Answer live set i've ever heard. The sound is amazing, and the set-list and performance is just perfect. Some classic Dan O'Mahoney stage banter as usual throughout this set, and at times pretty amusing because of the language barrier.

"Somebody tell him in Italian... it was a stagedive... there are infinitely more important things in this world... and he's making an ass of himself. And he's pissing me off."

Great stuff. Plus the usual (and always intelligent) ranting about child abuse, police brutality etc.

Aside from what's in this collection, the band also released the "You Laugh" ep in 1988 on Revelation Records (Rev 06) and appeared on a few other comps (still in print). There was also a studio bootleg of the band's demo for the "You Laugh" ep called "Last Warning", released in 1993 on We Laugh Records. 500 made, and includes an unreleased a cappella type song labeled "We Are the World".

You Laugh ep (1988) lineup:
Dan O'Mahoney - vocals
Gavin Oglesby - guitar
John Mastropaolo - bass
Casey Jones - drums

After NFAA broke up, Dan formed 411, and later Speak 714.
Other members of the band have played in various hardcore bands, including Inside Out, Unity, Justice League and Ignite.

Dan O'Mahoney on No For An Answer:

NFAA was supposed to be mid paced and somewhat melodic like mid-model GI or Stalag 13, Dag Nasty even... whoops!

When Youth off Today came through opening up for 7 Seconds (in '86 I believe) everything changed. They were so aggressive, so bent on networking with everyone they met, knowing those guys made you immediately a part of something. I remember Ray getting my number from Billy and calling me at home even though we'd never met simply because we shared so many friends. We talked for an hour and worked together and sometimes in opposition to each other but always as friends for many years to follow. In those early days the group identity had not yet become quite so codified. By '87/'88 NFAA was making waves of its own and already starting to resist several facets of the youth crew movement. If you look at the lyrics to the "A Thought Crusade" record this resistance is pretty clear.

Check out the full interview (in 7 parts) right here, on Double Cross.