Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Process is Dead

Process is Dead - S/T [Bummed Out Records, 1998]

While this blog's devise seems more and more inevitable as my stack of unblogged personal supply of 90's regional punk vinyl gets smaller and smaller (only a few records and tapes left before I'm dry), recent excavations, contributions and discoveries are helping us cheat death more and more.

A recent trip to East Nashville's The Groove Record shop not only dug up yesterday's High Strung 7", but this self-titled gem from Nashville's Process is Dead. In an era when Victory Records was reigning supreme over an army of vegan straightedge "individuals" in matching cut-off camo shorts and beaded necklaces, Process is Dead seemed to be representing the Nashville's own version of that movement rather well. Dallas Thomas from Booby Hatch and High Strung was in this band at one point (though, not on this recording). Other members went on to play in Symptoms and Here We Go, Boys. If you don't remember these guys, you probably know what to expect: loud, heavy riffs of cacophony distortion, syncopated beats, and screams akin to a 10,000,000 dead animal souls crying out from the walk-in freezer at McDonald's. Enjoy!

Monday, May 17, 2010

High Strung - See You at the Bottom 7"

High Strung - See You at the Bottom [ Denied a Custom, 1998?]

If you're not familiar with High Strung, I blogged about them before. Didn't know this record existed until I found it at East Nashville's The Groove recently. Judging by the price, and the Japanese sticker/liner notes, this is perhaps an import or maybe just cleverly designed to look like one. Who knows. Who cares. It's got 7 cuts of anthemic politically-charged, live for the moment high speed punk rock on it from what were future members of Asschapel, Snakeskin Machinegun, Hans Condor, Pine Hill Haints, Natchez Shakers, etc etc With all the liner notes and handbills jammed into this thing, nowhere is there a year indicating when it was released. I'm pretty almost positively sure this band disbanded by 1999 or so, so I'm guessing around 1998?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tres Kids - The Fast Food Haunted House Conspiracy

Tres Kids are a pretty standard hardcore trio from Athens, GA. They played my town twice that I recall. I remember the first time liking them a lot. But the second time not so much, thinking they'd changed their sound considerably. I was also 18 and very drunk at both shows, so who knows. I do remember at the second show giving the singer a very hard time, pretending he was Rivers Cuomo (he did look a lot like Rivers Cuomo) and that I was his biggest fan (I was an extremely big Weezer fan). Dude was a little freaked out. But I was also convinced he was hitting on my girlfriend, so I felt justified at the time in not relenting.

Half these songs were recorded live on what I'm assuming is a college radio show. Not the best recording, but in terms of punk rock, it's as good a recording as any. The rest were apparently recorded at Rivers Cuomo's house. There's a cover of Subhuman's "Mickey Mouse is Dead", which i'm guessing no one ever bothered to license. Enjoy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Alabama Mysteries pt. III: Decatur! - "City Limit"

The third and final (for now) installment of my 'Bama mystery series comes in the form of a band called Decatur!

First, a little background for those not from Alabama:
Decatur is a neighboring city to my hometown of Huntsville, known (at least at the time) mostly, almost solely, for having a water park and an unclaimed baggage store and little else. From what I can glean from the sleeve, these kids hailed proudly from there and shortly before or after making this recording (judging by the mailing address provided) moved to Auburn, Al for school and released this on their own You Not Sneaky label.

The tunes are about what you'd expect from a small town pop-punk band in the post-Green Day era punk wave. Judging from the lyrics and liner notes, this is a record made for shits and gigs intended mostly just to amuse themselves and their friends. Which isn't to say it's bad. Shit is pretty catchy and worth a listen.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Alabama Mysteries pt. II: Hinge - "Offcenter"

I don't remember exactly why I bought this record, but I'm guessing it was because it was released on what I thought at the time was the same Rhetoric Records label that released The Larry Brrrds, Teen Idols and the like (it isn't). I don't recall whether the fact the sleeve states clearly that this band is from Prattville, Alabama had anything to do with it or not.

Only upon listening to it now do I recall that I gave this a good many spins at one time. To look at the phoned-in cover art, you'd never guess this disc holds some pretty rockin'-ass ams. It reminds me a good bit of early Kill Rock Stars bands like Slant 6, Adickdid, Tribe 8, Versus, etc - crudely recorded, dissonant, jangled messes of guitars forging some angsty but catchy tunes.

But the mystery remains, who is Hinge? is this their only record? Are they still playing? Are they in different bands now? Have they grown up, started families, and put punk rock away all together? If you have any information on the history or whereabouts of this band or its members, comment below.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Alabama Mysteries pt. I: Bert - Ambient Doug

Here's a mysterious band called Bert. This record was given to me recently (and by recently, I mean a year ago and that I'm just now getting around to posting it) so I have no personal history with this band. But, from what I gather off the sleeve, they were from Montgomery, Alabama so they definitely qualify for this blog. The best story I can give you is on the back of their record sleeve:
The music on this piece of plastic was originally recorded back in 1992 for a twelve song cassette called SLOP... but we can't seem to remember who the hell recorded it or where any of it took place. The vocals back then were spewed from the mouth of Larry Terrell (who also co-wrote the lyrics), but the ones you'll hear on this record were re-recorded by Moamar at Derek Paletto's Glass Onion Studios, in Montgomery, Al on May 16, 1996. The muse was remixed a few days later.
Okay, that doesn't really tell you much at all. All you really need to know is that this record has some awesome noisy, jangled post-punk/grunge/hardcore rock that's not so much fast or heavy as it is noisy and abrasive – and still yet, kinda melodic?

[update]: Mystery Solved! from the comments:
bert was a band from Montgomery, Al that were around for five or so years. You can still buy some of their later works online from Chicken Ranch Records at http://www.chickenranchrecords.com. All of the previous members went on to form various other bands and just recently two of them started a band together called "No". Here is a link to their MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/musicofno

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gimcrack / Candy Snatchers Split 7"


Gimcrack / Candy Snatchers Split 7" [Stiff Pole Records, 1995?]

I was fortunate enough to pick up this little gem during one night when Gimcrack played my town back in 1995. I remember popping a dubbed cassette of these two cathartically melodic jams every day into my tape deck when I was 17, on my way to my summer job (also bought a t shirt that was too big, and wound up cutting up and pinning it to the back of my jacket that fall). I understood at the time they were from Birmingham, Alabama, but fortunately for all of us, they've got a Myspace that clears up any speculation. Turns out they're from a tiny town called Atmore which I'd never heard of. The rest of the story, in their own words, is as follows:

Four kids, who grew up in the south, started kicking back at their one horse town. They formed Gimcrack in a rotten old shed in the country and pulled out the sounds that were beating around inside their heads. They played various places around the gulf coast, but gravitated towards Pensacola where they were able to share the stage with many cool local and touring bands. Gimcrack hit the highway two summers in a row to spread the infection and see the country. The band was alive from ’93 to ’96, had an album and an EP on Stiff Pole Records, another EP on Backspin Records, as well as songs on numerous compilations. Moving on as many bands do, Gimcrack was able to leave a deep impression in the thick mud of south Alabama and make many friends while doing so.

The Candy Snatchers also have a myspace, but their bio is way too long to post here. This was a substantially more popular band from Florida, but I never gave their side of this record much of a listen. Not sure why, because listening now, it's pretty damn good. If you want to know more about them, check them out here.