Tuesday, June 30, 2009



Lumberjack Death Luge [House O'Pain, 1994]
Sleestack [House O' Pain 1993]

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Load. Given these two gems were donated to us here by House O' Pain Records in the name of preserving their historic value -- and not to mention that it is absolutely impossible to Google a band with a name like "Load" -- I'm afraid I know absolutely nothing about this band. The main reason I'm posting it here regardless is that it's pretty fucking awesome.

What I can tell you about them is that they were a dirty southern rock band from Miami who played some noisy, heavy, reckless 90s style sludge rock in the vein of Jesus Lizard, TAD, The Cows and the like. [more insight provided in the comments courtesy of Donnie OldSchool].

Monday, June 22, 2009

Teen Idols - "Old Days, Old Ways" 7"

Teen Idols are easily one of Nashville's most successful punk bands, and maybe one of the only to actually outgrow this town. Of course, being a successful punk rock band really only amounts to so much, and pretty much no one I know around these parts now has no idea who they are/were. Still, this success is pretty well documented online. Much unlike 99% of the bands I feature on here, there’s no shortage of info on the Teen Idols. They even have their on Wikipedia page.

Musically, they played speedy, poppy punk rock that was heavy on harmonies and took strong influence the 1950’s both sonically and aesthetically, sporting leather jackets, pompadours, and vintage microphones during their shows.

The band had a ton of lineup changes in their time with the only constant being the group's mastermind, Phillip Hill. Hill is an extremely talented guy with a background in the technical side of things. He eventually found himself more useful and successful behind the scenes producing and playing with the likes of Anti-Flag, Rise Against, Screeching Weasel, The Independents, Common Rider, Even in Blackouts and The Queers.

Teen Idols went on to release stuff on Honest Don's and Fueled by Ramen (where fellow Nashvillian's Paramore would find success many years later), but this record here is their very first, released on Nashville's own House O'Pain Records.

According to their Wiki page, the band has gotten back together and signed with Fat Wreck Chords. Their Myspace page confirms at least a bit of this with quite a few shows booked around the Midwest and Northeast.

Stun Guns - "I Can't Believe It's Not Murder" 7"

I just realized last night, that although I ripped it more than a year ago, I've never posted this little gem from Miami's Stun Guns. Since my insight is limited to what little background info I've read online and the two times I saw them in their prime, I'll use the rare opportunity of letting their Myspace tell you their story..

They sure didn't feel like "glory days"... 1992. It was hot in Miami, and the city was wrecked from Hurricane Andrew. George Kelley and Mark Fehan from the Trash Monkeys got together with Paul Lecours of Lethal Yellow. Songs were written, beers were consumed, they soon enough hooked up with another once-Trash Monkey's little brother, Andrew Ross Powell, on drums, and started playing as the Stun Guns. A demo was recorded at Sync studios on Miami Beach, and word seemed to be getting around about the songs on the tape. Word also seemed to be getting around about the live shows, which were drunken blurs of flying bottles and chairs and endless guitar tuning, with a couple of songs in there somewhere. People liked this, it seemed. In 93 or 94 Mark had a good idea. He left the band and joined up with Harry Pussy, a band with yet another Trash Monkey, and did some real tours where they got paid and stuff. The Stun Guns went on a brief hiatus/drinking binge, and when the woke up they had Brian Bush from Chickenhead/Los Canadians on guitar. The people at the shows got drunk, a 7" was recorded and released by Miami's Starcrunch Records, a live song appeared on a comp from Space Caddette records, a small fortune was spent on beer at the store by George's house, AND a tour was planned. Two months with the Shaffers from Dalton,GA, Summer '95. The Shaffers, it turned out, were the coolest people on the planet, and this was probably the best time of our lives, except for that last week, but never mind that. While on the west coast we hooked up with the members of FYP who put us up in San Pedro for like a week, fed us, got us stoned, and eventually released our next 7" on their label, Recess Records. Well, 1996-97 on, some more touring was done, shows were played, and we even recorded again. But after a while things fell apart. I mean, we were a pretty volatile bunch. We even got together for a couple of shows after we all moved away from Miami. These shows were mostly in Chattanooga (the polar opposite of Miami), and ranged from great to so bad we didn't even make it through one song. Well, that's how we rolled.

You can find even more loud, mid-temp, tough-guy punk-n-roll from the Stun Guns over at Region Rock and More.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot: Discography


Oh my friends, how I wish I could whisk you away in a Delorean back to 1994 and allow you to witness the spectacle, the experience involved in seeing the Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot. Imagine, if you will, a stage full of grown men dressed in half-assed drag, one of them sometimes dressed as a Mexican wrestler, playing pulverizing punk rock while a roomful of teenage boys beat the shit out of their peers. It was almost as if this music was chemically engineered in a bathtub full of Sudafed to inspire pubescent males to take out their adolescent frustrations on each other.

I've already said about everything I can about this band in a post I made roughly around this time last year. What that post is missing, though, is two records to complete the total output this band had to offer in their short stay on Earth. Thanks entirely to the band's guitarist Don Kendall, I now possess the missing links in the Fun Girls evolution: their first 7", Hi Doll!, and their last, Diary of a Madwoman. I've posted them here in conjunction with the Lunch Box set and split with The Slackers in case you'd like to snag it all in one fell swoop. I've even tossed in a bonus track, "When I See You Again" from the Nashville Coming Fire compilation just a few posts down. To my knowledge this is more or less the whole of their discography. If there's other stuff out there, I don't know about it.

Rice Harvester

Greg moved to Huntsville by way of Birmingham in a Ford Festiva with little else aside from the clothes on his back. He made a lot of zines in his spare time and found himself in high demand as a drummer, beating the skins for The Grumpies and Joey Tampon and the Toxic Shocks.

Harry moved up from St. Mary's, GA. He had some serious bass chops and made excellent use for them in acts The Wops and The 3D's. He was often unwashed and smelly, but was simultaneously one of the nicest fellows ever to cross paths with most.

Both these guys joined forces with drummer Ben Rhyne (565 Burnouts, The Counterclockwise) to form Rice Harvester-- a scrappy, fierce, care-free and semi-melodic trio named after one of Greg's zines. They relocated to Chattanooga shortly before the new millennium and I personally never heard from any of them again.

Thanks to Region Rock and More for this one, and be sure to check that blog out for more regional Southern punk not represented here.

Booby Hatch


Much like in the 80s, many punks in the 90s turned their favor towards metal in the latter part of the decade. Craving something faster, harder, and more challenging to play, the musicians who had the chops were understandably in need of something just a little more.

Featuring members of then recently defunct bands Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot and Highstrung, came Nashville's Booby Hatch. Combining punk's simple fundamentals, the brute force of hardcore thrash and some choice licks from the intermediate guitar player's handbook, this band brought out a brash, bludgeoning style that makes you want to put on a leather jacket, grab a skateboard and brave a drained swimming pool -- all while swirling your hair in a windmill fashion. In all seriousness, this record isn't fucking around. It's not for the faint of heart. But if you think you can handle it, this is some very recommended listening.

Most of this band went on to form the even more metal Asschapel

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rise of the Nashville Compilatons pt. IV: Opry Outcasts

In this final installment in the Nashville compilation series, I bring you a gem excavated from way back in 1989. Now, back in '89, I was getting my school on in rural Alabama, pumpin' my fist to some Cinderella and Skid Row, trying to grow my hair long like Nikki Sixxx, and sewing KISS patches to the back of my denim jacket. Meanwhile, in Nashville, a mysterious mastermind by the name of Doug Moody was putting out slabs of vinyl full of what (at least he assumed) was some of the best rock n roll in town (on gorgeous purple vinyl no less). Half a dozen posts down, there's a Rednecks in Pain record also released by Moody. Like that one, this record has at least 7 record labels listed here: Superseven Records, Thrash Records, Bootleg Records, Ghetto-Way Records, and Mystic Records -- all under the blanket of Doug Moody Productions. Did he run all these labels? Is this the same Doug Moody Productions listed on the Great Balls of Fire OST?

The aformentioned Rednecks in Pain also appear on this comp with what may not be their best recording, but by far one of their best songs. You also get May-Day who contribute some psychedelic proto-grunge to the mix, Caustic Solutions who've laid down some decent thrashcore, and Word Uprising is a hard rockin' southern band who sounds about like their name would suggest. I recommend getting at least for the R.I.P. track.

And this concludes the Music City compage for now -- at least until I get some more.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rise of the Nashville Compilatons pt.III: Nashville Coming-Fire


Various Artists - Nashville Coming Fire [Vorgo Pass, 1994]

Of all the comps in this series, this is by far my favorite. Upon listening to it, I realized I actually used to crank a cassette copy of this given to me by a friend -- not knowing exactly what it was. I estimate this was released sometime in 1994 -- most of these neglect to put the copyright date anywhere in the liner notes, as copyrights arent' very punk rock. It contains what may very well be Nashville's best known 90s punk bands: Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot, Teen Idols, and The Phanton 5ive. It's also an exponentially poppier record than that scary cover would let on.

I've written a great deal about the Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot before and will post more soon. All you need to know right here is that they were a cross-dressing, hardcore punk ensemble that fared well beyond their home base. Again, a more in depth look at Teen Idols is coming, but for now, just know they were a 50's inspired pop punk group, heavy on harmonies and easily the most successful of any out of this era. The Phantom 5ive are without a doubt the best known - if not only known - instrumental surf group from Music City.

The rest of the bands on this comp actually seem to be little known outside Nashville. I did see Ballpeen Hernia in Huntsville play at some point when I was 15. My memories in conjunction with their Myspace tell me they were kind of a traditional street punk outfit [click those links for more tunes and videos of them playing on the steps of the Nashville Parthenon]. Uncle Daddy is of the upbeat, poppy variety. Not only haven't I heard of Mount, their oblique name makes them impossible to Google. But going from this song alone, I can tell you they were an all-girl trio who played some down-n-dirty Seattle-stlye grunge rock.

As always, any comments you have to fill in the blanks are more than welcome.