Monday, July 13, 2009
Gorilla Biscuits - Rarities 1987-1990
Here's a collection of 35 Gorilla Biscuits rarities (demos, unreleased rehearsals, and live tracks), and 6 compilation tracks. I cleaned up all the demos and rehearsals as best as possible by removing all tape hiss and adjusting the levels. This is easily the most time i've ever spent on any collection on this blog, and the end result sounds great. These are all excellent GB recordings that needed to be revised for a long time. Thanks to Mark Anthony, Adam Tanner and especially David Michaels (hope you don't mind me stealing the cover design). Enjoy.
Gorilla Biscuits Rarities and Comp Tracks
First up is the band's original demo from 1987. There's not much info on these recordings besides the fact that the band used the cheapest tapes possible (without cases) from a dollar store, and did a quick cut and past photocopy job for the covers, just to get their music out as rapidly as they could. These still stand as my all-time favorite Gorilla Biscuits recordings. I love the rough, raw sound on this stuff, and the demo version of Big Mouth was never topped in my opinion. I do like the band's s/t 7" (Revelation Records 1988), but when i want to hear these songs i always go for the demo versions. More than likely it's because i heard the demo first, and it just struck a chord with me. The '87 demo was bootlegged in 1991 onto 7" vinyl, and later appeared on the Walter Sings the Hits CD (bootlegged in Germany sometime in the '90s), along with Start Today demo (with Walter on vocals), the Moondog 7", and various live recordings. To say the CD had awful sound quality would be a huge understatement, as most of it is barely listenable.
Next up we have some great sounding unreleased studio rehearsals. These tracks were pulled from an 11 song session (where they did more than one take of some of the songs). I took the one best recording of each song, both performance and quality wise, and wound up with 6 excellent tracks, including an unreleased instrumental (song is a killer), a few re-worked earlier songs, and an instrumental version of Cats and Dogs. If you've never heard these rehearsals, you're in for a real treat.
After that it's the entire Start Today demo with Walter Schreifels replacing Civ on vocals. I cleaned this one up as best as possible, but it's still a bit rough around the edges. Especially the first track, which breaks apart at the beginning and later on in the song (it's like this on every version of these recordings i've heard), but it starts to get better after that. The sound quality varies from track to track, but this is the best version you'll ever hear of this demo, and it's great stuff. I actually like this demo just as much as the released Start Today LP. Walter's kid-like vocals give the recordings a kind of pop-punk vibe in a way, and it fits the music perfectly. Both versions kick ass. There's also a demo of the album with Civ on vocals (with different lyrics to certain songs) which is also worth hunting down.
For the various live tracks, i just stuck with unreleased songs and cover songs. The first track, Distance, later became a Moondog song, as did The Man With No Money (later named Are You Really Down?). The Western has never been released, or recorded in a studio as far as i know. Don't Tread on Me is originally by Cro-Mags, Fed Up is originally by Judge, Friends Like You is originally by Sick of it All, Should I Stay or Should I Go is originally by The Clash, and We're All Gonna Die is originally by Bad Religion. Six Times Around and The Chance are supposedly covers as well, but i've never heard them before. These live tracks were taken from the Puzzle of 38 Pieces bootleg CD, released on Deny Everything Records.
Ending the collection are a 4 compilation tracks, all taken from pretty well known records. So no further explanation needed there, and 2 bonus tracks from the CD re-issue of the band's first 7" on Revelation. There is absolutely no info on these 2 tracks, so i'm assuming they're demos or outtakes.
vocals - Anthony "Civ" Civocelli
guitar - Walter Schreifels
bass - Arthur Smilios
drums - Luke Abbey
Luke was later replaced by Sammy Siegler (who had been in the band in the early days)
later Alex Brown (Side by Side, Project X) came aboard for 2nd guitar
John Porcelly (Youth of Today) and Mark Hayworth also joined in later incantations of the band
After Gorilla Biscuits, Anthony went on to form the major label rock band CIV.
Walter had also been a member of Warzone, Youth of Today and Project X. After Gorilla Biscuits he went on to form Moondog, Quicksand and Rival Schools.
Arthur played bass for Token Entry and Underdog for a while. After Gorilla Biscuits, he joined CIV with Civ.
Luke also played in Warzone and Judge.
Sammy would eventually go on to play drums for CIV.