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
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.