Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lethal Aggression - 1985-1990 Anthology

Lethal Aggression were a crossover hardcore/thrash band from Asbury Park, NJ. One of my favorite bands to ever come out of the NJ hardcore scene. Being from Jersey myself, it was classic NJHC bands like Lethal Aggression, Mental Abuse, Social Decay, Dirge etc that inspired me to start my first band back in 1987. At some point, one of my old bands (possibly S.M.O., one of the many demo-only bands i was in at the time) most likely played with Lethal Aggression. The late '80s/early '90s are a blur to me now. All i remember is that for a while we had one a hell of a scene, and it was a fun time. So here's the music. All ripped at 320. Enjoy!

Lethal Aggression Anthology

The original Lethal Aggression lineup didn't last too long. John Salterelli on vocals, Rob DeFroscia on guitar, Spencer on bass, and Phil Giordano on drums. That incarnation of the band lasted a few shows until Spencer and Phil were replaced by George Yeck and Kenny Lund. With this lineup the band recorded their 1985 demo and first full length LP.

From The Cunt Of The Fucking Whore demo

John Salterelli - vocals
Rob DeFroscia - guitar
George Yeck - bass
Kenny Lund - drums

This classic NJHC demo was recorded on Nov. 4, 1985 in a garage in Hoboken. Opium-fueled and cranked out in 3 hours (from 3:30 to 6:30), for less than $60 bucks. My favorite Lethal Aggression recordings by far. In 2001, the demo was released on CD by Relapse Records, along with the band's unreleased Godservation LP from 1991. The demo rip here is not from the Relapse CD. This is a restored version. Nice full sound, no tape hiss or other noises. I personally think it sounds better than the one on the Relapse CD, which is well worth buying (if it's still in print) for the great Godservation album.

Life Is Hard... But That's No Excuse At All! LP

Excellent debut. Re-recorded songs from the demo plus a shitload more. Originally released on both LP and CD by Funhouse Records out of Germany in 1988. Recorded at Waterfront Studios in Hoboken, NJ. Mixed in Ohio and mastered in Germany. In 2007, the CD was re-issued with lots of bonus material. The Circle Pit Of Life demo (2006), the Subliminal Erosion 7" (1990), the "Just Killed Rock n' Roll" 7" (1987), and 2 live tracks from the band's first show. Recorded in May of 1985 at the Brick Roller Forum. All remastered. For some odd reason, the track-list for the LP was changed on this re-issue. Another release well worth hunting down for all the great bonus material. The rip here is from this re-issue, with the tracks put back in the correct order, or as close as possible since their seems to be tracks both missing and added from the original 1988 version.

Between 1987 and 1988 the band contributed tracks to various compilations, including the Complete Death 2 LP (1988 Metal Blade/Death Records) and the live L'Amour Rocks comp LP (1987 Mercenary Records).

Subliminal Erosion 7"

Shortly after the release of the LP, Rob DeFroscia left the band and joined Breakdown. Former Social Decay bassist Dave Gutierrez came in on guitar. With this lineup the band recorded the Subliminal Erosion 7". Originally released on Virulence Records out of France in 1990 with fold-out lyric sheet. Another fine slab of madness, only letting up for the comical Spooge 2. Seems the band could never get away from that song. This rip is also from the 2007 re-issue.

The rehearsal tracks were recorded on 5/5/86. Thanks to the amazing Lockjaw blog for this one. Once again, these tracks have been fully restored and sound much better than the original rip. These rehearsal tracks are fantastic. The band speeds through 9 tracks including a cover of Bad Brains' classic Right Brigade. The rehearsal version of I'll Fight is just furious. It kills the LP version. I get a big NYC Mayhem vibe from these recordings, both in the music and the production. Awesome.

In 2009 Lethal Aggression released the Ad Nauseum full length on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. 13 new tracks and 36 minutes of live recordings on the "untitled" tracks 14, not credited on the CD. Check it out.

Hopefully this post exposes this great band to some people who may have never heard them. This is stuff that needs to be heard. If you like what you hear, buy whatever is available. It's all top shelf.

For more on the band, check out the great Demo Tapes blog run by Tommy of Social Decay.

side note - there will now be "Easter Eggs" on the blog. If you see anything that is a clickable link (it could be a letter, a word, a comma etc), it leads to a surprise download.


  1. A few years back, Old, Fast And Loud posted an incredible sound board quality live set from City Gardens (1987). Link for that DL is;

  2. Muchísimas gracias por este gran regalo.

    Lethal Aggression es una de mis bandas favoritas... tengo el vinilo rojo con el poster gigante !!! además del CD que editó Relapse Records... si hubo algo que me molestó fue la calidad de sonido del demo que utilizaron para ese CD...por lo que agradesco esta nueva ripeada.

    Lethal Aggression fue una de las bandas más populares y siempre en el top de las listas de demos favoritos a finales de los 80' menos acá en Chile(Sudamérica).

    Saludos y muchas gracias.

  3. Do you have any demos or anything from Ner Jersey's Finest or Money Dog?

  4. Adrian, You can get the New Jew Jersey's Finest demo on the Old Fast and Loud blog here:

    The Money Dogs '83 demo used to be online but the link has been dead for a while. I should have grabbed that while i had the chance.


  5. I'm downloading this now, thanks a lot.

    I got a question on my mind though, their EP is entitled "Life Is Hard, ... " and Social Decay 7" is entitled "Life's Not Hard ... You're Just Soft", do you think it's a not to the LA LP ? Some kind of friendly mockery or something ?

    I know it's nothing important, I'm just wondering.

  6. Yeah, i'd say it was kind of a spoof/tribute. Pretty sure the 2 bands were friends. I know they played a bunch of shows together. The Lethal Aggression set (which is incredible) on the Old, Fast & Loud blog, was from a show with Social Decay and Chronic Fear. All 3 bands are killer.


  7. here's a little something we did concerning this band if anyone's interested - cheers!

  8. If you ever come across Money Dogs demo again shoot me a comment on my blog

  9. as for the "lifes hard" - "life's not hard you're just soft" thing... S.D & L.A were very good friends in the early days (85 to 88) but then some stupid shit went down. Original LA guitarst Rob D left LA and starting hanging out w/ the Social crew and right at this time S.D. bassist Dave joined LA as guitarist so there was a big rift in the friendship and a lot of shit talk blahblahblah.... it all seems so stupid and childish now but back then it was war! So the lifes not hard youre just soft thing was a stab at LA on thier title... then LA wrote a song bagging on SD on one of their 7's.... i think we got over it by then. its all so goofy now.... but that is the real truth of it. who knows what the 2 bands could have done togther if it had stayed cool but oh well.... youth is wasted on the young....

  10. Lethal was from Bricktown, nj .

  11. One year alter and I heard just now about John's death (no nothing to do with my name LOL). R.I.P.

    Such an underrated band, played this collection to death.

  12. Never forget the days hanging out in the city with John, Hutch, and Jim. Dust was a must!

  13. Stormy I just came across this band (unrelated to the blog) but it was great to read all the things you said about em. I picked up the Relapse cd today and love it! Gonna track down the rest now.