Monday, June 29, 2009

The Manacled

The Manacled 7" was recorded at Don Fury studios in 1991 and released on Vermiform Records in 1992 (VMFM8), 1,000 copies pressed. I played this record endlessly in the '90s, and thanks to Rich Trash, who was kind enough to send me the mp3s, i'm enjoying it all over again nearly 17 years later. This is as punk as punk gets. The Manacled are the polar opposite of bands who spend countless hours in the studio, doing take after take until everything is perfect. This is the real deal. Raw production and great hardcore songs with all mistakes in tact. Rich Trash's fuck everyone and everything attitude in the vocal department and Janis Cakars (Citizens Arrest) trademark guitar sound was the perfect match. Rounding out the foursome were Charlie Adamec (who started the band with Rich in '89 when they were called Atrocity), and Melissa York who played drums for many bands in the '90s including Team Dresch, and even played with Born Against for a while (who hasn't?). My favorite band she was in was Sugar Shock, who contributed one of my favorite tracks on the infamous Fear of Smell compilation LP, released on Vermiform in 1993.

Listening to this again brings back a lot of memories, but hearing some of these songs also reconfirms my belief that this band called it quits too soon. Present At Interest is especially great, with York's back-up vocals, and ending on a Cakars riff that wouldn't sound out of place on Citizens Arrest's "A Light in the Darkness" ep. And the track Paradox, which shows the band at their tightest and most aggressive until erupting into Deep Wound style madness. Then there's the completely insane Drugs, and the closing track, with Rich ranting about everything he hates over the same riff for 2 minutes, with the chorus "I hate everything!!". Great stuff. If only The Manacled had stayed together, they could made a hell of a full length. Who knows, maybe they could have taken over the world.

Hi, I'm Rich Trash, from The Manacled. I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank you, sincerely, for inviting us into your home.

The Manacled

Rich Oliver aka Rich Trash aka Trashman - vocals
Charlie Adamec - bass
Janis Cakars - guitar
Melissa York - drums

Rich also appeared on the Fear of Smell comp LP (Vermiform), contributing a spoken word piece called "Fuck Everything". He was also in the short-lived Antiem along with Melissa York, Joe Martin (Citizens Arrest, Hell No) and Jon Hiltz (Born Against, Greyhouse). If all goes well, i should be getting some Antiem stuff pretty soon, which i'll of course share here.

Janis Cakars played in Citizens Arrest, Hell No and Animal Crackers, along with Charlie Adamec, and a young Ted Leo.

Melissa York played in Team Dresch, Vitapup, The Butchies, Sugar Shock, Born Against, and also did the album art for Hell No's debut album in 1992.

You can check out The Manacled page on Myspace here.
You can watch some insane live footage of The Manacled here.
And you can check out Rich's blog "The Trash Man's Disposable Reader" right here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Absolution - 1988-1989 Discography

Absolution were a NYHC band during the late'80s, but they were in a league of their own. They played some of the most creative, energetic and powerful hardcore of the time, with some of the most thought provoking and intelligent lyrics the '80s NY hardcore scene had to offer. Because of their small output of recorded material, and because the second-wave of hardcore in NYC (1986-1989) was overloaded with (mostly) great bands, Absolution kind of remained an obscurity. In my opinion, they were head and shoulders above most of their contemporaries, and every bit as good as any classic NYHC band you can name. Bottom line... they should have been huge.
In 1997, Temperance Records put out a "discography" LP/CD which turned out to be one of the worst documentations of a band's recorded work i've just about ever seen. Various tracks thrown together without any rhyme or reason, not to mention the demo, which was not only incomplete, but suffered from awful sound quality. I appreciate the effort, but it just seemed hastily put together, and is simply a bad representation of this great band's work. The one good thing about the release was the live tracks, which had no info unfortunately, but sounded great. I recently found out the set was from CBGB on 4/17/88, and was thankfully complete. I'll be posting that set as well as some other live Absolution sets in a future collection. For now, you can enjoy this collection, which hopefully does the band more justice than the Temperance release. The first 6 tracks are the band's studio tracks. The track from the Murders Among Us comp 7" (Vermiform/Combined Effort) was recorded in 1989 and released in 1990 after the band had broken up. The next track is the band's incredible opening to the New Breed comp tape, released in 1989 by Freddy Alva and Chaka Malik Harris. It's a killer song that many people will tell you is the highlight of the comp. Tracks 3-6 are from the band's only 7", released in 1989 on Dave Stein's Combined Effort Records. Seems i'm in the minority, but i really like this record. Next up is the band's classic 13 song demo from 1988 (my personal favorite Absolution recordings). I was able to get a nice sounding rip, plus I boosted the sound to just about match the volume of the studio tracks, and also cleaned them up a bit. This is the band at their most raw and aggressive, and just one of the best demos of the late '80s. After that we have 2 unreleased outtakes from the 7" sessions. I spent some extra time on these tracks (removing tape hiss, amplifying the sound etc). The rips of these songs making the rounds online are barely listenable. Ending the collection is an excellent sounding set recorded live at the Anthrax Club on 5/20/88. It's a short set (i'm not sure if it's complete), but it's the best sounding live Absolution i've heard yet. Thanks to Freddy Alva and Eric Himle for the music. Thanks to everyone over at Livewire for the info and help. Enjoy

Absolution Collection

Djinji Brown - vocals
Gavin Van Vlack - guitar
Alan Peters - bass
Greg Johnston - drums

Gavin also played in NY Hoods and Side By Side.
Alan Peters played on Agnostic Front's "Liberty and Justice For..." LP (1987 Combat Core).

Shortly after the release of the Absolution 7", Alan joined Crawlpappy and was replaced by Sergio Vega (Collapse). Greg also left, and was replaced by by John Kricksiun (Collapse / Life's Blood). They played two shows with this lineup before calling it quits.

After the breakup Gavin and John formed Burn. Later Gavin played for Die 116 with members of Rorschach. Sergio eventually joined Quicksand, and Djinji went off on his solo venture, releasing albums of world music inspired hip-hop.

Absolution reunited in 2008 for some shows. I wish i could have been there.

The band's fan Myspace is here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Naked City - Live in Bremen, Germany 1989

An excellent sounding recording of Naked City performing live in Bremen, Germany on November 3, 1989. This is Naked City at their very best, as Zorn and his incredible group go from a haunting rendition of the theme from Rosemary's Baby, into an amazing version of the Hawaii 5-0 title track, straight into a short hardcore jazz number that Zorn describes as "Gang Green meets Ornette Coleman". From there it's a mash of movie scores, jazzy rock songs, and short grindcore and "thrash jazz" songs that at times sounds like an insane mix of Albert Ayler and Napalm Death. Only Naked City could pull this stuff off, and do it so precisely and effortlessly that it leaves you with your jaw hanging. My personal favorite track, Reanimator, amazes me every time. It starts out in usual Naked City fashion, but soon turns into doomy, morbid sounding madness, with what sounds like each instrument playing a different song. And it somehow works perfectly.

I've posted a set by Torture Garden a while back, which was Naked City's Japanese counterpart, but this is the real Naked City. Amazing musicians to say the least, and some of the best drumming you're likely to ever hear in a live setting. Joey Baron is flawless. If you're a Naked City fan, you need to hear this. If you're not, you will be after listening to this set. Thanks again to Ronald. Enjoy.

Naked City Live in Bremen, Germany 11/3/89

John Zorn - saxophone, composer
Bill Frisell - guitar
Fred Frith - bass
Wayne Horvitz - synthesizer, piano
Joey Baron - drums

No Yamatsuka Eye vocals on this one sadly.

Some notes on these recordings:
Back in the Earth originally recorded by Live Skull and released on the band's 1987 album, Dusted, on Homestead Records.
The score to Roman Polanski's cult classic Rosemary's Baby written by Krystof Komeda.
The title track of the hit TV series Hawaii 5-0 written by Morton Stevens.
The score of John Huston's 1963 film The List of Adrian Messenger written by Jerry Goldsmith.
Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang composed and conducted by John Barry for the 1965 film Thunderball.
The Yodel originally recorded by John Patton and released on the 1966 album Got A Good Thing Goin'.
The title track of the TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. written by Jerry Goldsmith.
Original score to Lawrence Kasdan's 1981 film Body Heat composed by John Barry.
Original score to Norman Jewison's gritty 1965 film Cincinnati Kid (starring Steve McQueen) composed by Lalo Schifrin.

I've been on a huge Naked City kick lately. To those interested in checking out the band's studio albums, i would highly recommend the s/t album (a great mix of all Naked City styles), Torture Garden (over 40 tracks of complete grindcore madness, featuring the inhuman vocals of Yamatsuka Eye), and my favorite, Radio.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Collapse - 1989 Don Fury Sessions and live

Maybe the most overlooked of all the late '80s NYHC bands. Collapse were a powerhouse. Far from the typical NYHC sound, Collapse were as heavy as the genre ever got, incorporating elements of Black Sabbath (most noticeable in songs like Collapse and Not Today), Black Flag and Motorhead into their sound. Powerful stuff to say the least. This collection contains the 4 tracks recorded at Don Fury Studio in 1989, two of which are instrumental versions of songs that appear in the live sets with vocals. Also here are three great sounding live sets all recorded in 1989. Two of the last shows they ever played at CBGB and The Pyramid Club in NYC, and an earlier set recorded at the Anthrax. Thanks to Freddy Alva for all the recordings, thanks to Dan and Bart for the art, and thanks to everyone over at the Livewire board for their help with info etc. I've been listening to this stuff a lot lately, and it floors me every time. Enjoy.

Collapse 1989 Collection

Sean P Murphy - vocals
Camillus Peluso - guitar
Sergio Vega - bass
John Kriksciun - drums

The song Failure appeared on the New Breed compilation tape released in 1989. There was also a 7" released in 1993 on Mat Gard's label, HLH Records in NJ, which features 2 of the Don Fury recordings and some songs from the band's final performance at The Pyramid.

Sean P. Murphy on the CBGB 4/23/89 show, which also featured American Standard, Supertouch and Underdog:

The tracks are live and raw but featured the band at it's tightest. We were blessed to have as our soundman and friend the legendary Jerry Williams aka Jay Dublee - the man that brought us the Bad Brains Roir cassette and also the Cro-Mags original demo.

The cuts have never been released in any form but they do document the bands sound well - as well as the sound of the End:
The End of the Eighties and of the original hardcore scene.

The band saw the changes - and heard them of course.

We wanted to move forward musically.

We wanted to go ''Into the 90's - and The Collapse''.

Check out the band's Myspace here.

Cro Mags - Live at Wellington's 1986

The Age of Quarrel lineup playing Age of Quarrel from start to finish, plus Crush the Demoniac. I've seen some vinyl rips of this on some blogs, but this one is ripped (at 320kb) from the hard to find CD version, also known as We Gotta Know and Hard Times, so the sound is excellent. Thanks to DirtySteve from Livewire. Recorded July 26, 1986 in a tiny basement club in Winnipeg called Wellington's. As always they played their hearts out and completely destroyed. Enjoy.

Cro Mags: Live at Wellington's 1986

John Joseph - vocals
Parris Mayhew - guitar
Harley Flanagan - bass
Doug Holland - guitar
Mackie Jayson - drums

A couple notes of interest: Crush the Demoniac (later to appear on Best Wishes) has different lyrics here. Supposedly there is a second Wellington's bootleg out there that was recorded a day earlier at the same venue.

The Abused - 1982-1983 Discography

The true originators of the NYHC sound. The Abused. Here's a collection of 21 songs, great sound quality. The first track was recorded live at the infamous A7 Club in 1982. Thanks Alvie! Also included is the entire 12 song '82 demo. These tracks were ripped from the CD on Lost & Found Records, so the quality is excellent. And last is the Loud & Clear 7", released on Abused Records in 1983. These tracks were taken from a collection of NYHC links posted on the B9 message board a while back. Cheers to whoever's responsible for the rip. I boosted the sound a bit to match the volume of the demo, and also cleaned it up as best as possible. There's still some slight surface noise, but the entire collection sounds great. Loud and full. Many of the tracks from the 7" were also on the demo, but the recordings are completely different. I prefer the 7" as far as the tracks that appear on both, but the demo has some killer songs like Rule on You, Psycho Song (listed as Aaargh on the Lost & Found CD), and We Need A War. Supposedly the band members have been talking of releasing some rare live recordings, with lots of unreleased tracks, sometime in the future. Hopefully that happens. Until then, you can enjoy this collection:

The Abused Collection

Kevin Crowley - vocals
Raf Astor - guitar
Dave Colo'n - bass
Brian Dundon - drums

9 of the 12 demo tracks were bootleged as the the New York Hardcore 7" on Dick Dance Records in 1992. The Lost & Found collection was put out as an LP sometime in the '90s, then later released on CD and also as part of a Lost & Found series of CDs called A Time We'll Remember. They were on Vol.1 along with 108, Project X and Violent Children.

This is heavy, violent sounding, burly hardcore that became the blueprint for all who followed in New York City. Check it out.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

N.O.T.A. - 1983-1986 Discography

Classic hardcore from Tulsa, Oklahoma. None of the Above existed between 1979 and 1987, and released some great thrashy hardcore punk records and comp tracks during that time. This is a collection of most of the band's recorded material between 1983 and 1986, excluding the Live at the Crystal Pistol demo (a set recorded at a cowboy bar on "punk night" on 1/11/83) which was later re-issued with bonus tracks by Prank Records. It's still in print. They also put out a "garage practice" style demo in 1982 called Out on the Pavement, which they immediately scrapped after giving some out to friends. Three of the tracks from that tape made it on to the re-issue of Live at the Crystal Pistol CD. Aside from those 2 demos, the only tracks missing here would be their tracks on the Birth Defect compilation tape, which seems to be impossible to find. So here you go, 39 tracks in 79 minutes. All keepers. All great quality. Enjoy.

N.O.T.A. Collection

Jeff Klein - vocals/guitar
Russel Love - guitar
Bruce Hendrickson - bass
Bob Purdom - drums

Dave Scum replaced Jeff on vocals for the 1986 demo.

The first track on this collection is from the international punk compilation Welcome to 1984, originally released by Maximum Rock 'N' Roll. Apparently MRR loved the band's Live at the Crystal Pistol demo so much, they used the song Propaganda Control from that tape. N.O.T.A. shared the comp with The Crucifucks from Michigan to represent the US. I'd say using the band's live demo track from '83 on the Welcome to 1984 comp is a testament to the band's greatness. This song was ripped from the re-issue CD put out by Sonic Reducer Records. Next up is the band's first 7" Moscow, released in 1984 on Unclean Records. This is my personal favorite, just loads of energy, a raw production, and the title track is just a classic. Good sound quality. Not perfect, but it fits these recordings perfectly. After that is the band's follow-up 7" Toy Soldiers on Rabid Cat Records, also released in '84. Sound is great on this one, as it was ripped from the CD compilation Punk Territory Vol. 3: US Hardcore 1981-1984. The entire Punk Territory series is excellent, so find them if you can. Next is the bands vicious tracks from the Empty Skulls tape, followed by the self titled LP from 1985. I love this album. Just the perfect combination of thrashy hardcore and punk anthems with a great production. To me it plays more like a compilation rather than a cohesive album, but some of the band's most powerful stuff is on here. I spent some time on this one, cleaning it up as much as possible, so the sound quality is great. Ending this collection are some rarities i recently came across. Two unreleased tracks from the LP sessions, and a demo from 1986. For more info on these recordings, check out this blog. And to top it all off is a cover song (by a band i've never heard of called Brown 25) recorded live at the Lawrence Opera House on 12/01/84 (by Jason Willis). You can hear that entire live set here.

After the initial 1979-1987 lineup, the band reformed in 1993 with mostly new members, and released a bunch of albums. Maybe one day i'll check them out.