Friday, July 12, 2013

Sleeper - 1991-1994

Sleeper were a melodic punk hardcore band from Staten Island, NY who recorded a bunch of great material between 1991-1994 before changing their name to Serpico (turns out there was a band named Sleeper from England who paid the NY band to change their name).

Sleeper played a great mix of '80s DC style punk, most notably Dag Nasty and Fugazi, mixed with pop punk (think early Shredder or No Idea Records), and hardcore. Ever since i heard the band back in the early '90s, i've associated them with that first wave of '90s emo that seemed to be exploding at the time. The first Sleeper song i heard was 10 Miles from their first release in '91, a split 7" with Gutwrench (who shared members with Sleeper). I never owned that record, and recorded the song from Pat Duncan's show on WFMU. Unfortunately the original version of 10 Miles is the only track from the bands early output not included here (although an alternate version is on the band's debut LP). I also recorded the song Display from the band's first 7" (still my fave song from the band). Both songs were on constant rotation back then, and it wasn't until a couple of years later that i was able to score a copy of the band's first LP. I loved this stuff back then, and even though the band obviously wore their influences on their sleeves, nobody else really sounded like Sleeper. I recently re-discovered the band and have been playing it quite a bit, along with some Serpico material. So here's a collection of Sleeper material recorded between 1991-1994. Pretty much everything they recorded under that name, aside from the track from the Gutwrench split, and maybe a random comp track or two. Thanks to David Michaels, Matschy, John, TJ and everyone else over at the Daghouse Board. All ripped from CD sources at 320kbps. All tracks adjusted to the same volume. Enjoy!

Sleeper Anthology

Lots of great easter eggs in this one. Anything that is a clickable link (a letter, word or even a punctuation mark) leads to a download. Some related to this post, and some not. Don't miss out.

Sleeper started out as Ratcatcher in the late '80s.They existed with that name from 1988-89. In that time thay released a 5-song cassette recorded live at CBGB called We Rock, You Don't, and a full length unreleased album called Smell The Glover. The LP was recorded at Water Records in Hoboken, NJ sometime during 1988. Ratcatcher was a bit more straight forward pop-punk than Sleeper/Serpico, and maybe a bit less serious sounding, for a lack of a better way to put it. Apparently there was a Ratcatcher reunion show in July of 2011.

Sal Cannestra - vocals
John Lisa - Guitar
Marc Treboschi - bass
TJ Quatrone - drums

Here's the pre-Sleeper Ratcatcher unreleased LP. This is a 192kbps rip, straight from the master tapes. Thanks again to the members for sharing this. NOTE: The image posted is not the actual cover art for the LP (i'm not even sure if there was a cover). I made this myself just because i like doing shit like this, and wanted a makeshift cover to house my CDR. Enjoy!

 Ratcatcher "Smell The Glover" LP (unreleased 1988)

The first Sleeper release was the Sleeper/Gutwrench split 7", released on Excursion Records in 1991. The short-lived Gutwrench played metallic hardcore fused with melodic punk. Besides the Sleeper split in '91, Gutwrench released one 7" called New Block On The Kids in 1990 on Tragic Life Records. They also covered the classic Zero Boys song Civilization Dying for the compilation If It's Too Loud.. You're An Asshole in 1990,

Lineup for Sleeper/Gutwrench split 7"
John Telenko - vocals
John Lisa - guitar / vocals
Marc Treboschi - bass
TJ Quatrone - drums

Gutwrench featured John Lisa and Marc Treboschi from Sleeper (as well as Billy Hamill, Al Gritz and Lou Dimmick who played bass on the band's 1991 7").

The Sleeper s/t 7", known as the Display 7", was released on Tragic Life Records in 1991. Recorded at Persia Studios in Staten Island, NY in '91 (on pink and black vinyl), and reissued in '92 on transparent yellow. Three killer songs, and along with the first LP, my favorite Sleeper material. This is the only record to feature Lou Dimmick of Our Gang on bass. These tracks were ripped from the Weakest Boy In The Troop Award comp CD on Excursion Records.

Lineup for Display 7":
John Telenko - vocals
John Lisa - guitar
Lew Dimmick - bass
TJ Quatrone - drums

Next up was the More Or Less 7" released on Mugglewump Records out of Switzerland in 1992. This 7" included a studio side and a live side. The studio side was recorded and mixed by Marc Teeboschi and Sal Cannestra in April of '92 in Staten Island. The live side was recorded by Dave Parasite and Pat Duncan at WFMU studio in East Orange, NJ. Great cover by the great cartoonist Daniel Clowes. 1,000 printed on recycled paper. Included in this collection are the two studio tracks only.

The Time And Tide LP was recorded in April of '92 at a 16-track studio in downtown Staten Island, and released on 42 Records out of Germany later that year. This is a ripper of an album. A bit more on the hardcore side than the previous 7"s, but still has that catchy pop edge. Nice thick sound due to the addition of second guitarist Sal Cannestra (formerly of Ratcatcher). Only Sleeper release to feature drums by Alex Gritz. First song is my fave.

Lineup for Time And Tide LP / More Or Less 7":
John Telenko - vocals
John Lisa - guitar / vocals
Sal Cannestra - guitar
Marc Treboschi - Bass
Alex Gritz - drums

The Splinter 7" was released on Allied Recordings in 1993. Recorded and mixed in October/November 1993 at Bippy's Chaotic Kitchen in Staten Island (TJ Quatrone's mothers house). The version here was ripped from the Making Of Allied One Two Three comp CD. On this recording Sal is replaced by Michael De Lorenzo on guitar.

Lineup for Splinter 7"
John Telenko - vocals
John Lisa - guitar / vocals
Michael De Lorenzo - guitar
Marc Treboschi - bass
TJ Quatrone - drums

The Preparing Today For Tomorrow's Breakdown LP was recorded from December 29th through January 4th at Bippy's Happy Kitchen by Bill Stevenson (Black Flag/Descendents) and Stephen Egerton and released on Excursion Records in 1994. The CD version, released the same year, also included the Time And Tide LP and the two studio tracks from the More Or Less 7". I like the album, although it's my least favorite of all the Sleeper releases. This is also the release not to include the vocals of John Telenko. John Lisa takes over lead vox on this album. Telenko would return shortly after to record several records when the band changed their name to Serpico.

Lineup for Preparing Today For Tomorrow's Breakdown LP:
John Lisa - vocals / guitar
Michael De Lorenzo - guitar
Marc Treboschi - bass
TJ Quatrone - drums

During Sleeper's existence, the also recorded many songs for various compilations. The song Free Mind (from the Time And Tide LP) appeared on the Emergency Broadcast Systems Vol. 1 comp 7" on Allied Recordings in 1992. The somg Forgiveness (from the Preparing Today For Tomorrow's Breakdown LP) appeared on the Music For The Proletariat comp CD on Allied in '93. That's the infamous comp which first featured Jawbreaker's Kiss The Bottle. The song Destroy The Builder (a Ratcatcher song) appeared on the Viva La Vinyl comp LP released on Dead Beat Records in 1994. The same track wound up on the Break The Distrust comp 7" on World Upside Down Records in 1995.

The band continued under the name Serpico until the late '90s, releasing two full lengths, three 7"s, and three split 7"s. They were especially active in 1995-1996. I suggest the They Shoot Babies Don't They 7" (my fave Serpico record by far) and the Rumble LP. It's all good though.

You can download some great Sleeper/Serpico stuff on this page on the Daghouse board, including a great set recorded live on WFMU. I'm not sure of the year, but it's mostly material from the Rumble LP, so i'm guesing it's from '96. You can also check out a great interview with John Lisa here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Livin' In The '90s Vols. 1-3

I go in and out of phases of nostalgia on a monthly basis it seems. Some months it's '70s biker flicks while other months it's horror comics of the '50s. Of course music is no exception, and for the past few weeks i've immersed myself in '90s punk.

I made these comps of some of my favorite punk/indie/emo/hardcore/ whatever songs of the '90s. I mastered all the tracks to the same volume, all from 320kbps mp3s, 90% of them ripped from my personal CD collection. As for the songs i needed help getting, thanks to snoro, hellyesicheated, Gen Ruido, dblwhiskeycoke and Grant.


 Livin' In The '90s Vol. 1

I discovered punk/HC at the tail end of the '80s. It was the perfect time as the NYHC scene was exploding at that time. It seemed to peak in 1987-88, then a year later, as quickly as it all started, it just kinda faded away. To me, the New Breed comp seemed to wrap up the end of the '80s in NYC and marked the end of an era.

Then the '90s came along and wasted no time. Seminal records of the time were popping up almost immediately on the East Coast in 1990. The first Citizens Arrest and Born Against 7"s, the Rorschach LP, the Burn ep, the Turning Point LP, the second GO! 7", the Nausea LP, as well as records by Supertouch and Quicksand that brought NY Hardcore in a new direction. During the next few years the floodgates opened, and the city had a scene again. Great, energetic, and at times very interesting music, and all without the meatheads who think every show is the setting for a scene from Raging Bull.

 Livin' In The '90s Vol. 2

As much as i love the hardcore, punk and crossover of the '80s, i think the 1990s may be my favorite era for punk music (that's how i feel this month anyway). It was such a diverse and interesting time in the scene. There was the new wave of NY bands that emerged from the ABC No Rio scene (CxAx, Born Against, GO!, Merel, Los Crudos, The Manacled etc.), the powerful sounds (that would be come to be known as "powerviolence") coming from the West Coast (Neanderthal, Crossed Out, No Comment, MITB, Spazz, Capitalist Casualties etc.), bands like Native Nod, Heroin, Moss Icon, Indian Summer, Current, Inkwell, Hoover, and dozens more, who took inspiration from bands like Rites of Spring, Husker Du and Dag Nasty, and seemed to fuse it with the sounds of bands like Slint and Rodan, creating a unique sound that would be known as '90s emo. There were also the guitar driven indie rock punk (for lack of a better term) of bands like Superchunk and Seaweed. Then there were those bands that seemed to merge indie rock, emo and punk into a sound that is still influencing bands 20 years later. Jawbreaker, Samiam, Garden Variety, Jawbox, Greyhouse and Hot Water Music come to mind. There were also lots of great bands lumped into this scene that would be hard to categorize. Bands like Fugazi, Chisel, Unwound, 1.6 Band, and Phleg Camp. All great stuff.

Livin' In The '90s Vol. 3

The '90s was the decade of Assuck. Enough said.

My top ten U.S. punk-related records of the 1990s:

01. Citizens Arrest - A Light In The Darkness 7"
02. Rorschach - Remain Sedate LP
03. Neanderthal - Fighting Music 7"
04. Infest - Mankind 7"
05. Capitalist Casualties - Raised Ignorant 7"
06. Assuck - Anticapital LP / Blindspot 7"
07. Born Against - 9 Patriotic Hymns For Children LP
08. Econochrist - Trained To Serve LP
09. Man Is The Bastard / Crossed Out split 7"
10. Burn - s/t 7"

01. Moss Icon - Lyburnum Wit's End Liberation Fly LP

02. Jawbreaker - Bivouac LP
03. Garden Variety - s/t LP
04. Chisel - 8 A.M. All Day LP
05. Leatherface - Mush LP
06. New Bomb Turks - Destroy-Oh-Boy!!
07. Superchunk - No Pocky For Kitty LP
08. Samiam - Soar LP
09. The Nation of Ulysses - Plays Pretty For Baby
10. Fugazi - Repeater LP

Feel free to use the comments section to post your own top 10 lists. I'd love to see what everyone else's faves are.

Oops - turns out "Hate In Me" by Moss Icon was released in 1988. Oh well, that song is too damn good to not be on there.
Oh yeah, keep an eye out for those Easter Eggs.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Moss Icon - The Remaining Songs (remastered)

When i first started this blog i posted a 2xCD Moss Icon discography that i put together from various sources, which, aside from the studio material, included demo tracks, live tracks, and even the Breathing Walker cassette. In fact sharing this amazing collection was one of the reasons i started this blog. Moss Icon has been a huge infatuation of mine ever since i heard the Mahpiua Luta 7" in 1989, and has been a favorite of mine ever since. Over 20 years later i can still listen to songs like Kick The Can or Hate In Me and think that Moss Icon may very well have been the greatest punk band in the US (of course then i'll hear something else and think the same thing, but that's besides the point). Unlike many of the bands from that time that have faded from memory, Moss Icon remaisn timeless for me. Needless to say when i heard the band was releasing a complete discography i nearly stained my good jeans. For me, this was the most anticipated discography i could ever think of. When i finally got my hands on the 2xCD version, i was a bit disappointed that this wasn't a "complete discography" at all, but more like an anthology. I found this really odd, as there was more than enough room on these 2 CDs to include everything the band had recorded, or at least released. I can understand maybe not including the 1987 demo, which i love, but i'd wager the band doesn't think too highly of it at this point. What i can't understand is the exclusion of songs like Cape Of Holes, Nov. 10th, or Sioux Day. Songs that are every bit as good as anything on the band's 3 7"s, or the Lyburnum LP. I also don't understand why they didn't include that killer intro to Kick The Can from the Mahpiua Luta 7" version. Still, i'm glad this was released, and the sound is excellent. It's great to finally have the Hate In Me 7" and the Silver Bearing split LP in quality sound.

When i finally got this blog rolling again, i deleted the Moss Icon post because of the upcoming discography, leaving only a collection of live sets you can still grab here. But since so many songs didn't make it onto the official discog, some of which are crucial to the band's output, i've decided to compile them here. I "remastered" the tracks as best as possible, removing any background noise and making other adjustments, and not to pat myself on the back, but they sound better than ever. My advise would be to pick up the discography CDs or LPs, and download this collection, to hear What They Lack. Enjoy.

Moss Icon - The Remaining Songs

Jonathan Vance - vocals
Tonie Joy - guitar
Monica DiGialleonardo - bass
Mark Laurence - drums
Alex Badertscher - guitar (1990-1991)

The first 4 tracks were taken from The Life demo, recorded in 1989. I only included the 4 songs that were not later released on various records, aside from Cornflower Blue (featuring Daniel Littleton of The Hated, and Michael Littleton of Ida), which was included on the False Object Sensor compilation LP released on Vermiform Records in 2001. Since it was left off the discography, i included it here. Reflections Of An Old Man is the music from the intro to Kick The Can, but with lyrics. These 4 songs are up there with the best of the band's material.

Track 5 (Sioux Day) was on the Superpowers cassette released on Troubleman Unlimited in 1992.

Tracks 6-12 is the entire 1987 self-released demo tape. This is a great raw sounding recording. The first 2 songs, Hate In Me and What They Lack, were re-recorded a year later for the band's first 7", and Mirror was re-recorded for the Panx Vinyl Zine 3 compilation 7" released in 1989. Mirror was also included on the Lyburnum Wit's End Liberation Fly LP, recorded in 1988 and finally released in 1993 on Vermiform. Most all the band's other records were rleased on Vermin Scum Records. The four remaining tracks were exclusive to The Life demo, and never re-recorded, or even appeared anywhere else as far as i know.

Tracks 13-16 are various live recordings, dates and venues unknown. The song Today is an unreleased song. Great sound quality on these live songs, especially the last two, which were from the same show.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Death Side - 1987-1994 Discography remastered

The mighty Death Side, my favorite hardcore band to ever come out of Japan. In this post i've uploaded the complete discography at 320kbps from the Nucleus-R remastered reissues that were released in 2002. The sound quality is incredible.

First time i heard Death Side was some time during the mid '90s. My friend Gen sent me the Bet On The Possibility LP. Until then i had heard Japanese stuff like Gism, SOB, and Bastard. This was on another level though, and the album seemed to steamroll right over me leaving me with my jaw hanging open. The song writing, the vocals, Chelsea's incredible guitar playing... it all fit so perfectly. And just when i would think "Damn, that was the greatest song i've ever heard", the next song would kick in. This is one of those rare albums where every song just gets better and better right until the amazing epic closing track Crossfire, which veers off into Iron Maiden territory, with Chelsea pulling off incredible metallic riffs and leads like it was nothing. The guy truly was the Adrienne Smith of hardcore. RIP!

Since then i've obsessively tracked down all the bands other releases, and was lucky enough to hunt down all the Nucleus-R reissues. I love all of it, although Bet On The Possibility will always be my fave, and i consider it one of the greatest hardcore full-lengths on the '90s.

EPs, Splits and Comp Tracks

Starting off this mandatory discography is the band's collection of singles, splits and comp tracks spanning 1987 through 1994. My fave being the split  with Chaos UK, which was released on CD only by Selfish Records in 1993. Many of the other compilations in this anthology are probably pretty hard to come by these days, Blast In Hell from the Game Of Death comp is such a ripper, but everyone will have their faves. By 1994 the band had a nice streamlined metallic and catchy sound. This is the kind of stuff you listen to and think "how did this band not take over the world"?

The band's first 7", Satisfy The Instinct (Selfish Records 1987), was originally on the 2xCD collection called The Will Never Die (named after the band's 1994 ep). I included that 7" on the Wasted Dream CD, so i could fit all the other non full-length stuff on one CD. I modified the front cover and created the back. Enjoy, and play LOUD!

Bet On The Possibility

Next up is the Bet On The Possibility LP, for me the band's high water mark. In my opinion, this is where it all came together, the band at the top of their game. Bet On The Possibility was originally released on Selfish Records out of Japan in 1991. According to the liner notes it was recorded at Our House, and came  with a lyric sheet and gatefold sleeve.

Wasted Dream

Last up is the band's first full length album, Wasted Dream. Originally released on Selfish in 1989 and re-released on Selfish in 2011 on vinyl. Recorded at Antiknock in 1989. Original CD version came with a CD booklet with lyrics and pictures. The 2011 reissue included the entire Satisfy The Instinct 7" as bonus tracks. Like the others, this is a 320 rip of the 2002 Nucleus-R remaster.

Lineup 1987-1994

Ishiya - vocals
Chelsea - guitar
You - bass
Muka Chin - drums
Ran-Lin - drums

Chelsea passed away in August of 2007. He also played guitar for Paintbox (also highly recommended). Paintbox released three full lengths and five eps. Ishiya also sang for Forward, who recorded many records between 2000 and 2012.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Disappointments - 21 song 7" - 1987

Just a quick update before i get on with the post. Sorry once again for the massive delay! I really should be back on track now, and have lots of stuff either ready to be posted within the next few weeks, or currently being worked on. I won't spill all the beans, but some stuff that should be up soon: Sacred Denial collection, Short Hate Temper discography, Death Side remastered discography, Moss Icon (all the tracks not on the 2xCD discography), Mental Abuse, live Jawbreaker, Open Your Mind (Pre-Infest), and lots more. I really want to get this thing back off the ground.

The Disappointments were a real obscurity, and if not for their association with GG Allin they would probably be one of the most under the radar '80s hardcore bands to ever exist. First time i heard this 7" was some time in late '87. I recorded the first half of the ep from Pat Duncan's radio show on WFMU. There was just so much stuff i was hunting for at the time, that this one got overlooked, and luckily i recently came across it online. I spent an inhuman amount of time cleaning the audio and removing all the skips and pops, and even boosting the volume just a bit (without going into the red). It all paid off though, and i'm really happy with the way it sounds. I've been listening to this like a maniac for the past month or so. I can't get enough. Highest recommendation! Wanker!

The Disappointments

Better You Than Me
Scar Yourself
Drink It Away
Find A Job
The Woe
Trash Fever
Big Fat Boss Man
No Pot
Putting It Off
Credit Due
Wishing Well
Did It Wrong
Next To Impossible
Hint To Move
Mama Done Told Me

Not much info about this band online, other than they were from Detroit, Michigan, and released this insane 21-song ep on Ice Pick Production Records in 1987. The music is hard to describe. It's absolutely frantic, deranged, fast hardcore punk with tempo changes all over the place. Like a faster and more psychotic version of Neos, with a crazed vocalist that kinda sounds like the guy from Violent Tumor (actually the music reminds me a bit of Violent Tumor at times), and even Denunzio from the '87 Infest demo, with back up vocals in the vein of Jello from Dead Kennedys. If this came out today it would probably be thrown under the banner of powerviolence, as it is this must have floored people in '87 (it sure floored me).

All copies were on white vinyl labeled as The Disappointments on the cover, but the labels read Elvis Roy and The Disappointments. Band members were Elvis Roy, B. Paingle, T. Rick and Mark. Aside from Elvis on vocals, i'm not sure who played what.

In 1989 The Disappointments were the backing band for GG Allin. There was even a 7" record put out as GG Allin and The Disappointments. The ep was called Outside Inside, put out by Bitter Boy Records, recorded 1989, released 1990. It was a soundboard recording of a full show at Stache's Bar in Columbus, OH. recorded  June 26, 1989.

In the late '90s The Disappointments recorded three 7"s. All Cranked Up (1997 Sell-Out Records), Sex, Drugs & Puke (1997 Radio Records), and Let's Die (1998 Radio Records). These records were nothing like their demented 21 song hardcore 7" from '87 though, and more in line with GG's brand of scum rock.