Thursday, 30 June 2011

Flatfoot 56 - Courage (video)

Being lazy, so another vid....but it's a goody.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Saturday, 25 June 2011


I stumbled across this band last year and they're an instant hit with me. Hailing from Finland and often being described as anarcho punk or post punk and citing influences like Zounds and the Mob (UK). They've only had a few releases which you can find details of here.

I've managed to track down two of the releases which are on constant rotation. Have a listen to the songs on their Myspace page, "Alone" is so catchy.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

True Sounds of Liberty (TSOL)

TSOL swept across my circle of friends like wildfire in the early 80's. From the very first imported release it was obvious this band weren't a run-of-the-mill hardcore band, they had something extra.

For the first few years of their existence they took you on pretty much every ride possible, eventually running of out speed in a sad display that left a bitter taste in my mouth. True to TSOL standards they managed to erase that.....

Formed in the late 70's from the ashes of Vicious Circle their first release was a 12'', on Posh Boy records, which was the first release I got to hear via a taped copy; I was instantly a fan.

Released in 1981 this record was politically charged and stands up as well today as the day it was released. 

The band comprised : -

Jack Grisham - Vocals
Ron Emory - Guitar
Mike Roche - Bass
Todd Barnes - Drums

This would be the consistent line-up for the first few years, and without a shadow of doubt, the best/classic line-up.

The band were all big lads and wouldn't take any shit from the audience, which they often got as they weren't afraid of challenging the stereotype, Jack would often wear makeup on stage.

They were also a band who didn't sit still and with their next release they kicked out a gothic classic, still with the drive of the first 12'', but introducing a much darker sound.

Dance with me was released in 1981, on Frontier records, and could lurch from fast hardcore to the astounding beauty of a song like Silent Scream. If there was any doubt this album made it abundantly clear that TSOL had real talent.

Their next release was the Weathered Statues ep released on Alternative Tentacles and was a good continuation from Dance with Me.

Their second long player is my favourite, and was at the time of release, but was the one that was slammed by fans. To parallel the UK's Punk scene a few years earlier, US bands tried to push the envelope and were dismissed by fans for doing so; The Damned and Adverts second albums were slated as were Bad Religions, Code of Honors and TSOLs.

Released in 1982 on Alternative Tentacles they added keyboards to their sound with Greg Keuhn providing the fingers.

This album is a huge departure from this previous releases and received, at best, lukewarm reviews; you can find some here.

 They appeared in the wonderful Suburbia film around this time.

The band had a torrid time on the road with this album resulting in the sad departure of both Jack Grisham and Todd Barnes. 

Ron and Mike recruited Joe Wood and Mitch Dean as replacements and they released the good "Change Today" album in 1984. The album was more rock and even though Ron was still there it didn't really sound like a TSOL album to me. They then released "Revenge" in 1986, I bought this, but must have played it 10 times since that day.

This is where things started to go very, very wrong for me as they released the terrible "Hit & Run" album, by which time Ron had quit the band. An equally horrible release of "Strange Love" followed in 1990 by which time they'd become a poor second rate hair metal band. Joe Wood did a good job on Change Today, but, to me, he dragged a great bands name through the dirt with sub standard formulaic blues/rock albums and I wouldn't give either of these releases shelf space.

In the 90's the original members of the band started to play some live dates, but the rights to the TSOL name were now owned by Joe Wood and Mitch Dean who prevented the originals from playing under that moniker, so they played as LOST......TSOL backwards. This didn't last long enough to produce anything in the studio, but did result in a live album. Drugs had always played a part of the band and this is why this reunion ended.

This could have been the epitaph for TSOL and it would have been a very unfitting and messy end for a very important band. Happily this isn't the case as in the late 90's the original members fought a legal case for the rights to the bands name and won. Unfortunatly around this time Todd Barnes passed away from a brain aneurysm and was replaced by Jay O'Brien.

The reunited original members then released a great 7','Anticop, followed closely by their first studio long player in nearly 20 years. Disappear was released in 2001 on Nitro records and was a great return to form and is a perfect fit with the first four releases.

In 2003 they released "Divided we Fall", again on Nitro and this has become my 2nd favourite TSOL album. The album is a tour de force that has all the elements of TSOL that I love so much, the swirling, atmospheric guitars of Ron, the melody, the pianos/keyboards, the drive, fiery lyrics, a great back beat of bass and drums, finished off with Jacks great voice. You could pick a number of songs from this album and drop them into the early releases and you wouldn't be able to spot them.

In 2006 it appeared the reformation was over as TSOL played some farewell shows, but in 2007 they played some more shows together and in 2009 they released another new album. "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of free Downloads" was available to download for a period of time in 2009. The title of this opens up a huge can of worms for me and something I'm struggling with atm...time will tell if it develops.

This is a very good album, if a little softer than DWF, but a fine addition to the TSOL legacy.

I'd be hard pushed to choose a favourite American HC singer, but Jack would be top five, if you throw in the charisma and wit then he'd be number one. I love some of his banter in this vid. It's not the best sound quality, but wtf it's TSOL. You can download a copy this video to your harddrive if you follow the "share" link.


Monday, 20 June 2011

Government Issue

Someone, somewhere has more of this.....

Love the guitar at 0.43 'till the end....

Friday, 17 June 2011

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Naked Raygun

I hope Pierre hasn't left....

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! - Toyah (1980)

It's verging on a crime to admit that you were a fan of Toyah these days, or at least once admitted it's expected that you'll have the common decency to look embarrassed and remove yourself from the room. However, I was a fan and saw the band in concert a few times. I do have a limit though and it was pretty much reached soon after the release of this album.

The bands early career from 1979 - 1980 is where they had me hook, line and sinker; 5 singles and three albums, all still sounding great to my ears. This was recorded to coincide with an ATV television documentary on Toyah, also shown in '80. This album's panned by many as crap, I always liked it and still do.

It's easy to forget, and dismiss, the impact the band had in their early days, they really did stand out from the crowd and were still grouped into the punk category, despite what she says in the documentary. Without the punk crowd, gigs would have be spartan and they might not have achieved the commercial success that was just over the horizon from this release.

In early '81 the band released "four from Toyah" which included the song "It's a Mystery" and that was it, so ended my mini love affair with Toyah.

I saw the band for the last time in '81 and felt totally out of place, as gone were most of the punks being replaced with screaming kids. I saw the exact same thing with Adam & the Ants a month or so later.

The ATV television documentary


Thursday, 9 June 2011

Headstrong - st (2002)

I have no doubt most people will hate this, personally, I love it.

They started in the early 90's as Bomb32, in Toronto, and were lumped in with 311, Helmet etc. They changed their name to Headstrong and were signed to RCA who jumped on them after a huge wave of public support and could no doubt could smell money.

They recorded this, their only album, in London, Ontario and it was quickly released. In a disgusting show of corporate greed RCA dropped the band 6 months after the albums release, due to poor sales. Disillusioned the band called it quits and split up. Joel Krass posted some of the demos they were working on prior to the split on youtube.
Consisting of:-

Matt Kinna - Vocals
Joel Krass - Guitar
Joe Cohen - Bass
Brian Matthews -  Drums

These guys can really play thier instruments. I'd loved to have heard more from them and this album should be wider knwon. It's not punk, but it's as powerful as hell and has all the vitriol and angst of punk. Enjoy/hate - whatever. :)

The softest track, and single, from the album.


I've loaded 5 of the 12 tracks so you can get a feeling for what they were like. The album is still available on amazon or iTunes, so if you like it pop over there and buy it; it's only £8 and the band deserve to get their cut.

One of the unreleased tracks.


I do like this band...even their newer stuff. Germany ftw......

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Wool - Budspawn (1992)

So as mentioned below, this band started life in the early 90's when Scream imploded. The Stahl brothers recruited ex Governent Issue drummer Pete Moffett and ex Concrete Blonde bassist Al Bloch (brother of Kurt from the Fastbacks).

They released their first 7'' , Little Darlin in 1992 on the Fuck You record label. This was followed by this brilliant release. Budspawn, self released, should be available today as it's so under rated and should be better known. Here they plough a more melodic rock/punk vein and there's not a duff track on it.

Pete Moffett exited the band after this release and was replaced by Chris Bratton ex Inside Out. The band signed to London Records and recorded the, also, excellent Box Set, but due to poor sales they were dropped. The band split in 1996, which is a damn shame imo.

Pete and Franz both went onto various other projects, but nothing matches this, or Scream; I think they're both at their best when working together.

Franz MySpace


Scream - Mardi Gras (1990)

The story of Scream should be well known, but just in case.  A band started in 1981 in Virginia and inextricably linked to the Washington DC scene. The band consisted of the Stahl brothers, Pete (vocals) and Franz (guitar)  Skeeter Thompson, (bass) and Kent Stax (drums). They were easily one of the scenes leading lights releasing their first album (Still Screaming), on Dischord, in 1983, which immediately became a classic of its genre.

Their second album (This Side Up) is also a classic in my opinion, by which time they'd added a second guitarist in Robert Lee (Harley) Davidson. A poor 3rd album (Banging the Drum) followed and Kent Stax left the band to be replaced by Dave Grohl.

Dave played on the 4th and 5th albums where the band played a more rock orientated sound.
Both of these albums are very good - No More Censorship/Fumble. Fumble was recorded in 1989, but wasn't released until 1993 when Dischord stepped in.

The band split up in 1990 after Skeeter stole the bands equipment to sell for drugs. Pete and Franz formed Wool and Dave went onto Nirvana.

They also released two 7'', Walking by Myself and this one. They were a great live band, full of power and energy, totally inspiring.


Saturday, 4 June 2011


Can't wait (again)......lifted from the Dischord site: -

Scream will be releasing an EP of new material on SideOneDummy Records. The "Complete Control Session" was recorded live by Dave Grohl for the Complete Control Radio show and will be released on 10" vinyl and digitally on August 16th.

Manifesto (Michael Hampton, Bert Queiroz, Ivor Hanson)

So back to these guys, I posted their album here a long time ago.

Burn was their first 7'' released in '89; the b side, Long Time, appeared on their album, but this version is slightly rougher. I've also lumped in their first 12'', History.

Michael Hampton would be in my top guitarists list, along with Tom Lyle. I still don't get why they stopped making music, but hey, I'm thankful for what they've given.

If anyone has a copy of their second 12'', Walking Backwards, please hook me up. :)


Adolescents - Fastest kid Alive (2011) - hopefully

According to rumours/reports this album is just about to be released.......can't wait as their last effort was the best since their first. There's more of the album on youtube btw

Abandoned - Killed by Faith (1985)

A band formed by ex members of Modern Industry, who'd also play in the Flower Leperds. Whilst they were gathering these songs they asked Tony Cadena/Montana/Reflex etc (Adolescents) to write lyrics for the band. Their singer, Mark Marshall, left so Tony stepped in to sing and record this album; the only release from that period.

Released in 1985 on Savage Beat. I found this by pure chance as I'd no idea it was out, or even that it had been recorded. During one of my mammoth Volume records/Virgin record searches I saw this and flipping it around the record label caught my eye, and then Tony's name. I hadn't heard it, but based on Tony's name alone I bought it. Luckily I like a bit of metal as this is exactly what it is, a classy piece of punk/metal cross over.

Unlike some of the tacky attempts by others, SSD/DYS spring to mind, this is actually very good. The band was completed by : -

Jimi Huge - Guitar  (Modern Industry/Flower Leperds)
Reid Campbell - Bass (Modern Industry)
Mark Banks - Drums (YNA)

A retrospective cd was released a good few years ago, but it appears that it wasn't sanctioned by all the members of the band, i.e. the ones listed here.


Modern Industry released one 7'' on Toxic Shock in '83, it was made available on iTunes or here last year. Due to that I'll load one song as a taster


Friday, 3 June 2011

Send in the troops.....

Modern Warfare

Their first 7'' released in 1980 on the fabulous Bemisbrain record label. They consisted of: -

Jim Bemis - Guitar/Vocals
Steve Sinclair - Bass
Ron Goudie - Guitar
Tish Lucca - Keyboards
Randy Scott - Drums

They lasted until 1983 releasing a second 7'' and appearing on a few compilations. This 7'' was produced by Geza X.


Vatican Commandos

Formed in 1980 and lasting until 1985 they released two 7'' and one 12''. Probably more famous now for the fact that Richard Hall was a member of the band, he's better known as Moby....yes that Moby. They produced snotty hardcore that sounds as good today as it did when it was released, which was 1983. They reformed for a few shows last year.



A band most people either love or hate; there doesn't appear to be much middle ground with them. I've no idea how anyone could hate them. I love their jazzy, manic punk. Three guys who could all really play and meshed so well as a unit.

Formed out of the ashes of the Reactionaries by D Boon, Guitar/vocals and Mike Watt, Bass they recruited George Hurley on drums and began touring extensively. They lasted from 1980 until 1985 when the untimely death of D Boon brought things to a shuddering halt. They left behind a wealth of music to explore and all of it is great imho. This was released in 1981.

Mike Watt and George Hurley continued as fIREHOSE after some persuasion as they were obviously shattered by the death of their friend. fIREHOSE produced some great music also.

You can only wonder what the Minutemen would have gone on to produce had D Boon survived.



OK so it's a tenuous "troop" link, but, hey, it's a good single.

Coming out of Hollywood CA, they played a great old style punk and are often cited as being a bridging band from the old punk to the new hardcore.

They released a cd a few years ago that is a must have as it gathered together their official releases, demos, unreleased tracks etc in one place. You can find it here. Hollywest Crisis is a classic song. This is their single from 1980.


Suicide Commandos

I've had this record for soooooo many years and it never gets old. Cited as being a big influence on a young Bob Mould. Formed in 1975 and lasting until 1979 they had less than a handful of releases, this being their only studio long player from that period. ..... but, wow, what a long player. I'm still staggered that this was released in 1978, it just beggars belief; it's so good and hasn't dated at all.

They reformed a couple of years ago to do some gigs and there's some good footage on you tube from this time. myspace


Thursday, 2 June 2011

Salvation Army - Mind Gardens 7'' (1981)

I first heard this 7'' 30 years ago, I feel old, and its sublime beauty just blew me away; 30 years later I'm still blown away.

Released in 1981 on the Minutemen's New Alliance label the band consisted of: -

Michael Quercio - Vocals/Bass
John Blazing - Guitar
Troy Howell - Drums

The band were teenagers at this time and were signed to Frontier soon after this 7'' where they released their first album.

For obvious reasons a forced name change ensued and they became The Three O'Clock who were leading lights of the Paisley Underground scene which exploded in the early 80's with bands such as Rain Parade, The Bangles, Green on Red etc. The Three O' Clock were a little too polished for me, but this single is stunning, still.


Uk Subs

Wednesday, 1 June 2011