June 25, 2010

Various Artists
A Sides Part One 1979-1982
A Sides Part Two 1982-1984


As promised, here are the two Crass Records singles collections. I got these both in 1993, a time when I was really exploring punk rock beyond the usual "popular" punk bands. I was getting into some of the newer American bands (Screeching Weasel especially, a favorite to this day), a few old hardcore bands (Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, the bands on that one live NY hardcore comp...what was that called? It had Token Entry, Rest in Pieces, No for an Answer and one other band if I recall), and was just starting to discover some of the stuff from England. I'd been a fan of the Buzzcocks and the Damned for a while, but had just recently become pretty obsessed with Crass. When I stumbled across part one of this comp, there were just enough recognizable names on the disc to get me to plunk down my money. I knew Conflict (I had their live album, Turning Rebellion into Money and a 7") and Captain Sensible. Cool artwork, done deal.

Turns out this stuff was a pretty different breed from the punk, English or American, that I was familiar with at the time. Stuff like Honey Bane, Poison Girls, and The Snipers sounded really out there to my young ears. There's not a song on this one I don't like (though I do usually skip the Annie Anxiety track if I'm being honest). When I posted The Poison Girls record a while back, I mentioned their song on this comp. It's great, and sort of sounds like it could've fit onto side 2 of Alice Cooper's Welcome to my Nightmare. For real.

I finally found the second volume while I was on vacation with my family in Florida. The only band I recognized on this one was MDC, but I loved the first one so much I knew I wouldn't be disappointed, and I was right. Anthrax, Omega Tribe, Sleeping Dogs, and Hit Parade all blew me away, and the Lack of Knowledge song on here is probably one of my favorite punk songs ever. Just a really awesome song.

Anyway, I'll admit now what I wouldn't then: the politics these bands were spouting were completely lost on me. I knew there was a general anti-system, anti-capitalism, anti-government stance, and that was enough. I've managed to tune out most of the politics in the music I like over the years (there are some bands I couldn't tolerate otherwise), so the fact that Crass Records considered itself a political movement as much as a punk label matters not at all to me, one way or the other. I liked the songs, the art was great, and it fed into my teenage angst at the time just fine.

For some of these bands, the songs here are all I've heard. Aside from the bands I've already posted, I've got music by Lack of Knowledge, Conflict, Rudimentary Peni, MDC, Omega Tribe, Hit Parade, and Zounds. For the most part, none of it has grabbed me the way these tracks did when I first heard them. Something about these collections, their general weirdness, and the totally foreign imagery and language scratched me right where I itched when I was 15, and so they still do now. Maybe you'll dig it too.

A Sides Part One 1979-1982
A Sides Part Two 1982-1984

June 19, 2010

The Parents of God

The Snipers
Three Piece Suite

I don't know much about The Snipers. I think this might be their only release, though I'm pretty sure there's an unreleased full length floating around out there that you can stumble across. I first heard "The Parents of God" on the Crass Records comp A Sides Part One, which I bought at Camelot Records at one of the local malls back in 1994. That comp and it's sequel are two records that hit me very hard at the time and still pull in big waves of nostalgia when I put them on (like right now, for example). Next week I'll post them both. I've already posted stuff from Anthrax, Poison Girls, and Flux (of Pink Indians), all of which I first heard on these comps.

Anyway, here are 3 songs from The Snipers, sounding like a Crass Records version of early stuff by The Cure, only lazier and weirder. "Killing An Arab" comes to mind. Check it out.

Three Piece Suite