That, though, doesn’t mean that the slab is less than previous efforts, just that folks are getting too picky.
Looking at rock writing from the early ‘90s journalists would have you believe that after 1980 or so, punk disappeared only to resurface with Nirvana and its cohort. And while there’s some argument to be made regarding the Seattle group’s importance in underground music’s culture, Cobain and company wouldn’t have existed if there wasn’t a constant slew of low run records and weirdo bands traversing the States.
The ‘label,’ if it can actually be called that, was based around members of the Gits who were in residence at punk house. Of course, the most immediate story surrounding all of this is that of Mia Zapata, her music and her ultimate demise. But before she was taken from her friends, family and band mates, Zapata was able to contribute a few tracks to the Bobbing for Pavement compilation.
The Tyrades are one of these acts.
Initially based out of Buffalo, New Yawk, the band eventually moved to the big city of Chicago subsequent to becoming the adored weirdoes of mags like Maximum Rock ‘n Roll. But regardless of the move and what made it all occur, the quartet - Jenna Tyrade (vocals), Jimmy Ordinary (guitar), Robert Miscellaneous (bass) and Frankie Jensen (drums) – were able to distill some angsty, jittery and coffee inspired, slurred punk.
Biafra’s earliest attempt to distill what was going on over there in Cali and even up into Canada was represented in the pressing of Let Them Eat Jellybeans! The cartoon face of then president Ronald Reagan greeting listeners each time the slab was tossed on was a successful joke even if the image probably won’t play to today’s current crop of young punkers.
Belgium might be the most consistent in cranking out groups – the Kids remaining one of the greatest punk bands of all time. But that band was partial to the King’s English. Anyway, holding a listener’s interest arrives two fold. Firstly, a band needs some sort of melodic hook – in punk at least. It might be all too simple and dumbed down for the general public, but it’s gotta be there. Secondly, though, it’s always a bonus when one can sing along. And for the most part, bands stick to its native land’s tongue while performing. The Ex are a notable exception. But that band’s made up of weirdo anarchists and as likely to play funk as sound like a Subhumans’ styled group.
Most notorious would have to be Iron Cross, which gave the world “Crucified.” And while that might be the most well known effort from the nation’s capitol, U.S. Chaos and a bit later on, the Suspects churned out a few above board punk releases.
Before any of that, though, the Slickee Boys were working in what must have been a musical wasteland – just like the rest of the country. But because of the group’s determination and persistent release schedule, it was able to help establish a basic framework for ensembles, in its wake, to have a go at independent music.
Eye for an Eye doesn’t come off as an extension of the tracks represented on that aforementioned No Core released compilation, although there is some overlap – “Indifferent” is included on both. The Black Flag similarities are still there, but in the vocals throughout the disc, listeners should be able to hear some of the metal influence creeping in. Of course, those breakdowns coming left and right should also point to what was to come, but it might all be obscured by Woody Weatherman’s Greg Ginn inspired guitar soloing.
Why Are We Here? isn’t really either (alright, it was released via North Carolina’s No Core imprint and included bands from its roster). It’s an artifact from a time when genres still hadn’t been completely codified, even as that was unquestionably on the horizon. Dug up over at the Maximum Rock ‘n Roll headquarters and posted HERE, the 1983 compilation splices together aggressive groups that each work in varying degrees of hardcore and punk.
Comprised of Clayton and Jeremiah McIntyre, as well as drummer Dave Goldberg, the Box Elders unloosed a four song single not too long ago that met with only the most positive reviews. Included on that slab was a Red Kross cover sitting – so unassumingly – alongside its three originals. So while that sloppy effort was as rewarding as it was ramshackle, the Box Elders’ Alice and Friends is just as pleasing even if two of the tracks included here were represented on that single.
Regardless, at this point pretty much no one proclaims themselves a pop punk band, which is really a damnable shame. The best punk should have some pop bent to it seeing as that the more thrashy variety isn’t really palatable to most folks. Even with that, though, having fans isn’t the point – making good music is. And Sacramento’s the Bananas do just that, for the most part.
The guy to the left of frame seems to just be passing through, but what about the jovial looking chap with the hat on, smiling and looking off to the left? The uncertainty that the cover image purports is really indicative of the entire album. In this day of unearthed classics and the like, discs like the Penetrators’ are gonna be snatched up pretty immediately. Of course, if that were to happen to you here, you’d be one sorry record collector.