Friday, July 2, 2010

Oakland Cider Chaos

The Masked Men were literally born and raised in Oakland, but were not exactly a part of the so-called “Oakland crustcore” scene during the mid ‘90s. The East Bay was a MUCH more insular scene back then, and had no time for a band of teenagers playing noisy chaos punk a la early Chaos UK or Disorder. But I think if the Masked Men existed in the here and now, they would probably go over well. There have been quite a few local bands in recent years that they’d have things in common with, after all. It makes me chuckle thinking about this because bands like Gloom and CFDL played a similar style in Japan around the same time as the Masked Men did in the East Bay. People go ape for those “crasher crust” records now, and they may very well appreciate the Masked Men too.

This is their third recording, which is the best example of what I’m talking about. Done for the tidy sum of $35 on a night off at Gilman Street by ex-Blatz bassist Marshall Stax. Previous recordings didn’t sound quite this chaotic, and nobody was really sure how it came out this way. But that was often how recordings happened in those days. You didn’t really have the time or the money to work out the best recording possible. It was also harder to make connections with people who had studios and knew what they were doing. I know it’s gotten old saying it by now, but the punks really do have it a lot easier these days.


So keep all of that in mind as you crack open a bottle of Mirkwood Spider Cider and revel in would-be classic tunes like “The Legend of Carlo Rossi,” “Chaos,” “Vegan Chaos” (a future KBD classic if there ever was one), “More Cider,
“BART Cops Attacked by Plaid Punks,” and “I’m Gonna Fuck Up Your Car.” Some of these songs are things of genius, I tell ya. Not that it matters to 99.9% of anyone reading this, but I personally dubbed this particular tape for Max Ward back in 1997, in which I added a few samples and removed others for timing’s sake. Seven years later, I was able to recover it when Max dropped off a box of tapes at a Gilman show. Since my copy of the original demo was stolen a long time ago, I was overjoyed to have this tape back in my possession after all that time. Now you too can have it in yours here.


7 comments:

bcfa9f68-5acc-11e0-a826-000bcdcb5194 said...

just came across this post. Thank you for uploading! Having played my copy through so often, I figured it would be best to redub it for longer lasting flavor. Yes, that turned out to be a split cassette of two of the east bay's finest at the time as far as I was concerned. Readers of the Evil Eye may have heard of the band I put on the B-Side, a certain group of delinquents named The Young and the Useless.
But back to the MaskedMen... As afresh 17 year olf vegan and devoted player of Warhammer, there really wasn't a band around that I felt more in tune with. Want proof? Check the name on the email linked to this post...

The Evil Eye said...

Heh, your email addy didn't show up! For the record, David's first email address was "veganchaos@aol.com."

SEAN ÄABERG said...

I've been wanting to start a noisy D-Beat band again these days with really weird lyrics & have an amazing video show with it & smoke machine & shit like that. Who is the person posting above who is not Jake? Also, really weird comics to go with the lyric booklets. Fuck it. I'm going to do that. Now to come up with a name.

The Evil Eye said...

Sean, that is David Duer who posted that comment. Old friend of mine. Looking forward to hearing that band if it happens!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean, we have met at a few goth clubs in fact. Besides just finding the band and its themes cool I was always into your sketches (on the demo, on flyers - chaos days, etc...). Bad ass John Blanche style you made your own!
Just before I moved out of the Bay Area I ran into Mikel (sp?) at my buddy Dennis Cook's house in Berkeley. We were all smoking weed and I looked up from the bong and said to him, "wait, weren't you in the Masked Men?" It was a fun small world event hehe... Anyway, if you do get that DBeat project off the ground you should really let Jake review it here. CHeers, David

LWayne said...

Watching you guys play with The Young and The Useless and opening up for bands I don't need to mention remind me of the same things Dabid talked about. Vegan Chaos! SOY SOY SOY!

Benjamin said...

good times, indeed.