Friday, September 24, 2010

Last Intoxication of Senses

I realize that if I want to fit in with today’s punks, I’m supposed to have this attitude that there were no good bands during the 1990s. Fortunately, I don’t believe that at all. In fact, sometimes I actually miss the punk scene of the ‘90s. I don’t mean to keep hammering this point into the ground, but it’s true: back then, most punk bands weren’t about slavishly imitating their 1980s idols. The past was there to be learned from and to be used as a jump-off point to keep the punk rock flame burning…and evolving. Today’s by-the-numbers hardcore bands have completely missed that point. But they will break up someday and start new bands. When that happens, one can hope that they check out bands like Neurosis, Buzzov-en, His Hero is Gone, Born Against, In/Humanity, and Rorschach to hear what it’s like to play punk rock with the same intensity as Black Flag while advancing the genre at the same time. It’ll be interesting to see what new ideas they come up with.

Another band that should be listened to in that same regard is Germany’s A Band Called Diabolo. They’re generally overlooked in 2010, but the relative few people who have their records know that ABC Diabolo was one SICK fucking band in their day. Seriously. Go ahead and ask knowledgeable crusty punks who were around back then. I don’t know this for a fact, but they may very well have been the precursor to German metalcore bands like Systral. Whether they know it or not, today’s “emo-screamo” bands also owe a debt of gratitude to the musical monster that was ABC Diabolo.

Back in 1995, I was blown away when I added “The Power of a Lyric Sheet” to the end of a mix tape. I remember this album providing the soundtrack to quite a few drunken evenings, in which we would fantasize about how utterly amazing it would be if ABC Diabolo managed to make it over here on tour. They’d already broken up by that point, but we didn’t know that anyway. I got my own copy a year later when I stole it from some Oakland crusty house during a party in which I was none too thrilled with the way most of the douchebag partygoers were acting towards me. I know that’s a bit immature and lame, but what do you want for being eighteen years old? Nobody wanted to share their beer with me, man! (This is the part where you’re supposed to laugh at my youthful stupidity.) Don’t worry, I don’t pull impromptu shopping sprees like that anymore.

Last Intoxication of Senses
is one of those albums that I keep in reserve. I try to not play it very often so I can continue to appreciate it for the great record that it is. On the occasions that I do listen to it, I find that like fine wine, it gets better with age. I like it when records do that and so should you. I’d like nothing more than to see punk bands who take their cues from ABC Diabolo. Sew on their patches. Rock the T-shirts. Cover their songs. Keep the flame burning.

Get intoxicated here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pro Wrestling Primer: Muraco's Donut Regimen

I don't remember seeing this on TV back in the day, but this was originally broadcast in 1985 just after the inaugural WrestleMania. Led to the ring by the devious Mr. Fuji, the Magnificent Muraco was a staple on WWF television every Sunday afternoon. Although I missed his epic rivalries with Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Pedro Morales, and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, I always enjoyed watching him dispatch jobbers with his tombstone piledriver. Despite being a heel, the stoned-out beach bum from Hawaii was okay in my book.

Anyway, this promo is one more reason why I'm a Don Muraco fan. Mean Gene Okerlund is questioning the Magnificent One regarding his training regimen when Muraco breaks out a bunch of powdered donuts and starts chomping away. It's important to watch your diet, and Muraco's diet consist of goddamned lard biscuits. Like pro wrestling's answer to Bluto Blutarsky, Muraco shoves donut after donut down his gullet while explaining the benefits of basing your diet around them. He repeatedly tries to push donuts on Mean Gene, but he'll have none of it. Finally uttering a muffled "ah, the hell with you," Muraco and his box of Dunkin' Donuts walks off. Note the hangover shades.

Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and his charge Ken Patera are up next. It's not often that the Brain is at a loss for words, but he's clearly having a hard time keeping a straight face after witnessing Muraco's antics. When Patera edges into frame and kisses his own bicep, that's enough to send Heenan off camera in which he's clearly busting a gut laughing. His interview itself is phoned in, but he and Okerlund save it at the end with the last two lines.

This wasn't a particularly significant find or anything. Just a silly day at WWF headquarters that made me laugh. Enjoy!

Friday, September 17, 2010

No Rock Stars, No Ripoff

Hellkrusher formed in the late ‘80s as a side band with members of UK stenchcore legends Hellbastard and Energetic Krusher. Since then, their logo has adorned more studded vests than either of their main bands, mostly because Hellkrusher records were a bit easier to come by. This has probably changed in recent years due to the rise of “D-beat” hipster punks with record collections purchased from the eBay machine, but we at The Evil Eye couldn’t care less about those people anyway.

This is Hellkrusher’s first album, released in 1990. It’s a bit different than the rest of their records that I’ve heard. In fact, it’s the only Hellkrusher record that I actually enjoy listening to. The Doomsday Hour LP—their most common record—was essentially a boring Discharge imitation to these ears, but Wasteland flies the mid ‘80s metal flag with pride. Although there’s a decent amount of Slayer riffs employed in their songwriting, you’d better believe that Hellkrusher intended to leave the rock star metal attitude in the trash where it belongs. Instead, it would appear that they and other late ‘80s crust bands used thrash metal as a way to add some power to the political convictions of their lyrics…and to spice up a hardcore punk scene that had gone stale several years prior. Crust is supposed to be punk rock that uses heavy metal as a reference, which is a point that is generally lost on most bands who play the style today.

Apparently, there is an earlier version of Wasteland that is a bit rawer in sound, but the record label ordered it shelved due to the sound quality. That recording probably hasn’t been made available to any ears outside of the Hellkrusher camp, but there has been talk of releasing it with the original artwork. Until that happens, you’ll just have to make do with this one for the time being. Soap your hair, stud your jacket, pop a squat, and smash the trash here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pro Wrestling Primer: The way it used to be

This is what professional wrestling is all about: doing things to convince viewers that the wrestlers themselves were for real, even if the sport itself wasn't. You forgot about your smug "wrestling is fake" comments when Roddy Piper smashed himself in the forehead with an unopened beer bottle to make a point to his rivals. You saw the blood pouring and instantly made plans to be at the local arena to see Piper and Rick Martel in the steel cage against the Sheepherders in a couple weeks. It would be a bloodbath. And you also believed that Roddy Piper was serious when he spoke of that bloodbath, even though he didn't make much sense after cracking himself with that bottle of Michelob.

Before ECW, this was hardcore wrestling. In fact, lots of local regional promotions would push the envelope in similar ways to sell tickets to the arena event next week. You can bet that Piper's little stunt with the beer bottle sold a LOT of tickets to that cage match a couple weeks later.

Who won the cage match? Damned if I can remember, but remember when the Sheepherders came out the next week with beer bottles of their own? They teased breaking them over their heads, but drank the beer instead...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Don't Forget Your Roots?

In 1989, NYHC legends Warzone forgot the struggle and forgot the streets. They forgot their roots. I don’t think they managed to sell out, but it’s safe to say that this record was probably an attempt to do just that. After all, Raybeez did try to change his stage name to “Ray James” on this album. If that’s not a sellout move, I don’t know what is. I’m not one to agree with the old schoolers that the metal crossover of the mid to late ‘80s ruined hardcore punk, but it’s hard to argue that point when this album is used as one of their examples. Just listen to the butt rock rewrites of “Wound Up” and “Under 18,” or the blatant ripoff of Sabbath’s “Symptom of the Universe” that is the song “Judgement Day II (Your Time Will Come).” Today’s retro metal kids may actually be dumb enough to think that this is a great record, but I assure you that this is Warzone’s Cold Lake. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that this is their Into the Unknown, since Raybeez and company eventually saw the error of their ways and reverted back to playing standard hardcore.

If you’re a fan of records like Cold Lake, New Wind, Grave New World, Massacre Divine, Beast on My Back, or Break It Up, maybe you’re capable of listening to this one and formulating an opinion on whatever merits this record might have. Maybe you already have. If not, I’d like to see if everyone reading this can download it and listen to it for as long as you can. Then let me know via the comments section how far you managed to make it before turning it off in disgust. I dare you, motherfucker. The experiment starts here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

This is Hardcore, Not East Bay

Three Wheel Motion was a short-lived project with members of Spazz, Slobber, and Charles Bronson that existed when Mark and Jon from Charles Bronson were visiting the Bay Area during the summer of 1995. Some of you might remember seeing this demo listed in 625 Productions’ MRR ads back in the day, but probably didn’t act on ordering a copy. Don’t worry, I didn’t either. By the time I thought to ask Max Ward about it, he was already out of copies. The only person I knew who had the Three Wheel Motion demo was none other than Steve List, and I made sure to include it in a pile of obscure local band demos that I dubbed from him years ago. However, it was Three Wheel Motion guitarist Dan Lactose (of the awesome Ripped Open by Metal Explosions blog) who supplied me with the MP3s a while back, so joints up to you, my man!

Man, this demo is fucking hilarious. Three Wheel Motion may be a hardcore band in the same vein as Charles Bronson, but they’re clearly inspired by mid ‘90s gangsta rap with song titles like “Nine by My Side” and “Hoe Ass Blockbustas.” If that’s not enough, there’s a copious amount of samples from
Menace II Society before every song, complete with gunshots. Other songs display the typical West Bay Doomryder hostility towards the East Bay punk scene, Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue, and crustys in general. Not sure how much of that is meant in good fun, but whatever. Anybody who would actually take this seriously obviously has no idea what sorts of people were involved with this project.

Load the clip, spark a blunt, flip the switches and hit the Three Wheel Motion here.