Shit Gets Smashed was a compilation released by East Bay Menace during the local scene’s supposed “dead” period of the mid ‘90s. While Green Day and Rancid were blowing up big on MTV, a number of their peers formed new bands that mostly shifted towards a darker sound than their more melodic outfits of years past. Of course, I am referring to the “Oakland crust” sound, which has roots in older bands like Crucifix, Neurosis, and Christ on Parade. With a couple exceptions, Shit Gets Smashed documents all of the bands that played that style around here back then. Eldopa, Ojorojo, and Multi-Facet represent Oakland Satanic darkness, while Apeface were up to similar hijinks in San José. The Oakland bands have admittedly had better moments elsewhere, but the Apeface tracks are the best I have heard from them. Despite this being thought of as an Oakland crustcore compilation, that is hardly the case. Punk of a more straightforward nature gets its due with Hot Rod Shopping Cart, Squat, and Masterbaiter. Feel free to drench yourself in cheap beer to the rollicking drunken punk stylings of Strychnine, Mickey & the Big Mouths, and Loaded. Not all of the bands are from the East Bay either—San Francisco, San José, and Petaluma are also included.
I should admit that listening to Shit Gets Smashed does not always bring back pleasant memories. The mid ‘90s were both a fun and frustrating time in the East Bay, which is a subject that has been (and will continue to be) covered here numerous times. Tribalism was abounding, as people were much more rigid in their punk rock identities than they are now. New blood was not easily accepted, especially what with the amount of mainstream bozos flocking to Gilman Street after reading about the place in Rolling Stone. However, dealing with the bullshit was a good test of one’s resolve. Plenty of lessons were learned that later got applied in ways that made things better around here. With that in mind, I appreciate being able to have witnessed some of the things I saw as a teenager, both good and bad.
Whether anyone likes it or not, there were things happening in the Bay Area in the years between the first Neurosis album and the Ramen Days DVD—certainly more than just A.F.I. and Oppressed Logic. Shit Gets Smashed proves that, although it has faded into obscurity to some degree. Here is your second chance (actually third, considering this is a repost) to enjoy the evidence.