[Originally published: Issue #4, circa 1987]
A SUBTLE PLAGUE 1986 demo
A SUBTLE PLAGUE was formed in 1984 in the Hudson Valley area of New York, where four of its five members were attending Bard College. They gigged mainly in the Hudson Valley, opening up often for a Poughkeepsie band called AGITPOP. In 1985, the band took a hiatus while its singer studied in England. They re-formed in January, 1986, recording a tape and opening up for FIREHOSE and SONIC YOUTH at Bard and for THE FEELIES at Vassar College. A.S.P., now situated in Philadelphia, has once again taken a hiatus, as two members deal with immigration and say goodbye to relatives (one is from West Germany, the other from West Africa). They will continue in September, playing as often as possible.
A SUBTLE PLAGUE '86 demo: A.S.P. is a band that has a sound all their own, far from punk or hardcore, But in no way, judging by the four songs on this demo, mainstream. It has a definite BUTTHOLE SURFERS/FLlPPER feel, in that A.S.P. is very experimental, with excellent use of a saxophone and various percussion devices. But make no mistake - these five are true musicians, with sounds ranging from funk, to blues, to reggae, to punk. It's also a sound that MUST be heard. Four totally diverse songs come together to make this tape a must for anyone who enjoys a little adventure in their music. Interesting lyrics, too. Check it out. [MICKEY]
DAG NASTY "Wig Out at Denko's" LP
Remember way back in issue number one during the review of DOGGY STYLE'S "Last Laugh" LP, I commented what a waste it was that two fine musicians like Brian Baker and Doug Carrion were playing in a band like that? Well, my wishes came true - both are now in DAG NASTY (the drummer and Brian are the only original members). The "Last Laugh" is a laugh compared to DAG NASTY'S new LP. It's absolutely incredible. It may not be too popular with DAG NASTY fans (although I'm an avid one!), as for the most part, it's not as thrashy. No power has been lost here -- he intensity remains, and the same vein of lyrics, although not as vague as on the "Can I Say* LP, is evident. It's an ambitious effort, as they delve into a slower, more musically oriented sound. The old sound can be found too, as heard in songs like "Simple Minds," "Safe," and "Dag Nasty". The LP, as a whole, requires many listenings for one to really get into it. While doing it, try to forget their first LP. It's a different band, who has put out the best LP so far in 1987. (Dischord) [MICKEY]
THE DEHUMANIZERS "End of Time" LP
A pretty cool LP from this Seattle outfit. Of the 21 "tracks", about 15 of them are actual songs and the rest are very short selections of a cheering crowd and other stuff (when put all together, it pleasantly reminds one of a Monty Python record). These songs, as the ones on the "Kill Lou Guzzo" EP, all draw on various musical influences to make this album diverse and kind of interesting. Even though their EP is funnier, this LP is OK. I would've liked to see all five tracks from the EP redone here, but only a speedier version of "Grandma, I'm a Drug Fiend" is present. Hope to hear more from this band in the future. (Subcore) [TONY]
DEAD KENNEDYS "Give Me Convenience or Give Be Death" LP
The now defunct DEAD KENNEDYS have had a string of popular tunes throughout the years. But this isn't a greatest hits LP - it's a compilation of b-sides, unreleased tunes, and two or three well known ones (all adding up to 17 tracks - 15 on the album and two more on the flexi). I love it, but then again, I'm a diehard DK's fan. Great stuff, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to someone who isn't into them. Also comes with a nifty magazine, with a page for each track, telling about the track and where it first appeared. (Alternative Tentacles) [MICKEY]
GUNSLINGERS demo '87
If you saw a copy of Threatening Society #3, you've seen the interview with GUNSLINGERS, and you know that they are a hot new hand from Fullerton, California. They are currently on tour with Flipside Record's D0GGY STYLE. If you didn't see number three, the above is true, and get that issue!
GUNSLINGERS '87 demo: Yes, GUNSLINGERS is a Southern Cal. band, but without that typical, almost cliched sound. It's not your three-chord repetitive punk music. A lot of thought and practice (and talent!) must nave gone into the writing and execution of these eight songs - which I can only compare to a combination of DAG NASTY and "New Wind" 7 SECONDS, with the raw tinge of '77 punk. The guitar and vocals are the definite stars of this band - both overshadow the rhythm section (which is very good, also). It leaves the melodious tunes in your head for a long time after the tape player's off. The lyrics (sung beautifully) deal with very personal topics. They're written well, and mercifully, they're not pretentious. An all-together fantastic job. Please, someone sign these guys! [MICKEY]
I DENY EP
Very good Italian hardcore that's a little reminiscent of RAW POWER, maybe even faster and sore powerful. Five good songs - four in Italian and one in English (all lyrics included). The non-English songs may sound a bit strange the first time you listen to them, but you will quickly become used to it and see that this band rips. [TONY]
MDL "In the Midst of Delusions" demo
MDL was formed on June 5, 1985, in Ellensburg, Washington - a small redneck/college town in the middle of the state. A scene in Ellensburg is basically unheard of due to many factors - including the remoteness of the area and tne conservatism of its citizens. Altnougn lately, bands have begun to pop up and snows occur every couple of months. The band was originally called THE DEAD LENINZ, and the line-up is Baf Lenin on vocals, Blare Lenin on guitar, Biff Lenin on bass and Bash Lenin on drums. MDL released their first demo, "Mother Rose's Basement" on their own label, Lenin Comps.
MDL "In the Midst of Delusions": This is some really cool stuff - I guess you would call it "garage punk" if you were into labels. This band reminds me of the early DEAD KENNEDYS, while also sounding like the old DEAD MILKMEN, yet not quite as nerdy. Cool rhythms by good musicians and a good vocalist singing (is that a new word?) both serious and humorous topics. 16 songs on a digitally mastered tape which lasts 30 minutes and lyrics are included. Incredible! Also write for info on the first MDL demo and other Lenin Comps tapes. [MICKEY]
MULTIPLE STAB WOUNDS "What's All This Then?" demo
MULTIPLE STAB WOUNDS is a thrash band from Connecticut consisting of Totie Herman on vocals, Jeff Fahy on lead and rhythm guitars, Brian Duca on drums and Ian Miller on lead and rhythm bass. They've been around for a little over a year, and are trying to convince the world that anarchy is the only way for rational beings to live. The bassist, Ian, would also like to dissuade people from hurting themselves with chemicals.
MULTIPLE STAB WOUNDS "What's All This Then?" demo: Excellent thrash music which is burdened by mindlessly violent lyrics, especially in "Slam To Kill." However, Ian has informed me that the new-sound is much better, in that the music is more "shredding" and the message is much more positive. The music is already very tight and technical (especially displayed in the MAIDEN-like "Call To Arms", which is not indicative of their regular sound) and I think the addition of better lyrics which are wore reflective of their personal beliefs should make MSW an all-around good band. This five track tape costs $3 in the US, and $5 elsewhere. [TONY]
NUCLEAR DEATH "Welcome to the Kings of the Morbid" demo
NUCLEAR DEATH is a death-thrash band from Arizona, with Lori (20) on vocals and bass, Phil (20) on guitar, and Joel (19) on drums. They have released a previous demo and have been covered in such illustrious mags as "Metal Forces" and "Total Thrash".
NUCLEAR DEATH "Welcome to the Kings of the Morbid" demo: Having heard a lot of good things about this band, I was quite anxious to hear this demo. Unfortunately, it did not reach my expectations (but who cares?). Anyway, this is very, VERY fast thrash with surprising female vocals - surprising because they sound just like a guy. I think NUCLEAR DEATH would be a good band if they slowed down a bit. Another thing that didn't tickle my fancy was the horror lyrics. NOW, as a connoisseur of fine death metal, I can tolerate most gore lyrics. But these lyrics are not only unsavory, but they are also ludicrous bordering on the sublime (specifically "Necrobestiality")! I can't strongly recommend this demo, but you might want to check it out because a lot of folks I know dig this and it just may not be my cup of tea. This four track tape with lyric sheet (unfortunately) costs $4 in the U.S. and $5 elsewhere. [TONY]
PAGAN BABIES "Immaculate Conception" EP
PAGAN BABIES are a definite favorite of the Philly scene (see show review - Ed.), delighting them with their all out energetic, excellent live performances. But I have never heard them sound as good as they do on this EP. Their MUSIC, which varies from the melodic "Dreams" to the slow, eerie "Clearing the Blur", shows how diverse their sounds can be. For what the lyrics lack their singer makes us for 100 times over, with his mixture of singing and emitting high-pitched yells. This whole EP shows what punk rock should be - raw, energetic, and dedicated. Get it! (Plus Records) [MICKEY]
PEDIFILE "Round 2" demo
PEDIFILE is a death metal band from Arizona. They will be appearing on an upcoming Death Records comp.
PEDIFILE "Round 2": This band's first demo hinted at a good future in this genre and this second demo should send them well off into that direction. SLAYER-inspired death metal with ambiguous lyrics and titles ("Fallacious Vindication"). Many 'zines (including TS) have slagged PEDIFILE off 'cause of the high pitched screams on the first demo. Well, they are totally non-existent on "Round 2". Now, even though I didn't like those screams (though I realize the training it takes), I think it's a real shame when any band changes their sound because of "peer pressure." If you're heavily into death-metal, check this one out. It costs $4, but you can get the demo and a PEDIFILE t-shirt (which Lars Ulrich from METALLlCA has seen sporting) for $8. [TONY]
TOKEN ENTRY "From Beneath the Streets" LP
Great hardcore from New York that is rather original in a way that it's very different from standard NYHC and it also more-or-less avoids the cliche straight-edge sound and lyrics. This band really rocks. I won't go on and on about it - just hear for yourself and you'll know what I mean. (Positive Force) [MICKEY]
YOUTH OF TODAY "Can't Close My Eyes" EP
This EP was released a while before this band put out that great LP, "Break Down the Walls''. This 7 track 7" shows the band a bit rawer, yet still as powerful. Besides the decent musicianship and vocal prowess of Ray of Today, all of these songs are great (especially "Expectations" and "Youth Crew"). The only problem (a tiny one) that I could see are the cliche straight-edge lyrics which are easily overlooked. This EP is simply one of the best I ever heard. (Positive Force) [MICKEY]
Various Artists "Together" EP
I'm a big fan of newer NY hardcore, so this EP, to me, is fantastic! Seven bands get to strut their stuff (one song each), compiled by Ray of Today (of YOUTH OF TODAY). All the bands are good - no complaints about any of their music or lyrics. But some REALLY stand out. BOLD Is a band that has really matured since their CRIPPLED YOUTH days (especially lyrically), giving the best tune on the EP with "Talk Is Cheap". SIDE BY SIDE comes off sounding great, too -- talented musicians with a message, as heard on their track, "V.T.F." YOUTH OF TODAY, as usual, sounds fantastic with their live recording of "Together". Other bands who appear are WARZONE, SICK OF IT ALL, SUPERTOUCH, and GORILLA BISCUITS. [MICKEY]
Copyright 2007 ThreateningSociety.com/PhillyPunkRock.com
EPILEPTIC ALBINO BULLFROGS demo '87
EPILEPTIC ALBINO BULLFROGS is a hardcore band from Philly. Their line-up consists of Steve Spagnuola on vocals, Scott Helig on drums, Bob Belcher on guitar, and Rob Lipschutz on bass. They've been getting a lot of exposure by playing local shows, and appearing in some zines (including TS #1).
EAB demo '87?: This is the long-awaited demo from this up and rising local band. I've watched this band grow and progress musicaily, and this eleven tracks affair offers a good, fairly tight harcdore sound with some decent lyrics. The first song, "Death Mobiles" (about poorly-built cars), may deceive you because of its "metal" sound. But E.A.B. are not metal, even though their music has a distinct heavy edge. Anyway, "Criminal at Large", "Sinful Past", and "Keep The Scene" are among the best songs here. At only $2 in the U.S. and $3 elsewhere, this tape is a real bargain. [MICKEY]