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Schizophrenic Melodies

post #20Estigia EP – 2001

This was an awesome dollar bin find.  There isn’t much info around in English about this raging hardcore band from Zaragoza, Espana; but their music speaks for itself.  This record was recorded a few weeks after 9/11, and it opens with a shocking audio sample from a video of that infamous day. The music is straight up fast thrash crust with dual male/female vocals, and Spanish lyrics about the standard punk topics, with a heavy focus on animal rights.

The first song on this record, ‘IV Poder’, is especially remarkable because it features something I have never heard before: dueling male vs. female gang vocals!  It’s totally awesome to hear first the men, then the women scream “Cuarto Poder!” in this anti-corporate media song.

My favorite song from the record is the last song on the record: ‘Masacre Animal’, which features a great thrashing riff and fantastic vocals from the female singer in the group.  In fact, I like this song so much, I made a video for it!

This disk is something of a collecting gem for me because I found this DIY record from Spain in a $1 bin in Wisconsin.  The sleeve is hand made: the front is silk screened (you can see in the scan the strange color distortion caused by using a dirty squeegee to apply the ink), the picture on the back was hand cut and glued, and the sleeve is pink card stock that is held together with electrical tape. The record also came with a glossy printed insert with lyrics, song explanations and other propaganda, even some rough English lyrical translations. You can even see on the back cover where this sleeve stuck to the ink from another sleeve when it was stacked on top of it before the ink dried! Ah, DIY; ya gotta love it. The most notable thing about my copy is that it is hand-numbered “#001”.

You can tell this image is screen-printed by the tiny squares visible in this closeup… looks like a screen, don’t it?!

This definately is a cool hardcore record.  The only thing that really mars it is the overwhelming amount of loud audio samples in between songs, but all of the thrashin in the songs more than makes up for that.

Check it out Here!

This Spanish blog seems to have a discography and interview with the band.

Schizophrenic Melodies

post #19

I learned to love music when I learned to love Punk Rock.  When I was a kid, the band that epitomized punk rock to me was the first punk band I had ever heard – the Dead Kennedys.  To this day if you told me that you had never heard any punk rock I would probably tell you to listen to the Dead Kennedys first. Naturally, as a consequence of listening to punk bands, I develeoped an aversion early on to that nemesis of all things punk rock: hippy music.  And everyone knows that one band epitomizes the sound of the hippies: The Grateful Dead.  Now nevermind the fact that I didn’t know what a hippy actually was, and nevermind the fact that I really had no idea what the Grateful Dead actually sounded like, just know that I knew that I hated them.  I had been thoroughly educated by umpteen punk songs, from Dead Kennedy’s producer Geza X’s band the Deadbeat’s  ‘Kill The Hippies’, to the Teen Idles’ mockery of the Grateful Dead in ‘Deadhead‘, it was an obligatory theme of early punk records to have at least some anti-hippie sentiment.  In fact I still remember my friend and I sharing a gleeful ‘high five’ when we heard that Jerry Garcia had died. It was as if we had just heard of the dethroning of some colossal tyrant.

So imagine my queezy skepticism when my friend Brian gave me a tape that he claimed had a recording of a Grateful Dead / Dead Kennedys collaboration on it. I imagine that his desire to share this with me was in some way a reciprocation for turning him on to punk rock by giving him a Dead Kennedys mix tape some time before. He told me that he had been listening to the radio, and that the local rock station had been plugging the fact that they were going to play an exclusive recording of the aforementioned collaboration.  This was several years before the DK’s inclusion in video games led to them being played regularly on ‘alternative’ corporate radio stations, so Brian smartly put his tape in the deck and hit “record”.

What he taped is the Grateful Dead playing a cover of the Dead Kennedy’s most infamous song – Nazi Punks Fuck Off!  The DJ claims that DK singer Jello Biafra sings backups but I don’t hear him – and he has a loud and unmistakeable voice.  The original version of this song must be one of the most well-known hardcore punk songs ever recorded, and its legendary intensity and vitriolic fury still stand up today over 30 years after it was recorded. This cover version by the Grateful Dead is much more subdued, both lyrically and musically. I discovered many years later that the tune they used for the song is the Mardi Gras standard Iko Iko.  It’s a completely different tune, but surprisingly enough it works perfectly with the song. Now it would probably be a big surprise to a lot of people that this recording was made, but I’ve begun to understand that punk rock owes a lot more to the hippies than most people realize.  First the obvious connection between the Grateful & the Kennedys – San Francisco is of course the most famous hippy city in the world, and at least the third most famous punk city in the world.  And a lot of the cornerstone aspects of punk rock that were mostly introduced to punk by the likes of the Dead Kennedys, especially things like protest lyrics, zines and independently released records, were all concepts that were pioneered by the San Francisco hippy bands. In fact, I would suggest that one of the single most obvious influences on the Dead Kennedys is the song ‘I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag’ by Country Joe & The Fish, who happen to have done very punk things like releasing 7″ EP’s and such.  It’s also obvious if you are familiar with Jello Biafra’s work that he is highly influenced by Pete Seeger, who was a pivotal influence to the SF hippies, too.  Anyway… you know what?  I really like this song!  In fact I think that this song probably had a lot to do with me beginning to branch out and investigate other types of music! So there you have it, I like the Grateful Dead Kennedys. Punk still rules though!

So I’ve checked the internet every few years to see if anyone has put this little gem up for posterity, but still nuthin’!  Apparently it really was an exclusive to that radio station.  I’d love to hear the story behind this recording if anyone knows it!  Unfortunately I didn’t think to ask Jello Biafra when he was taking a piss at the urinal next to me, so I missed my chance there. I’d better remember next time!  In the mean time, take a listen to this paradoxical track and tell us what you think about it…

I made the video posted above.  The images switch back and forth from GD to DK to GD to DK and so on .

Here’s the song as MP3, along with the radio intro!

Salute To Milwaukee

Eat Cheese or Die

post #14

Milwaukee Conntinental Youth Band & Reddi-Kilowatt Ensemble – Salute To Milwaukee March bw Continentals on Parade 1966

This is a great 45 I found in some dusty old pile.  The Salute to Milwaukee March is a great, catchy tune that I’m sure all Milwaukeeans can appreciate!  It’s a live recording of a full marching Band and they really play the track spot on.  The B-side is a decent song, but the A-side is great!


Schizophrenic Melodies

post #18

Loxiran EP – 199?

This EP really grabbed me.  This is some absolutely raging modern hardcore from Germany.  I can only describe this sound as modern, even though this record is pretty old now. This band was definitely way ahead of their time.  There is no date on this 7″, but I’m guessing that it was released in 1996, or ’97 at the latest (no website listed, all cut and paste, no pixelated images).

When I say that this band was ahead of their time, I mean that the music is, in certain aspects, very similar to the good parts from some of the modern metal-core stuff that is so popular with the kids these days.  Now hold on,  wait a second! Before you surf away in disgust, let me assure you that this is indeed 100% hardcore punk!  There are no confusing guitar solos, no nauseating melodic vocals, no salon-styled hairdos.  As I said before, just absolutely fucking raging hardcore. But it is played in a very unconventional way, and I’ve literally never heard this style done any earlier than this. Not that no one has, I’ve just never heard it.

The lyrics are certainly punk, too.  Although they are all in German, the graphics and key words make it pretty clear what these six songs are about: the environment, work, war, punk rock, vegetarianism, etc.  All pretty standard stuff, to be sure.  While I don’t fully understand what these guys are carrying on about, I can certainly tell that they are filled with anger and passion for what they are singing about.  So much so in fact, that I cannot resist hollering along with the chorus “Mord ist Mord und Leben ist Leben!”, the battlecry at the end of the song which is surely their anthem, ‘Wa(h)re Wessen’.

Oh yeah, did I mention that the music rips?  It’s hard for me to describe it, except to say that listening to it invariably induces in me fits of involuntary head banging, air drumming and other strange, spasmodic gestures.

I remember that one time I asked myself “why haven’t I heard many great punk bands from Germany?”  Well, if you have ever wondered that yourself, here is the remedy. So put on your Baseballcappies, lace up your Skateschuhen and pull on your Kapuzenpullies and listen to LOXIRAN, Assface!

And here’s a video I made that features the entire record illustrated with the images from the record sleeve:


Eat Cheese or Die

post #13

Damitol EP 1993

This is another cool old Milwaukee hardcore 7″ I fished out of ye olde bargain bin.  Four tunes of fairly straightforward early 90’s style hardcore.  The songs are a sort of midwestern melange of the prominent American styles of the time.  Definately some east coast hardcore chug and straight edge style mixed with some west coast influenced thrashy parts and attempts at melodic singing and some flashy bass lines and groovy riffs, all swirled in with a hefty dose of early Wisconsin emo.  We also get a lot of samples which are played over the music, some spoken parts (total Milwaukee/Chicago accent), and some nice shots at switching up the vocal styles. I like the drawing on the cover.

I’m sure these guys were pretty young when they put this out… I really like the raw recording and slightly loose playing. The sometimes out of tune vocals are a little off-putting at first, but like most idiosyncracies of punk music they quickly grow on you and become essential to the sound.  The bass stands out as the most entertaining instrument on the record, partly because some of the more interesting guitar parts are rather difficult to hear.  The band as a whole has a real cohesive sound with some really cool songwriting. 

I like this record a lot. It has kind of a dark, slightly depressed sound. Lyrics are vague, but interesting, about stuff like masculinity, church, punk and friendships. The sleeve has some pictures and a brief essay from each band member… The sound of this record is very reminiscent of early Jawbreaker and Hickey, and some other bands I can’t think of now.


Firehouse 5 + 2

Schizophrenic Melodies

post # 17

Firehouse Five plus Two – Alabama Jubilee bw Tuck Me To Sleep In My Old Kentucky Home

When I was a kid I would watch a show on television called ‘You Can’t Do That On Television’.  I still think that was a cool show (much better than most of the stuff my kid has to choose from these days), but one of my absolute favorite things about it was the whacky, frenetic instrumental music of the theme song.  Many years later I learned that the interesting style of music is called Dixieland Jazz. Much more recently, I’ve learned that Dixieland is actually just the modern name for the original form of Jazz music from New Orleans; Dixieland was used to differentiate that original style from later versions of Jazz.  I’ve found in the last couple of years that Dixieland Jazz records can be some of the best music available for dirt cheap from thrift shops and record stores.  The music is often loud and obnoxious, fast paced, and played with phenominal musicianship while not being overly pompous like a lot of Big Band Jazz, nor is it gag-inducingly sappy or cheesey like orchestral music from the 20’s through the 60’s often is.

On the A-side of this record, we have The Alabama Jubilee, which is just such a great tune. It’s one of those songs that makes me buy any record I can find that has a version of it.  The best part about it is that I’ve yet to hear two versions of the song that sound the same – it seems to be a tune that bands love to embellish and put their personal twist upon.  This version by the Firehouse Five plus Two is one of my favorites.  Every stanza is different than the last; at least one instrument is soloing throughout most of the song; it’s filled to the brim with foot stomping, hand clapping and caterwauling, it’s played fast and tight and is uplifting and funny and infectious and I just fucking love it already!

This mid-tempo song has a great old-timey feel and is just fantastic to bop along and whistle along to.  I had never heard of this group before I found this record, but since I recently found their 20th anniversary LP and this webpage I’ve learned the following interesting factoids: these guys were in fact a group of Walt Disney animators who, in the late 40’s, started playing old time Jazz for fun.  Eventually, they rode around to their many gigs in an old fire engine and wore fire fighting outfits, and according to their multi-talented leader, Ward Kimball, they “spearheaded” the Dixieland Jazz revival of the 50’s.

Goood Time Jazz was apparantly an important and influential independent Jazz label during the 50’s and 60’s, and The Firehouse 5 where their flagship group.  It is certainly very rare for all of the players to be listed by name on the label of a 45, so that’s pretty cool.

Here’s a video I made for Alabama Jubilee:

Have a Good Time!

7 inch Polka

post #2

Eat Cheese or Die

post #12

Happy Notes Orchestra – I Love You Waltz b/w Drinking Man’s Polka

Here’s a fantastic slice of Wisconsin polka that I dug up from a dusty old bin at the thrift store. The Happy Notes were a good times styled party band who might still be playing even today.  According to this short history, founding member Norm was a drummer who was influenced by Rock n’ Roll and Li’l Wally to start a rowdy, upbeat party polka band. 

 The I love You Waltz is ribald and funny and completely catchy.  You will surely sing it to the one that you love! Best of all, it’s:

A Drinking Man’s Polka seems to be the musical lament of a group of cuckolded men, “We left our Wives at home. We left our Skirts with 6 other Jerks, that’s why we’re drinking alone.”  Nice straight ahead Polish style Polka, with a verse in Polish.

Get drunk and listen to this.

The Way of the Fat Boy

Schizophrenic Melodies

post #16

Garlic Boys EP

Garlic Boys EP 1990 (Japan)

Ahhhh. The sweet, sweet sounds of Japanese Hardcore.  Is there any better music in the known universe? None that I am aware of…  I have never seen any mention of this band anywhere before, but as soon as I saw this record in the bargain bin my heart leapt and I knew I had found something good.  Apparently this band is still around, and has been for a quarter of a century, but I have never ever heard anything about them.   It’s very strange, because this record is amazing! I can’t attest to any of their other material, because I have not heard it, but if these four tracks of thrashy, melodic hardcore are any indication of the rest of their work, this band rules!  Priding themselves on being fat and smelly (just like me!), Garlic Boys apparently takes a humorous approach to their music.  They seem to me like something like Japan’s answer to NOFX.

Garlic Boys - The band with Large Members

This is an american repress of what was probably several different records originally, and unfortunately the sound sucks.  The volume fades in and out, all of the tracks have different volumes, and most of the record just sounds like shit.  Despite all of that, the music shines through as some great, rip-roarin’ punk rock and roll.  These are the kind of songs that are so good that I find myself literally craving the sound of them! I will never be able to see sumo wrestling again without chanting “YOKOZUNA – Yokozuna” in my head and hearing the sweet guitar lead that distinguishes that song (all in my head, of course).

Interestingly enough, this record was released by a label out of Madison, Wisconsin.  Also, in the picture on the back cover (shown above) it appears as though all of the guys in the band are wearing Harley Davidson t-shirts, which is of course a Wisconsin company… and an obsession among local dummies.  They look like they could be hanging out in the alley behind my house here in Milwaukee, getting drunk on cans of Miller Light, listening to “Classic Rock” radio and repeatedly revving their motorcycle engines until they collapse. Excepting their Nipponese countenances, that is. 

Rock on.

Eat Cheese Or Die

post # 11

 Who Gives a Shit about Asinine Solution?

Asinine Solution - Cause Effect EP

Asinine Solution – Cause Effect EP 1998

Raging Wisconsin hardcore from Chippewa Falls; Asinine Solution.  I remember seeing their ‘My Dad’s A Goat’ EP in record bins in the mid 90’s, but I never decided to buy it (mostly because of the hideous cover art). I first heard this particular 7 inch a couple of years ago, when I first moved to Milwaukee.  I had just seen a show at a local scum pit basement, and was too fucked up to drive back home, so I was hangin’ out and Scott put this record on the turntable. I flipped out over the thrashin’ tunes and was determined to find a copy of this record for myself.  It didn’t take long before I had discovered all three of Asinine Solution’s 7 inches, all in different bargain bins, all for a grand total of less than $2.50.

This is their third, and I’m pretty sure their last, record.  The seven tunes here all follow the same pattern of simplistic hardcore played as loud and fast as possible. I like it! Sure, the songs mostly sound the same, but so what? This ain’t Jazz, it’s punk!

Most of the songs on this disc are about “The Punk Rock Scene”.  It’s interesting to think about how much was going on within this obscure musical cult in these small towns out in the country. There is even a full page essay about The Punk Rock Scene included in this record!  It certainly made a huge impact on these people’s lives.  Here’s an interesting write up of how to put out a punk record, from an insert:

Also some more info about what these dudes where doing back then.  I’ve found copies of the other records he mentions, so be on the look out.  The first Asinine Solution record is awesome, by the way.  Totally retarded teen-punk; it’s great.

Anyway, this is a classic Wisconsin hardcore record, so don’t miss it!

Bitchslap & URBN DK

Eat Cheese Or Die

post # 10

URBN DK + Bitchslap – split EP 1996

This post goes out to Curious Guy for posting the 10-96 + Standoff split.  This is Bitchslap from Kenosha, Wisconsin and URBN DK from northern Illinois. Bitchslap give us two new punk blasts that sound like they are from the same recording session as their EP. They also include an identical copy of their song Last Fat Shit from the EP, which is great because that song rules.  The first song, Magnavox Lobotomy, is a nice sarcastic anti-TV rant, overall more great punk rock shit from Bitchslap. Did they ever release anything else??

The URBN DK side is fuckin’ great, this was released during their best and most prolific period, during the mid-nineties. Three raging hardcore songs, with Politically KKKorrect being the best song on this record.  It’s a song about PC fascists! I saw URBN DK play in Chicago a few times during that period, and I thought that they were great.  I remember very clearly though that most people were very down on them and didn’t like them because they were old and played the wrong type of hardcore.  That’s a real shame because they really were a great DIY band and they could fuckin shred with the best of them.  I think URBN DK never really got much respect in their home state of Illinois, and that’s why they were really more of a part of the Kenosha punk scene than the Chicago scene. Or, maybe it was because of their strong association with 10-96, Bitchslap, Beautiful Bert and other Wisconsin bands that the Illinois snobs turned their noses up at them! Either way, you should dig their tunes. I’ve got several of their records, so I’m sure I will post more someday.

The ugly cover on this record sticks out like a sore thumb, not only because it’s so bad, but because it is cut to 8 inches, not 7.  I wonder if this record was originally meant to be an 8″?  That would have been cool.  This is Shitpile Records #2, I’m pretty sure that’s someone from Bitchslap’s label, because their EP was #1.

Enjoy the punk rock music!

Mystic Charm

Schizophrenic Melodies

post #15

Mystic Charm – Lost Empire EP 1993

I’ll admit that I selected this record from the bargain bin thinking that the unintentional humour of this release would be greater than the force of the Heavy Metal music contained within the grooves. Well…. I was wrong!  This is actually pretty fucking good!  It’s female-fronted, stoned as fuck Doom Metal from the Netherlands!  Although I usually prefer my tunes to be played as fast as possible, I can still get down with some slow-assed gloomy shit every now and again, and this is about as good as I’ve heard so far as that all goes.  Don’t get me wrong, they can pound out the thrashy riffs and double bass kicks when necessary, but mostly Mystic Charm keeps it creepy and dire as they slog through the mire. The mire of spooky darkness… and stuff.

While it certainly would be in poor taste to make fun of the members of Mystic Charm’s funny sounding Dutch names (like Gerard van Assen, tee hee), I suppose that it is fair game to admit that my wife and I had some debate as to the sex of Rini, the singer.  I wasn’t sure, based on the ambiguous picture and decidedly sick vocals, so I asked my wife, and she was sure that Rini was a man. A man who wore leopard skin tights and big girly boots? It turns out Rini is in fact a woman, and certainly one of the earlier women to sing in this style of metal, so hats off to her. So check it out, this is some great heavy shit! Also listen to more songs from Mystic Charm here.

Link to hq rips & scans…

Schizophrenic Melodies

post #14

The Derelicts – Time To Fuck Up EP 1990

Pretty much the same story, and pretty much the same band as Zip Gun. You might recognize one of the dirtbags on the back cover as being one of the dirtbags from the back cover of the Zip Gun EP. The music is similar, but this record actually has the Derelicts sounding a little wussier than Zip Gun, but I guess that is excusable because this record was released earlier? Maybe they hadn’t released the grunge pedal yet… (that’s a joke, son).  This is simple, mid-tempo heavy punk rock, kind of proto-grunge I guess, because it has snarly, nasal punk vocals and doesn’t have any of that grunge-groove thing goin’ on. The A-side is rather melodic, while the B-side is pretty dark.  This record is cooler than the Zip Gun EP though, if only because of the un-listed 3rd song, which is actually the title track, oddly enough. Time to Fuck Up is a 10 second long thrashing hardcore song with a 4 second intro. Sweet! That was an awesome bonus to hear after I bought this record, because I collect short songs, and it’s a pretty good one. “Assholes Unite!”

Check out the same links form the Zip Gun post for more info and tunes… You can type about how much you love these guys over here.

And, here’s a video I made:

Listen to this record here!

Schizophrenic Melodies

post #13

Zip Gun – Together Dumb b/w Cool In The Cell 45 1992

This is yet another brand new record that had been gathering dust for almost 20 years when I delivered it from the 1$ bin.  Although I’d never heard of this band, I purchased this 7″ with confidence because it was released by the excellent eMpTy Records.  It turns out that this two song, 4 minute long 45 is a great slab of prime grunge from Seattle, circa 1992.  Great driving, heavy punk rock here with a good, gruff vocalist. The guitars are up front and loud, as they should be. The drumming is right on, powerful but not too flashy, although a little quiet in the mix.  Both songs are good, but the B-side, Cool In The Cell, is the hit on this disc; it actually reminds a lot of some song by that certain band from Seattle, but I can’t exactly remember which particular one…

  That’s about it for this record, though it’s worth mentioning that it would make a great Jukebox disc, and as a bonus we are treated to some great cover art by Joe Newton.  Apparently this band never really got much respect, but they did release a few records before disolving into the utterly obscure status which they now enjoy. Check out alittle bit of info and some more tunes over at NorthWest Noise.

Here’s a wicked live video of the band playing Together Dumb:

This song is from their LP, pretty sweet dirty garage rock thing goin’ on. The video has some live pics o’ the band

Spin this saucer here…

Live Photos

Sore Neck, Ringing Ears

post #2

I’ve seriously been slackin’ on the photo posts. 

Here’s some bands! —Don’t Forgets to Clicks the Pics!—

Brave Combo - Nuclear Polka!

Brave Combo – this band rules. Best Nuclear Polka band on Earth? Yes! They’re from Texas.

Junkface - Portland Power Pop

Junkface – Portland Power Pop! These guys put on a great show @ the Borg Ward.

Genesis Climber aka Math Is The Bastard

Genesis Climber – San Francisco prog-adelic math core – aka –  Math Is The Bastard!

La Piovra

La Piovra – Italian Hardcore Octo-Punk Attack!

DC Beggars

Schizophrenic Melodies

post #12

D.C. Beggars – You’re So Pretty EP 1991

I often wonder how some of these records end up in the bargain bins, all beaten up and cast aside.  That’s certainly no way to treat this particular record!  I found this little blue gem without any cover and only a scrap of a dust sleave to protect it, all shoved in amongst the dirty old Bette Midler 45’s and Debbie Gibson picture sleeves.  What we have here is some sweet female-fronted heavy punk rock and roll action!  Am I the only one who’se noticed that female punk singers are, on average, usually much better singers than their male counterparts?  This record is just more proof. The singer has that great confident, swaggering Punk Rock and Roll voice, mixed with some of the classic British female punk vocal style, and even a little Jello Biafra, I must say.

This band was from Seattle, and this record was recorded in 1991, and you can tell.  They definately have the Heavy Punk sound that became known as, well you know what it became known as.  The title track on this disc is definately the hit. ‘You’re So Pretty (But You Make Me Sick)’ is, of course, an anti-beauty song with great snotty vocals and a totally excellent sing along chorus. The song ends with the sound of a toilet flushing, for those of you who collect that sort of thing.  ‘Taken For A Fool’ is a ripping hardcore song about standing up for yourself.  I think it’s my favorite track on this record.  The guitar sound and drums during the thrash part in the middle of the song sound almost exactly like Reagan Youth, pretty gnarly.  The next song is pretty good, but the last one isn’t that great.  It is sung in German, apparently the singer is from Austria.

This band actually has a tiny bit of info available on the web, with some tunes here, and photos here. Cover and inserts are from here.

Rock out here!

7 inch Polka!

post #1

Li’l Wally – She Likes Kiolbasa b/w Drunk In The Garden 45 195X

From Chicago, Illinois, it’s Li’l Wally! This guy was a super-star back in his day, and his memory will always live on in the hearts of Polka fanatics everywhere.  This is one of his most famous discs, showcasing his simple, stripped down form of Street Polka, basically just a simple drum kit laying down a danceable beat and Li’l Wally singing while he plays his accordian.  On the A-side, Wally sings an infectious little ditty about a lady who enjoys consuming the over-sized Polish sausage called Kiolbasa even more than she likes to eat fish.  The B-side is a pretty song about being drunk which is sung all in Polish.

Li’l Wally is notable for starting his own successful regional record label long before it was common place to do such a thing. In fact, you can still buy his records from Jay Jay today! Check the sight just to see how they’ve changed their famous slogan…

Grab a beer and a sausage & check it out!

Inspector 12

Eat Cheese Or Die

Post # 9

Inspector 12 – Jack EP 1991

I think this record may have been the very first punk 7″ I ever held in my hands.  I remember that a few of my friends saw this band play and were totally stoked on them, and then they showed me this record, and probably played it for me (if they had a turntable…).  That may or may not be a real memory, but I was stoked when my wife found this record for me!  I definately remember that Inspector 12 (who were from Madison, Wisconsin) were the first independent, local, original rock band that I’d ever heard of.  That was at least 16 years ago, but the first time I can be sure that I’ve heard their music was just a couple of months ago!

The music on this 7″ is pretty much a 50/50 hardcore/thrash mix.  Just how I like it!  The first song, which features a sweet classic thrash riff, is definately the hit.  The rest of the tracks are all pretty good, and thankfully only slightly dated sounding.  I know they put out a few other records, and maybe a tape or two.  I would not be the least surprised to hear that some of the dudes from this group are still kickin’ around playing bar shows in Beloit…

I think that most of the lovely pics above were also taken by this lady

This is classic Wisconsin hardcore, so check it out!


Schizophrenic Melodies

post #11

VA – Not Enough – Five Bands From Milan 1995 Italy

This is an awesome little 7″ featuring one song each from 5 hardcore punk rock bands from Milano, Italia.  Need I say more? Everyone loves Italian hardcore, right?  There are some seriously fuckin rad songs on this record, mostly in a melodic thrashcore style.  ‘Milano da Pippare’ by Less Than Zero is my absolute favorite, but almost every song is awesome; the type of songs that stick in your head for days kind of awesome.  These bands and this label seem to be all but forgotten today, but at least they are not lost!

Yet another reason to buy old used records: you never know what you’ll find in them – Max, the guy who apparently released this comp put a hand typed letter inside the sleave, and apparently no one ever took it out.  After searching for the records he mentions, I’ve determined that the letter must have been meant for whoever runs Initial Records out of Kentucky. The funny thing is that he apologizes for the fact that the bands on his record play “old (italian) school” hardcore, as if that were a bad thing!  Anyway, here’s the letter:

To downoad the high quality rips and scans of the 8 page booklet (which features some pretty fancy-pants computer image manipulation for the time) click THIS.

Schizophrenic Melodies

post #10

Numb Sex – Used/Sticky EP 1985

 An old Connecticut punk record I found in ye olde bargain bin, still in its original plastic wrapping! Maybe I sould have left it there, because despite the cool cover art, I don’t like this record very much.  It’s generic, uninspired punk and the vocals are way to loud and not very good. Some song parts are good, like the beginning of ‘No Aces In The Hole’, but then the singer starts yelling and it’s way louder than all the other instruments and it pretty much totally sucks.  Why post it then?  Because I told this (curious) guy I would, it’s on his want list and he’s hooked me up with some pretty choice albums – like Half Life.  I’m also posting it because it could be veiwed as an early release from the ‘Dark Age of Punk’, the era from 1985 or so until 1993 or so that everyone seems to want to forget ever happened.  Not much info available on this band, but they did have a write up in MRR #37.

I haven’t seen this record anywhere else on the web, so check it out if you’re a completist. 


OAK Records

Schizophrenic Melodies

Post # 9

I’ve been a fan of quality Bluegrass ever since a friend of mine left his Hot Rize tape in my car 13 years ago.  I’ve never been able to find many bluegrass records here in Wisconsin, though.  I did make a pretty sweet score a couple of months ago however, and here it is!  I found 4 different 45’s, all of them 4-song compilation EP’s put out by OAK Records from Ohio in 1962.  Each of the records have an overbearing Christian/Gospel theme to the music.  I could tell that they were obviously some kind of country music in the store, and I held out hope that they might just be Bluegrass so I bought all of them.  The most promising sign was that three of the records had songs by The Eastern Kentucky Boys, which just had to be Bluegrass.

So I eagerly listened to them, and it turns out that 6 of the 16 songs on those four records are some rip-snortin’ gospel bluegrass numbers.  Unfortunately, the other 9 songs are terrible gospel country. I mean terrible.   But, like I said, the fast bluegrass tunes are seriously awesome.  I’m pretty sure you won’t find these tracks anywhere else, so enjoy!

I’m only posting the Bluegrass tunes, not the country ones, so don’t worry!  If you want to hear the other tunes, than these records are for sale, leave a comment!!

Eat Cheese Or Die

Post # 8

Crimson – Forge Winter – Cassette LP 1992 Milwaukee Wisconsin USA

Sometimes you can strike musical gold in the most unlikely places.  You just have be willing to dig for it!  I lucked out big time, when I found not one but four different demo tapes by this all-but-forgotten Progressive Thrash Metal band from Milwaukee.  This is the oldest one out of the bunch, and presumably their first.  Obviously as soon as I saw the sweet drawing of the Gnollish Minotaur with a short sword on the cover I had to shell out the two quarters for this tape!

The music is heavy progressive thrash metal with psychedelic tendencies.  There are a few rippin thrash tunes on this tape which definately make it worth the listen.  This is some great head banging shit!  The musicians are good, but they are obviously  inexperienced, so there are a few minor flubs and the solos aren’t that great, but for a first demo it’s really top notch.  The singer has a decent voice, and is not afraid to sing the high pitched Heavy Metal accents. 

This is a sweet DIY album, and I have found 3 more tapes by this group, each of which is better than the last, so stay tuned as I will post them soon.

Forge Winter

Schizophrenic Melodies

post # 8

Quartz – Nantucket Sleighride c/w Wildfire – 1980 England

I had no clue what this was when I found it, so it was a tough decision wether to pick it up or not.  The confusing cover was intriguing enough to catch my eye right away (especially since I was watching Whale Wars at the time) but the thing that ultimately made me spend the $2 on this record was the fact that the singer is doing a Hardcore Jump in the picture on the back.  I usually buy any unknown record featuring such an act, for if the band was not a rockin’, why wouldst they be a leapin’? Plus, the guitarist has a sweet Iommi ‘stache (not coincidentally, it turns out…)

I wasn’t sure what to expect the first time I played this, but what I heard got me really excited.  The A side, ‘Nantucket Sleighride’, was a hard track to pin down.  It is definately Heavy Metal, but it has a really wussy, commercial sounding part in the middle, but then it gets totally heavy again and rocks a bunch of riffs lifted directly from Black Sabbath.   It’s an epic tale about whaling, and it’s full of sick wailing guitar leads. Total 70’s hard rock proto maetal action.  Then the B-side sounds like slowed down Motorhead mixed with Black Sabbath, and the song, ‘Wildfire’, is a fucking awesome metal tune with a great simple riffs and leads and some killer Robert Plant-esque singing and it’s about smoking pot! “Wildfire – Smoking Grass!”

So at first I thought that because these guys played so slow and were giving so many blatant nods to Black Sabbath that maybe they were some forgotten Old Wave of British Heavy Metal band from like 1976 or something, but then I figured out that this record is actually from 1980. The Sabbath I was hearing was no coincidence, though.  Turns out that these guys toured with them and the guy playing keyboards was actually in Black Sabbath for a couple of years.   Then I found out that ‘Nantucket Sleighride’ is actually a cover of a band called Mountain, whose LP ‘Nantucket Sleighride’ features the song, which is about a whaler who fell victim to the Custom Of the Sea. I actually found that LP a few days later for only $4, and it is awesome! It’s very amusing to note that Quartz totally added Black Sabbath riffs to the song that are not in the original. Anyway check out this killer early metal record………

Fuck You, WHALE!!!!


Eat Cheese Or Die?

post #7

Death Led  – And You Think There’s Nothing Wrong EP 1999

So I rescued this 7″ from the 1$ bin because the band was from Black Earth Wisconsin, which I imagined to be some isolated backwoods hole in the Northwoods.  Actually it’s a small town over by Madison, which is a big city, by Wisconsin standards anyway.  Anyway, I had low expectations for this platter, which were, much to my delight, far exceeded. I like this record a lot!

This is some pure small town midwest 90’s teenaged Punk Rock stuff.  It’s well played and has a good recording, the songs are catchy, well written and brief.  The thing I like about this record is it’s diversity, all of the songs are in a unique style.  This band obviously is most influenced by the more popular punk acts, which I am sure the Truely Hardcore people will hate, but so what?  The first song starts out kinda strange and then changes to some sweet fast punk. The next one, ‘Minimum Wage’ is definately the hit on this record- I fuckin’ love this song.  Despite the naive lyrics the song has a great anthemic quality that makes me want to jump around and sing along.  This song sounds kinda like a less lame and repetetive version of early Anti-flag. “Fuck The Man, Bring Him Down!”   ‘All Out War’ is similar to the previous song, but sounds more like a clean-cut version of The Casualties. It has a pretty sweet breakdown towards the end.

Side B starts out sounding like the Angry Samoans playing a cheesy political song.  The next song, ‘Another Day’, displays the bands obvious love for ‘White Trash, Two Hebes, and a Bean’ and 90’s Chicago punk like The Bollweevils,  two loves which I can definately agree upon.  This song is actually really good.  The last song is their humorous attempt at playing fast hardcore, cracking voiced screams and all!  The lyrics on this record are actually pretty decent teenage angsty stuff, not bad. I was unable to dig up any info on these kids, but I’m going to guess that this came out circa 1996.  (wrong!)

Check out Death Led!


Schizophrenic Melodies

post # 7

Echternach – La Procession Dansante – 196X

This is an interesting record.  Echternach is a tiny town in a tiny country; Luxembourg.  This recording features music being made by the entire town.  Every year, for well over six hundred years, this whole town has gotten together on a certain holy day to dance around and sing this song, which honors the town’s patron, Saint Willy.  It is thought that the tradition may be related to masochistic marches of the flagellants.

I am posting this record cheifly because of the awesome sound collage of field recordings of the festival day that fills the A side.  The recording starts out with the ringing bells of the Basilica (big church), and quickly fades into a cavalcade of passing singers, who’s voices echo and fade in and out as they sing the same song at different times.  Then we hear a few different passing marching bands, each who play for a few seconds and then fade out.  Then we hear the bells again, and the track is over.  All of the musicians are playing loose variations on the same musical theme, the Dance of Echternach.   This track is trying to simulate the sound of the entire day, with all of the passing bands and singers, while compressing it into 4 minutes.  The result is awesomely, yet unintentionally, psychedelic.

The B-side is a nice recording of a full orchestra playing the same song.  It’s nice, but it has not the crass impact of the other versions.  This record is a really nice package, with liner notes in four languages and even musical annotations!  Apparently, this festival still happens today, and you can easily find videos of it on the web.  Some of them sound almost exactly like this record, which I am guessing was recorded in the early sixties.  The town itself is beautiful, I’d like to take my family to see this some day!



Schizophrenic Melodies

post #6

Slip – Never Surrender EP 1994

Here’s another dollar bin gem that totally kicks ass.  I can’t find any information about this dark hardcore band from Alabama.  Yes, I’ll admit it.  I bought this record because it was from Alabama.  How much Alabaman hardcore have you ever heard?  Right now, I can’t think of any bands from that neck of the woods.  So, I did a little looking and found a good one, here.

This record starts out really quietly (with the best Star Wars sample I’ve ever heard on a record), but then it gets really loud and heavy.  That’s when we start to hear the great anguished, angry vocals and the drumming which kicks ass throughout this record.  It’s heavy, mid tempo hardcore that gets really moshy, especially on the last song.  In fact, ‘Closed Doors’ is almost over the top with what are now cliche mosh riffs, but then you have to remember that this record came out in 1994 when that sort of style was still relatively new.  Though, you have to admit that the riff that they use during the chorus of  ‘Escape’ is probably the most over used ‘heavy’ riff ever.  You know the one “duh duh…duh duh…duh duh…duh duh” I’ve heard that in so many songs, it’s incredible. If you start to listen for it you can hear it as far back as Judas Priest, and even Led Zeppelin played that riff.  I will admit it’s a good riff for headbanging, though.

My favorite song on here is ‘Behind’, which is an instrumental with a really bleak, dark sound.  Depressing!  I know what I said earlier, about ‘cliche’ riffs might sound like a dig against this record, but it’s not.  I think it’s essential to consider the time and place where a band is making their music.  I hate it when I hear people bitch about hearing “another generic hardcore band” without considering where or when that band is from.  If you live in a small town you probably don’t have internationally touring bands playing in your basement every week, so if you want to fuckin rock, you have to do it yourself, and if what you like to play sounds similar to what another band plays, so what?  As long as the music is played with heart and conviction, that’s what matters to me.  Oh yeah, I also just want to say this to a lot of the people who have blogs and websites out there: if you think hardcore and punk stopped being good in 1977 or 1987 or 1997 or 2007, you’re a fool.  There’s thousands of great bands out there thrashin their heads off right now.

So I wonder how these guys were veiwed in their hometown, and if they were heard anywhere else in the world.  What drove them to put all of the effort into releasing this record?  I wonder how this record ended up in a bargain bin in Wisconsin 15 years later, and now I wonder if anyone will hear this an love it….

High quality rips and scans are HERE.