Gods Of The Hammer: The Teenage Head Story: Book By Geoff Pevere

Teenage

With very few books written about Canadian bands, let alone punk bands, comes this new book all about the rise and peak of Hamilton, Ontario’s biggest band, and for a moment, the biggest in Canada. Giving the reader a great look back at a band that should have been on the top for a lot longer than they did, and a lot of personal memories from fans and friends, this is the place to get an idea of the gritty, raw fun that made our “Teenage Beer Drinking Parties” so good.

The band that got rock music banned from Ontario Place with the “Punk Rock Riot” that people still talk about today with fond memories has etched out a place in history that will never be repeated again. The band started out just having a good time, playing original music, and got caught up in the punk / new wave scene at the time, wrote fantastic music that still holds up and sadly, faded from most people’s radar in just a few years time. The writing gives you an insight to each of the band member’s lives, showing you how they met and became household names, and then the downfall that occurred too soon. The prose is snappy, well-paced and shows the gritty place that was / is Hamilton and the music business at the time. It gives us a detailed look at Gordie Lewis, Frankie Venom, Steve Mahon, and Nick Stipanitz, from their humble beginnings in Stipanitz’s family’s basement in Hamilton, to the Toronto punk scene and onwards to chart success and relative obscurity. Questionable management decisions, record companies that had no idea how to market or record the band, and a terrible highway crash that kept guitarist Lewis off stage for a year, all added up to a band that had more bad luck than good. They released seven studio albums, a live album and an EP over 29 years, but the glory years were 1979 – 1983 when their first three albums came out. 

The book is a must-have for anyone who was around at the time and for newbies that want to know about a band that never got their due. The pictures are fantastic, showing the band having fun and giving their all on stage, the writing makes you feel that you are right there with the band, living out the good and bad times. The only criticism’s that I have are that more pictures would have been great, a discography of their music and more details about the latter part of the band, such as their other projects, re-formation, and the passing of Venom and the ongoing band. It isn’t a lot to complain about, so go out and grab a copy and stop being a “Disgusteen.”

https://www.facebook.com/geoff.pevere   https://www.chbooks.com/

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SLENDER LORIS: World Tour: Cassette

World Tour cover art

This three-piece band from Hamilton, Ontario have been working on this release for half a year and have given us seventeen new songs to enjoy. You get three songs over the two-minute mark so you won’t get bored listening to them, but you may have to play it all over again because it’s too damn short.

This is sloppy punk rock that is perfect the way it is, completely without pretension, just bashed away with energy and exuberance that is totally contagious. Every song is noisy, has a wall of noise, lots of screamed vocals mixed with some cleaner vocals that remind me a bit of THE VIOLENT FEMMES, but with an edge that they never showed except in their lyrics. Track after track comes at you and you find the cacophony just intoxicating and you want more, luckily there are a ton of tracks on here to quench that thirst. The simplicity of the music is a bit misleading since there are textures that pull you in just like the first JESUS AND MARY CHAIN album did with the feedback, buried vocals and wall of noise. There isn’t a track on here that doesn’t make its mark on here or that could be dropped, it’s a fun, and smart album if you listen to the lyrics.

A great new album from a band out of my hometown that just keeps on getting better. The bad part is living so far away from home that I probably will never get a chance to see this performed live and take in the glorious racket that they create.

https://www.facebook.com/slenderlorismusic  http://slenderloris.bandcamp.com/album/world-tour