999: The Albums 1987-2007

 

Jumping from the previous box set that covered 1977-1980, this one skips a few albums and goes right to their most up-to-date album currently. Maybe there will be another collection of the missing albums…we’ll see.

With just four albums over a twenty-year span, the band slowed their releases down a whole lot, but what we have is a great collection all the same. Starting off with the band’s first official full-length live album Lust Power And Money, recorded at the legendary Klub Foot in London, it has a track listing that reads like a Greatest Hits Live with classics such as “Emergency,” and “Homicide” played with energy and power. Disc 2 contains 1993’s You Us It!, their first studio album in eight years which saw the addition of new member Arturo Bassick, formerly of The Lurkers. The band got right back to the harder-edged sound of their younger days and it was a great return to form. Disc 3 is the Takeover album which was originally released in 1997 and is even better than their last album. A classic from start to finish with tracks that stand up to their older gems. The final disc is 2007’s Death In Soho, which keeps up the high standard of punk rock with catchy choruses and great playing that bands more than half their age would be and should be jealous of. This is a great ending to the box set but makes you yearn for more from them.

The 20-page booklet contains in-depth liner notes, pictures of all relevant sleeves plus memorabilia and clippings from the era. The sound is so good and improves on the original releases by a long shot. Although the classic period was in the previous box set, this is still a terrific collection to get and will definitely be something that you will come back to, time and time again.

https://www.facebook.com/999Music/

http://www.nineninenine.net/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/captainoirecords/

http://captainoi.com/

Advertisements

THE FLESH EATERS: Continental Club Austin, TX 2/22/19

thumbnail (3)

So, the Flesh Eaters got the classic lineup back together and out on tour they went, so I obviously had to go see them. There were two other bands playing that night, Sean Wheeler and the Reluctant Messengers, and Churchwood, but I really was there for just one band…the Flesh Eaters! I was looking forward to this show since I heard they were coming to my very extended area, but some mishaps were presented to me that night.

 

thumbnail - 2019-02-26T155236.802

 

 

 

 

 

 

thumbnail (7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I live around an hour away from Austin, so I had to fight the traffic to get there, as expected it was crappy, but I made it to Austin. Of course, the next obstacle was to find the venue which I had never been to before. I got to the venue, saw that the parking was this ridiculous “back into the spot while blocking traffic style,” which no one would let me do, and I nearly got hit by a car trying to do it. Luckily, there was a side street close to the club and after parking on the street there, I was off to the show. Walking in, I showed my identification and the email pass that I had and of course, I was not on the list…sigh. After a bit of back and forth, I was inside! The show was on! The band blazed through old songs with the energy of guys a third of their present age, reminding me of the old days back in the 80s, which is what the club was like. They played their two new songs, “Black Temptation” and “Ghost Cave Lament” with emotion and the crowd accepted them as if they had always been part of the set. While playing on the cramped stage, the band gave a performance that was smoldering, energetic, and full of raw emotion. Playing some covers as well, especially the fantastic take on Fleetwood Mac’s “The Green Manalishi.” That song was a definite highlight. With banter from lead singer Chris Desjardins, the songs got some explanation and some fun stories about the past. According to the club’s website, they were to only play for around 45 minutes, but they played longer than that and I was in heaven. The sound was a bit off, with a lot of high-end making it a bit hard on the ears at times, but the band’s performance more than made up for that. The saxophone and marimba really gave the band such depth and added a lot to the sound. I really have to give it to Dave Alvin whose guitar playing was tremendous, with such flair and technique, drummer Bill Bateman pounding away in the back and the thick and fluid bass work by John Doe. These guys have proven through the years just how good they are at playing in their own bands and really shined in this setting.

This was a great night, despite some not so fun things that happened, but the good thing is that the band took the negatives and turned my face into a great big smile, and a memory that I will cherish. Thanks for the great night guys, and many more for the future.thumbnail (5)

https://www.flesheaters.com/

https://www.facebook.com/theFlesheaters/

http://www.yeproc.com/

http://www.facebook.com/yeproc

http://continentalclub.com/

 

THE DIAMOND DEAD: No Revolution

This four-piece band from Napier, New Zealand used to be called Diamond Doll and have changed their name to The Diamond Dead now. The band consists of Tom, Liv, Tyley, and Kane, and this song is a preview of their forthcoming EP Becoming.

With a song that is “about the internal struggle of being part of an apathetic generation, of realizing what’s going on in the world but being too preoccupied with yourself to care,” as the band says, you can see that they are a bit more cerebral than a lot of other bands out there. The band plays tight, fierce and with so much energy and emotion that you are drawn into the song right from the start. The vocals are amazing, going from a smoother, yet tough sound to the shouted, almost Wendy O. Williams style of singing. This is such a treat since so many female vocals are wimpy or don’t have any power to them at all.

If this is just a single from the forthcoming EP, I can’t wait to hear the whole thing. Also, please keep on making fantastic music, and more frequently if, at all possible, the time between releases kills me.

https://www.facebook.com/thediamonddead/

https://thediamonddead.bandcamp.com/

https://www.thediamonddead.com/

BPM: ​Oh Fuck, Axl Rose

This secret member band from Texas has done it again, on Halloween 2018, they released another masterpiece of mayhem on the masses. Seven more short, to the point brutal songs for the punters.

With a mix of shouted/crazed vocals and throatier moments, the band rips through their new collection of songs with all the energy of a nuclear bomb. One kick in the balls after another coming at you with no rest between…awesome! I can never pick one song that stands out since they are all great, no fluff at all, just powerful tunes. The band is still playing a bit sloppy, but it works so well and you know that this will sound just as good live…if they would ever play live that is.

This is real deal punk/hardcore, the kind of stuff that I never get tired of hearing. I’m glad that they sent me the info so I could listen to this devasting collection of songs.

https://www.facebook.com/blastphlegme/

https://blastphlegme.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/WiseassRecords

BPM: ​Now You’re A Cop

Here we go…this secret member band from Texas has seven super short songs that come at you like a psycho chasing you down the street.

This kick in the nuts album has some George Carlin samples on the first song “Shangry Torando’s Win Again!!!” “Now You’re A Cop” is even better than the first with the Ice-T sample and the great chorus. This is so in your face and sloppy, but damn…I just love that they keep the punk rock going and going. For those sick of over-produced punk, this reminds me of the good old days when you could find cool stuff on tapes. The shouted, sometimes growled vocals, the crazed drumming, the guitar that seems to be playing its own song different from the rest of the band and the bass keeping up, make for such a fun listen, plus the lyrics are cool as well.

Definitely worth checking out and supporting these guys because they do this for the love of the music, not for corporate crap-fests. Download this and scare the animals in your neighborhood.

https://blastphlegme.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/blastphlegme/

https://www.facebook.com/WiseassRecords

THE FLESH EATERS: I Used to Be Pretty

 

The Flesh Eaters, LA’s unconventional “supergroup”, reunites classic 1981 lineup of founding vocalist and songwriter Chris Desjardins — better known as Chris D, Dave Alvin (guitar) and Bill Bateman (drums) of the Blasters; John Doe (bass) and D.J. Bonebrake (marimba and percussion) of X; and Steve Berlin (saxophones) of the Plugz (and later the Blasters and Los Lobos) for I Used to Be Pretty.  On five of the album’s 11 tracks, Julie Christensen, Desjardins’ vocal partner in The Flesh Eaters’ successor band Divine Horsemen, latter-day editions of the original group, and in married life joins in. The Flesh Eaters were among the groundbreaking bands that emerged from the original Hollywood punk club the Masque in 1977, and after using different musicians on early recordings, this is the lineup that holds the most love from fans.

“Black Temptation” is one of two new tracks on here and starts things off with a slow burn that builds to a crescendo and the band is totally on point with a great rocking track to start things off. The other new song is the last one, “Ghost Cave Lament” and what a doozy it is coming in at over 13 minutes long. The track is just amazing with the sax, marimba and the tortured vocals making this a modern-day version of the Doors “The End.” The two new songs show that these guys are every bit as talented as they were on their older album and gives hope for more in the future. Six tracks on I Used to Be Pretty offer forceful reinterpretations of previously released Flesh Eaters songs. “Pony Dress” from the compilation Tooth and Nail (1979), “My Life to Live” and “The Wedding Dice” appeared on Forever Came Today (1982); “Youngest Profession” on Dragstrip Riot (1991); “House Amid the Thickets” on Ashes of Time (1999); and “Miss Muerte” was the title track of the most recent Flesh Eaters album. All of these songs have been updated, but not drastically changed, just given a new sheen from these great musicians, kind of fine-tuning them if you will. They also have three covers on this album; Fleetwood Mac’s “The Green Manalishi,” The Sonics “Cinderella” and The Gun Club’s “She’s Like Heroin To Me.” The covers have the power and guts that this album has given us in spades. The band sounds as though they had never stopped playing together all these years and the dual vocals added so much to the songs.

Tough playing, vocals that are gruff when needed, and having saxophone on an album again just, made me so happy and filled my ears with joy. For a band that hasn’t been on the public’s radar for a long time, I hope that this album changes that. This is a mandatory release for those who want some old/new, punky/swampy music that will get into your soul and lift you up and put a smile on your face.

https://www.flesheaters.com/

https://www.facebook.com/theFlesheaters/

http://www.yeproc.com/

http://www.facebook.com/yeproc

THE BUSINESS: 1980-88

1980-88 (Clamshell Boxset) (5CD)

The Business was an English Oi! band formed in 1979 in Lewisham, South London. The band lasted for four decades until their frontman Micky Fitz died from cancer in December 2016. The band was formed by school friends Steven (‘Steve’) Kent (guitar), Michael Fitzsimons (‘Micky Fitz’) (vocals), Nicholas (‘Nick’) Cunningham (drums) and Martin Smith (bass). The band has had numerous line-up changes in their career until in late 2015, Micky Fitz was diagnosed with cancer on the lymph gland and underwent radiotherapy. On 1 December 2016, it was announced that Fitz had died. This 96 track, 5 CD, six-album clamshell box features all that Oi! legends The Business recorded between 1980-88. The 20 page booklet contains detailed liner notes, lots of previously unseen pictures and clippings from the band’s archives plus scans of all relevant record sleeves.

Disc 1 features 14 tracks by the band’s original incarnation including the Indie Chart hit single “Harry May” and Oi! favourites “Product,” “Suburban Rebels,” and a cover of Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas.” The songs are mostly demos from the original band and not as punk/Oi! sounding as they later did, but it is a great start to this collection and a chance to hear the very beginnings of this great band. The second disc is the band’s debut album Suburban Rebels, an acknowledged Oi! classic now bolstered by four bonus tracks including the Indie Chart No.3 hit “Smash The Discos.” This is where I first heard the Business, and owned this album, playing it quite a bit. “Harry May,” and “Drinking And Driving” are still great songs that were played by me when I used to DJ, and still get turned up loud when they come on. You can hear the improved playing and writing that this album had over the first recordings. Disc 3 has two albums on one CD. The original “stolen” recordings meant as their first LP plus the in concert Loud Proud And Punk-Live LP which hit No.2 in the Indie Chart and was actually recorded in a studio, with crowd noise dubbed in later. The master tapes for the first album went missing after disagreements between the band’s label and the studio, forcing them to re-record the album, so this is a great opportunity to hear what the band was going for before they had to come up with another album quickly. They included a cover of Crass’ “Do They Owe Us A Living” on the CD, which is pretty good, and the “live” album with their Sex Pistols cover of “Pretty Vacant,” is a great way to hear what the band sounded like live, or at least all playing together in the studio but without the cleaning up of their sound. The fourth disc features 1985’s Saturdays Heroes LP which now has the addition of the rare Get Out Of My House 12” EP. The album proved that the band were still vital and could keep getting better and better, with great production and a bunch of blistering songs, including the fantastic title track. As a bonus, we get the remade “Drinking And Driving,” “Outlaw” and “Coventry,” plus their versions of Sham 69’s “Hurry Up Harry” and Hustler’s “Get Out Of My House.” Now that’s a killer CD! The fifth disc is 1988’s Welcome To The Real World album which saw the band expand to a five-piece with the return of original guitarist Steve Kent. The song, “Do A Runner” has always been a classic and I loved it as soon as I heard it for the first time. A great song that still gets me singing long after all these years. This album is just as strong and tight as you would hope from them and will definitely get you shouting from the terraces. The bonuses are two songs from the Main Event gig, “Saturday’s Heroes” and “Harry May,” plus “Coventry,” “No Emotions,” the EP version of “Welcome To The Real World,” and two album out-takes, “Tina Turner” and “Get Yer Tits Out.”

Possibly one of the better collections out there since this is the classic stuff that they are so well-known for and even though they kept putting out newer albums, this is what I’ll always remember them by. If you are a crazed fan, you might have everything here, but for those that want to jump in, go for it…you won’t regret this at all, just great song after great song and the booklet is a great read too.

https://www.facebook.com/OiTheBusiness/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/