I DID A THING! WEBSTORE UPDATE! SOULSIDE REVIEW! AND DID I MENTION "ETC"?
In an attempt to jolt myself out of a self-imposed boycott against thinking, I made a year-end type one-page/double-sided ledger-sized ‘zine in the tradition of Straight In Your Face or Tubesteak Gazette. Do you have an interest in reading an old jerk’s opinion on artists such as Hammered Hulls, Baby?, Charles Stepney and “others”? Well, if you order anything from the newly updated No Idols distro from now until the end of 2022, a complimentary issue will be thrown into your order free of charge. If there’s nothing in the store that tickles your fancy, send me a dollar to cover postage and I’ll send one to you. There will be no downloadable PDF of this thing. You’ll only get it unless my gross fingers have been all over it. Case “clersed”.
NOW HERE ARE THE UPDATES TO THE WEBSTORE…
GRAVEN IMAGE - Studio Sessions: ‘82 - ‘83 (Beach Impediment, LP)
A very welcomed release collecting the entire recorded output of these early 80's Richmond, Virginia rippers. Early Dischord and Touch & Go influences are apparent, but the units' vein swelling intensity proves they were working with an anger that was all their own. "Studio Sessions: '82 - '83" contains their split cassette release with Honor Role from 1982 and the "Kicked Out Of The Scene" seven-inch EP released on Eskimo in the following year. Contains a booklet with liners, photos, and flyers. Highly recommended.
RIKK AGNEW - All By Myself (Frontier, LP)
2017 repress of this CLASSIC 1982 solo album by the guitarist of the Adolescents, DI, Christian Death, Detours, etc. All By Myself catches Agnew in between the breakup of Adolescents MK I and joining Christian Death and is one of the most unheralded and original albums to come out of the American Punk explosion of the early 80s. From classic OC riffage to tracks that sound like they could have come straight out of the Paisley Underground going on Agnew's backyard to the lumbering, disturbing album closer, "Section 8" this album is an experience. And if you can't pick it up from all that's written above, this is one of my all-time favorite records. THIS ONE'S FOR YOU, FULLERTON!
NEOS - Three Teens Hellbent On Speed (Supreme Echo, LP)
2021 full-length release collecting both seven-inch EP's released by these Canadian thrash godfathers in 1982 as well as rehearsals and live recordings. In the realms of early, intense, and fast-as-fudge Hardcore, the Neos should be considered the DRI of the north. With a total of 52 songs and a near novel's worth of liner notes by Neos vocalist Steve Bailey, some might complain that this collection is 'too much'. But when you stop and consider how little the music and story of the band got around, you'll shut your trap quickly and dig in.
CRIPPLED YOUTH - Join The Fight (Revelation, seven-inch EP)
2021 silver vinyl repress of 1986 seven-inch originally released on New Beginning Records. Pubescent Straight Edge angst doesn't get any better than this. If you scoff at that statement, go tongue a battery.
SST - (Puke N Vomit, seven-inch EP)
2019 repress of 1978 single released by a San Francisco band featuring a pre-Flipper Ted Falconi on drums and vocalist Irene Dogmatic of Los Angeles Free Music Society infamy. Low, rumbly keyboard-driven New Wave similar to "Hardcore Devo" and an interesting time capsule for the time.
ALL OF THIS IS AVAILABLE NOW AT THE NO IDOLS WEBSTORE!
AND HERE’S A SAD ATTEMPT AT MUSIC WRITING…
SOULSIDE - A Brief Moment In The Sun (Dischord, 2022)
As many of us know, the number of American punk bands from the 80s and 90s that have reunited is simply staggering. And it doesn’t take Count Von Count to tell you very few of these bands ever come out with new material. I suppose it’s an act of safety on both the band’s and the ‘fan’s’ part. Why would any fogey want to provoke the threat of a beer bottle to the face after announcing ‘We’re gonna play a new one next’? Why rock the boat when you can keep playing songs you wrote when you were sixteen and get paid? And all any old fart wants to hear is the hits so they can mosh, feel young again and find some self-worth in their otherwise boring adult life.
In the end, nobody’s hurting anybody with this double-headed stroke job, so whatever…no harm, no foul, or whatever cliche you wanna use to wrap it all up with.
Or maybe I’m just too damned cynical. Perhaps what keeps some rekindled bands from recording new stuff is the difficulty in escaping nostalgia — falling on old tricks of the trade to please the masses. It’s tough, but Soulside must have taken a night class in classy moves because A Brief Moment In The Sun, their first album since 1989’s wonderful mind-fuck of an LP Hot Bodi Gram, seems like the first to crack this code. Sure, listening to it elicited the same range of emotions any of their records from the 80s would have, but it’s due to all of them being totally immersive experiences.
Much like Trigger and Hot Bodi Gram, A Brief Moment In The Sun is crammed with a lot to consider. Every bit of it from Bobby’s heady brew of lyrics to the saucy static kicked up by the band is something to take back to the lab and stew on — especially when you consider it is a ‘concept’ record about racial oppression in the U.S. Scott McCloud’s foggy, rockist guitar sound synonymous with Girls Against Boys slinking around with Bobby’s words on Assata Shakur and other revolutionaries is surreal and challenging — another couple of qualities that run throughout the bands’ discography. It’s refreshing to know Soulside can still provide that giddy rush of discovery sans the moshing to the oldies vibe. I guess I should end this review with something profound like THIS RECORD ISN’T THE PAST. IT’S NOW! I prefer just to say THIS RECORD “IS”. If you catch the drift of that statement, purchase A Brief History In The Sun from Dischord.
Great stuff, amigo! Loving the new Soulside.