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Saturday, October 23, 2010

An Interview with Jason Honea of Social Unrest

Grim Reality '84 Foothill College

10 Bright Spikes

The Knit Separates '98

The Catholics are attacking ! Teenage Panzerkorps-

Jason Honea/The Knit Separates

Grim Reality '83

photo taken by Dela Chafee : Social Unrest, Sacramento 9/86

An Interview With A Musical Wanderer; An Interview With Social Unrest vocalist Jason Honea.

What started out as an interview that was going to touch briefly on Jason’s South Bay (San Jose area to our foreign readers )band Grim Reality and then mostly the great Social Unrest, turned into much more than that. To say that Social Unrest were my favorite band second only to The Dead Kennedys is an understatement. They had the ability to write thought provoking, melodic punk songs that were more literate than most bands could do. They were awesome! This conversation takes some turns as we discuss his post Social Unrest involvement with 10 Bright Spikes with UK Subs guitar player Nicky Garrett and other bands that Jason has participated in since. It has been a pleasure talking to him about his experiences, and I thank him for his patience with this interview. Ladies and Gentleman, here it is, an interview with a musical muse
Q:How did Grim Reality come about?
Grim Reality started as a neighborhood band (Sunnyvale) as a result of rock dreams fortified by the new sounds that not just KFJC was pumping out at us...I think I actually first heard Chinese Rocks late one night on KSJO !! It was the 'Animal World' single by The Last Words that really got me itchy !! Thanks KFJC
Q:How did personnel changes affect the band (do you know that Charles had me try out playing bass??? Or was it another band????? Bad idea at the time, because I could barely play bass at the time) Actually this was a different band than Grim Reality. My mistake!
Personnel changes massively affected the band . Bill Wasmuth was the one that precipitated that once I went to vocals and he didn't have to keep things easy in order for me to keep up...Nico Wenner and Spy of course augmented the band's sound ten fold. By the time those two were in the band we had dropped over 80 percent of our 81-82 material !!! Ron Isa got the band sounding smoother ( I had always hoped we'd get a bassist kinda like Rainy... a smooth Sabbath-ish style. Ron did this sorta) in that he complimented Nico's abilities perfectly and that was a really ,really good idea at the time because it brought us back in or kept us in the game so to speak . What I mean here is that bands like Ribzy and Los Olvidados were just way above us ability wise..... Ron helped us change so much of our sound literally over night. Not sure if you were at the campbell party -show in that garage but what got delivered that night was in part Ron's doing. Don't want to in anyway rule out both Nico and Spy's contributions either though .... of course i could go on .
Q:How was it playing with Sean Gregonis ?
Well, Sean smoothed it all out too. For starters, he had a real bass, and if I remember correctly, he was familiar with the more music than we were. Even more importantly is that he brought all his punk buddies into our camp and this augmented our profile a bit. We weren't just the sunnyvale homestead/fremont guys anymore... Yeah, We met Sean or at least saw Sean play for the first time at the Sunnyvale Community Center when he was with the Resistors...he was there for the initial changes though I can't remember for the life of me now why he quit or left.... Great parties at his place !
Ken:I was at the Sunnyvale Community Center show too….fun night that was!. As for Sean’s dad, that is what I have heard about him. I knew his dad pretty well and he was a great guy that drove kids to shows, let them party at his apartment etc. In fact, many kids crashed at their apartment. Funny thing that Lars Fredrikson of Rancid fame lived in the same apartment complex and worshiped those that hung there.
Q"When Charles went to Executioner, how did that affect the band
Charles was only in the band for a couple of rehearsals.
Q:Oh wow, ok, I thought he was there longer than that.
Was Grim Reality broken up when you moved over to Social Unrest ?

Not initially. In fact, S.U. came snooping around a bit earlier. Jim Brogan saw me perform with G.R. at Agnews State Hosp. and asked me if I would be interested in trying out for SU. I recall being somewhat shocked as an SU fan because I had no idea that Creetin was even on the way out.
It wasn't until a few months later that Spy broke the news to us that he wasn't going to be in Grim Reality anymore. At that point,I think Nico was already getting offers from other bands as well though I'm not totally about of this. At any rate, it basically freed all of us up to move on...As you know, once Grim Reality split both he and Ron Isa went to Whipping Boy. I ended up calling SU, tried out, got the job , and then we started immediately working on that SU2000 material
Q:How did SU fans accept you. I mean, Creetin is legendary! Most of the time it is real hard to replace a lead singer...i.e. Stranglers, Undertones, DKs, etc
SU fans hated me and I think some still do. Basically, with few exceptions, we had to build a whole new audience !
To be honest though , it was one of the best things that could have happened to me...that animosity. I had to really work hard and do my own thing. Create my own identity or reinvent.....and it's paid off hugely. It's made starting new bands and getting new things off the ground later all that much easier simply because I know what it means to scramble, improvise and deal with adversity. Whatever the case, it would have happened to whoever in the end would have replaced Creetin. They tried out a few guys from local bands...
Danny warned me it would be that way and he was right.
And, it happened at a good time, hardcore was changing immensely by '84, and let's face it, it needed to grow- which is certainly what SU did.
But, we all know how much punks don't like change....
And lets face it, a band is an organic thing made up of lives that are of course
changing all the time themselves…
Q:So obviously adding James Brogan, Ray Vegas and you, made for a different sounding band. SU2000 was a stylistic departure from the Ep making Room For Youth and the awesome Rat In A Maze 12". Was it the influence that James brought into the band that made the band different, or was it a combined effort of all three of you? Bringing different influences and such?
Definitely ! Jim , Ray and myself brought in a couple of different things .For starters, Ray could really play his instrument!!!!!! Also, Danny says that he started to tailor certain music for my voice...things like Stranger Inside and even Out my Window. I was really wanting to sing as well… I mean really sing. Although I was doing that Dion/Ribzy voice on SU2000 what I really wanted to do was somehow use my natural voice but I really didn't know how nor was I too sure about what to do. This would have been right when we were starting to write Before the Fall and I was getting super into the Zombies and Brian Wilson. Another aspect: James brought in music like Jimmy Rocks and Public Enemy #1, signature James Brogan stuff really, elements of which we ended up hearing not only on later SU stuff but on that material Jim did after SU. James had very much his own style, certain flourishes and embellishments....also his down stroke strumming. Oh, and, another factor: of course there was metal all over the place at that time ... which had it's influence as everyone knows.
Ken:(Readers, for those that do not know, When Jason refers to the Dion/Ribzy voice, he is talking about longtime San Jose area hardcore band Ribzy which has one of the great all time SF Bay Area scenester in Greg Oropeza)

Q:Because what I mean, Making Room For Youth and Rat In A Maze were more straight ahead ramalama punk, and then you have some lineup changes. SU seems to pay attention to dynamics in the songs, crescendo's, varied rhythm's.
Yeah. I recall someone telling me at some point that SU was born already a 'complete' band ... meaning I guess that it was always capable of offering something ripe and maybe a bit different again and again : Good writing, idiosyncratic musicians and playing, style.... and then later just turning into this indeterminable amalgam.
Was it emo?
was it hardcore?
it wasn't metal...
'seemed' punk-like...
I think it's great that it turned out that way !
And what's even better is that it seemed natural and right without anyone in the band feeling like they had to put the brakes on and see if it fit in with the canon or even check with our public- check their reaction, etc....
Q:Looking back now, I look at bands from this era, i.e. Code of Honor, C2D, Sic Pleasure, Verbal Abuse, DRI, Fang, the were all great bands, and in fact bands I like a lot, but SU and The DK's were different. Style and ability comes to mind. Do you think that you were different than those bands. I will leave Crucifix in a different category as they deserve their own little world because they were sooooo good.
Yeah ! Danny's songs had more chords to'em and he was just capable of exploring more different moods . Not sure how to answer this actually.... I liked some of those bands.... Maybe they were consciously just trying to play 'punk rock' .!!???!
Q:Did SU tour in support of SU2000 and if so, where did you guys go?
We did a summer tour in '85 essentially touring on SU2000 and of course all the old stuff. First show was in Dallas and then up the East Coast. Can't remember where it ended. I just remember the night we got back, I got dropped off at the Varsity in Palo Alto and I was so hungry , I think one of the O'Brien’s gave me a cold hamburger to chomp while driving me back to (408).
(Jason is referring to the 408 telephone area code that we all lived within)
Q:Before The Fall, what an achievement! Of all the SU albums, this one in my opinion was the pinnacle of the band's career. Each release was fantastic, but for me, this is my favorite for many reasons. Again, SU seemed to be following the same formula as built upon with SU2000. The difference is an even more varied approach with some of the best playing the band has ever done. Lyrical theme's and overall musicianship makes the album so special. Jason, what was your thoughts while recording this? It seems your lyrical approach had grown to a more of a, dare I say more poetic in nature? Why I am asking this, is because you listen to American Steel, A Dragon In The Kremlin, Golgotha (which makes me STILL want to run around my house and break things), but it has such a great feel to it. The pinnacle in my opinion is Night of The Long Knives. Jason, if you could explain the correlation between the title and the lyrics please. Is it right for me to say that I can hear some Buzzcocks, later period Wire, Gang Of Four in the music? This album reminds me of what The Effigies from Chicago were doing around the same time.
Right after I joined and we were working hard on SU2000 I started to get really obsessed with lyrics .Certain bands had lyrics that were way better than their music and other bands just had consistently great lyrics. When loud and fast music started sounding all the same to me and metal just didn't do anything for me, I started taking a more interested look at bands' lyrics. This also would have been around the time that I decided I was going to use my natural voice and not a stylized one. It also occurred to me that I wasn't going to lie anymore as a singer and I certainly wasn't going to feign stuff-say stuff because it was popular or just accepted at the time.. .. I think this might have been how Dave Burks was feeling as well-I saw it in certain aspects of his lyrical approach. I can remember really liking some of his lyrics that were lying around his place after R.O.T. broke up. Whatever the case, for me it became about imaginative power activated by strong emotional compulsion . Themes and content varied for sure...what was of tons of interest to me then were motivations and intentions, why and how people act on things the way they do....
Night of the Long Knives was about a struggle of sorts within the band. Nothing I want to talk about here.
Q:The reason I mention The Buzzcocks is that a lot of Before The Fall has the same kind of melancholy vibe that was on side two of A Different Kind Of Tension
Well, I think some if it was just compulsive and natural. Another element might be the range of music that all of us were listening to or starting to listen to. I know Danny liked UK Decay and Furio among quite a few other things. Mark had his own broad range of stuff he was into. He turned me onto literally tons of stuff that I just didn't care about before or didn't take seriously !! That b-side basically took off were Stranger in Side/Out my Window dropped off, that's how I saw it at least. We did a show in Nürnberg one time at which we only played that plodding and vibe-y stuff, maybe just a thirty or so minute gig.
Q:After the release of Before The Fall, did you guys hit Europe again? How was Europe and how did they respond to you guys. Apart from The Dead Kennedys and Black Flag, and to a smaller degree, CH3 (because of the releases being on No Future in the UK), were you guys known? How were the shows. From what I have read in the book Get In The Van, Henry Rollins commented on how tough it was playing in the UK. I know The DK's and MDC toured the EU and were treated pretty well. Just wondering.
Europe was fantastic in too many different ways and yes we were treated well. That was right after Konkurrenz in Holland licensed Before the Fall over here . They licensed Now and Forever as well . In '96 we did some shows in the UK and yeah, it did seem tough.
Memorable gigs from this period
Q:Any stories of bands you played with or people that you met?
Did a great show at a squatted planetarium in Copenhagen. Tons of the German shows were great. A show in Ljubljana was probably the high lite of the tour. Rome was great as was Livorno together with the Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers. We had a nice entourage of people traveling with us. Dolf from Trust, Ute from M.A.D. booking tux from Negazione...It was one of the funnest times of my young life
Q:Moving away from Before The Fall, SU released the more adventurous Now and Forever. Creetin sings lead vocals on Handcuffs Too Tight, as well as back up vocals on Sins Of Paris. What was behind this???? Hand Cuffs Too Tight really draws from the bands earlier days. Was this song left over from before you were in the band or was it something Creetin had that he brought in for you guys.
Handcuffs too Tight was written by Creetin following events after some show at the Tool and Die back at that point when he was still in the band. When we did our reunion show at Gilman a few years later Creetin was asked to participate of course and one of the songs played that night was Handcuffs Too Tight. Because the event was so harmonious, we decided to have him come in and record it for that version that was eventually released on Now and forever.
Q:My favorite Buzzcocks song done by Social Unrest! Why a cover and why this song??? I remember buying this album and being so stoked to hear this! Again, The Buzzcocks are mentioned!
Yeah. At some point we started thinking about a cover song ... I seem to recall that we might have experimented with a Vibrators song but I'm not too sure about this anymore. Danny, I believe brought in Ever fallen in Love? ...What I do specifically remember is that from time to time Mark would start playing that signature beat from PIL's Flowers of Romance LP.That would have been fantastic to have done something with....
Q:I noticed Peter Miller produced alongside SU most of the stuff you recorded. Who is he and what role did he play with the band in attaining the fantastic sound you guys had.
Peter Miller is a long standing studio owner and engineer in San Francisco. Originally, he was THEE Peter Miller of Peter Miller and the Jaywalkers, an English rocknroll /R'nB band popular in Britain in the early and mid sixties. He was also a Decca studio musician and if my memory serves me correctly, he learned his tech /engineering skills from Joe Meek.
Later, his studio on Union street was the studio where the Avengers, the Breakouts, Crucifix among a whole host of others did some of their seminal recordings.
Ken:Ahhh The Breakouts…they were awesome!!!
How did the live Mental Breakdown album come about. I know that it was released on the German label Lost And Found...By the way, that thing is impossible to find!
I can't really remember. We finished that Euro tour and I seem to recall getting a phone call from someone asking if it could be released. I might have been the only one that got called- In fact, I think that was actually the case because I have some foggy memory of my telling SU about the call and then our discussing the details.
For me it was a classic case of what was a great live show just not making the transition to vinyl all that well. I haven't listened to that in years but I never really liked it mainly because of my own performance. Also, there was a moment of tension once it came out: I got yet another phone call from someone in Amsterdam claiming that it was stupid of us(me ?) to have authorized it because it was going to distract people away from buying the new, Now and Forever release that was pending at that time...which didn't make any sense to me at all if only because the live thing was just a bunch of old material presented live where as Now and Forever was all new, new material. That's SHOW BIZ I guess ...
Q:Out of all the albums you did with SU, this one had some of the coolest titles. If you could explain Katarina Whitt, Sex Boy and Highroller Desolation Angels (aka Sacred Hearts)
That's when I started reading all those Henry Miller books that Mac(sic) Miller kicked down to me. Oh , and then of course there was all that vintage fuselage/nose art that I was getting into at that point .
Q:Ron Isa comes into the fold. How does this change the band?
Now and Forever, how was this album received? Again, it seems that the band is moving more away from the bands punk roots and stretching their boundaries
I think it came out in the fall of '89 and honestly, I don't think it was ever really 'received'....if you know what I mean... but I may be wrong. As a matter of fact, I think it came out after the band broke up. I mentioned earlier that we recorded that after we got back from that '87 Euro tour. I went to Germany the summer after and James sent me the records once I was living there. No reviews of any kind come to mind BUT, by this point in time I was just completely somewhere else musically, completely distracted ... I don't think I was paying much attention.
Q:Who and where did the album cover art come from? I have always loved this cover. The cool thing about music, and especially punk rock is the artwork on 7" record sleeves as well as album covers.
Mike Miro's daughter Kyle did it...not sure what ever happened to her. Mike Miro ran Positive Press in Berkeley and he also did a lot with Brave Ear mag .Yeah, cover graphics are just too important. Track titles and cover art are their own separate sphere completely yet a huge part of the whole. I've got tons of stuff that I've bought simply because the covers are great or the lyrics, etc are fantastic.... regardless of the music. I also think there've been times when I made some music or scrambled to find some simply because I wanted to get a cover out there !!
Q:In fact, thinking about that, why did you guys only release one 7"...Making Room For Youth??? Considering the 7" record was the cheapest and fastest way to document a band, that was the only single you guys did. Why just albums????? Can't answer that. I personally was super into the whole record collecting culture at the beginning and appreciated all forms of vinyl but as far as our output goes... I don't think we were consciously trying to avoid a 7'' . We wrote and rehearsed lots of new music constantly...I think mainly because of this, the 12" LP just seemed to offer more.
Q:Since SU were more melodic than a lot of you contemporaries, and being SU were an East Bay band...Do you think you helped influence or shape the Gilman St. sound. I mean, most of the bands that were playing at Gilman in the late 80's were much different the Christ On Parade, Neurosis....Namely what I am talking about is how bands payed more attention to melody and structure..Of course we have Samiam in which James Brogan was involved with..
A couple of points come to mind here.For starters I don't know if I can really answer this because, like I mentioned earlier, by this point in time I just wasn't paying attention .That said, although we were as you describe, I don't think we had that big of an influence on anything locally. Europe,again,was different though. In fact, I don't think we had much of an audience in the Bay Area left at all !! Lets face it, most were just completely stuck on Rat in a Maze !!
I will say though that by that late year there were a lot of things and forces afoot...(and not just metal thank Christ)- both locally and nationally that were influencing or going to influence the way things were going to go in the 90s. I can remember our '87 Euro tour really opening my eyes and ears up . American style 80s hardcore was just sinking it's claws in there BUT it was by no means the most interesting or confrontational thing happening...if anything, at least for me, it was the least interesting thing by that time. Other things there really excited me-stuff we didn't have in the US nor really ever would....the implications of which would reveal itself a bit later.
Q:How did the breakup of SU occur?
I cant recall the band ever officially sitting down, talking and then agreeing to split up. I do remember my just wanting to get back to Europe and get on with other music. We did a show in Sacto with 7 Seconds and we recorded 'Now and Forever' with Ron Isa on bass as Ray had split.. Beyond that , it's just hazy for me.Eventually, Danny and Mark both found themselves in Amsterdam while I was in Germany. Ray meanwhile was in Attitude(?) Ron in Whipping Boy (and Blast!??) and Jimmy joined or helped start Samiam.
Q:How did you end up meeting Nicky Garrett of The UK Subs?
James Brogan turned Nickey on to me, maybe because of the Now and Forever LP stuff ....Samiam was, I guess, by this point already releasing stuff on New Red Archives. This would have been a year or so after I got back from Germany...'91 or so. And the timing was excellent because the field was wide open for new stuff. At the beginning Nickey just sent cassettes for me to listen to and it developed quickly from there.
Q:10 Bright Spikes is much different in style and substance than SU or The why is that? I hear Wire (which I know Nicky is a huge fan of), but I also hear elements of The Beach Boys in the some of the background vocals, am I correct on this??
Well, Nickey didn't ever, ever really listen to punk anyway and I was fresh back from Europe with my head full of all kinds of new sounds and notions about how a band should be and what was possible- and a lot was possible !!! Nickey immediately jump started everything: he wrote the music, he travelled up to SF to work on stuff and rehearse,he handled studio costs, he organized and motivated- he was kinda intense and sorta the leader. That said however, he gave me tons of free room for me to do my thing... and all I really wanted to do was sing, do lyrics and come up with graphics. Also, I got the first studio line up together which was Nickey and myself plus Ron Isa on bass and Mario Pietryga. from the Upright Citizens on drums. Again, recorded at Peter Miller's on Union Street.Over the course of the next two or three years(?) that line up would change as my childhood buddy Jacek Ostoya took over on bass and a couple of other drummers cycled through- Dave Ayer from Samiam being one of them. We got a ton done real quick: three 10"s, two full length CDs and even recorded a third, Crime Map, which was never released but in my estimation was probably the best.There was a comp track or two as well. We listened to and digested as best we could tons and tons of music. Nickey turned all of us onto older music that we just knew nothing about which of course just gave free license to indulge in everything we thought was cool even more then before . It was all just free association and filling in the blanks with whatever seemed appropriate. Super liberating !!!
Q:How much did you guys play live?
We only did two shows. One was with Mecca Normal and the other just some open night at the I Beam.
Q:SU reformation, how did this occur? How was it playing bass and sharing lead vocal duties with Creetin? Obviously, it must have been tough due to both of you guys being the lead singer of this band at one time or another.
Nickey was re-releasing stuff by other bands by this point. He had already done that Reagan Youth thing and I'm not sure what else if even anything else. He approached us about doing all of Social Unrest's catalog on NRA and it just so developed that he offered to pay for a new album as well. As far as Creetin and I switching bass and vocals is concerned, I don't think we ever had a REAL problem. I don't ever recall having the feeling or getting the impression that he or I was cramping one or the others style or scene. What WAS difficult however was my getting used to playing bass! It was all too new for me and a bit bewildering. Danny used to take time to coach me, etc. and Creetin taught me the basics. To this day, I still don't really play bass but I can use one. Creetin is a bass player by trade and nature. Just listen to New Lows and you'll know what I mean as he's just so present on that recording.
Q:New Lows is a pretty good album, retaining the trademark SU sound. How did you guys end up recording with Billy Joe of Green Day?
ha ha! James Brogan once again !!! Billy was fun . He even sang backups on Sheer Heart Attack ! You can totally hear him.
Q:What are your thoughts on the re-formed Social Unrest that is out playing these days
Seems like they're having fun and doing more than just making ends meetand I think it's really great that they put a new single out . I'd love to see Mark Monte get active in music again....maybe he has been but I haven't heard or seen anything. He's still the most idiosyncratic drummer I've ever ever played with.... and I've played with a ton !!!
Q:What are you doing musically now?
My most current project is 'The Walking Corpses' featuring Karsten Scholl from Teenage Panzerkorps/The Nazi Dogs, myself, Julian Percy from Last Dominion Lost/Ratbag and John Murphy from Death in June,Knife Ladder etc. I'm hoping that we're gonna have a cassette out soon on No Vacation in Montreal. I've also got 'The Greens ,Pinks and Whites' together with Tim Coster (NZ). Both The Shitty Listener, my solo project, as well as Teenage Panzerkorps are both going full tilt. Berlin's been a great place to get things done. There's no end to resources and people with whom to do work with.
Q:What bands have you played in after SU and 10 Bright Spikes ??
Directly after SU I played in a band in Germany called Happy Ever After. We did two singles, one being a cover of Lexicon Devil - one of my all time favorite things in the world. Then later,during 10 Bright Spikes, I was also in a band called Alger Hiss. After that, it was The Knit Separates, The Child Readers, TPK, Tubesock Corpses,The Pumptights,The Yang Mings, The Shitty Listener . The Greens,Pinks and Whites. Now , of course, there's The Walking Corpses. There's been a host of others as well... sometimes they're not even bands per se but just recordings.
Q:After the demise of 10 Bright Spikes, the bands that you have been in are much different than anything you have done in the past ??
Yeah, but now my past is much more extensive than just SU and XBS... As I've said before in the past, it just kept getting better ! I just kept on discovering even more incredible music well as even more incredible people to make it with. The 'punk' became more real the older I got .
Q:How did you end up playing with one of the guys from Death In June?
He's a neighbor of sorts and of course just a big knot of experience and ideas. Murphy's played on some very important recordings with some very inspiring people and acts. I just really wanted to try to do something with him .
Q:Most of your newer projects have more of a post punkish industrial vibe how did you vere into this territory ?
I think the post punk moniker is more incidental. I don't quite see the industrial you mention. What it really comes down to is trying to get back to basics. A voice, singing or otherwise, telling a story or making a claim and then behind it all or accompanying it, carrying it... a rhthym or even some kind of instrument just used to help get the idea across.
Q:What stuff is being released and where can others seek and find your newer projects??
There's tons out there though some of it's kinda limited . Check out : Siltbreeze, No Vacation, Rural Fauna,Softabuse, Digitalis. 3 Acre Floor, Pink Skulls ,Burundi Cloud....I know I must be forgetting one or two.
Q:Are any of these projects playing live ??
The Shitty Listener is always playing out. It's basically just me with some help from only a few friends so it's very easy to just pick up and ''do'' !!! Teenage Panzerkorps(TPK) might, MIGHT do something this winter/spring ...
Q:Any last things that you'd like to add ??
Yeah, I'd like to thank all the people who helped, contributed and been a part of it : Michael Northam for all his various skills-musical or otherwise. Benjamin Aman too . Mel Velarde and Barbara Massacci for being shitty with me ;).Dorota Stachowicz(Los Doros) for all her great drawings and cover art !!! Nickey Garratt for being into it and 'getting' it !! And lastly, there's the kooks who've always been there and helped and inspired all along the way:Loren Chasse, Jacek Ostoya,Karsten Scholl, Glenn Donaldson, Pat Tovez, Kerry McLaughlin,Brian Strang, Christine Boepple, Bob Demmler and .... Danny Norwood!!!!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Off!-First Ep

Just released! 4 songs all under a minute. Think early Black Flag (with Keith singing) and early Circle Jerks...This is classic SoCal hardcore done the way that it is supposed to be done. Absolute perfection here kids. From what I understand, they will be releasing 4 Eps and then compile it on one album. This is raging!!!!! Sure looks like 2010 is going to be one heck of a year for some good tunes!
I just bought the the whole enchilada yesterday, 17 songs and one of the best releases of 2010 by far!

Killing Joke-Absolute Dissent

Holy shit! Where in the hell did this one come from??????? This has to be there best album since Nightime! Seriously, the guitars rage, Jaz' vocals are top notch and the playing is inspired. Please do yourself a favor and get this thing. I was very non committal on listening to this and boy was I wrong. This is awesome!!!!

Blitz-Voice Of A Generation

This is one of the best punk/Oi! albums of all time. Aside from the somewhat dodgy production this could have been a classsic. Still...the songs are there and boy is this a fantastic album. Heck I loved it so much that the skull is tattooed on my arm. There was a time in the early 80's that finding bands like Blitz, PATTB, Special Duties etc were a cool thing that had an insider feel. You had to search out bands like The Partisans, Blood etc. We did not get the press like The UK did. I know this has been posted on many sites..but mine is cooler!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ladies and Gentleman...How Do

Hello dear readers and miscreants.....If you have noticed a slight change in Days Of Our Youth then you are very observant. As much as I love 1977-1983 US Punk and Hardcore, I love UK punk from 1976-1985 even more. So as you have noticed, I have been highlighting some of my loves during this period. Angelic Upstarts, PATTB, Abrasive Wheels, etc. I will be going in that direction more and more over the months to follow. So look for some Business, Blitz, Chron Gen, Damned, SLF, and more. This is just a heads up! I will be doing some stuff from the good ole USA still, but I am following what I love. Speaking of music I love, unfortunately you will not be seeing any Bluebeat, Ska, Reggae or Dub here...(and yes I love that music to death), because this is a punk rock blog. One special treat will be an extensive interview with Jason Honea from Social Unrest and Ten Bright Spikes (as well as many other musical journeys)....this will be coming out in a month or so. Jason is from my hometown area, and we met up a month or so ago and hatched this idea out. It is a very in depth interview and I hope you all really enjoy it. Along with The DKs, Social Unrest are one of my all time fave SF Bay Area punk bands. I was stoked to do this, and Jason has been awesome with his patience and thorough answers!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Insane-El Salvador 7"

I first became aware of The Insane when I heard them on the Punk and Disorderly record in the early 1980's. Of course the song was Last Day and yes, I know the lineup is different than this one that played on the single. I really like all three singles and comp. tracks that they recorded, but by far, this is my favorite. The tempo slowed down a bit and The Insane just became much more dare I say musical?? Compare their first Ep Politics which sounds more like Chaos UK or Disorder and then listen to this one. Big difference!! Maybe it was being on No Future????

Monday, October 4, 2010

From The Jam-Later Days

Released today, and purchased today. In fact I was counting down the hours yesterday like it was Christmas Day. To say The Jam was/is my favorite band is an understatement. When I was a teen, they were the world to me. Really, I was obsessed with them. I had to own every single, album etc. I am still that crazy, because I want the long lost album they recorded and shelved prior to All Mod Cons....Fast forward to 2010, and here we have a band that had 2 of the original members of The Jam with Russell Hastings. Time goes by, and now Bruce Foxton is the only original surviving member, with Rick being replaced by Mark Brzezicki. I have always loved Rick's playing, but I have to admit that Mark is more propulsive and urgent than Rick was. I really wish Rick the best, but I like Mark's drumming more. I purchased Later Day on iTunes today and I am sooo glad I did! This has the classic Jam sound written all over it and Russell Hastings plays a lot like Paul Weller. Keep in mind, I really think that Russell is not trying to imitate Paul, but puts his own spin on things. I have listened to it probably 20 times now and with every spin............err ummm I mean play (kids I am 46 now) it just keep getting better and better with each listen. THAT is what makes a great song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I was awake last night thinking about band members, and who is in bands and who is not. I back up what I said about the new Sham album. Members change...all the time. Some bands do well with it and some don't. One can look at The Stranglers, Sham 69, The Undertones, UK Subs, and SLF, and more importantly, From The Jam...BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Does anyone out there have Pressure's 12 Ep that was released on Anagram. The Ep has songs-Pressure and on the flipside were Sixteen Seconds and Check It Out. I have the song Pressure from the Anagram Punk Singles Collection and that is it. I would love to hear the other two songs....Please help me, it is driving me nuts!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bad Religion-The Dissent of Man

Another release that just came out is Bad Religion's Dissent Of Man. Obviously different than the new Sham 69 album that I just mentioned, this album rocks too! Possibly their best stuff since The Process Of Belief even. I have tickets for them in November and after hearing this fantastic release, I am stoked to see them in SF! Buy this!

Sham 69-Who Killed Joe Public

I just got this the other day, and I have to admit that this is one damn fine album!!!! I have been listening to this non stop for the last couple of days. This just might be their best album since The Game! I know some of you might say sacrilege because this album has no Jimmy Pursey...who cares. Their new vocalist (new??? This is the second album that he has appeared on) does a fantastic job here. One thing I am really digging is the addition of keyboards in some of the songs. To be honest, there is not a weak song on this release, and to me, this is quite stunning. Sham has managed to make an album in 2010 that rocks with a vengeance! Favorites of mine are Little Lady, Last Gang In London, Who Killed Joe Public and The Public Enemy. Top rate stuff lads, thanks for making such a kick ass album. Love this!!!