January 9, 2012 § 3 Comments
Click on thumbnails to enlarge.
It is my opinion that the years between 1992 and 1995 represented the zenith of melodic hardcore punk before the genre started living on its own cliches and/or being diluted into pop music. Fat Music For Fat People was the first sampler released by Fat Wreck Chords (the label founded by Fat Mike, singer of NoFx) in 1994 and it features some of the best bands of that period. Represented here are samples from Propagandhi‘s How To Clean Everything (plus a non album track), Don’t Turn Away by Face To Face, both Duh and Trashed by Lag Wagon (though being quite good, may be actually the first copycat band of the time sounding more or less like NoFx) For God And Country by Good Riddance and NoFx‘s The Longest Line. Check out the yearly users polls on Sputnikmusic and you’ll find all of these records and many more.
Not much to say about this tape, my friends and I have listened to it so much the memories are just spread over like a thin layer of butter in such a long timespan it’s almost impossibile to recall any highlight. To be fair, only a few friends of mine listened to it: by that time some of the guys were a lot into death metal (I was a bit…) and they wouldn’t even touch anything that stank of punkrock with a Ten Foot Pole (hahaha). They said none of these bands were “technical” enough… Some of them later, but maybe too late, started to pay attention and changed their mind.
A note on the cassette: Sony CDit II tapes sported a “slim case”. Personally, I hated them: the card was usually very small, the case would break even more easily than on normal cassettes and, last but not least, when you were piling tapes on a shelf they didn’t fit anywhere screwing the carefully stocked piles big time!
January 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
Click on thumbnails to enlarge.
During a summer camp in Ireland in 1994 I felt like Losing My Religion was everywhere, though the song had been released three years before. It was on tv and on the radio and people where talking about it, we even had a grammr lesson or something during which the teacher gave us the lyrics to analyse! I knew the song already, but I never paid much attention to it, I don’t know why, maybe I was too young. Anyway, during those three weeks it struck a chord in me as it did with millions of people. I decided I wanted to listen to R.E.M first album though, before getting to Automatic For The People, so i checked into almost every music store I could find in Temple Bar in Dublin, but I just couldn’t find it. So when I got home I just forgot about it. Meanwhile Monster came out and R.E.M where again everywhere. Again, even though I liked it, it didn’t click with me. One year or two later, I was checking the new stuff at my favorite CD-rentalsand there it was: a reissue of Murmur! Since New Adventures In Hi-Fi had just come out I rented that too so that I could hear both the first and the last LP available by R.E.M. I was still much into heavy stuff and punk rock by that time, I was just about to explore what was out there and I fell immediately for both the records, specially for Murmur (though I still love some tracks on New Adventures: more about it in a while) as it was nothing like I had heard before. Edgy, nervous (Radio Free Europe), kind of menacing sometime (Moral Kiosk, West Of The Fields), with slanted melodies (We Walk) and that dry and neat sound: everything was in place. Everytime I listened to it it felt like eating some sort of exotic food: what’s that weird taste?!
What happened then? Nothing. It just stopped there, since then I always had an ear open for anything R.E.M. released, but I never quite got into them. It happens.
Cd Rentals were a dream came true for anybody who was into music: you could rent a CD for three days paying roughly 1€ and of course tape it if you liked it. It didn’t last long: all the CD-rentals closed due to the usual copyright laws. Video rentals where still open though: we never quite got that.
As you may see from the back of the cassette card, R.E.M. took the place of David Bowie‘s Pin-Ups: I don’t regret it at all. I love Bowie but personally I find that record to be quite over-rated.
December 21, 2011 § 2 Comments
Click on thumbnails to enlarge titles and back of cards.
Arguably this is NoFx best album so far.
I admit it took me ages to realize the title of the album was a silly pun…
In the beginning of the 90ies a whole new lot of hardcore punk bands came to rise: they were fast, they were angry AND they were also fun and had catchy singalong tunes. What more could a teenager who had just discovered punkrock ask for? They started calling it melodic hardcore and people basically bought every release from labels like Epitaph and Fat Wreck almost blindfolded. The artistic and commercial peak of this new genre came between 1993 and 1995, when records like (among many others) Propaghandi‘s How To Clean Everything, Unknown Road by Pennywise, Rancid‘s …And Out Come The Wolves and Punk In Drublic were released. 1994 was also the year in which The Offspring became huge with Smash: from then on, the genre started withering, perpetuating the same ideas and sounds and/or being diluted into chart-friendly guitar-pop: please welcome Blink 182. More than fifteen years later it still sounds the same.
As you may guess I listend to this cassette to the point of consuption, and the tape is pretty worn, but still kicking. Curious fact: I do not own the orginal album. Back then like many kids did, having no money, we’d go to our favorite record store in Milan called “New Zambrinskie Point” (R.I.P) and each of us friends would buy one LP and then we’d swap the treasured findings and copy them on tape. I do remember who copied Punk In Drublic for me from the original cassette (thanks Diego) but I can’t remember what I gave in exchange.
December 19, 2011 § 2 Comments
Click on thumbnails to enlarge titles.
Originally recorded on a Sony HF 46 cassette.
This is a very old self made compilation: it dates back to 1983. I stole from my uncle’s collection some years later and I still believe to these days this is one of the best Motorhead selections ever!