The new Destroy All Art comp is cool, lots of great stuff on it, and will go down in history as the first vinyl comp of 90’s punk. Pick up a copy directly from Andrew himself, or through Rerun Records and some other distros like SS. The first run is 500 copies, and there is a lot of buzz about it, so the pressing will no doubt sell out! It was a labor of love for him putting this comp together over the last 2 years, and we all appreciate his hard work and the end product! And stay tuned for Volume 2, which is already in the works!
I know a thing or two about 90’s punk but I have never heard about half of the songs on Destroy All Art- classic tunes like “Firesaw” by the pre-A-Frames Bend Sinister, or “The Slide” by I’m Gonna Stab You- so it’s awesome to hear some “new stuff”. My favorite new discovery thanks to the comp is the painfully rare and sadly obscure-up-to-this-point “Fight” by Several Species- what a classic! And a number of songs I got “reacquainted” with from many years ago, because I had forgotten certain details like how The Stiffs had put out an earlier, punkier version of “Chelsea” before they rerecorded it for their big Onion Records pseudo-major label signing.
But I guess one of the main feelings I get when listening to the comp is that is makes me feel FUCKING OLD! I mean, the 90’s don’t seem THAT long ago in my middle-aged perspective. Other comps of obscurities, which up to this point have had either late 70’s/early 80’s KBD or- going back farther- Back To The Grave-ish 60’s obscurities, seem to me like a LONG ASS time ago, as I wasn’t even born yet in the 60’s, and I was a kid when the KBD era happened and I had no fucking clue what punk was back then. So in my perspective the KBD era is kind of a mythic, prehistoric time that feels like a million years ago. Even to the point sometimes where, when I listen to late 70’s stuff like Tapeworm or Freestone or whatever, I think “Now what would I have been doing in late 1978 or early ’79 when this record came out?” And the answer is usually, “I was busy being a kid in grade school and was playing with Star Wars toys or Lego”. And how the only music I knew of back then was Bad Company or My Sharona or Kiss Alive with the gatefold sleeve.
But the 90’s are NOT a mythic time to me. I mean, I graduated from college in the early 90’s and got married in the mid 90’s, so I was a full-fledged “adult” when all the 90’s stuff was coming out and was an active participant in “the scene” at the time. I remember when a lot of these records came out, and I bought them new from the usual sources. But during the 90’s I NEVER thought ahead or had a long-term perspective like “Damn, in 20 years or so there’s going to KBD style comps of this stuff coming out!”. Back in early ’99 I made a cassette comp of 90’s punk stuff that I called “Killed By Tony” as kind of a joke, but never really thought of it as a long-term time capsule that I would refer back to 20 years later. I spent the mid-to-late 90’s chasing down KBD records from the late 70’s and early 80’s and that trumped my pursuit of “new” bands or records that were coming out at the time. Back then, I definitely thought that these late 70’s KBD bands would still be remembered in 2015. But not 90’s bands, at least not in the same “holy grail” sort of way. Which, I guess, was kind of my problem- in hindsight, in the 90’s I should have lived more in the moment and put more effort into finding some of those records instead of being more focused on stuff from 15-20 years earlier, eh. But I only had a limited amount of disposable income at the time, so if I had to choose from between a handful of cheap KBD records and a handful of “new” bands, then I usually leaned towards the KBD stuff.
Don’t get me wrong- I went out of my way to go see lots of great shows and appreciated what was coming out at the time. I particularly remember the Rip Offs playing the Fireside Bowl on a hot summer day in August of 1995 right before they broke up- great show! [As a weird side note, I just randomly Google’d that show and found a video from it! The weird part is not finding a clip from it, but the fact that I found MYSELF in the video jumping around near the front of the stage during the whole song! LOL!] Even better was seeing Teengenerate playing at the Empty Bottle in early November of 1995- yowza! Being in the front row with Fifi and Fink only feet away was amazing. Their records were great but the real way to hear em was LIVE. [By the way, some songs from that particular show were released as part of the VML (Vindictive Music Live) series of live records and I swear you can hear me shouting in between some of the songs. And I still have my Teengenerate shirt that I bought from the band’s merch guy that night.]
This is getting really long, and I was tell myself I’m going to have a quick, no-frills, short text posting. I guess another thing that the Destroy All Art comp makes me think about is how 90’s punk can change up the record collecting formulas. In traditional collecting spheres, “obscure” usually means “expensive wallet busting” But for 90’s punk “obscure” can equal “cheap as shit!” because everyone ignored the record at the time and yer local record store clerk moved ’em from the bin of “New Stuff” to the- gulp!- “Sale Bin” when copies sat around for too long. The price would be discounted from $4 down to $2, and then go ever farther down the food chain and get moved to the musty dollar bin that sat on the floor and you had to get on yer knees to look through. That is where I found some multiple copies of some of these records at the time, LOL! Then even one step BELOW the dollar bin at a local store was the 49 cent bin where stuff would sit and sit and sit, and where I found gems like the Stiffs, Inc. “Chelsea” 7” that was promo only and had only 200 copies pressed total. Which brings me to the next record collecting formula that 90’s punk can many times turn on its head. “Cheap as shit” does NOT mean “bas music”! when it comes to 90’s stuff. Quite the contrary- lots of cheapo 90’s records had amazing, memorable “instant classics” on them! Just a shame that many of them were overlooked at the time and sat collecting dust until now.
Well, I have babbled long enough- on to the music! Listening to the Destroy All Art comp inspired me to dig around my collection and put together some of my favorite 90’s songs. Perhaps you’re familiar with all of them, or maybe I’ve dug up a few that you forgot about or never heard of. I did not try to just include things that I thought might be considered obscure, there are some “well known” bands or songs on it so it’s just whatever popped into my head that sounds good from that era.
MY 90’s PUNK MIX TAPE/PODCAST
*I made an effort to put these songs in a certain order so they kind of flow together sound-wise, but since no one has any fucking patience anymore thanks to technology my attempt at creating the mixtape effect will probably go unnoticed. I do not have the time to include Discogs links to all of these records, so look up those details yourself please. And for more info and great musings on some of the below songs- like the story of how the Tiki Men achieved such a wall of sound- visit the sorely-missed Static Party blog that highlighted great 90’s music during the three years they were doing postings.
PART 1: FULL THROTTLE AND SCORCH
1. 77 Spreads– I Ain’t Against Punk Femme (Italy, 1995)
2. Hookers– Kiss My Fuckin Ass (KY, 1995)
3. Brides– Get To You (Evanston, IL, 1997)
4. Teengenerate– This Is Rock n’ Roll (Japan, 1995)
5. Seculars– Social Skills (NYC, 1997)
6. Lost Sounds– Plastic Skin (Memphis, TN, 1999) (original version from 1st EP on Solid Sex Lovie Doll label)
7. Mud City Manglers– Shit You Talk (PA, 1999)
8. Millionaires– Cleopatra’s Alley (San Diego, CA, 1995)
9. Teenage Graves– Born In Blood (Sweden, recorded 1990/released 1997)
10. Olivelawn– Carvin Is The Devil’s Paintbrush (San Diego, CA, 1991)
11. Fake Females– C’Mon C’Mon (Norway, 1996)
12. Jakkpot– Burnin’ In ’77 (Baltimore, MD, 1996)
13. Candysnatchers– Hooligan (VA, 1996) (original version on “Blasts From The Basement” comp EP)
14. Chinese Millionaires– Spoiled Rotten (MI, 1997)
15. The Makers– Waste Of Flesh (WA, 1995)
16. First Alert– Pinpoint Attack on My Alarm Clock (Japan, 1996)
PART 2: LOTS OF OFF-KILTER, UNIQUE CLASSICS + SOME MORE DRIVING BEATS & SOME MELODY
1. Hamicks– Oxymorons (Austin, TX, 1996)
2. Arch Villains– We Hate Your Ugly Face (WA, 1998)
3. Piranhas– Garbage Can (MI, 1999)
4. Charm City Suicides– Can’t Get Paid (MD, 1999)
5. Starvations– Shut Up Sirens (Los Angeles, CA, 1996)
6. Tiki Men– Swingin’ Creeper (Sacramento, CA, 1993)
7. Tonebenders– Root Beer (Sweden, 1995)
8. Splayed Innards– Social Retard (Iowa, 1996)
9. De Stipjes– My Brain Is Dead (Holland, 1996)
10. Stitches– Nowhere (Long Beach, CA, 1995)
11. Halfways– Friar Tucks (VA, 1997)
12. TKO’s– Don’t Pull The Plug (Cleveland, OH, 1996)
13. Les Thugs– I Love You So (France, 1991)
Here’s some pictures I took of the record sleeves I used to put this thing together:
+ “LINER NOTES” COMING SOON
I typed fast and babbled on and on about the songs I included in my mixtape, so that is coming soon! It is long and wordy, so get ready!