V/A “HOOKED ON JUNK: 18 FORGOTTEN U.S. PUNK LOSERS 1978-1983” UNRELEASED LP (2003)
The swank cover art from the Deprogrammer “Instant Passion” 7″ was to be used as this comp’s cover with some slight modifications
[8.25 UPDATE- A kind benefactor provided me mp3’s of the formerly missing Infections and Hey Taxi! songs, so this posting is no longer incomplete and I have added these two songs to the .rar files. Woo hoo!]
Here is a pretty good comp that never was. A few test pressings (5 copies?) were distributed to various collector scum at the time, and in early 2003 even Henry Yu wrote about it in his then-regular MRR article. But the comp was never officially released due to a fear of a potential lawsuit.
But which old band did they fear a suit from? Or was it just a general “chill factor” feeling because of another punk-related lawsuit going on the time? (More on that later) If you know more, post some comments. Or did said compiler fear specific bands? Perhaps RF7 because all their old stuff had been officially re-released by GTA at that point? Perhaps the old Cleveland outfit Suspect Device because the song also appeared on Hyped2Death #11? Remember that during this time, Chuck Warner and his Hyped2Death label was being sued by an old member of a band whose 20+ year-old single appeared on one of the Teenline comps without his permission. Turns out said band member became a lawyer so, well, you can guess how it unfolded from there. As a sidenote, there was an attempt to do a “trickle down” lawsuit and sue certain distros that carried anything put out by the Hyped2Death label but I forget how that side effort turned out. After this lawsuit, H2D switched their gears a bit and started doing a lot more CD’s with just one band on em and, thankfully, are still around today plugging away. Their comp CD series are still around but are now “fully authorized” so some bands on the original 2000-2002 pressings are not on the newer ones.
Too bad Hooked On Junk never came out, because for being so late in the game in terms of KBD-type comps it is mostly solid. By the time 2003 rolled around, I thought the well had run dry and the barrel had been scraped for KBD-era stuff that was both obscure AND, more importantly, that sounded GOOD too. By early 2000 I was tired of wasting my money on mediocre comps with one or two good tracks and then a bunch of boring shit that was supposed to be noteworthy just because it was “mega rare”. I think 1999 was the year that broke the camel’s back with me ‘cuz too many disappointing comps were released (and I had much less disposable income ten years ago). 2001’s “No One Left To Blame” comp was a welcome surprise cuz it was chock full of so many great, classic obscurities that I had never heard before (and very little filler). Plus the whole packaging of it was great, what with the great choice of cover artwork and the clean layout on the back of the sleeve. But that was the one shining light in a sea of mediocrity, folks. The only glimmer of a good comp since then (and one of the only ones released on vinyl) was 2005’s “Staring Down The Barrel” which unearthed more great, previously unheard nuggets (but with a little more filler than No One Left To Blame). But then by early 2006 these here mp3 blogs pretty much eliminated the need to release an actual hard copy, vinyl KBD-type comp anymore. Maybe someone else will someday for old time’s sake, like a throwback to “the olden days”.
A few clunkers are on Hooked On Junk, like the Malcolm Tent track which I have never liked in 10+ years of being familiar with it. In fact, I think the only reason the single even gets noticed is because he called himself “Malcolm Tent and His Unnatural Axe” although he has NO connection to the Unnatural Axe we all know and love from Boston. [As a sidenote, a documentary about Unnatural Axe called “You’ll Pay For This” was announced about 4 years ago, and a company called Shiny Object was supposed to release it on DVD- has anyone seen this thing?!? Here is a link to a 2006 trailer]. But overall it appears that said compiler of Hooked On Junk put forth a fair amount of effort to dig up some unknowns, especially ones like the Body Count track which only existed as an acetate so no more than like 2 people probably ever heard the song before.
As well, another seller whose handle eludes me sold a real vinyl copy of this here Hooked on Junk LP in April of 2008- as you can see from the archived auction listing on good ol’ Popsike, the closing price was $260(!). The auction listing said “This is the ONLY copy that will be made available to the public, as the rest were given away to friends”. Hmmm…
1. Scream (aka Rebels and Infidels)- Government Primer
2. Joe Hebert Band- I Don’t Want To Be A Preppy
3. Malcolm Tent- I Will Be Heard
4. Infections- I’m Not Funny
5. Commandos- Operation Annihilation
6. RF7- Chainsaw Love Affair
7. Body Count– Clitorectomy
8. Kris Methe and the Mistakes- Autopsy
9. Ducky Boys- Hooked On Junk
10. Legal Weapon- No One Listens
11. Helen Keller- Surfin’ With Steve and Edi Amin
12. Suspect Device- The Image Has Cracked
13. Recipients– Lunatic
14. Katatonix- Basket Case
15. Manikenz- Living For The Weekend
16. Poodle Boys- Asphalt World
17. Deprogrammer- Instant Passion
18. Hey Taxi- I Hate Dogs
* Here are three .rar files with all of the tracks (it was ripped at 320 kbps and I had a problem uploading one, huge file so I had to split it into 3 parts)
4-song 7″EP on Immortal Nuts label)
2= Providence, RI- 1981 (from “First Date” 7″ on Complex label)
3= Indiana- 1981 (from “Oh Yeah” 7″ on Hardly Music label)
4= Grand Rapids, MI- 1980 (from “Girls In Magazines” 7″ on band’s own label)
5= Worchester (aka Wormtown), MA- 1980 (from split 7″ with Performers on Beast label)
6= California- 1980 (from “Acts of Defiance” 4-song 7″EP on SmokeSeven label)
7= Los Angeles, CA- 1981 (from unreleased acetate)
8= Atlanta, GA- 1982
(from 3-song 7″EP on Bombay label)
9= Brooklyn, NY- 1982 (from “Mercenary” 3-song 7″EP on Spoiler label)
10= Los Angeles, CA- 1981 (from “No Sorrow” 5-song 12″EP on Arsenal label)
11= Seattle, WA- 1978 (from “Dump on The Chumps” 7″ on Britz label)
12= Cleveland (or Dayton?), OH- 1982 (from “Kill Ugly Radio” 7″ on Creative Affairs label)
13= Houston, TX- 1981 (from “Constitution” 7″ on band’s own label)
14= Baltimore, MD- 1983 (from “Valentine’s Day” 3-song 7″EP on Dud Spud label)
15= Kingston, NY- 1981 (from “I Don’t Want Romance” 3-song 7″EP on band’s own label)
16= New Haven, CT- 1980 (from “What Can I Do” 3-song 7″EP on Gustav label)
17= TX/CA- 1981 (from “80-81″ 7” on At Last label)
18= California- 1980 (from 3-song 7″EP on Mystic label)
MY LINER NOTES
Personally, my favorite songs are Tracks 1, 2, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 14. Here is my two cents on each individual tune- I’m sure most of you impatient, short-attention span people have not even made it this far down in this looong posting.
Track 1= Great angry vocals! “Generation 80”, from the same EP, was comped on the original Hyped2Death #2 CD but this tune sounds much better to me.
Track 2= Amazing guitar sound but the vocals are a bit annoying. Supposedly, there are only TWO known copies. According to one thing I read, the band was popular at the prestigious Brown University in their hometown of Providence, RI and played some small frat gigs (?!). The backing band on the 7″ is alleged to be the original Tits band who recorded with Lou Miami around the same time.
Track 3= Bleechh! Put this record back in the dollar bins where it belongs. Boring rock shit.
Track 4= A thicker, Fun Things-ish guitar sound and a nice guitar solo but nothing over the top in the vocals or playing. Kinda anthemic type of lyrics, though, from a singer whose every word you can understand.
Track 5= For me, nothing else they did is as good as the sloppy, snotty “Suburb Rock” from an earlier record (and comped on No One Left To Blame).
Track 6= Wonderful song, singer Felix Alanis has one of the coolest sounding gruff voices in all of punkdom (even though I may not always dig the music on RF7 records). The song was on their 1st record, the half rock/half punk “Acts of Defiance” EP, which has been a want list staple for decades for many punk collectors.
Track 7= Pretty rude one here, nice fast playing.
Track 8= Bouncy and catchy with some jagged guitar breaks. Good records from the early 80’s Atlanta punk scene were few and far between, aside from this Kris Methe EP and the Swimming Pool Q’s stupendous ditty “Rat Bait”.
Track 9= Some people cream themselves over this psych-punk tune, but I MUCH prefer their thuggy classic, “Mercenary”.
Track 10= Mid-tempo killer with great chunky “gunka gunka” sound and a chorus you can even whistle! Chorus makes me think of “Gimme gimme this, gimme gimme that” from Germs’ “Lexicon Devil”. Having the ex-Bags’ bass player, Pat Morrison, play on this disc could not have hurt.
Track 11= I have never thought that this song was the best thing since sliced bread (as others do), but pretty scorching guitar nonetheless and an overall crazy vibe. This song was earlier comped on KBD#999 in 1999. This 7″ is actually novelty/fake punk when you look at the story behind the band. I still want to see the Isuzu car commercial that had this song in it- anyone have a link to it?
Track 12= Pretty unpolished, with some rock influences in the guitar but still very catchy tune overall. Cool solo, too. They were from my hometown of Cleveland so extra points there. One member of the band was Doug Gillard who played would go on to play with some well-known band called Guided By Voices whom I have never taken the time to listen to.
Track 13= I prefer the flipside, “Constitution”, as you all know from my posting of this 7″ a few months back.
Track 14= Rather catchy and hummable- GREAT driving bass playing, plus a nice tinnitus guitar solo that really leaps out at ya. Nice to hear PUNK from the Balto/D.C. area during a time when just HC ruled the roost out there. Which probably means that this EP was sadly ignored when it came out.
Track 15= Eh, this is OK- I prefer the snottier “I Don’t Want Romance” from this EP. The comp would NOT have missed this track had it been excluded.
Track 16= Best song from their rather poppy EP, gotta give them points for playing very energetically. But this song sounds kinda stiff to my ears, like they were trying REALLY hard to “punk out”.
Track 17= Pretty good and catchy, nice thundering drums for a pop-punkish song.
Track 18= Pretty funny song and catchy playing, although the lyrics get a little goofy at times. Hey Taxi’s drummer on this EP was none other than George Hurley, pre-Minutemen- he even sheepishly mentions it in the GREAT 2005 “We Jam Econo” Minutemen documentary.