Fanatics / Nervous Tension
FANATICS / NERVOUS TENSION "FUN WITH LINES & CURVES" 6-SONG SPLIT 7"EP (COLUMBIA, SC- WHIRLD WRECKORDS, 1981)
Nice wordplay with the spelling of the label name, eh
[First of all, Happy Father's Day to all Dads reading this who celebrate the holiday. I would call out some specific Dads with blogs by name but you know who you are. My wife is chasing around the kids today so I actually have rare time on a Sunday afternoon to catch my breath for more than five minutes and actually do a blog posting, uninterrupted! (Parents will appreciate the uninterrupted part!) More on the parenthood thing later, less I get too far off track as usual...]
This is Nick Pagan project, about two years after his wonderful This Is Not A Test EP. Nick sings for the Fanatics (and pounds the keys, I assume) on this elusive split EP that I have been chasing after for a while. Nervous Tension was essentially Nick Pagan's backing band on the Nick Pagan EP, but here they break out with their own effort with a different singer. It must have been an amicable parting between them and Mr. Pagan, at least enough for them to share a record.
My ears still prefer the Nick Pagan EP over this split EP but some of the songs have grown on me. Not that I should expect a carbon copy of Nick's solo EP, I mean the Fanatics are a separate band. The production quality on the Fanatics side (and definetely NOT the Nervous Tension side!) is more polished and less gritty than Nick's solo EP. My favorite of the Fanatics side is "Mutant", which is a somewhat tense affair.
Please note that the lower sound quality for the Nervous Tension tracks is because it was recorded that way and is not due to bad quality mp3's. They must have stepped into a completely different studio than the Fanatics for their recording session. To be a punk fan is to most times embrace, or at least shrug off, sub-standard recording quality so I am not bothererd by how the tracks sound; don't get me wrong. Overall, the Nervous Tension side grabs me more than the Fanatics side and my favorite song of theirs off of this record is probably "Hesitate".
Fanatics- Citizen X.mp3
Fanatics- The Masquerade.mp3
Nervous Tension- Hesitate.mp3
Nervous Tension- Model Modification.mp3
Nervous Tension- Where Is My Shadow.mp3
* Thanks to Nick Pagan himself for providing the Fanatics tracks!
* And thanks to blog commenter Brad C. for recently providing the Nervous Tension tracks!
When I think about it, it's funny how many more aging punk fans are Dads nowadays (and I am not just thinking of the dudes highlighted in that Other F Word documentary). Parenthood used to be seen as kind of "un-punk" or something that would draw a line in the sand and detatch you from "the scene". But I know plenty of longtime punk fans in their 30's and 40's who are married, are parents, have careers (a few who even work for "The Man"!), etc. but still are rabid music fans and find a way to balance everything. I was cleaning out some old magazines in the basement the other week and came across this special issue of Maximum Rock n' Roll from 20 years ago that was devoted to "Punks Over 30!". It almost seems laughable to me nowadays to think that being over 30 and still being into punk is something out of the ordinary, as the most committed music fans I know are either in their late 30's, their 40's or some who are gettin' close to 50.
Here comes another tangent... I see similarities with skateboarding when it also comes to the issue of longetivity and having kids (I have actually been into skating a little longer than I've been into punk). It used to be in the late 80's or early 90's that when you hit like the age of 24 then you were getting "old" and your pro skating career was coming to an end. But nowadays there are so many dudes in their mid-to-late 30's (Eric Koston, Guy Mariano et al) who are still pro and still throwing down lots of amazing stuff. Then there's dudes in their mid-to-late 40's like Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Stevie Cab, Salba, etc. who are still ripping. Go a little farther and there's dudes like Tony Alva who at age 55 is still going at it. Nice! Actually, I remember in early 1988 an issue of Thrasher Magazine had a special feature on skaters turning 30 that featured Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta. Similar to the MRR issue I mentioned earlier, it was a big deal back then to still be involved with something you enjoyed at 30 but- with a 2012 perspective- it also seems erroneous as some pros are just hitting their stride when they hit that age. And there are TONS of pro skaters with kids and family lives nowadays, where it used to be more of a rare occurence or an "oops!" moment.