Victims (New Jersey)



Here's the credits in case it's not clear in the above photo:
Rick Reilly = Vocals and harmonica (!)
Barry Ryan = Lead guitar
Mike Girao = Rhythm guitar
Steve Berman = Bass
Peter London = Drums

Produced by the band and some guy named Jim Barg

Recorded in February 1977 at the Barge in Wayne, New Jersey which
was co-producer Jim Barg's recording studio.  The same producer
and same place were also used torecord their 1978 EP on Plan 9.
This 1977 EP was self-released by the band, with 500 copies pressed-
this was actually a smaller pressing than their Plan 9 EP.

We all know the Victims 2nd EP on Plan 9 from 1978- it was their punkest, rawest effort from start to finish.  But that's not to imply that their other two records from the late 70's were bad.  For the most part I like their 1979 "Real Wild Child" LP on Golden Disc, especially classic punk n' roll ditties like "Nothing of My Own".  [They technically had a fourth record, the "Real Wild Child / Head" 7" on Golden Disc but both songs were from the LP.]

And I also like most of their first record- a 4-song EP that was recorded way back in February of 1977.  It's more proto punk-ish and has some great guitar from Barry Ryan especially on "Destination Undecided" and "Don't Come Knockin" which are my favorite tracks, 'specially the gunka-gunka guitar sound on "Knockin".  Lead singer Rick's harmonica rears its head on "Knockin" like it infamously did on the Plan 9 EP from the next year.  I would have to say that my least favorite song is the last track, "Help Me Baby", which is too "rock" for my ears.  But it still some pounding drumming, like on all of the other songs.  And lead singer Rick Reilly's distinctive vocal style.  And overall "the punk spirit", for lack of a better term.

I put this record in perspective- back in February of 1977, if any bands in America even called themselves "a punk band" it was usually sounded more like rock than what we typically think of "a punk sound".  "The Dangerhouse sound", which is one of my reference points for distinctly American-sounding early punk, was not fleshed out until late '77/early '78.

If you read the great Ugly Things article from 2008 on The Victims- or this brief history- you will know that some of the members had been in bands for years before The Victims came to be.  So some of them had cut their musical chops and ironed out any kinks by the time The Victims came to be in 1976.  Ever heard The Tramp Band 7" from 1974 which was recently rediscovered/unearthed?  The Victims' guitarist Barry Ryan laid down some mean guitar in that song that makes it a hands-down proto-punk classic.  Unfortunate how rare and obscure it is, though...

For fun, listen to all of The Victims late 70's records in order to see their evolution of sorts.

You Got The Magic.mp3
Destination Undecided.mp3
Dont Come Knockin.mp3
Help Me Baby.mp3

Thanks to the blog commenter who provided these rips!

The Victims- Nothing of My Own (from their 1979 "Real Wild Child" LP on Golden Disc)

The Tramp Band- Dont Send Me Home (1974, pre-Victims' Barry Ryan on guitar)

The Victims got back together in 2004 with some original members, and you can read more about that here.  They even released a new, 12-song record in 2009 called "Take It As It Comes" that has a bunch of new songs and as well as few re-recorded versions of some late 70's tunes.  You can get it here and listen to some samples as well.

There is a YouTube user named VictimsNYC (must be the band) who uploaded 4 vintage, raw Victims videos back in 2009.  Two of the live videos were recorded at Max's Kansas City in 1978 and are songs from the Plan 9 EP (Annette and Behind The Times).  There's also a video from 1977 at some place called Eddy's Lounge that has a song from their 1st EP (Destination Undecided).

I just re-read most of the Ugly Things feature from 2008 so here's some additional info that I found interesting.  The pre-Victims Tramp Band was around for about 5 years- roughly between 1971 and 1976- and had Barry Ryan on guitar, but the other members were Bob Trusawitz on second guitar, Bob Manning on bass and a bunch of different drummers.  But the drummer who played on their single was Peter Lindino.  (Who sang though?)  Speaking of the single, it came about as a result of them winning a battle of the bands competition (where?) but- according to Barry Ryan- got no airplay on the radio.  [As a sidenote, sounds like the same story as The Ones Tight Rope 7" in terms of winning a battle of the bands and then having their single fade into obscurity...]

And regarding their second EP that was released on Plan 9, Glenn Danzig apparently did no heavy lifting in putting it out.  The Victims produced it, financed it more importantly, and all that Plan 9 did was put their logo on the record.  And then a few years later (as early as 1981?) Glenn Danzig trashed the record and said it was the worst mistake he ever made.  I'd have to look it up but I remember reading this in an old Touch and Go interview which I think was from 1981.  Geez.


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  • 11/23/2013 1:59 PM Steve Berman wrote:
    Hey...thanks for the nice piece on our band. This is Steve the bass player from The Victims. A few extra notes...we used to play Don't Send Me Home by Barry's old band Tramp at some shows in 1977. I have a video of a cable TV show we did in 1977 with a live performance of that tune...That comment by Danzig is true. The funny thing is that our Plan 9 EP is today sometimes worth more than their Bullet EP. There are also unreleased recordings from the Plan 9 sessions that might see the light of day someday...She's So Hot from the Real Wild Child LP was from those 1978 recording sessions...After we reunited, we did a live appearance in March 2008 on WFMU's Three Chord Monte show that I believe can still be listened to on their website...give it a's cool...
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