ANGLE “ROCK & ROLL DEATH CAMP” 4-SONG 7″EP (SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH- MUCUS RECORDS, 1981)
Of all places, fucking Utah is the home of the “last great” KBD unknown ultra-obscurity unearthed in recent years! The Angle EP was discovered as a happy accident in an eBay lot sale in 2005 by collector Chris Minicucci but the general public didn’t find out about them until the Summer of 2009 when Ryan Richardson’s Break My Face page on them was put up. More on this discovery later…
I think all four songs on the record are GREAT. It is a very solid effort from beginning to end and luckily is not one of those multi-song EP’s with one great track and then a bunch of throwaway crap. No sir: all four songs are winners, so much so that I have a hard time picking my favorite track. The EP is very well-played, driving stuff that continues to grow on me with each successive listen. I hear a melodic undercurrent throughout the whole record but the nice, meaty guitars thankfully keep it from becoming melodic in the poppy sense of the word. There is also an underlying snotty, smart-ass vibe in the vocals and the lyrics which is great. “Rock & Roll Death Camp” is great- just the song name is hilarious, and I often find myself humming it during the course of the day. Angle looks like it just missed being included on the last great vinyl comp before blogs took over (2005’s Staring Down The Barrel LP) but would have fit very nicely on it.
One of the main highlights for me on the Angle EP is the drumming- very rapid fire, tight, spastic playing that makes the songs jump out at you. If I have to choose, I’d say the title track and the last track are my favorites ‘cuz the drumming is so great. VERY CATCHY stuff that gets stuck in your head. There is “punk ballad” of sorts (is that the proper descriptive term?) with “Neat Girl” but the rude lyrics keep it from becoming anything close to sappy. You can tell these guys had a good time recording this disc- the lyrics to “Old People Are Following Me” make me laugh every time:
She’s an old woman
She’s got grey hair
She’s got a fur coat
And she walks with a limp!
She is following me…
This EP is so well-played I continue to wonder if these guys had some sort of “professional” music training but discovered punk and decided to switch gears from rock, metal or whatever else their ambitions were (?). Break My Face has not rolled out an updated Angle page with historical band info so I am just left to guessing. The conservative culture of a state like Utah seems ripe for rude, loud punk discs like Angle and maybe that inspired the band spit out some venom that they knew would offend others (?). This is another situation where I have to say “You tell me” cuz I don’t know anything beyond the scant info on Ryan’s site.
Over the past 20 years- well, let’s actually put a “beginning” date of 1988 since that’s when the first Killed By Death volume was released. So over the past 23 years, certain ultra-obscure punk records with pressings-so-small-you-wanna-cry (15 or less) have been excavated, presented to the world on a comp and then became household names. Or at least household names to the microcosm of KBD collectors and punk fans of the obscure. Every KBD fan(atic) knows these bands and have heard the best tracks from these mythic records. But most of us will never own a vinyl copy of any of these micro pressings in our lifetime: the Tapeworm EP (10 copies?); the Jackie Shark and The Beach Butchers 7″ (5 copies?); the Rock Bottom and the Spys EP (less than 10?); the Nothing 7″ (a few handfuls?); the Absentees 7″ (initially not many copies in the early 90’s); Body Count (acetate only!); Victims (NJ) acetate; the Venerias 7″ (4 copies?); etc.
By 2000 I personally thought the well had run dry long ago and that there would be no more micro-pressing, unknown records from the KBD years to be found. Then the Staring Down The Barrel comp LP came out in the Summer of 2005 and the general public (outside of a handful of collectors who exchanged copies and knowledge amongst themselves) was introduced to Mind Games and the great “Sorry About That Chief”. It brightened my day and renewed my hope for a moment but but I thought, “OK, now this REALLY must be it- there are no more stones to overturn! This has been going on for almost 20 years!”
But then there’s the Angle EP. Well, little did we- meaning those of us outside of the handful of “elite” collectors- know that behind the scenes, behind closed doors, in smoke-filled rooms (LOL, I’m making this sound too dramatic!) certain people were scrambling to obtain copies of the Angle EP after Chris Minicucci accidentally found a copy in 2005. After others found out the chase was on and, according to Break My Face, only less than 10 copies total were unearthed. It was not until 2009, though, that I (and probably many others) found out about Angle since the secretive chase was over and there was no threat of a casual punk fan finding copies. Collecting can get obsessive sometimes, with people saying that the end justifies the scheming during some record hunts. But if it wasn’t for obsessive punk collectors over the past 23 years pounding the pavement bands like Angle or Tapeworm or Jackie Shark would have been lost forever and the world would be a lesser place without fine records like these. So thanks Collector Scum for your ongoing efforts to enrich and enlighten us. Maybe this sounds too sappy and melodramatic but this is what’s coming out of the keyboard right now…