CRUCIFIED “SAINT JOAN” 4-SONG 7″EP (CHICAGO,IL- POWER, 1977)
*THIS RECORD IS BEING POSTED AT THE REQUEST OF BRIAN C, WHO FIRST POSTED A COMMENT ON KBD RECORDS A FEW WEEKS AGO THAT PUT A FIRE UNDER ME TO GET THIS DISC UP. AND- JUST A FEW NIGHTS AGO- BRIAN POSTED A COMMENT ON THIS HERE BLOG AGAIN ASKING FOR IT. SO, WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY (MY MIDDLE NAME LATELY) HERE IT IS…
Brian, I hope you enjoy checking this one off your want list. ‘Cuz, for my tastes, there is only one song I really like on it and that is the last track, “Let The Kids Play“, which is such a damn MONSTER of a song. I- and probably most others- first heard it when it was comped on Killed By Death 8.5 (that, if you care, I bought at the great, defunct Dummyroom record store here in Chicago when said comp came out in June of ’95. Sigh, those were the days; miss that place).
Crucified got it so damn right on “Let The Kids Play”- I get chills up the spine when the bass intro innocently leads into the wall of noise that hits you like a freight train a few seconds later. Damn! Nicky Michaels’ guitar playing is both in-the-red, tinnitus inducing as well as that thick “gunka-gunka” style during other parts. There’s also great bass playing courtesy of someone named Dave Bahlken; good packing and breaks; and- to top it all off- all that damn guitar noise noodling at the end for like the last 60 seconds- yowlza! “Let The Kids Play” sounds so damn tough and American- I say that because I think that tough guy punk like this is a distinctly American thing in the late 70’s- no other countries churned out stuff that sounded quite like this. If you have specific examples that I may be forgetting, let me know.
The other three songs on this 4-song EP are too rock for my tastes, meander along too much and sound too restrained. You can hear some slight hints of nice guitar noise simmering way under the surface on a track like “Problem Child” but for me it doesn’t all come together until the last track. The back of the sleeve says that the EP was recorded in 9 hours so perhaps “Let The Kids Play” was the last thing they recorded that day and the other three tracks were a “warm up” for jelling together, letting loose and go all over-the-top on the last take of the day (?). But, then again, this Crucified EP came out in 1977 (perhaps even as early as July of ’77) and, in that year, American punk rock tended to be heavier on the “rock” side of things and didn’t come into its own and shed those rock influences and lean heavier on the “punk” side until 1978 according to my field study that I have performed over the years. So Crucified’s heavy rock influence is kind of understandable since U.S. punk was still in its infancy that year.
The sleeve is one of my favorites of all time– the band logo is written all punked-out, and the band looks like a bunch of bad asses, ‘specially the dude on the right. The blood-stained effect on the back of the sleeve only adds to the tough guy vibe. Plus, just the band name alone sounds so damn punk. In staring at the sleeve one day, I came to me to call Crucified “The Three B’s” (from left to right): The Bachelor (with that 70’s tuxedo with the flared-out bow tie, it looks like he was just a groomsman in a wedding); hmmm, I’m not sure what to call the second guy (although Brian C informs me it’s the drummer, Steve Virgilio); The Barbarino (as in Vinnie Barbarino from Welcome Back Kotter)- the white wifebeater tank top tucked into jeans was a hot look that year; and, lastly, The Biker. Um, by 2010 standards he could be mistaken for a leather daddy but I’m sure that was NOT the case ‘cuz that was something you didn’t want to really openly flaunt in 1977.
Any more info on the band would be appreciated! Or spare copies of this record! Cuz I don’t have a vinyl copy yet; I have relied on a tape P.R. made for me of this whole EP back in ’99. From checking good old Popsike, the price for this thing kind of ping pongs all over the place, from $23 to around $140 on eBay. LOL! Fucking eBay. I am a bit upset because one record store I used to frequent- and which I uncovered some great rarities at over the years- sold a copy for pretty cheap a few months back. Oh well.
The band was from here in Chicago so it’s inevitable that I’ll turn up a copy one of these days, probably when I least expect it, ‘cuz there’s got to be some copies still floating around in dollar bins around town. [And I keep telling myself that sleeved copies of the DV8 single are also, but that’s another story and- who knows- I might be delusional on both fronts- LOL!] Anyway, the PO Box for their label Power Records that’s on the back of the sleeve lists the Chicago zip code 60641. This is near the Portage Park neighborhood- in digging a little deeper, I found out that the actual U.S. Post Office for the 60641 zip code is at 3319 North Cicero so perhaps that’s the exact location where they checked their mail (?). Portage Park is on the Northwest side of the city and pretty far West inside the city limits. Thankfully, it’s a pretty normal area and NOT one of those “trendy” Chicago neighborhoods where all the hipsters ride around slowly in skin tight jeans on their fixed gear bikes while they pass by yuppies eating at pretentious, high-priced, single-syllable name restaurants who pull out their iPhones every five seconds during dinner.