GROUND ZERO “LIVING IN TANDEM” 4-SONG 7″EP (PITTSBURGH, PA- BUNG, 1982)
How many damn bands named themselves Ground Zero in the late 70’s and early 80’s? I can think of three off the top of my head- the ones from Boston who had a few cool songs (see Killed By Death #12); another one from Minneapolis who released an LP (and maybe other stuff?) in the mid 80’s; and then this obscure bunch from fucking Pittsburgh.
This is a cool, catchy EP that is all over the place- hooky punk, HC and and even an “artsier”, slower track in the last song, “You Talk”. The guitar on “Controversy” is just so darn happpy sounding that you cannot think any bad thoughts (like you might whenst listening to evil KBD stuff like Vicious Visions “I Beat You” or Bobby Soxx “Scavenger of Death”). It was 1982 and HC ruled the nation, so the third track “Living In Tandem” is their nod to the prevailing trend at the time. But me thinks they were probably more comfortable playing non-HC “traditional” punk like “Controversy”. The 2nd track, “T.V. Land” is crappy wanna-be reggae dreck sandwiched in between two great tracks, and I was not going to include it. But for the sake of being a “completist” and posting the whole EP, I reluctantly put it down below. I try not to include crap tracks in my postings so hopefully this will not sully my reputation. Well, at least they got it right on 3 out of 4 tracks.
A couple of side notes (as usual)- first, listening to this record made me realize that I split stuff into “A List” and “B List” records. This Ground Zero EP would be on the B Team. I mean, it’s mostly good but not a “must have” jaw dropper of an A-Lister like The Mad’s “I Hate Music” or The Weirdos’ “Solitary Confinement”. Far from it, but good for a listen once and a while. Or a welcome surprise a track like “Controversy” pops up on a shuffle on my trusty iPod. Perhaps this record is remembered more in collector scum’s minds because it is rather rare and obscure.
Which brings me to my next sidebar. This record is definitely on my list of “Records I Kinda Wish I Hadn’t Traded Away” since copies of it do not pop up that much. I’ve had a Favorite Search on eBay for this record for some time, and zilch has popped up. I first got interested in finding this EP when it was listed on Tim Yo’s famous Want List from MRR (from like the March 1989 issue). I used to study that list because it had hundreds and hundreds of records I had never heard of before, including this EP. So one day in 1996 I was happy to stumble upon a copy for like $2 at a local record store during my weekly hunts. If I remember right, it had a cool, kinda fragile silkscreened sleeve (the above image is borrowed) and an insert [I really am impartial to silkscreened sleeves in my old age]. But then in the late 90’s I thought, “Eh, it’s all about the music- do I really need an actual copy of this record? I can just record it onto cassette and enjoy the tunes without having to necessarily put needle to wax” So in a big deal, 20-record trading deal with someone this EP went to a new home on the East Coast (who knows where it’s traveled since then). Oh well, I know we are all supposed to not have regrets and all that, blah, blah, blah but I KINDA regret getting rid of this EP. But it’s not on the list of records I TRULY regret trading away. Man, THAT would be an interesting posting but perhaps too emotional for me to do…