MORONS “SUBURBANITE / CHANGING DAYS” 7″ (ALBANY, NY- LARK BEAT, 1981)
Here is the cover of the 7″- I guess in following with the theme of suburbia, the picture looks to have been taken in a wood-paneled basement rec room. No suburban home in America was complete in the 1970’s unless it had the vertical wood panels installed in the basement. Although I can’t see it I hope some shag carpeting also adorned the room they are posing in. And a stand-up wet bar.
Here is a photo of the band circa 1981 (?)- again, more tell-tale signs of suburbia like the split-level home in the background and of course the metal mailbox in the frontyard, preferably by the curb. It is still standing meaning that it was not a victim of “mailbox baseball”. From what I can gather, the band is (left to right): Guitarist #1 / Drummer / Singer / Bass Player / Keys Player / Guitarist #2.
As a diversion from rawer stuff, here’s a clean sounding, catchy keyboard-driven punker that I have not seen posted elsewhere yet. This plays nicely along other key-driven punk like the Los Reactors, I think (although stuff like the Los Reactors had a meaner, nastier undercurrent and is less happy sounding). J.T. taped this for me years ago and it immediately caught my attention the first time I heard it. Both sides are nice, but I think “Suburbanite” is the better of the two tracks- very catchy with some funny lyrics that are sung with a somewhat mad and snotty tone but in a more “snotty n’ melodic” tone (as opposed to the “raw, desperate and snotty” style of, say, The Mad’s “I Hate Music” or Legionnaire’s Disease Band’s “Rather See You Dead”). Anyway, if you’re curious The Morons hometown of Albany is about 150 miles North of New York City and is situated right along the Hudson River. Someone I went to college with was from “Awlbany” and he spoke with a rather thick “Noo Yawk” accent and loved the place so the city always stuck in my mind since then.
The Morons only released this one 7″ in an edition of 500 copies on a label named after a street in downtown Albany. They also had a track on the “Hudson Rock” compilation LP (a song called “Gimme”, which I have yet to hear). This Hudson Rock comp actually has an EXCELLENT snotty and hooky song on it by Crude called “Vacation” that Chuck Warner included on the Hyped To Death #61 compilation back in ‘01. The Hudson Rock comp also has a song by the great A.D’s and Verge so I am curious to hear the whole LP (anyone?), although Collector Scum warns that there is lots of new wave on it too. But it looks like Albany had a rather productive scene in the early 80’s- I mean, the A.D.’s were from there, and we ALL know how good they were. Jim Furlong, former head A.D.’er, still runs a cool-looking record shop in Albany called Last Vestige. The Tragics (the band formerly named The Misfits before a forced name change) were also from Albany- their blazing “Amps at 11” tune “Laughing Lover” (made famous on KBD#10) is an all-time fave. And people site Verge and Capitle who are both also from “the city by the Hudson” although I have yet to take the time to listen to anything by them. Check out the cool Albany Style Hardcore site for lots of related info, pictures, musings and a few mp3’s of various stuff.
In putting this post together I also found a nice website about the Morons with some very detailed information about the history of the band and lots of info on unreleased recordings (but no mp3’s). With such detail, the site is of course maintained by an old band member (I figured out that it must be former singer TL Stone). The site also has lots of vintage pictures of the band (from which I got all the above photos- thanks), as well as a pic of the band 20 years later (but with only 5 of the 6 members). From a flyer posted on the site for the single’s record release party (Sunday, August 16, 1981) we see that the record came out in the latter half of that year. I love stamp-collector details like this but maybe they annoy you and you wish I would just have a short, 50-word, one-paragraph posting one of these days eh.