Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Distort Cleveland!

Fuck, it’s been over a year since I last posted about one of the greatest hardcore scenes in the world, the Clevo Hardcore scene. I promised then to post some more stuff and what not, but I didn’t… Well, I’ve put you all on hold for over a year, so I better deliver with this post, but I doubt that I will. After the “Testing British Accents” post I got quite some e-mails from guys involved in the Cleveland hardcore scene with more info, facts and gossip. One of the guys that e-mailed me was Chris Pellow, (ex-)member of The Darvocets, Apartment 213, Ringworm, etc., and he had a little problem with something I wrote about another old band of his, Windpipe. I had said that they sounded like “Infest meets Siege”, or at least that I was told so. Chris didn’t like this too much and this is what he had to say about the Windpipe sound in the mail:

“One thing I would like to abb about Windpipe is that we do not sound like Infest or Siege. That is coming straight from the source! We never once said “we should sound like this band or that band,…” It is what it is. Too bad we never went into a proper studio to record, our guitarist Kurdt never wanted to. We did however play fast. The four of us loved Deep Wound, Siege, Lärm, Infest and Ripcord as a whole. I think you’ll have to read the liner notes when said ep is available. Actually Matt Domino from Infest gave us the a-ok to call ourselves a “powerviolence” band when in fact it was only supposed to be an inside-joke kinda thing between bands from SoCal and NoCal. Just some trivia for you! And this was back in 1992, when everyone sounded like Nirvana (or wanted to), we wanted to sound like all the old Mystic Records bands. Short and sweet!”

The Windpipe EP has been out for a while now. I am not really sure if it’s on Non-Commercial Records or some other label. I still have to get it from Way Back Ron, who hopefully still has this for me. I haven’t heard the EP yet, so If someone has this as MP3s or something, get in touch with me.

Another old Cleveland dude that got in touch with me was Sean Saley. He used to play bass and sing for The Guns in 1983, 1984 and for about 10 seconds in 1985 and was in Government Issue as well at some time. He’s currently living outside of Washington DC and is still into good old hardcore. He let me know that a few weeks before my Cleveland Hardcore post The Guns actually played a reunion show with other old Clevo bands such as Zero Defex, Agitated and The Offbeats. The original drummer Dave passed away years ago, so at this show Sean played drum and Scott Eakin sang both his and Sean’s songs and played guitar. Scott’s girlfriend played bass at the show. The same line-up as the reunion show recorded a bunch of songs the day before the show, most of them were re-recorded songs from the ’84 session, a bunch of original songs that never got fully fleshed out and a bunch of songs from the line-up with Bob Ries. This was supposed to be on a new CD, but I don’t really know what happened with those tracks in the last 12 months. After all this information I got in just one e-mail I had still some more basic questions about The Guns and Sean was kind enough to answer them. So I’ll just share ‘em with you as well:

When you recorded the songs in '84 that never got released, what where they intended for? A full length? What label? Why didn't it happen?

We recorded most of our live set at a studio in Cleveland called The Sound Factory and the idea was that we were going to put it out on a local label called Trans-Dada that was run by the guy who produced the demo. That guy, Scott Lasch, was pretty broke after he paid for the studio session and the record got shelved until he could put it out or we got someone else to.

I don't remember anything about Toxic Shock, but I can tell you that during the summer of '84, we opened for 45 Grave, and Paul Cutler, the guitarist, was amused with us and took our demo back to LA to let someone at their label, Enigma, hear it. We ended up talking to someone at Enigma, but it never went anywhere. We were pretty young and naive.

What's up with your tracks on that Bowel CD?

That's the '84 demo. The "unreleased" stuff I was just talking about. To be honest, I don't remember exactly how that came about. I think one or more of the guys in Bowel were friends/band mates of Dave Araca, The Guns drummer. After Dave died, whichever guy it was (Dwid, maybe?) somehow wound up with the master tapes and put it out as that split LP with Bowel (more like hidden tracks). Anyway, I didn't even know about it until a year or two after it happened. I got a copy. That's all I care about.
We did record at least one or two songs that aren't on the Bowel CD though. One was a cover of Symptom Of The Universe by Black Sabbath.

I once saw a record sleeve of a The Guns record on display at some guy’s house. It was just the sleeve and no vinyl whatsoever. What's the story behind the printed sleeve of that record? The front looked like that insert in the Bowel CD, with a soldier type of drawing.

That drawing was done by a guy from Akron who was a friend of ours. His name was Vince Rancid. He also did cover art for bands like Raw Power, MDC, Vatican Commandos, and other local Akron/Cleveland bands like Zero Defex (ODFX). The full drawing (a guy with his brains bursting out of his head flanked by two of those skeletal soldiers) would have been the cover of the album if we had ended up releasing it.

Will the unreleased record (plus comp tracks) ever get a proper release?

Supposedly, a California label called Grand Theft Audio has been planning to put it out forever. I honestly don't know what the fuck is going on with it. For all I know, it might end up coming out as part of whatever happens with the recordings we made in December '05. We'll see…

Now, if that all doesn’t make you want to check out The Guns. Try to find their stuff because it’s some of the best ‘80s Midwest stuff you’ll hear. I would like to put up the record for everyone to download, but since Grand Theft Audio probably has the rights I will not do it.

Though here's some cool Clevo Hardcore stuff to download, be fast because these Send Spaces have a limited live span:

Cider Practice Tape

Zero Defex P.E.A.C.E. Comp track

H-100s Distort Cleveland EP

If anyone can hook me up with stuff by The Offbeats, Zero Defex, The New Hope compilation, and other Clevo stuff, get in touch with me.

Some other stuff to check out:

Cleveland Punk History

The Inmates Live

The Darvocets Live


Blogger Tom Brose said...

The Guns were the best Cleveland band. I used to love seeing them at the Variety. Who has Nickerson Gardens I can download!

2/01/2007 2:18 PM  
Blogger Curious Guy said...

9 Shock Terror in de Lintfabriek? Jammer dat er zo weinig volk was. Heb die 'The New Hope' comp.LP. Kan die wel es rippen als je wil.

2/06/2007 10:28 PM  

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