Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
The Freeze were permanently misfits in their own time and place; they originated from the isolated location of Cape Cod, were not clandestine about their consumption of party favors contrasted with a fervid Boston straightedge scene, and never became an overt heavy metal failure. I suppose it’s these differences that allocated these guys the independence necessary to the defining their sound and image in their own terms. Cliff Hanger’s lyrics often packed a clever tongue-in-cheek sarcasm whilst more hard line Boston groups took themselves way too seriously and couldn’t write self-referential material to save themselves from the oncoming hard rock fatality. This so called crew (read: clique) considered the Freeze to be Cape Cod high school townies that weren’t hard because they didn’t live in the big city life. Although the Freeze’s lineup over the last 30 years hasn’t remained consistent (Hanger is the only current original member in the outfit), they have outlasted nearly every one of these naysayer groups, performing live with regularity, not simply for chic reminiscence-trip gigs like some of the other classic Boston hardcore groups.
This excellent soundboard recording was captured on September 18. 1983 when the Freeze played Harrisburg, PA, presumably right before their killer “Land of the Lost” debut album was released in ’84 on Modern Method. The performance here is solid; I think this gig is a really accurate sketch of what the Freeze were like live on stage during the early (and best) part of their career.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
STOP THE PRESSES - THE YOUNG REPUBLICANS "SABOTAGE YOUR COOKOUT" SLEEVES ARE BEING REPRINTED DUE TO AN ERROR
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Many of you have written about ordering just the Young Republicans "Sabotage Your Cookout" 7". I had this record listed in the recent distro update list but failed to realize that many people would simply just want to order this conveniently via Paypal. Sorry about that.
Here's some information about the release:
The Young Republicans were a snot-nosed foursome of skinheads who lived in suburban upstate New York near the Connecticut border. Their demo cassette from late 1983 has been one of the most speculated upon and infamous demos in the history of hardcore; some claimed to have heard it, some old-timers claimed they had the demo cassette in their closet only to not deliver anything, and previously the only known copy was hoarded by the owner, refusing to tape it for anyone, including band members.
Perhaps the Young Republicans are best known for what they'd become: 75% of the band (Porcell, Darren Pesce, & Graham Phillips) would later form Youth of Today with Ray Cappo who was playing in Violent Children & Reflex From Pain at the time. The Young Republicans formed the majority of Youth of Today and this lineup recorded the "Can't Close My Eyes" 7" and the rest is history...
This 9 song EP captures the absolute essence of spirited hardcore under the shroud of Reagan: snot-nosed teens going faster MPH while standing in opposition to teachers, parents, rednecks, & suburbia. Highly catchy & classic sounding, this could easily be considered the crucial missing NYHC or CT 7” EP from 1983.
Three tracks on this Young Republicans 7" EP would later be reworked and rerecorded for the debut Youth of Today "Can't Close My Eyes" 7” on Positive Force; “Respect For Authority (None)” became “Stabbed In The Back”, “Backyard Bomb” became “Expectations”, and “High School Rednecks” became Project X's “Straightedge Revenge” note for note on their sole 7" EP on Schism.
I strived to give this the packaging I felt a release like this deserves: a thicker 14 pt glued 7" jacket with an old school style "dip cut" (like a late 70's UK punk 45) along with a nicely done 2-sided 14" x 7" insert that includes lyrics and tons of photos that Porcell excavated from his archive.
The limited "Cookout Edition" sleeve version on red vinyl sold out within a few hours so it's safe to say that it's long gone. The first 150 orders will receive that variation of this release. I wanted a way in which I could show how much I respect when people make the effort to order directly from the label like it was done in the good old days.
ALL OF THESE PRICES INCLUDE POSTAGE:
USA: $7.25 PPD
CANADA: $8.50 PPD
WORLD: $10.75 PPD
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Without any further delay, here's the information regarding pre-ordering the second release on my label, the long-awaited Young Republicans "Sabotage Your Cookout" 7" EP.
Finally found after going missing for nearly 25 years, the Young Republicans demo cassette is certainly one of the most elusive and infamous artifacts in the history of hardcore and is truly a special item. Some have claimed that it never existed while others have referred to it as a "holy grail" item. Recorded in ’83 and only given to a handful of close friends, ¾ of the band would later go on to form the initial lineup of the influential group YOUTH OF TODAY. This 9 song EP captures the absolute essence of spirited hardcore under the shroud of Reagan: snot-nosed teens going faster MPH while standing in opposition to teachers, parents, rednecks, & suburbia. Highly catchy & classic sounding, this could easily be considered the crucial missing NYHC or CT 7” EP from 1983.
Three tracks on this Young Republicans 7" EP would later be reworked and rerecorded for the debut Youth of Today "Can't Close My Eyes" 7” on Positive Force; “Respect For Authority (None)” became “Stabbed In The Back”, “Backyard Bomb” became “Expectations”, and “High School Rednecks” became Project X's “Straightedge Revenge” note for note on their sole EP on Schism.
I strived to give this the packaging I felt a release like this deserves: a thicker 14 pt glued 7" jacket with an old school style "dip cut" (like a late 70's UK punk 45) along with a nicely done 2-sided 14" x 7" inserts that includes lyrics and tons of photos that Porcell excavated from his archive.
Now let me dangle a carrot in front of your bunny-like noses. For making the effort to order directly from the label, I am offering a limited version of this release. This is known as the "Cookout Edition" because the sleeve will be hand screen printed on a red/white checkered design that is reminiscent of a cookout tablecloth. This version will feature unique art not found on the regular version and will also be on white colored vinyl.
Sorry, but only one limited version per customer. If you feel there is some extenuating circumstance that warrants more than one, please drop me an email. The first 125 or so orders will receive a limited edition copy and all orders will receive the regular (and in my opinion, superior) version.
Please use the Paypal link below to purchase. All prices are POSTAGE PAID. These limited copies will be shipped out in two weeks when I get the records.
|PLEASE SELECT WHERE YOU LIVE:|
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
A deluxe vinyl-only reissue that adds 5 original 7” EP session outtakes that have never been heard until now along with several other previously unreleased essential demos recorded just before the "Gods Guns Guts" 7” EP came out. Hence the "more" in this reissue's title; a great deal has been added to the original EP on this LP that truly makes it deluxe. This all comes housed in a high-quality package featuring a swanky UV laminated sleeve and a classy printed inner sleeve that features liner notes and photos of the band that have never been seen before on any release.
Please use this Paypal link to purchase the record. You will simply need to select where you want the record sent and follow the instructions. All orders will be sent the same day.
Also: if you would like to get wholesale copies for your store or distro, please drop me a line here: morethanawitness at gmail.com
These prices all INCLUDE POSTAGE.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Many people have been asking me about information regarding the Young Republicans record that I have coming out on the label.
This release will be a co-release with longtime Connecticut hardcore punk label, Incas Records. Incas began in 1982 when Lost Generation needed a means to release their debut single, “Never Work”. Joe Dias (Lost Generation singer) continued the label as a means to release records by notable Connecticut bands and thus document the great local scene on a worldwide level. In more recent years, Incas has been embraced and operated by local punk historian and friend, Joe Snow. He’s been responsible for CD reissues of the classic Connecticut Fun compilation and another assortment of superb early Connecticut punk tracks entitled “Up All Night” which features the Reactors, X Factor (pre CIA, Reflex From Pain, & 76% Uncertain), No Milk On Tuesday, amongst others.
The cover art was illustrated by Jim Martin. Jim drew many timeless flyers for the Anthrax, a local venue that showcased all of the great local and touring bands of the 1980s. Porcell is currently finishing up the artwork and liner notes.
The tracks are going to be sent off to be mastered, lacquered, and plated on Monday morning. I expect to have test pressings for this within a few weeks after that.
I expect to have the record out in mid-September barring no peculiar setbacks. The first pressing will be 1000 copies. There will be an opportunity for buyers to obtain a limited version of the record directly from us. We’re not sure how many of these we are going to do, but we can assure you that it won’t be very many and it’ll be unique enough to warrant a limited edition of a recording being released nearly 30 years after it was originally committed to documentation. This preorder will be announced closer to the release of the record so there will not be any prolonged delays like with the CIA “God Guns Guts & More” LP preorder.
If you run a distro or order for a store, we’d love for you to carry this release. Please contact me for wholesale prices here: morethanawitness at gmail.com
If you have any other questions about this release that aren't answered here, you can contact me at the above email address.
Monday, July 12, 2010
To state that my first release on this new reissue-only label has been a stressful process would be putting it lightly. The process was first delayed by a batch of rejected test pressings that featured superficial pops. They were practically inaudible but I wanted to make sure the album sounded as good as possible so I rejected these. The second batch of test pressings sounded great and were approved.
The second (and much more time consuming) obstacle that surfaced was the company that was responsible for getting the album jackets and printed inner sleeves made went out of business or has at least been put on hold for the time being. When I received word of this I was assuming that the jackets & inner sleeves would be done and ready to go. I had to switch the job over to Imprint and this added the delay that we’re experiencing now.
The album jackets and inner sleeves are being shipped from the printer in Canada to Brooklyn tomorrow (7.12.10) and should be at the pressing plant within a few days. Because of the second predicament regarding the jacket/inner sleeve printing, I made arrangements to have the vinyl pressed up and ready to go before the jackets arrive to minimize any further delays.
I apologize to those who have preordered the record and have been waiting to receive a copy. Occasionally technical problems will occur that are outside of a label’s power regarding production (this is certainly one of those times) and you just have to fix things as quick as possible. Everything is all set now and I foresee no other problems. I will send the preorders the day I get the completed product. This should be late this week or at latest, early next week. Distro orders will be sent promptly after all of the preorders have been mailed. This will be early next week.
Moreover, this will not happen in the future for label preorders. Please understand this situation has been a major case of bad luck and has been resolved. I'm just as eager to get the record as you guys are!
There are still copies of this release that are available for wholesale. A great deal of them have been claimed but, if you’d like to purchase copies for your store or distro please drop me a line at the morethanawitness at gmail.com for wholesale rates. Many people have written inquiring about trading their releases for this one, but at this time I cannot accept trades. My apologies.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Adjacent to two other majestic seaside cities, Hermosa Beach provides the world with numerous pearls of culture: surfing, beach volleyball, sunbathing, and the birth (arguably) of hyperkinetic genre known as hardcore punk. Clearly it must have been the South Bay’s gentle westerly sea breezes that influenced the formation of both Black Flag and the Circle Jerks.
Considering the delightful surroundings, gorgeous people, and general Pollyanna-glaze good vibrations of the beach, it makes sense that the blueprints of hardcore punk were first sketched here. Defining itself in opposition against all creatures with perfect white teeth and Lacoste polo shirts, these embryonic agitators had a great deal to unite against. The dichotomy of this stark schism gave the world the “Nervous Breakdown” 45 and the “Group Sex” 12” amongst countless other classic records that generally haven’t matched up to these two epitomes of the emerging style of hardcore punk when considering both quality and legacy.
As captured on celluloid in “The Decline of Western Civilization” and in countless photographs, singer Keith Morris can regularly be seen clutching a lone Budweiser while he stalked the lip the stage. I always thought this was such a cool gimmick that he implemented; Keith sold the synchronized image of a rabble rouser dodging a continual barrage of anarchic bodies in search of teenage release and a lonely barfly nervously clasping the only inebriant that he can afford at the end of a local dive bar.
This show (recorded during the spring of ’83 at the Space II Arcade in DC where a slew of hardcore gigs took place) is a solid document of how the Circle Jerks had grown from an act toying initially with the draft of a nascent genre of music to a full-time touring powerhouse and inspiration to many new homegrown hardcore punk acts. This set is from a soundboard source and shows a slight generational loss when played back but largely the quality is excellent. The furious pace of this set is heightened by the fact that the master tape was edited so that between song space is removed. Normally I hate it when it tapers take such liberties but this edit job really adds to the absolutely unyielding rapidity of the set. Chuck Biscuits also demonstrates an impressive one-man drum clinic behind his maple colored Ludwig that he was presumably demolishing at the time with each stroke of his trademark percussive supremacy. His workout on "When The Shit Hits the Fan" is considerably awe-inspring.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Without any further delay, here’s the information for preordering my first release, the CIA “God Guns Guts & More” LP. Although it's been quite time consuming, I'm very excited to be releasing this and I think you'll really enjoy it.
Many would argue that CIA’s “God Guns Guts” 7” EP is one of the best US hardcore singles to ever be released. Originally self-released in 1983, the six songs on the original 7” are absolutely flawless blasts of driving, intelligent, and furious hardcore. What could be better than this? A deluxe reissue that adds 5 original 7” session outtakes that have never been heard until now along with several other previously unreleased essential demos recorded just before the 7” came out. This all comes housed in a high-quality package featuring a UV laminated sleeve, printed inner sleeve that features relevant information and photos.
Placing your order now will ensure that you’ll get the record before far before distributors and shops. Preorder will ship in 2-3 weeks when I’ll have copies. If you run a distro or store, please write for wholesale rates. I'd love to get this record as far and wide as possible.
Please use this Paypal link to purchase. If you’re an International customer, please message me before purchase. This below Paypal link will not give you the correct postage rate.
$13 PPD (USA)
$15 PPD (CANADA)
$22 PPD (WORLD)
These prices all INCLUDE POSTAGE.
Monday, May 3, 2010
UPDATE: CIA "GOD GUNS GUTS & MORE" LP (MTAWP #1) & YOUNG REPUBLICANS "SABOTAGE YOUR COOKOUT" 7" (MTAWP #2)
Due to the lack of recent new content posted on this archive, one may conclude that not much as been going on with More Than a Witness. This couldn’t be any further from the truth!
I’ve been working vigorously to finish up everything for my first release on More Than a Witness Product, the vinyl only reissue label closely associated with this archive. Again, this will be an official reissue of CIA’s classic first EP released under the title of “God Guns Guts and More” as a full length LP. This release will feature the original “God Guns Guts” 7” EP (originally released in 1983) along with all of the original 7” session outtakes and the best tracks from their two other pre 7” demo recordings. Needless to say, all of this material is essentially teeth-grinding driving American hardcore!
The CIA master was sent out the other day and I’m making final adjustments on the insert as I make this post. Expect this LP out in roughly 3 weeks. Many people have asked about a preorder for this release. I will be announcing information regarding a preorder this week. Please hang in there.
The second release on More Than a Witness Product will be the Young Republicans “Sabotage Your Cookout” 7” EP. This effort is a split-label release with longtime Connecticut hardcore punk label Incas, run by my good friend and fellow hardcore punk lifer, Joe Snow.
This demo is truly a special item. Both Joe and I have been hunting for this recording for years and have always come up empty handed until recently. Some people have even doubted its existence due to any tape of it ever surfacing. The Young Republicans are of historical relevance because they were comprised of 75% of the original lineup of Youth of Today. In fact, many Young Republicans songs that will be featured on the “Sabotage Your Cookout” 7” would become Youth of Today and Project X songs a year or so later: “High School Rednecks” became “Straight Edge Revenge”, “Respect For Authority (None)” became “Stabbed In the Back” after some minor revision, and “Backyard Bomb” became “Expectations”.
Last week we went into the studio to do a professional transfer of the tape we received from Graham Phillips. Graham was the bass player in the Young Republicans and went on to play in Youth of Today with Darren Pesce and Porcell. Joe and I had feared that the cassette would be in awful shape but it turned out it only needed a minimal tweaking to get it to sound great and fit for a vinyl release.
Yes, there will be a limited edition version of this release. We're trying to think of something that is untraditional and wacky in detail. (Come on, anyone can crank out 100 copies of a release on a limited color of vinyl.) Information regarding the preorder will be posted here in approximately 3 weeks. Hang in there!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The brilliance of the Dead Kennedys has always been tied to their expertise at giving their creation three-dimensionality while retaining the vigor of hardcore punk. They combined truly crushing, high-speed guitars and drums with sardonic political and social commentary. Even when they reduced their sound to simplistic hyperactive stuff (“In God We Trust”) they still managed to sound fresh and thus shred most of the competition doing the same thing.