O&IM: Punk Rock Edition
Taking a break from doing specific decades
Decades are getting a little hard on me, so i've decided to do a genre article. Enjoy!
Kicking it off with...
DESTROY ALL MONSTERS!
Formed in 1973 by a few art students from Michigan, Destroy All Monsters! (often abbreviated as DAM!) were one of those bands who would be greatly respected much later after their demise for helping create the "noise rock" genre. During the mid-to late 70's, they released some classic singles, such as "Bored" and "November 22nd, 1963." The group gained some notoriety after hiring members of proto-punk groups the MC5 and The Stooges. After their 1985 split, most members went on with whatever they were doing, with lead vocalist Niagara becoming an acclaimed artist. Eventually, in 1994, Thruston Moore of Sonic Youth released a compilation album of all their known work, helping further spread the legend of the band known as Destroy All Monsters! .
Possibly the quirkiest punk singer in the history of forever, Black Randy penned classic slapstick punk classics, such as "I Slept In An Arcade" , "Down At The Laundromat" and "Marlon Brando." He was known for his insane stage shows, which usually involved him attempting to salvage the gig, but to now avail. Some claimed he was racist, due to his name and covering songs such as James Brown's "Say It Loud â€” I'm Black and I'm Proud". However, these rumors were untrue, and only showcasing his sense of humor. He released the underrated classic album "Pass The Dust, I Think I'm Bowie", in 1980. Eventually, after a mere 3 years performing, just after his debut, Black Randy's backing band, the Metrosquad, couldn't handle him anymore. After that, he tried to work out his drug problems before dying of AIDS at age 36 in 1988.
Formed in 1973 after Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine's first band, the Neon Boys, failed to make it off the ground, Television re-invisioned punk as a form of art and made songs that sound compelling even, 30 years later. However, Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine's fight over artistic leadership eventually got Richard Hell kicked out of the band in 1975, the same year they released their debut single, the 7-minute "Little Johnny Jewel" on Ork Records. After two critically acclaimed albums "Marque Moon" and "Adventure" the group fizzed in 1978, but reunited in 1992 for a self-titled new album. Richard Hell went on to play in the Heartbreakers with former NY Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders before froming the Voidoids and releasing the punk classic "Blank Generation" in 1977.
Formed in 1979, Flipper played noise rock in the vein of Destroy All Monsters!, but with a more punk rock sound. After original lead singer Ricky Williams was fired for being to messed up, Flipper recruited new lead singer Will Shatter, and released
"Generic Flipper" in 1982. Now regarded as a noise rock/pst-hardcore classic, the album contained songs such as 'Life Is Cheap." They released one more album until Will Shatter died of a heroin overdose in 1987 at age 31. The band soldiered
on until 1993, when they finally decided it wasn't Flipper without Will Shatter (he wrote most of the songs for them.) Eventually, they reunited in 2005 to play a benefit for CB-GB's and have been back together ever since with bassist Bruce Loose replacing Will Shatter. Original singer Ricky Williams died
in 1992 at age 37.
BERNIE AND THE INVISIBLES
Although most punk bands from the Cleveland Scene were aggressive and angry, such as the Pagans and Electric Eels, Berne and The Invisibles played garage rock with catchy hooks.
They first had an audition at CB-GB's in 1978 (before he hired a bassist and drummer, hence the name "Invisibles"), but were rejected. While in Cleveland, the gigged around various bars. Lead singer Bernie Joelson even starred in an add in "Modern Girlz" magazine! Bernie and the Invisibles eventually disappeared, leaving several wonderful tracks unreleased. Although some low quality live tracks have been released, many fans still wait for the day when a full album is released.
Formed in 1976 by "Clockwork Orange" loving singer Keith "Monkey" Warren, the Adicts may represent the first time punk and performance art met. They released many singles before releasing their classic album "Songs Of Praise" in 1981. Eventually, in the mid 1980's, to coincide with children show performances, The Adicts changed their name to the Fun Adicts
and changed to a more new wave driven keyboard sound, which bewildered most of their loyal fans. They eventually returned to their punk sound and went on the Vans Warped tour in 2009.
Formed in 1976, The Adverts, led by TV Smith and female bassist Gaye Advert, the Adverts have a very unique bass heavy sound. In 1977, the group released "Gary Gilmore's Eyes", a song about a murderer who wants to donate his eyes to science after being killed on death row. Despite it's controversial lyrics, it somehow managed to crack the UK Top 40. Eventually, after punk died, the group broke up in 1979. Gaye Advert has been credited in introducing women in punk rock.
Formed by acclaimed rock critic Richard Meltzer in 1976, VOM (short for vomit), was a very confrontational act who's "greatest hits" include "Im In Love With Your Mom" and "Electrocute Your C***", the second of which likely caused them to only preform eight gigs. The band broke up in 1978, and Richard Meltzer went back to being a rock critic.
FLUX OF PINK INDIANS
Formed in 1980, Flux of Pink Indians had a hardcore sound with hints of electronic, best represented in their song "Tube Disasters." However, their real fifteen minutes of fame came when they released an album that's name being repeated would get anyone who said it banned from this site. Lets just leave it at this: a store was sued for selling it. Google "Flux of Pink Indians discography" right now if you want to know so desperately. Anyway, they split in 1986 and preformed a
one-off reunion show in 2007, replacing original vocalist Colin Latter with Steve Ignorant from anarcho-punk band Crass.
DOG FACED HERMANS
Formed by Marion Coutts in 1986, The Dog Faced Hermans actually formed from another post-punk called The Ex, who are actually still around. Known for their unorthodox instrumentation, best represented in their song "Incineration", which has a sound similar to No Wave. They released nine albums before splitting up in 1995. Today, the band that they sprung from, The Ex, is still touring, the Dog Faced Hermans have left behind a sound that has never been matched up until this day.
Thank you for reading and I suggest listening to any of the bands above.