As even semi-regular readers have surely gathered by now, I spent my teenage/pre-punk and formative early punk years in Oklahoma. I hated it, and found little there to inspire me...except for the things that inspired me to leave, which I did. While at the time I viewed the state as a cultural wasteland, in retrospect there were pockets of creativity that fueled my existence, or perhaps made my very existence possible, and these Sunday Oklahoma posts were meant to celebrate the pieces of normalcy that I clung to while I lived in that in(s)ane place. To most people, Oklahoma's hardcore/punk legacy pretty much starts and ends with N.O.T.A. (and with good reason, they released one of the best hardcore LPs of the 80s, hands down), but the only N.O.T.A. I ever saw was a second rate reformed version in '92 or so, and honestly it was just OK (pardon the pun). My Oklahoma was bands like CONCEPT OF NONSENSE, CHAINSAW KITTENS, ILLEGITIMATE SONS OF JACKIE O and GLUE who rarely made even a blip on the radar of most US rockers. But before the Oklahoma I knew, or the violent intensity of Tulsa in the 80s, Oklahoma was home to a small but stellar crop of freaks and weirdos...I can't pretend to be an expert, as my first exposure to a lot of this music has come in the last few weeks, but my mind is blown that these sounds came from my old home state, and it kind of excites me. I was contacted by a nice gentleman named Blake via this site a few weeks back (conveniently, he has also relocated from Oklahoma to San Francisco) and while I was recovering from surgery and mostly bed (or chair) ridden he dropped by and lent me a box of cassettes: several 80s BCT comps that will start making Friday appearances soon, and two Maxell XLII tapes that floored me. An older punk was nice enough to make Blake these mix tapes of art/punk/hardcore/freakout bands from Oklahoma, he was nice enough to share them with me, and now I am sharing the first installment from those tapes with you. Oklahoma City's RANDYS released only this one four song EP in 1980 and from the sultry guitar lick that opens "Aggravated," you know it's gonna be a killer. This has all the makings of a Midwest KBD classic, and if they had been from a punk mecca (Cleveland, Chicago...hell, even Indianapolis) I imagine this would be a highly sought after gem. The mid tempo "Crummy Town" and "Future Tense" are rather more subdued but totally infectious, and "Extraterrestrial Environmental Blues" is a fukkn brilliant bizzaro punk gem that would have made it to every mix tape I made in high school...if only I had known it existed. It is maddening to know that all of this music, indeed this whole other world, was just 85 miles from where I was languishing in frustrated solitude, and I had no idea.
I snagged a cover scan (in all of it's small, low resolution glory) from Collector Scum, so I suppose these bands don't waste away in complete obscurity...at least the nerds know who they are. But then Ross was nice enough to send me a good one, so now you can see in full detail just how ridiculous the cover is. If you would like to have your very own copy, holler at Dan: drshafer12(at)gmail(dot)com. Incidentally, he did not die in a mobile home fire.