06 September 2012


I was a new wave kid with punk leanings. Sure, I had a METALLICA tape (Garage Days...Rerevisited was where I started) and I bought Reign In Blood the day it came out because CREEM magazine told me it was gonna be sick (snuck out of school on lunch, bought it at Sunburst Sounds and listened in the back of drama class...I was terrified), and my affinity for TWISTED SISTER was intense enough that I got the tattoo well past my 30th birthday, but still I knew nothing of the world of underground metal until years later. I probably would have pounced on BRUTAL TURTH had I known about them simply because of Dan Lilker (not because he was some legendary dude, but because he had been in S.O.D.) but I didn't even hear of the band until 1993 when I was on my second tour. Austin's PAIN TEENS were very much on our radar however, and their label (Trance) had cranked out some excellent proto-alt rock/grunge stuff that we really dug, and we were quite stoked that there was a PAIN TEENS show in Cleveland that coincided with our day off after our Cleveland show with SLEAZY JESUS AND THE SPLATTERPIGS. And what's more, Japanese bizarro band BOREDOMS was opening up, so we were extra jazzed. Some band called BRUTAL TRUTH was opening, but the only person who really cared was Matt since he was into that whole world of metal that I knew nothing about...but he told me the dude from S.O.D. was in the band so I was pretty pumped. In order of appearance: BRUTAL TRUTH was boring as shit, BOREDOMS blew my fukkn mind, and PAIN TEENS took boring to heights never even imagined by BRUTAL TRUTH. 
Fast forward to 2006, and a reunited BRUTAL TRUTH was playing in Chicago the day before my friends from Sweden started their tour in Milwaukee. After a brief stop in Kenosha to jump on a Punk Picnic with some friends and some maybe white power/maybe ex white power bands, we all went to see BRUTAL TRUTH. Actually, while we were in line, Peter said something along the lines of "Wait...what am I doing? I hate BRUTAL TRUTH. Can we go see AVENGERS instead?" Conveniently, AVENGERS were playing across town, so away Peter and I went (AVENGERS were great, EFFIGIES kinda sucked) but still made it back in time to see some of BRUTAL TRUTH's marathon set. Thirteen years hadn't done them any favors, in my opinion. So while I kinda liked a few BRUTAL TRUTH recordings, their live shows left me several steps short of impressed. Ditto their performance in the Bay Area a couple of years back - I just don't get it. The drummer is supposed to be this blasting stud but he tickles the snare drum like it's a precious little infant that bruises easily, and while I cannot begin to say how much I support the singer's injection of politics into the world of apathetic metal, he's pretty fukkn dull to watch. Lilker? Yeah, well the dude is a legend for a reason, and he definitely chilled with me and aforementioned Swedish band at a basement in Buffalo a few weeks later. Hessian personified and legitimately down. 

But this demo? Hold the phone and a big "eat shit" to all you who thought I only stopped by today to hate on some legendary band. This demo is a fukkn masterpiece and it would have changed my life had I heard it when it came out. Politically charged, socially conscious deathmetalgrindcrust that was light years ahead of it's time. Nothing short of essential.


zhollows said...

Thanks for the K-town mention. I remember that day when your van pulled into that "mad max" scenario of a punx picnic. I ended up throwing my snare drum across that field I was so pissed off about everything. Hilarious! Also, as a drummer, I agree with your tickle snare comment. But that's grind for you.

Kevin said...

Demo had Scott Lewis who was also in Exit-13 and Winter on drums. He played on everything up to Extreme Conditions.

Rich Hoak used to be in the philly band Homo Picnic in the 80s. I remember looking at the thanks list for Big Lizard In My Backyard thinking "who the fuck is homo picnic?!?"

Anonymous said...

There were two drummers. Scott Lewis smoked Hoak. That crackhead's been dragging through the mud for years.