30 October 2012


CANCER ALLEY was a brief flash in Oakland in 1995, a time when I was paralyzed by a double decker bridge and excessive amounts of amphetamines and rarely left my neighborhood, much less San Francisco. There were plenty of shows to see in SF, my band had managed to get blacklisted from 924 Gilman without ever playing there (something I'm still simultaneously proud of and confused by), so I figured I didn't need to cross the bridge for much of anything, and certainly not a punk show. I do not always make good decisions. CANCER ALLEY was made up of the rhythm section from GRIMPLE, the guitarist from ECONOCHRIST and Adam Thompson on vocals.  I loved every band that each member of CANCER ALLEY had been in, and I knew they existed at the time, but still I chose to stay in The Mission and get high and go see MENSCLUB in a bar. Don't get me wrong, MENSCLUB were great, but they aren't this. Adam's vocals perfectly capture the BORN AGAINST/ECONOCHRIST all consuming frustration, and as good as the songs are, those yowls are still the highlight for me. CANCER ALLEY were through after just a few shows (Adam quit, he does important things now), but the rest of the band continued after Adam left, adding the vocalist from MULTI FACET (one of the most underrated bands from that era of Oakland punk) and a second guitarist (Grant ex-ANIMAL FARM, pre-TALK IS POISON). They renamed themselves OJOROJO and several of these songs made it onto OJOROJO's full length. Only 7 songs here, but this demo is mandatory listening...dark and desperate.


Harvester said...

There was a dark time in my life when I lived in my friend's mom's windowless basement in northern Alabama. I only had a crate of clothes, a record player and 2 records: The Ojorojo LP and Metallica's "Garage Inc". I will be checking this band out.

zhollows said...

Wow! I've heard the name Ojorojo, but never knew of this. Perfect 90s hc. Desperate music is how I like it! And the 90s always had that feeling of urgency that's been lost somewhat to spending lots of time in studios but not lots of time writing heartfelt music. This is excellent!

Matt said...

awesome! i found records by all the bands mentioned in this post back in jr high in the Dallas suburbs and attribute much of my musical taste to them to this day! I still have the Multifacet 7" and "shit gets smashed" comp! thanks for this!

Blacktooth said...

Listen to this album and google-image "Cancer Alley" and everything you see will match up perfectly. Just like that whole "wizard of oz/pink floyd" thing. Thanks for the post!

theusedneedle said...

This is so fucking sick! It's so awesome to find stuff I'd never heard of that kicks this much ass. Thanks for sharing!

monster said...

I know this is an old post, but I noticed that the song titles are missing. Here they are for anyone who needs them.
# 1 Daily War
# 2 Expendable
# 3 Balkinized
# 4 Passive Collaborator
# 5 Twilight of the Lemming Culture
# 6 Global Lockdown
# 7 untitled
I thought that I was the only one in the world with this Cassette. I even had to make a copy for Jon. (the Guitar player)