My wife and I left Chicago and went to Indiana for a couple days to get away from the fireworks/gunfire warzone that is our city on the 4th of July.
While in Lafayette we stopped in a record store where I’ve sometimes found good stuff. This time, even more so than in the past, everything was priced outrageously high - like what a record might sell for on eBay on a good day, and then doubled. It was looking impossible, but then I found this record for really cheap and was able to leave extremely happy.
If you don’t know the Sacramento band Tales of Terror, this is their one and only self-titled record from 1984, and it’s really good. Thankfully someone uploaded the whole album to Youtube so you can listen to it here. The group’s story is also quite interesting and tragic; the band’s great guitarist Lyon Wong was murdered in what sounds an awful lot like a hate crime, which effectively ended the band. More on Tales of Terror in this 2010 article Midtown Monthly.

My wife and I left Chicago and went to Indiana for a couple days to get away from the fireworks/gunfire warzone that is our city on the 4th of July.

While in Lafayette we stopped in a record store where I’ve sometimes found good stuff. This time, even more so than in the past, everything was priced outrageously high - like what a record might sell for on eBay on a good day, and then doubled. It was looking impossible, but then I found this record for really cheap and was able to leave extremely happy.

If you don’t know the Sacramento band Tales of Terror, this is their one and only self-titled record from 1984, and it’s really good. Thankfully someone uploaded the whole album to Youtube so you can listen to it here. The group’s story is also quite interesting and tragic; the band’s great guitarist Lyon Wong was murdered in what sounds an awful lot like a hate crime, which effectively ended the band. More on Tales of Terror in this 2010 article Midtown Monthly.

A review of the “Conquest for Death” 7” by the Necros, scanned from MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL issue number 5, March-April 1983. The review was written by Pushead.

A review of the “Conquest for Death” 7” by the Necros, scanned from MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL issue number 5, March-April 1983. The review was written by Pushead.

A review of the “Out of Step” EP by Minor Threat, scanned from MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL issue number 5, March-April 1983. Note that the review was written by Pushead.

A review of the “Out of Step” EP by Minor Threat, scanned from MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL issue number 5, March-April 1983. Note that the review was written by Pushead.

A review of the “Cows and Beer” EP by Die Kreuzen, scanned from MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL issue number 5, March-April 1983. The review was written by Jeff Bale.

A review of the “Cows and Beer” EP by Die Kreuzen, scanned from MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL issue number 5, March-April 1983. The review was written by Jeff Bale.

The front of a stapled together press kit for the album Don’t Laugh, You’re Next by the Lincoln, Nebraska-based trio Mannequin Beach. From 1988, on Mordam Records. This is a powerful record, filled with dark, emotional singing and lyrics, and truly imaginative songs with great crazy guitar playing. No one sounds quite like this band, though aspects of their music resemble the Dead Kennedys, Victims Family, and NoMeansNo. They made one album and that’s it. I’ve long suspected that I’m one of the very few people that have ever cared about this group. I have no idea why they weren’t more popular. Maybe they never toured? Maybe people don’t like poorly designed album covers with photos of roadkill on the front? I never got to see them live but I’ve been carting around my used copy of this record since about a year after it was released. You can listen to one sample song here.

The front of a stapled together press kit for the album Don’t Laugh, You’re Next by the Lincoln, Nebraska-based trio Mannequin Beach. From 1988, on Mordam Records. This is a powerful record, filled with dark, emotional singing and lyrics, and truly imaginative songs with great crazy guitar playing. No one sounds quite like this band, though aspects of their music resemble the Dead Kennedys, Victims Family, and NoMeansNo. They made one album and that’s it. I’ve long suspected that I’m one of the very few people that have ever cared about this group. I have no idea why they weren’t more popular. Maybe they never toured? Maybe people don’t like poorly designed album covers with photos of roadkill on the front? I never got to see them live but I’ve been carting around my used copy of this record since about a year after it was released. You can listen to one sample song here.

The band Negazione’s page from the booklet that accompanies the double album Emma, a compilation of 30 bands that played at Emma - an independent concert hall in Holland. This record was released in 1986 on M.A. Draje Records.

The band Negazione’s page from the booklet that accompanies the double album Emma, a compilation of 30 bands that played at Emma - an independent concert hall in Holland. This record was released in 1986 on M.A. Draje Records.

B.G.K.’s page from the booklet that accompanies the double album Emma, a compilation of 30 bands that played at Emma - an independent concert hall in Holland. This record was released in 1986 on M.A. Draje Records.

B.G.K.’s page from the booklet that accompanies the double album Emma, a compilation of 30 bands that played at Emma - an independent concert hall in Holland. This record was released in 1986 on M.A. Draje Records.

Christopher Charlot of the Seattle straight edge band Brotherhood, from a show at the Arch Street Empire in Philadelphia. I believe this is from 1989. Other bands that played were The Accüsed, Deadspot, and Dare to Defy. You can see a flyer for this show here. Photo by Marc Fischer.

Christopher Charlot of the Seattle straight edge band Brotherhood, from a show at the Arch Street Empire in Philadelphia. I believe this is from 1989. Other bands that played were The Accüsed, Deadspot, and Dare to Defy. You can see a flyer for this show here. Photo by Marc Fischer.

A flyer for a hardcore show at a house on 2707 W. Haddon in Chicago with Dead Batteries, Municipal Waste, Voetsek, Sounds of Failure, and Del Cielo. No year indicated.

A flyer for a hardcore show at a house on 2707 W. Haddon in Chicago with Dead Batteries, Municipal Waste, Voetsek, Sounds of Failure, and Del Cielo. No year indicated.

I’m not really into all of these endless band reunions but Die Kreuzen is one that I just can’t pass up. I did see them on their first go round in about 1991 or 1992 in Pittsburgh. It was near the end of the band. They played at a strange bar where the crowd was seated in chairs around lots of little tables, and they were decent but not as amazing as I was hoping they’d be. I worship their second album October File and I remember that they hardly played a thing from it, much less from their classic first record. I think I actually bitched at their singer Dan about this after their set. Tonight they are playing a reunion gig at the Double Door in Chicago and I’ll be there. From the archives, here’s a partial scan of the lyric sheet from their first album on Touch & Go from 1984. I bought this original pressing used and the insert has a couple balls of tape in the corner from where the previous owner must have attached it to a wall (there are photos of the band on the reverse). They also made a bunch of pencil notes that indicate what order each song appears in on each side of the record. 

I’m not really into all of these endless band reunions but Die Kreuzen is one that I just can’t pass up. I did see them on their first go round in about 1991 or 1992 in Pittsburgh. It was near the end of the band. They played at a strange bar where the crowd was seated in chairs around lots of little tables, and they were decent but not as amazing as I was hoping they’d be. I worship their second album October File and I remember that they hardly played a thing from it, much less from their classic first record. I think I actually bitched at their singer Dan about this after their set. 

Tonight they are playing a reunion gig at the Double Door in Chicago and I’ll be there. From the archives, here’s a partial scan of the lyric sheet from their first album on Touch & Go from 1984. I bought this original pressing used and the insert has a couple balls of tape in the corner from where the previous owner must have attached it to a wall (there are photos of the band on the reverse). They also made a bunch of pencil notes that indicate what order each song appears in on each side of the record. 

One last bit of Cryptic Slaughter ephemera: another merchandise sheet with a note from their bassist Rob Nicholson. The note about an “int” indicates that I must have asked if I could interview the band for my fanzine. Unfortunately that never materialized. More Cryptic Slaughter posts here.

One last bit of Cryptic Slaughter ephemera: another merchandise sheet with a note from their bassist Rob Nicholson. The note about an “int” indicates that I must have asked if I could interview the band for my fanzine. Unfortunately that never materialized. More Cryptic Slaughter posts here.

A short note from Rob Nicholson from the band Cryptic Slaughter, written on the back of a merchandise sheet that he mailed me in around 1987. You can listen to all of the album Money Talks on Youtube. As a 16 year old who bought this band’s cassettes from the local suburban chain record store, I can’t overstate how meaningful it was to me that I could simply write the band at an address on the tape and actually receive a response. I was just starting to publish a fanzine around this time and knowing that it was actually possible to directly connect with the bands I listened to was really important and exciting.

A short note from Rob Nicholson from the band Cryptic Slaughter, written on the back of a merchandise sheet that he mailed me in around 1987. You can listen to all of the album Money Talks on Youtube. As a 16 year old who bought this band’s cassettes from the local suburban chain record store, I can’t overstate how meaningful it was to me that I could simply write the band at an address on the tape and actually receive a response. I was just starting to publish a fanzine around this time and knowing that it was actually possible to directly connect with the bands I listened to was really important and exciting.

The front side of a folded merchandise sheet sent to me by the band Cryptic Slaughter back in around 1987. More Cryptic Slaughter posts here.

The front side of a folded merchandise sheet sent to me by the band Cryptic Slaughter back in around 1987. More Cryptic Slaughter posts here.

A photocopied merchandise list for the band Cryptic Slaughter, mailed to be back in 1987. More Cryptic Slaughter posts here.

A photocopied merchandise list for the band Cryptic Slaughter, mailed to be back in 1987. More Cryptic Slaughter posts here.

Back in 1987 I developed a special love for the band Cryptic Slaughter, who played ridiculously fast hardcore with just enough slower grinding metal breaks to disrupt the sonic attack. I bought their first album Convicted on cassette at the old Wall to Wall Sound and Video in Suburban Square in the suburbs of Philly and was entranced. It must have been around this time that I wrote the band and exchanged a few letters with their bassist Rob (who recently has been playing with Ozzy, of all people). Here’s a merchandise sheet for the group that they sent me in October 1987. More Cryptic Slaughter posts here.

Back in 1987 I developed a special love for the band Cryptic Slaughter, who played ridiculously fast hardcore with just enough slower grinding metal breaks to disrupt the sonic attack. I bought their first album Convicted on cassette at the old Wall to Wall Sound and Video in Suburban Square in the suburbs of Philly and was entranced. It must have been around this time that I wrote the band and exchanged a few letters with their bassist Rob (who recently has been playing with Ozzy, of all people). Here’s a merchandise sheet for the group that they sent me in October 1987. More Cryptic Slaughter posts here.