Tag: McRad


Throttle Tape back
4 piece jazzcore/thrash band started by former Gwar vocalist Joe Annaruma, former She-Males guitarist Paul Billbrough, and former Serial Killers bassist Tom Donovan. The band was started in 1988, with drummer Chuck Treece of McRad playing their first few shows, as well as recording drums on 4 songs on their 1st release, the Cassette only album Freaks (1989). Below is I assume an earlier  version of the demo with the 4 songs Chuck was on.

Demo 89

01 – Ugly World
02 – Lifes Tragedies
03 – Out of My Head
04 – Dead Mans Song
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LapJaw was formed around the earlier part of ’87 by Craig Surgent and Greg Hohnholt who originally met around 1981 while working in the same Pathmark supermarket in Freehold, N.J.. After realizing that they shared interest in much of the Punk & New Wave music which was still unfolding, they became great friends. After Craig left Autistic Behavior in early ’83, it took a little while for him to even think about the idea of getting another group together as he had basically never created any kind of music before the “AB’s”, as they were nicknamed by friends of the band in the Philly Punk scene. Songwriting was something he grew into doing, spurred on by his embracing of the concept that Punk Rock especially championed ~ That there was a bit of leveling which was needed to address the stronghold of overly technical and often cliched concepts released by groups pouring out standard FM rock radio. That one could basically start again from the beginning and hoe their own row, making up your own rules and song structures appealed greatly and seemed somewhat necessary. Anything could be said or done as long as the conviction was there as well as the understanding that you weren’t likely to jump to the top of any sales charts in the current climate. This was something that carried on into the music of LapJaw, which was created as the pair began to introduce their own songs into the list of Ventures, Kinks, New York Dolls and One-Hit Wonders etc., covers that they would jam on in wee drunken excursions. As they began to work harder towards the concept of getting out to play shows, they were faced with the notion that a calling card of some kind was necessary in order to be able to secure some opening spots in the local clubs. Craig remembered his good friend Chuck Treece, whom he met during his time in Autistic Behavior. Amazingly talented and spirited, Chuck would visit the basement of what became to be somewhat known as the “AB house” quite often, where he and Craig would jam frequently to their heart’s content. Remembering Chuck’s great enthusiasm and excellent skills as a drummer, he was enlisted to complete the three-piece unit which would hit the recording studio in about six months time. These recordings which you are listening to from the, “Talking From The Hip”, 12in. e.p. would be recorded and mixed by the band w/ Ken Fordyce at Mirror Sound in Cinnaminson, N.J. and released independently on their own Moon Records imprint in 1987. While the band had a great deal of fun playing music together, they lacked a real manager who could push and cajole them into any decent bookings in Philly/N.J. area. Clubs like Revival in Philly were booked with a somewhat nepotistic approach, complicated by their informing that the band not only needed some recorded music, but some kind of following that was already in progress which would guarantee that they could draw attendees. Lousy credit card logic b.s. ~ if you don’t have one, then you can’t get one! Expecting to be able to obtain gigs at Trenton’s, ‘City Gardens’ from the numerous shows that Autistic Behavior played there in support of groups like Delta 5, Stiv Bators & The Wanderers, T.S.O.L. and the Dead Kennedys, the group was surprised to find it’s doors closed to them. According to now infamous club promoter, Randy Now… “Sorry, we’re just not booking any hardcore at the club!”. This came as somewhat of a surprise at the time, as even though The AB’s were banned and brought back into favor at the club more than once, the music of this band was not exactly what you would call ‘hardcore’ specifically. Tunes were mostly fast, yes, and the vocals were a bit more shouted than sung, but the band definitely felt that this was still rock and roll, albeit played very fast and wild. It was only understood after many years from seeing the film, “Riot On The Dance Floor”, that the club had just had way too much of the violence and silliness taking place nightly that they couldn’t continue to book the more aggressive bands which attracted that trouble. Not for lack of trying, the band ended up doing about 4 actual gigs, 2 at Bacchanal in Philly, 1 at the Brighton Bar in N.J. and one in the basement of the Swedish Historical Society Museum in FDR park. As Greg had already been traveling up to Philadelphia for practices and such from N.J., as well as being the only person with a drivers license and a truck to carry equipment to gigs, things didn’t entirely seem to be going in the right direction for LapJaw and things began to fall apart for the group. There were many great times had in the experience of playing, producing and releasing the record, although Craig and Greg bit basically had blinders on in many respects towards any greater success with the project. There was a decent review in Maximum R&R, City Paper and a few others. A company from Germany, Sub Pop and a number of other distributors bought into acquiring a number of copies to sell. A botched deal with Caroline Records did not help things, but the offer just didn’t seem like a fair way to get the bands foot in the door, as it were. One major high point was being championed on BBC radio by legendary British D.J., John Peel, several times during the course of about two weeks… “Ahh, they really maim as we used to say back in the day!” he was quoted as saying on the air as well as a few other choice endorsements. The record came with individually numbered xeroxed lyric sheet and featured a fine label drawn by Jacy Webster of the Philadelphia Record Exchange which was a parody of the Sun Records label suggested to him by Craig. While the record was pressed for a set price which would produce 1000 copies w/ a 10% overage or underage, depending on the vinyl used, the band felt fortunate to have sold nearly half of the pressing without actually being able to do much promotion or shows! Enjoy!!

Thanks for the record and info Craig Surgent!

Talking From the Hip (1987)

A1 – The Swingin Creeper
A2 – Foot in the Door
A3 – JD Boulevard
B1 – Ain’t Doin Bad
B2 – Power Child
B3 – BMB Baby

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 Dominant Force

I was given a few photos of McRad to put up so I originally was going to put up the videos (see below) and then add the Dormant Force EP but searching I found that “Dominant Force” & “Absence of Sanity” plus a few other tracks are combined on the Lion Pure 2LP available on bandcamp. So, instead here are a couple of Crunch videos, the new-old  photos and flyers.

McRad – CEC Philadelphia 2/18/84

McRad – Penn’s Landing Reggae Fest

First 2 photos from Brett (Noise Addiction II)

Philly Comps – Get Off My Back LP

Get Off My Back is a record that I always thought about buying when I was at Record Exchange or Third Street. But I always found something new to buy instead, until one day it wasn’t around anymore. Luckly it was up on the Last Days of Man on Earth blog (Tons of good stuff check it out) so I finally at least could download the songs. So here is the post from that blog.

Get Off My Back – Philly Hardcore Comp (82)

So last Saturday they had their “Legends of Hardcore” show in Philly and it looked like a blast. The lineup was pretty killer and included a couple of my favorite old school Philly HC bands; McRad and YDI. If Ruin was on the bill it woulda been perfect.
First thing you’re gonna notice is that YDI played an extra set with special guest vocalist Sab Grey. So yeah…it woulda been an excellent show and I am bummed that Philly was not close enough to drive to (ala Louisville). If I were still living up in Boston…Shit, I woulda been there!

Unlike Boston (or DC or NYC), The Philly scene never got the props it deserved. It had a slew of great bands, a strong scene and was close enough to other big east coast cities to be connected. So why do we not refer to Philly with the same hushed reverence we refer to these other towns?

The answer is maybe that Philly did not have as much of an identifiable sound and look as these other towns. It also had no singular independent label to rally around like a Dischord or a Modern Method. It basically just had a slew of great bands, many of whom were featured on this great 1982 compilation. The quality of the vinyl is a little crackly but hey, whatcanyado? YDIEnemy For Life, I Killed My Family: YDI were a cool band. They definitely had that mean, gnarly East Coast sound. I Killed My Family is a bit silly but Enemy for Life fuckin’ rips. FLAG OF DEMOCRACYMurder Castle, Suburban Cowboy: No doubt the best FOD tunes I have ever heard. These tunes blaze! Murder Castle has got a great breakdown. Way better than the FOD track on the flipside comp thats for sure! BLUNDER BOYSConspiracy, I’m Afraid of the Night, Middle Class Morals: Average at best hardcore with a rather annoying singer. Originally went by the name “Crib Death”. One of the lesser bands on this comp. LITTLE GENTLEMENNo Justice – No Law, No Crime – No Flaw: Another mediocre tune. The Little Gentleman were pretty prolific and went on to release a seven inch and two full length LPs. Another one that doesn’t do that much for me. AUTISTIC BEHAVIORTV Messiah, Power Head: Brilliant manic hardcore with a slight Cali edge to it. Power Head reminds me a bit of a real intense Saccharine Trust track. Good shit! Did these guys ever do anything else? RUINProof, Love Dog: Quality-wise Ruin were head and shoulders above most other bands. I wrote them up earlier so I wont go to into it. These are some of the earliest recorded Ruin tracks and they had yet to develop their fully realized style. Even in their embryonic form, Ruin were a great band though and these two tracks kick off side two with a great jolt of dharma-tinged HC. INFORMED SOURCESRight & Wrong, Dense Pack: OK stuff. Kinda west-coastish. The vocals are a little flat but the playing is very tight. SEEDS OF TERRORBrain Down, Straightedge: When it first kicked in I thought it sounded like The Urinals! Basically, it has the same production value as the first Urinals 7 inch. Quality-wise the tracks are nowhere near the quality of The Urinals. OK stuff….. McRADInflation Dub, Ejected: Super early McRad tracks preceeding the Dominant Force EP. Inflation Dub is a great reggae-tinged hardcore track. Ejected is just a classic old school HC track. McRad is still going strong today! THE HEATHENS Oohleigh at Great Adventure, My Twin From Hell: Amazing shit. Tight as hell spazz-core. Kinda like a trainwreck between Stark Raving Mad and Deep Wound and the Minutemen. Fuck! Who were these guys? All in all, this is a super-tight set of US Hardcore made at the height of the moment in 1982. Quality wise, I think it is as good as the Master Tape, Flex Your Head or This Is Boston Not LA. I wonder why it does not have the same reputation as those comps? Thanks to George for hooking me up with this comp too. I’m hoping that we have some Electric Love Muffin coming soon!

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