28 April 2009

Talk Is Cheap Records #2 Xclaim! deemo

Some guys in Boston around 1982 or so decided they'd release some long playing vinyl and the label which this long playing vinyl would be released on would be called Xclaim!
Great name.
Fast forward some 15 years and cross the Atlantic/Pacific ocean and some knuckleheads with a PHd in pissing people off would not only swipe this labels name for their hardcore punk band but would also borrow the label logo and use it for their own.The name was always intended to be written as Xclaim! .. always.Never xclaim/exclaim/x-claim or any other variant.It used to bother me when people would fuck up such a simple thing.
The savvy reader would also notice the design of the deemo cover followed the tried and true or only way we knew how,design of xTalk Is Cheapx zine.Cut, paste, xerox, backgrounds, scissors, glue and coca cola.I hand wrote "punks dead you're next" on one side cause I was listening to Slapshot on my Sony Walkman while waiting to photocopy it at Officeworks. Mind you I had absolutely nothing against punk rock.It was what I first listened to before finding MT,Flag,7 Seconds,YOT ect.Fuck I even played guitar for 10 years in the most hated punk rock band in the country (more on them later).But ... at the time it was always brought up by the nasty punk rockers who thought we hated them cause they drank.Wrong.I hated crass lovin hippie peace punks then because they were stupid fucking deadheads and I still fucking hate crass loving hippie peace punks now.But no matter how many times they would argue till they were pink in the face that we were trying our hardest to be American,real punks from England,we were fascist,hated people who drank, seperatist, elitest or just wanted to call us assholes I would always oblige them if I wasn't too busy.Fuck there was even a track about them on our deemo!They should be flattered.
So Xclaim! was as real as a band could be that would write,record,practice and play out.
We never toured but did take a few roadtrips to where a show was and we'd happen to play it. We never played in any bars though.All Ages only.Not by choice sadly.
The original spark that would go on to explode as Xclaim! was in fact called Shutdown.This was sometime around early '95.I played guitar,Luke was singing,Chippa Youth was on bass and Max Peoples was on drums.We played 1 show with this lineup at the Las O'gowrie Hotel in Wickham just a bottles throw from the seminal Morrow Park Bowlo.There may also be a practice tape of this lineup practicing in Max's backyard but am yet to locate it.Guaranteed it sounds like absolute dogshit though. From memory the Xclaim! track "fruits who fall" was a Shutdown original that Chippa Youth wrote different lyris for.Luke Crew's original was,even for the time,quite thought provoking with lyrics something about gender and pink and blue?
One day Chippa Youth informed me there would be a lineup change and I was now singing,he was playing guitar and Luke was playing bass and some surfer type guy from Stockton was the new drummer.Not your typical long haired combi drivin surfer type dude though no was this guy was an absolute drum machine.Reminded me of Bratton the way he'd be all over that kit like a cheap suit.Rolls,fills the works.This lineup played some shows here and there and we'd practice in he's room in Stockton through miniscule amps that you couldn't hear a thing through.After a while he left and we enlisted F.M.D frontman Drew Direction as our new drummer and this is the lineup we had for the deemo tape:Luke Crew on the spirit bass.The "spirit bass" was a no name Fender Jazz Bass copy made from cardboard that had a Spirit sticker on it.Hence the name.Chippa Youth played guitar and I was still pretending I could sing.

As for the recording that went down one night at Arc Up Studios in Mayfield.
In the rehearsal space.
With the drumkit mic'd up to 1 of the 2(count em) 4 track machines acting as a mixer going into the 2nd 4 track actually the recording the whole thing live.That's guitar, bass and drums.
This was all pretty much done 1 take too.
For vocals we kept the same setup as per the drums.I done the vocals straight through the entire tape and if you listen that far you can hear how out of breath I was by the Infest cover and there was no way they'd let me redo it.
So we had our ghetto 8track recording done and went and waited for Polar Bear (Future Arms Reach bass player) to give it a mixdown to a normal tape for home dubbing.They were all numbered too.Up to 100.
As for the songs they wrote all the music and about half the lyrics.
We were going for a Confront,xCHORUSx ,Project X attitude and a general pissed off '88 vibe with crucial breakdowns and plenty of covers like
Beyond - One Kind Word
Cro Mags - Don't Tread On Me
Chain Of Strength - True Till Death
Infest - Mindless
Alone In A Crowd - Is Anybody There
Project X - Straight Edge Revenge
Youth Of Today - We Just Might

The bonus secret 'hidden' track was guest vocals by Luke Crew.I could never hit those high notes.
Without the backlash against sxe that was around at the time and the proliferation of heavy metal bands masquerading as hardcore this band would never have been in existance.
We somewhat reformed/revisted this ideal again under the NC Wolfpack banner but reached further back to the early 80s for a reference point.I liked that deemo better.
So there's some backstory on my 1st band.There will be more on this later no doubt.
Xclaim! deemo cover 
Xclaim! deemo cover 2
Original cover photo
Original background photo
"the reels"
From 'This Fate" #5 zine
OLC? yes Crippled Youth?hmm not so sure ...

1st Arms Reach show
This was recorded and released as a CD on Snapshot Records

Last show

25 April 2009


It's about 6am on a sunday morning,you're up real early,nothin on TV so you check your favourite blogs for updates and you see this.

Every blog everywhere that is even remotely connected to hardcore needs to have this video on it.

23 April 2009

New Breed Tape

A website devoted to a casette tape?Totally worth it.

No Reason

Download the No Reason - Someday 7" here
Local Newcastle band that I seen literally 100s of times.Mostly at the Hunter On Hunter Hotel.Which was pretty much the only place in town that had bands.Shows would start late here.Usually the first band didn't go on till around 10 or 11pm which meant a lot of late nights sitting on that bus bench out the front which is where the NCWolfpack started.In a bar to see bands but wanting to avoid the absolute fucking tools that inhabited the bars.This wasn't (contrary to popular belief) a case of hating people who drank because we didn't,it was that during the early/mid 90s Newcastle per capita would have to have the absolutely highest rating in the whole country of absolute complete fucking tools.From the shazzas sipping wine coolers to the mullets slamming VB and Beam between the 2 of them they sucked dicks from here to eternity.Besides  ... there was always plenty of jabbers doing laps in their shitbox Toranas to laugh at.
The Hunter on Hunter was on a corner.This meant an intersection and traffic lights.Our bus bench was about 10ft before the light.The scenario of a jabber yelling shit at you out their window then screeching to halt for the light then "dropping a set" as it turned green only to be pulled over instantly by the cops who were always sitting in the side street happened often and was always comedic.
That was Newcastle.Nothin's changed either.30 Seconds after getting out of the car at the recent Gorilla Biscuits show and dicks were yellin out of windows.They've swapped Toronas for Skylines now though....
We didn't have much but we had bands and No Reason was one of our favourites.We knew the guys,they were into hardcore like us and on occasion they would play a bit faster than the Jawbreakerish melodic stuff that made up the majority of their set.
Aside from this 7" they also released 2 CDs ,1 on their own Life After Latex label "way splattered youth" and "above all" on Spent music.Legend has it there was also a split CD in the 'Spent Singles Club' but I don't know anyone who ever got one.

Theren went on to form Creeping Jesus who played around the early 2000s and had a self released CD
No idea what Spike is doing
Luke was also in some other local pop punk type bands.Before pop punk was a bad word.

So this is the "Someday" 7" DIY self released marble vinyl hand numbered limited to 500.

22 April 2009

Bit Torrent

If you're into hardcore and downloading music for free via this bit torrent technology then this might/should be of interest to you .

Arms Reach - thanks! 7" ep

Download Arms Reach - thanks! 7"
You could practically fill a book with stories about this band.
But stories are not exactly the purpose here.
The backstory goes that the pressing plant fucked up the pressing of the Arms Reach 7" so Clint Shortfuse made up these strictly limited "cool crew" editions to give away to friends.
It was a copy of the Heresy 7" in case you're wondering.
But anyway,download it,look at the pictures and think of a time when bands had something to say and didn't care so much about their makeup and girls jeans.
Front cover
Back cover
A side label
B side label
Insert side 1
Insert side 2
matching numbers
Sticker with the 7"
Flyer.... don't order long sold out (the record that is)
Arms Reach @ The Black Box in Newcastle
Doug Till Death on bass , Smiggo on 2nd vocals

16 April 2009

Shortfuse Records

From: Shortfuse Records

Subject: SHORTFUSE RECORDS discography December 2008

test pressing;  3 only, 1 w/film cover, 1 w/metal cover, 1 w/white paper sleeve.
"first press";  50 clear vinyl, 250 black vinyl with black embossed sleeve
"second press";  35 clear, 35 black with a 'duo-tone' sleeve, coloured-in
"b" side shortfuse logo.
additional notes; 7 track EP recorded in 1994, originally intended for
release on No Deal records but due to the bands break-up and the label's
demise, it lay unreleased until I picked up the release to mark the end of
one label (No Deal), and the birth of the new breed (Shortfuse). First and
second press come from the same batch, but we clearly identified the second
press(leftovers...) by colouring the Shortfuse logo on the 'B' side label


test pressing; 35 copies at 45 rpm w/Heresy 'thanks' parody sleeve, and many
tests at 33rpm-A REAL MESS! Even some with 33rpm one side, and 45rpm the other.
regular press (33rpm); 75 red, 500 black vinyl.
additional notes; Came with a poster lyric insert. Some copies may have a
vinyl Arms Reach logo sticker. Some copies have written messages on white
inner dust sleeve from the night Luke and I were lifting weights in my
parents house to prepare for the Madball gig!
Supposed to be 100 on red vinyl, but the pressing plant ran out of labels:
hence the one red vinyl version with "b" side labels on both
sides........................................................FUCKING HOPELESS!
'THANKS, for nothing press'; 35 mis-pressings originally intended as gifts
for my friends, became the 'fuck you' to the pressing plant as they managed
to make the record sound like pure shit and cut/press it at 45 rpm instead
of 33rpm. Has a Heresy 'thanks' parody sleeve, with a crocodile replacing
the shark on the back sleeve (real Aussie mate). Also has 2 'thanks'
4x double 7" test pressings with one 7" having 45rpm one side, 33rpm the
other and the second 7" having the 45rpm side redone at 33rpm, with some
random band on the flip. Housed in a paper wrap around 'thanks' xerox sleeve.

SFR #02- BALANCE 'never quit' 7"

test pressings; no idea.
100 blue vinyl, 200 black vinyl. All have rubber stamped labels.
10 black vinyl copies have a xerox and numbered insert.
additional notes; New Zealand 'friends', who I wanted to release a record
by based on the strength of their first CD, this 7" is seriously lacking the
same conviction and raw appeal of their earlier releases. Intended to
coincide with their Australian tour but the pressing plant (same one as
above) managed to fuck up and delay it. Also noteworthy, is the drummer
saying to me "finally, someone else doing the hard work and NOT us". A real
kick in the balls and a wake up call as to why I do a label!


test pressing; 3 test pressings with 'horror' sleeve.
275 (approximately) green "camo" vinyl, 725 black vinyl.

SFR #04- A.V.O. 'fuck positive hardcore' 7"

test pressing; 15 only, with 'you're a fuckin prick' sleeve.
100 peach coloured vinyl, 400 black vinyl
additional notes; Comes with a lyric/photocollage insert. 50 black vinyl
copies have launch show 'pre-release' sleeve, and red stub to be sent to
collect your official sleeve.
ALL copies came with an A.V.O. sticker and Shortfuse records skateboard
trucks sticker.


test pressing; 8 only, with 'Clint is a midget wrestler' sleeve.
330 red vinyl
additional notes; Comes with a printed lyric insert. 81 copies have a
black print on red card overlay sleeve....(of which, only one is glued
closed to form a pocket sleeve) which was the only existing printed part of
a larger "printers proof" edition originally intended for the 30 extra
copies we were supplied. There are paste-ups for the other 9 sleeves which
have various professional skateboarders pictured as the front sleeve, with a
generic back sleeve. Also intended was a printed 'shortfuse'(kind of
'strange notes'/Santa Cruz skateboards ripoff/homage) envelope to house the
ALL copies come with a clear Deadstare sticker, and Shortfuse records
"misfits' logo sticker. Some copies come with a Starbucks coffee voucher for
the opening of Sydney's first Starbucks.


test pressing; 15 with colour xerox "Garfield" sleeve, and positive film
overlay of the intended sleeve.
550 white vinyl, numbered.
additional notes; ONE copy ONLY exists as a gatefold sleeve containing both
Harmony as One and Deadstare 7"'s (pressed at the same time) as a birthday
gift for a close friend, Brett Hedge.
ALL copies have a vinyl Harmony as One sticker, some have Shortfuse records


SFR #08(CD1)- BARE KNUCKLE FIGHT 'beaten beyond recognition' CD

500 manufactured.
additional notes; comes with a printed card flier explaining why it was
unable to be pressed as a 7", plus a vinyl sticker.


test pressing; 8 only (I think) with orange sleeve...HxH have an HHH ripoff
logo, BPY have a Born Against ripoff logo
1000 black vinyl
additional notes; Comes with printed lyric insert.
7 copies come with "printers progressives" sleeves, which has as many as 3
different variations of the sleeve and insert.
This was a split label release between 4 labels, but I flatly refuse to
have a half number release!

SFR #010- ROUSE 'deep inside' 12"

test pressing; 30 numbered blank labels with special cover(sleeve still
unfinished at time of this being compiled).
1000 black vinyl
additional notes; Comes with lyric and poster inserts.
2 copies only include an extra Peking Palace calender insert

SFR #011- UNIFORM APPROACH 'a pledge to the edge' 7"

test pressing; 20 with red "touch and go" style sleeve
1st press; 100 "mailorder" edition, white label bighole hand written labels.
500 gold vinyl.
2nd press; 372 blue vinyl, with orange sleeves
3rd press; 100 black vinyl/blank stamped labels, with the leftover yellow
first press sleeves(stamped also).
additional notes; copies of the first press sold on my US holiday came with
a label advert for the NEW and upcoming releases.
20 copies of the first press gold vinyl edition came with the "mailorder"
sleeve in addition to the glued sleeve.

SFR #012- RIPCORD 'in search of a future' 12"

test pressing; 15 w/hand glued textured paper sleeves.
1st press; 521 numbered copies
2nd press; 35 marbled green/yellow vinyl w/ sticker sleeves and sticker insert.
additional notes; the pressing was to be 500, but as pressing plants make
extra copies, it came in at 521. The numbering sequence is; 501 copies
numbered in black ink out of 500, with there being 2 copies numbered
001/500. The extra 20 copies are ALL numbered 501/500 in red ink.
The "second press" was done 3 days after the black vinyl, with any colour
the pressing plant had on their machine that day. This colour combination
ended up being a predominantly green vinyl with streaks of yellow through it
to make a more "marbled" effect.
All of the black and the greenish vinyl come with a full colour 8 page
booklet. Enjoy it for what it is!

SFR #013- PLASMID 'lust for power' 7"

test pressing; 30 w/hand written and numbered labels and original 1952
Anarchist newspaper sleeve. I also spray painted the white dust sleeve on
the "B" side which has seriously stained the records, but it does not affect
first press; 1036 black vinyl with "CRASS" style poster sleeve, two
information handouts, band liner notes and a pin badge.
second press; 500 black vinyl with a lighter paper version of the above
mentioned sleeve, contains all the same inserts as the first press.
third press; 500 black vinyl with the same sleeve as the second press above.

SFR #014- MINDSNARE 'gas man' 7"

test pressings; 15 w/Death Mission rip-off sleeve.
first press; 100 white vinyl, skateboard bearing art label-large centre
hole. Has silver foil stamped sleeve.
500 green vinyl, small centre hole. Red foil stamped sleeve
500 pink/black vinyl, small centre hole. Red foil stamped sleeve.

second press; 100 white vinyl, skateboard bearing label art-large centre
hole. Sleeve has silver foil stamping as first 100, but is printed on
silver card and is without the yellow printing on the inside of the sleeve.

additional notes; first 100 were my payment to the band, and come with a
Mindsnare skateboard deck, hence the themed label art.
So called second press is merely left overs of the first press, but withheld
until all the other versions were sold out.
500 pink/black vinyl a total fuck up on the pressing production side of
things. It started out as a yellow and black mix-nuclear symbol, ended up
being pink and black "half and half" fiasco.
last 100 copies sold at Gordy's last gigs in Melbourne and
Sydney with an alternate sleeve aptly titled 'Gordy's last stand'

SFR #015- STRAIGHTJACKET NATION 'cheap kicks' 12"

test pressings; 12 w/hand made sleeve(sleeve still unfinished at this point)
first pressing: 960 black vinyl copies with silver labels and old style "tip-on"
heavy card stock cover and insert.

SFR #016- LARM 'no one can be that dumb' 7"

test pressings; about 10 w/ photocopied sleeve made as a double 7" containing both
Larm re-issues that Way Back When records(Holland) and Shortfuse re-issued
at the same time.
first pressing; 1000 w/sleeve and insert reprint of original

SFR #017- LARM 'nothing is hard in this world if you dare to scale the heights' 7"

test pressings; about 10 w/ photocopied sleeve made as a double 7" containing both
Larm re-issues that Way Back When records(Holland) and Shortfuse re-issued
at the same time.
first pressing; 1000 w/sleeve, insert and postcard reprint of original

SFR #018-COLD WORLD 'hands off our music' 2x 7"

test pressings; 10x double 7" rejected US test pressings.

SFR #019-EXTROTION 'terminal cancer' 7"

test pressings; 7 thus far. Approved and ready to press.

Well that's straight from the Shortfuse source aka Clint.And you can't get much more comprehensive or complete than that.

15 April 2009

Chain Of Strength

True Till Death 7" vinyl version.Not the abortion that was on "The One Thing That Still Holds True".
I really hate re-issues that fuck around with remixing and shit.
Anywho I found this ripped from the vinyl and decided that it's still one of my favourite records and deserves documenting in full.Besides when I looked for a cover picture I couldn't find anything suitable so I scanned my own.
It's also been a year since my dad passed away and when I left the hospital got in the car and fired it up the stereo was playing the last few bars of 'let down' and going into 'best of times' and straight away I was transported back in time 10 years to when we first started to make amends and I'm glad we did what we did when we did. 

Download a rip of the vinyl here : True Till Death 7" 

13 April 2009

Sendspace sucks

Urban Mayhem and Words Carved Into My Head download links have been fixed.

Minute Minder part 2

Minute Minder live in Newcastle at the infamous Morrow Park Bowling Club sometime around the heyday of the grunge era.

12 April 2009

Minute Minder

The Minute Minder 7"
SFR #00/NDR #05- MI
test pressing; 3 only, 1 w/film cover, 1 w/metal cover, 1 w/white paper sleeve.
first press:50 clear vinyl, 250 black vinyl with black embossed sleeve
second press:35 clear, 35 black with a 'duo-tone' sleeve, coloured-in "b" side shortfuse logo. 
7 track EP recorded in 1994, originally intended for release on No Deal records but due to the bands break-up and the label's demise, it lay unreleased until I picked up the release to mark the end of one label (No Deal), and the birth of the new breed (Shortfuse). First andsecond press come from the same batch, but we clearly identified the second press(leftovers...) by colouring the Shortfuse logo on the 'B' side label art.

A demo,1 7",and 1 compilation track just wasn't really enough from this band.
15 years later and it's still one of the best Australian hardcore records ever.
From a time we'll remember back in the day before all your sep
erate scenes became one big giant clusterfuck.

Thanks Clint for the crucial pressing information

Embossed Front Cover
Embossed back cover

A and B side Labels


Shortfuse flyer (don't order it's long sold out)