Token Entry

Formed in 1980 as Gilligan’s Revenge and renamed in 1984, Queens’ Token Entry has survived a number of lineup changes (drummer Ernie Parada is the only remaining original member) to become one of New York City’s most versatile and respected skatepunk groups. With vocalist Anthony Comunale (now fronting Killing Time), the quartet released the 7-inch…

Red Aunts

An evening spent with the Red Aunts is about as soothing as a soak in a tub of raw sewage. The Southern California band’s brand of unfiltered music is toxic, especially when the vocals hit the piercing pitch of a three-year-old throwing a temper tantrum. Obvious and valid comparisons include L7, the Lunachicks and Babes…

Hard-Ons

Possessing roughly the same obsessions as a B-grade nerd comedy, Australia’s premier surf-punks sing about farting, kissing, sex and rejection with various levels of goodnatured crudity. The Sydney trio — Blackie (guitar), Keish (drums/vocals) and Ray (bass/artwork) — has been tooling around since 1980, having a good pubescent laugh and playing some really great tuneful…

Silverfish

A few seconds of any Silverfish song could wrench the most cast-iron gut, leaving a mess of entrails in its wake. But in the case of this London quartet, the more you bleed the better you feel. Jacked up rhythms are smothered by an electric blanket of guitar distortion, setting the pace for Lesley Rankine’s…

Nurse With Wound

As a testament to the random disorder and beauty of life, London’s Nurse With Wound (Steven Stapleton) functioned outside the normal musical channels for a decade, experimenting with tape collages of disjointed phrases, improvised music, electronics and found sounds on a series of intriguing, provocative, humorous and frequently entertaining self-released records. Between 1978 and 1988,…

Youth of Today

Before he began devoting his energies to the Hare Krishna parade, singer/lyricist Ray Cappo (aka Ray 2 Day) was a cult hero in New York’s positive core and straight- edge punk communities. Playing with aggression and conviction, Youth of Today preached self-discipline, scene unity and standing up for one’s beliefs, taking a hardline stance against…

Ex

This hard-edged Dutch anarcho-punk collective adheres to only the purest ideals in rock music. Starting in 1980, the Ex uncorked an endless stream of do-it-themselves vinyl and tapes on a variety of label names (finally settling on Ex Records in ’88). Following Crass’ example (if not quite that group’s sound; the Ex has a cutting…

Jacob’s Mouse

Jacob’s Mouse nibbled at a smorgasbord of genres but never really sank their teeth into any one. One minute, the trio from Bury St. Edmunds cranked out a dub groove; the next, they were doing 90 in a school zone leaving a cloud of burnt rubber, skid marks and hundreds of frightened kids. But every…

D.I.

Like other bored suburban youths in Southern California, Orange County’s D.I. voices disgust with a stagnant society through sarcastic humor, cynicism and punk’s tension-relieving pace. Despite a revolving-door lineup that, at various points, featured Adolescents guitarist Rikk Agnew and his younger brother Alfie, D.I.’s general sound — propulsive melodies, careening guitars and snide upfront vocals…

Trance Mission

Efforts to tag the many dimensions of San Francisco’s Trance Mission have churned up amalgams of words like ethnic, ambient, techno, tribal, post-industrial and trance, but even tacking on the obvious “world music” designation wouldn’t cover the half of it. At a time when the gaps between East and West, old world and new world,…

Distorted Pony

The incessant ranting and lurching rhythms of Distorted Pony could throw even the most seasoned noise rider. Topped with tortured vocals, plus a Cop Shoot Cop-like assault on metal sheets and trashcans, the Los Angeles band spit a paralyzing quart of venom with every note. The focal point of Distorted Pony (which formed in 1986…

Beasts of Paradise

Picture five musicians shadow dancing on a butterfly’s wings, and you’ll begin to understand the fragile grace of San Francisco’s Beasts of Paradise. Eda Maxym’s vocal incantations oscillate far above the earth, even as the multitude of instruments used to make the music flutter and spin span its far reaches. At the center are Nancy…

NOFX

NOFX fuses I-got-the-world-up-my-ass (think Circle Jerks) attitude, British punk-era political cynicism and a snotty vocal tenor wedged somewhere between Dead Milkmen bratcore and an air of early Social Distortion disillusion. The Hollywood-formed foursome jabs at the ill effects of capitalist society — repression, prejudice, the poor — all with an underlying sense of paranoia. But…

Hair & Skin Trading Co.

With its pursuit of maximal volume and minimal motion, Loop was one of the earliest figureheads of England’s ’80s drone-rock movement, but those two extremes proved too difficult to reconcile. When the band split at the turn of the decade, frontman Robert Hampson and guitarist Scott Dowson chose to trance out totally in Main, while…

Arcwelder

Like the sizzle of hot sparks hitting cold metal, Minneapolis’ Arcwelder splatters impassioned vocals over a chilling backdrop. There’s a frayed fury that lingers behind even the strongest hooks, the same tension-building mix that in the past has proven explosive for bands like Naked Raygun and Hüsker Dü, to which Arcwelder has most often been…

Exploding White Mice

Taking their name from Rock’n’Roll High School and most of their sound from Rocket to Russia, this Adelaide quintet has done its damnedest to be Australia’s own Ramones. But while the familiar song skeletons and Paul Gilchrist’s Joey-esque delivery are in clear debt to the brudders, the Mice add a distinct garage element (credit Radio…

Lubricated Goat

Some of the crudest sounds from Australia’s belly were belched up by Lubricated Goat, a band which originally featured two former members of Salamander Jim. Since getting underway in early ’86, Goatees have slipped in and out and back in again, though the groans, gristle and guttural grunts of Stu Spasm (as well as the…

Grotus

Finally, a band for fatalists. The San Francisco quartet’s lyrics read like a countdown to Armageddon, while their Test Dept.-like primal rhythms (especially in later releases) head toward a spirit world holding a hint of salvation. The mirror Grotus holds up to Western society acknowledges an epidemic of cultural ills. Though the band’s delivery is…

Tar

After a brief fling as Blatent Dissent, a fairly conventional mid-’80s punk band at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, the members of Tar moved to Chicago and adopted a thicker, harder, more textured sound. A number of the band’s discs were engineered by Steve Albini or Iain Burgess, sonic architects of the Chicago post-punk fringe,…

Jerry’s Kids

Boston cranked up its loudest hardcore bellow in the early ’80s with the likes of Gang Green, SS Decontrol, the F.U.’s and Jerry’s Kids, one of the early pioneers of metal-meets-hardcore thrash. The Kids pummel with spearing guitars, grinding rhythms and hammering vocals. Jerry’s Kids first made their presence known in the seven minutes it…