The following is the June 1987 installment of Puszone
Thanks to Scott Slimm for the article.
"Broken!" the voice bellowed out at my face as my grandfather stared
at me with that twisted glare.
"What's broken, Gramps?" I asked in bewilderment, as I could never
predict what would come out of his mind; he was a bit checked out.
"Silence, that's what is broken. The silence." He roared at my face,
now dripping sweat. "There's always some sort of noise that breaks the
silence, young fella," he spoke loudly. I'm sure he was close to deafness,
but his pride would never allow him to admit it. I was glad that no one was
around to witness this conversation, I was a bit self-conscious about the
"What are you getting at, Gramps?" I asked with a confused
tone, since I'm usually confused throughout any conversation with my
"You see, it's all this racket you call music. It drives the ears to deafness
which drives the fingers to turn it louder and it leaves no room for silence
since that dang blasted sound travels so far when it's blasted so
loud." He spoke to me with a harsh tone.
"Gramps, why are you telling me this?" I asked.
"What?" he said without changing his blank expression.
"I said, why are you telling me this?" I shouted at him.
"You don't have to yell!" he said. "I ain;t completely deaf yet, but I'm
sure I will be soon, then I'll get some silence." As he spoke to me I was a
bit scared. He had that effect on me. Like a wise man with a hypnotic voice
who could convince you of anything, for it would seem so believable. He
never lost the power of speech. His hearing was another story. I noticed,
as we sat on the porch, that the weather was changing. Dark storm
clouds were rolling in. "You see, young fella," he spat at me. I wiped
my arm across my jaw. "Long ago, I would turn the music up. Got a great
deal of pleasure out of it. Me and the friends liked it real loud, but one day
there was this bee buzzing in my head that just wouldn't go away. I
plugged up my ears with my fingers, and that bee was still in my head. It
got a bit irritating after a bit, so I went and saw the doc. And you know what
that doctor said to me?"
"What's that, Gramps?" I asked as I realized that this was an interesting
tale he was telling, plus I didn't want him to think I wasn't paying
"He said it was that loud music that had damaged my hearing and
for the rest of my life I would hear that buzzing sound. He best advised me
to turn it down, but in those days, that was a hard thing to do. To this day
I plug up my ears and that old bee is still buzzing away. Try it," he
I took my forefingers and pressed them inside my ears. At first, I didn't
hear anything, but a faint, continuous ringing. Then sure enough, it was
that bee inside my head.
"You got it too," he said. "I can tell by that look on your face." Lightning
struck in the distance. I t was very dark under the thick storm clouds.
"Hear that thunder?" Gramps asked me.
"What?" I said.
"Do you hear that thunder? It comes in rounds of two. There, you
hear that? There it goes again." Now I was scared. I didn't hear a
thing. I thought he was joking but I could feel the vibrations when the
thunder roared. I started to shiver, it started to rain. I was in shock.
Suddenly grandfather tapped me on the shoulder, I spun rapidly and looked
at him. He was talking and I could not hear him. I could not hear! I
freaked out, what had happened? Why now, when grandfather talked to me?
Was it subconscious? I knew for sure it wasn't the Puszone, because
it wasn't around. I now knew the silence. Now I wish it was broken.
HAHA, O Puszoners, a little tale passed on through generations, for your
inspection. You don't need to hear it. This month the Puszone
features a retrospective on some monumental slices from a few years
back, in the era that speed went faster and the sound flung madly to
influence the current crop. Some of these releases are long out of print
but definately hot material.
The energy was ready to boil, the heat was turned way up, the
aggression, power, and rawness was there, with a turn of a dial something
happened and before we knew it turbulent slabs of vinyl were cooking
everywhere. Maybe you witnessed it all, maybe you didn't, this is definitely
not a "best of", but just personal faves from earlier days, starting about
seven or eight years ago.
1. I didn't know what to expect of this, the cover was strange, and the A-side
was total garbage, but in 1979 when we flipped this thing over, it had
a lasting impression. The band was Punishment of Luxury and the
song was "Brainbomb", the B-side of the seven-inch Secrets. The band
was not known for this type of music, nor did they ever follow up with
another like it. Still, at the time, it was the fastest-quick drums,
rapid guitar grinding and just an intense assault. We wanted more.
2. A gossipy mention in an English music tabloid naming the band Discharge got me interested in finding their EP. Just a hunch, you
know. The EP was Realities of War; it was their first; it was 1980.
We walked into a cool Hollywood record store, a clerk was unpacking
a shipment. I asked the guy, he didn't know what I was talking about, so
I looked through his shipment that had just come in from England. I
found it and asked him to play it. The sound roared, yeah, that's it.
We went into hysterics. This band was the best. My friends wanted copies.
None. They were bummed. Two days later, we drove down to Long Beach to
another cool store, asked the guy and to our surprise, he told us. "We
thought it was a joke so we sent it back." "No way!" we said. To say
the least, that guy didn't last long. True story. Discharge's Fight Back EP came out a few months later, it was perhaps the start
of a new era in explosive hardcore. We were very happy.
3. All this time on the East Coast, a band called the Bad Brains were
possible. Their first seven-inch Pay to Cum proved that. It was intense,
matching the lyrics to the songs was impossible, The Bad Brains
influenced a generation. And they're still going strong.
4. In Los Angeles a band was causing commotion. Most people didn't take
them seriously, but a cult following was growing. The Germs added
a touch to the music scene there that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Harsh growling vocals over brash hardcore made this band a force to be reckoned
with. The release of the G.I. LP was welcomed in hardcore homes everywhere.
5. Perhaps one of the best things Black Flag ever did was this first EP
entitled Nervous Breakdown and they soon went on to cause a lot of commotion.
The energy level and agression on this vinyl had the flailers wailing it out in
the new thrash zone as the pogo deteriorated into combat warfare. The raging
H.B.'ers and the riots became somewhat of a tradition surrounding Black Flag,
besides the fact their logo was spray painted all over L.A. and every other
city they visited. After that EP, lead singer Keith Morris went on to form
the Circle Jerks whose Group Sex LP paced the speed in an effective
manner. The L.A. scene became a legend.
6. Over in England a band was mixing a bit of punk with a bit of metal,
and a bit of oi to really bash out a hardcore delight. The Cockney Rejects
effectively crossed a new barrier while being bad boys at the same time, or so
the press would lead you to believe. Still when Cockey Rejects Greatest
Hits Vol. 1 came out (their first LP) it did smoke. Fiery action shouted
7. Hidden away virtually unknown to the major scenes was the birth of a new
stance that was extreme and hardcore. One dedicated lanel brought that music
to our ears. Run by Ian MacKaye and Jeff nelson, Dischord Records was
born when they released an EP by their own band, Teen idles, in 1981.
Their straight forward, speedy hardcore took everyone by surprise and brought
smiles to our faces. Their second release was a knockout by S.O.A. with
lightning quick mayhem melodies and the vocals of one Henry Garfield, who went on
to sing for Black Flag. Dischord's third release was Ian and Jeff's
new band Minor Threat. With age, this 8-song release grew to be a
monsterous success, Dischord continues to pump out the good vinyl.
8. Up in Vancouverarea of Canada, a band released two EPs that charged with
a strong, tight punch and quick melodies. Disco Sucks and The
Prisoner are two classic vinyl gems by D.O.A. who still pack it
raw and wild.
9. One day while reading an English fanzine, I came across a mention of
a new 'noise' band called Disorder whose first EP was out on Riot City.
Knowing how choice the Discharge 7"s were, I decided to check this out.
What I got was level-10 feedback rushing the blood to my head. Intense!
This slab packed the meanest blow yet. Total mayhem, insane vocals and an
ability to keep it all together while ripping the soudwaves to shreds.
The 7" Complete Disorder definitely lived up to its name. This
four-song EP howled with havoc and paved new ground for bands like Chaos U.K.,
Asylum and Chaotic Dischord, a joke band trying to make fun of
that distorted sound.
10. Circa 1981, while playing the dynamite best of the new hardcore rage,
L.A.'s good 'ol Rodnet (Bingenheimer) on the ROQ whisked out a track
by a seattle band called The Fartz, who were extremely chaotic with
a mean crooner. That singer went on to yell for the Accused. Good
thing I had friends in Seattle, since that EP Because this Fuckin' World
Stinks... was a hard one to find. Well worth the search.
11. The energy was everywhere, even in areas unexpected, it grew radically.
The Widwest pushed out some hot ones on the Touch and Go label, named
after a crazed fanzine edited by one Tesco Vee, a staunch supporter of the
booming HC movement. EPs by The Necros and The Fix saw lightning
strike down chaos as speed and explosive momentum took off quick and powerful.
Bands like Negative Approach, who featured a growling vocalist and rapid
riffs followed. This was happening.
12. In a copy of a New York new wave magazine, I saw an ad for a new LP
entitled This is Boston, Not L.A., it was enticing enough that myself
and many others ordered it through the mail. We had no idea we could be blown
away by bands like The Freeze, Jerry's Kids, The F.U.'s and the mindbomb
speed thrash of Gang Green, who were perhaps the fastes band we had ever
heard. Played that LP to death. it had it all, a great compilation from a great
Now, how can I stop at 12? Well, I can't, but there are so many classics out
that I'd be writing for hours if I didn't stop somewhere. So I'll just list
a few more for reference. Check 'em out, for some of us it was the beginning.
Partisans-Police Story-No Future Weirdos-Solitary Confinement-Dangerhouse T.S.O.L.-Untitled 12"-Posh Boy Neos-End All Discrimination EP Rudimentary Peni-Untitled 1st EP Process of Elimination-7" Comp. EP-Touch and Go Subhumans-Untitled 1st EP-Spiderleg Kraut-Unemployed-Cabbage S.S. Decontrol-Kids Will Have Their Say LP Youth Brigade-Possible EP-Dischord Antidote-Thou Shalt Not Kill-Antidote Cause for Alarm-Untitled EP