The following is the April 1989 installment of Puszone
It was one of those typical days. The buildings glistened in the bright sun.
People scuttled about with no definite direction, hurridly pacing themselves
and avoiding physical contact. Noises screaming outward from a handful of
sources became a mumbled mishmash that tormented the eardrums. I found myself
in the middle of it all, pressing forth, but not in a rush. Footsteps echoed
against the retaining walls. I hit every step-left, right,left-as I pounded my
feet agaist the brick steps. Not that it was rush hour yet, but the subway
floors teamed with hundred of people making their way to the platforms to catch
the next train. I was the fifth one on line, waiting patiently, cautiosly
glancing at the day's paper, quietly watchng for the train's headlights. The
long line weaved behind me-this would be a crowded ride. The train's horn
rocketed through the station and the passengers jumped to attention to make
their way through the opening doors, forgetting as always, to let those who
needed to get off do so with ease. I wasn't able to claim a seat, so I stood,
hand on the railing above, trying to avoid the uncomfortable situation of this
packed sardine can train. Everyone rocked back and forth as the train sped up
and slowed. At each stop, more passengers would get on, and the confines became
tighter. the rumble of the train dominated the sound of chatter and blasting
Walkmans. My feet ached a bit, and the temperature rose. Then without warning,
the train lunged forward and slammed to a violent halt. Like dominoes, the people
flew forward, falling, diving, ramming a pile of flailing bodies being hurled
against each other. I flew into two seated girls smashing them hard as my legs
dangled in the aisle. Again the train lurched forward, forcing everyone backwards,
then stopping again with a crash. The lights went out, a woman screamed, and
someone crashed into me, smashing my skull against the window. The darakness
engulfed me quickly.
Awakening to an incredibly extreme pain in my cranium, I tried to focus on my
surroundings and realized it was still dark. Though I didn't know how long I
had been out, I noticed the sound of humans was not around, nor that inner
train smell, and I realized I wasn't in the train anymore. I rubbed my hand over
my face, it felt wet. What seemed to be particles of glass were sprinkled all
over me. I had minor cuts and abrasions and blood trickled from larger wounds.
Had I been thrown from the train, out through the window? It was a mystery to
me. I pushed my hands into something that felt like mud and slowly raised my body.
I couldn't make out exactly where I was and I didn't know where to go. I could
feel the blackness engulf me and caress me with its cold touch, making the hairs
on the back of my neck prick outward. Walking was a difficult and strenuous
task as I kept running into what seemed to be walls or falling into what seemed
to be puddles. I was more than lost, I was trapped in a subterranean area that
smelled of mildew and other foul odors. I felt alone beyond what I had ever known.
The sound came so quickly it startled me. It was a light footstep splashing softly
in the distance ahead, maybe twenty yards. Whatever it was, it carried no light and
approached with no caution. I was frozen where I stood. fear and curiosity over-
whelmed me. It must have been three feet in front of me. When it stopped, I
noticed its eyes glowed blue. The bluish light slowly scanned my body from my
feet to my head where it stopped and stared. It was a rather short being,
like a pixie or an elf, but human in proportion. It reached out and touched
me, grabbing at my hand with a kind gesture. I didn't know what to do. It
tugged on my arm. I didn't move. It tugged again. Still I didn't budge. Then
this pixie figure spoke in a strange tone.
"Please follow me," the pixie said with a girlish tone. "Don't be afraid of the
darkness, the darkness confuses you."
"But where will we go?" I asked.
"Forward along the rail. You must follow me. Walk the edge. The darkness has
many surprises in store. You cannot trust the darkness. Hold tight to my hand and
let me guide you."
"All right," I said. I had no reason to argue, since my efforts so far had only
made things worse. What was this character that seemed so caring, and where did
it come from? Was it a girl or just girlish?
We walked for what seemed a mile, but I'm sure it was a shorter distance than that.
Staying on the rail was an odd feeling, sort of like I shouldn't look down. I could
sense deep holes below us. My footsteps were cautious. The pixie's hand was always
warm and while small in size, the grasp was strong yet tender with control. I was so
perplexed by this tiny ally and how I had gotten here that I didn't realize what was
happening. the rail had ended and the pixie had stopped. I walked into it, almost
knocking the small body over. It cried out, not in anger, but in fear. The darkness
seemed very black, thick, yet it seemed like shadows were moving. The pixie's grip
tightened on my hand, crushing it. I yelped in pain. A strong fear surrounded us,
something that played with the two of us. Then a voice boomed from the darkness,
"He is ours!"
"No, you've had him for too long. It's not fair to his mind," the pixie cried back.
"Why do you care, little one? It is of no interest to you. This is our realm,"
the deep voice roared back.
"You of the darkness, you were summoned for the wrong reason. His destiny is
important, you must not destroy it any long," the pixie spoke with determination.
I had no idea what they were talking about, or what the darkness was, but the caliginous
feeling was getting heavier. Surrounding me, squeezing, pushing unseen against my
flesh, a pressure that was not a physical nature. Suddenly, the pixie's hand tightened
against mine. My body lunged forward and we began to fall endlessly. We gained speed.
The rush was too much. I closed my eyes and lost consciousness.
I slammed hard against some kind of padded floor and awoke startled, blinded
by the glare of bright light. The pixie was gone. I seemed to be in a small room,
fully lit, a door in front of me, and a small window and nothing else around. I tried
to get up and just rolled to my right. What? I was in a straight jacket, both my
arms were immobile, as were my legs. What is going on? What madness is this? I saw
a partially open magazine in the middle of the room. Curious, I tried to roll in
that direction. Suddenly the door burst open and a huge man draped in green ran at me,
kicking me in the shoulder, flinging me back. He came at me again. I was scared.
I shut my eyes in fear of what was going to happen. But nothing did. I waited, still
nothing. I slowly opened my eyes, to see faces, concerned faces, staring down at me.
I was on a stretcher being wheeled out of the subway train. Sirens and commotion
filled the atmosphere. The faces now looked relieved. As I blinked my eyes tried to
comprehend all this, a face moved closer to mine.
"You're lucky. We thought we lost you there for a minute, "the paramedic said. "Too
bad about the girl who was under you, she didn't make it. Her grip on your arm was
a tough one to break, even though she was so small."
I looked over and saw a small girl on the floor as they flung out the sheet to cover
her. She looked at peace and I smiled. She had brown shoulder length hair, black
nylons, a black patterned skirt and a black t-shirt with "Puszone" screened in
red on the front. About two feet from her body lay a partially open magazine. I
glanced to see what it was, but they started to wheel me away and I closed my eyes,
trying to contemplate what had happened, asking myself why me? Is my destiny important?
I was slipping into an exhausted sleep as the noise slowly faded out, and I wondered
if when I awoke this would still be a reality or if I would be lost in the pages of
SHORT DOSES OF REVIEWS
First, a band that is following in the footsteps of British "the-forest-crashes-down-
when-this-sound-erupts"-core bands like Napalm Death and Carcass. It shouldn't be
long before the maniac drill assault of Sore Throat totally wipes your mind clean.
Using mere adjectives to describe this blistering attack does no justice to the
true terror and speed this band wants to project. Speed, yes, they think they're
fast, power, yes they sound loud; lyrics, yes they have some of those-whether
serious, humorous or life threatening, it's all in these short, perhaps mini,
structures. Serious, well if anyone takes them seriously, I guess it'll be the new
trend. Here we have two releases by Sore Throat (the singer definitely has one); an
LP entitled Unhindered by Talent, which features 52 tracks, half of which sounds
like speeded up sneezing, and a 7" EP which features 43 tracks. I think they are
ripping you off on the LP, especially since they claim the new LP will have 102 tracks.
Altogether that's 95 tracks by a band who claims to have no ability or talent and
designate themselves the ultimate noise band. I'm sure they say "what?" a lot.
Still, the mere fact that it is so terrible gives this disc the potential to have
all kinds of oddball noise freaks buying it up. Thus, the trend continues. When
you almost get through both sides of this LP, these crazies decide to hit you with
"A Bow to Capitol" a straight ahead political observation ala Bob Dylan. Makes you
want to break the record over your head. Laughter and more laughter, this tragedy
is comedy that's smart while being dumb. The EP is on Acid Rain Records.
The LP is on Meantime Records.
Ah, yes, the straight edge controversy. Now don't run out and make some popcorn,
even though it's become like some drawn out soap opera all over one guy's opinion and
some songs he wrote. Yet, here are two releases with tracks that venture into that
realm again. First is Heimat Los, that French thrash 'n'go band who seem to have gone
the route of Minor Threat, etc. on the title song of this four-song EP Negative
Mental Obsession. The lyrics of "Negative Mental obsession" deal with the
straight edge idea and how people have imitated it, or how Heimat Los feel people
become straight edge just because of a song or for the wrong reason in general.
It's a supportive track while being negative at the same time. The other three
tracks are all rage in a much upgraded approach, quick and efficient with a lot
of power, a really good release. On Auto Da Fa Records.
Next up is Freedom of Choice, a Connecticut band who have that NYHC solid posi-sound.
This 4-song 7"EP entitled It's Your Choice pushes a fast Youth of Today
approach with lots of chunka and youthful lyrics. The track "Freedom of Choice"
deals again with the SE subject but more towards people who preach it. As their
lyrics state "Straight Edge is okay with me, but I'll use my head and be what I
want to be..." Freedom of Choice is another in a crop of bands who have a good
young sound full of aggression and fury. After seven years people are still worrying
about straight edge. Well Ian, I guess it's something you'll be immortalized for.
Boston, once a proving ground for a handful of influential hardcore outfits, has
again spawned a noteworthy band, namely, Wrecking Crew. Their debut Balance of
Terror is a splatter slicing mixture of hardcore mashed with metallic edges.
It's not too over-the-top fast and again, it brings the classic NYHC sound to mind,
mixed with a Crucifix appeal. Odd combo but it's very enjoyable. Definitely a band
to check out. Thirteen tracks that chrage each moment on Hawker Records.
Hardcore for the Masses is a Swedish compilation LP of 16 bands compiled
by Peter Ahiquest of Uproar Records fame. This features mainly a crop of newer
bands that venture into all types of punk, thrash, and "tornado-came-and-wiped-
out-the-village"-core noise. It's definitely an adventure. Features Ganx, Strebers
Tribulation, Martial mosh, Asocial Ugly Squaws, Forflutna, Nihilist, 16 Blasare,
Utal Hjana, Kazjurol, Filthy Christians, Happy Farm, Totalitar, SLR, Dross, Libresse
and Disaccord, and it also come with a booklet.
Ron of Final Conflict claimed that Subvert is one of the best bands on the West Coast.
This Tacoma, Washington band is similar to Final Conflict. They're politically aware,
fast, metallic and rip a full-tilt barrage that makes this debut 7"EP The Madness
Must End a worthy find. Lots of catchy riffs that could be the US answer to
Anti-Sect. On Hippycore
Transgression finally got an LP out after two impressive demos, but the LP doesn't
hit the same spot that first tape did. This release is entitled Cold World
with 16 tracks that run in the speed thrash vein of DRI and Attitude Adjustment.
It runs furiously fast and sometimes just loses control. On Manic Ears Records.
Speaking of Attitude Adjustment, they are still around and have just released a 12"
of demo stuff which really excels. Sounds like something straight out of the new NYHC
scene, yet this is blistering California-core. Hauling mayhem and grinding guitars
with a thrust of power that keeps you hungry for more. Eleven ripping tracks that
feature a re-done version of "9 to 5 Religion" now entitled "To Be Different", which
works equally well. I think this twelve inch has limited availability, so if your
brain needs an extreme thrash fix, get this slab.
Satanic Malfunctions was probably one of the first British acts to introduce the
"tidal-wave-just-wiped-life-off-the-face-of-the-planet"-core noise assault full
of strong political statements. Here they are with their first LP, still dishing
it out but no doubt getting no recognition whatsoever. And they probably don't care
either. Still, here are 27 songs that stop at nothing, roaring rapidly with a
buzzsaw guitar and growling vocals. If this type of sound is your cup of tea,
then it's Hellbound.