Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Rock Turns to Stone
Vild Records, Boston MA
With a name like "Rock Turns to Stone", you'd think this collection of mid to late 80's New England bands would spell their Rock with a capital rock ... and you'd be right, rocker friend of mine.
While the majority of songs here are duds, the ones that click click hard as in bone rattlingly hard. Reference The Bags, not The Pixies. And not too surprisingly, almost all of the better cuts were recorded at Fort Apache (South) - historically, that makes this record important for future musicologists.
Vild Records apparently released this and a later record by Providence's Rash of Stabbings (their blase' cut on here seems calculated for major label attention) and then I can't find any further mention of Vild. Does anyone know if they had any other releases?
Stabbings, Rash Of (or just Rash) later turned up on Geffen Records and did their fair share of wasting large corporation dollars and further decreasing all credibility of Mr. David G... so we applaud them for that even as we withhold praise for their contribution to this LP.
"La La La" - The Cavedogs went onto some reknown shortly after this. I believe they had a run of releases with Capitol Records. This power punk popper has me so happy I wanted to go out and trample some flowerbeds and throw spitballs at little ol' ladies. The Cavedogs are dead (well, not literally) but long live The Cavedogs - you can get all you need to know from this tribute site plus links to some of the former members current projects. See also a recent Mp3 blog posting on the Dogs courtesy Little Hits.
"Teenage Girls" - The Dogmatics. The tragic tale of this collection, the Dogmatics fell apart after losing their bass, Paul O'Halloran in an accident. Such a loss. This is a great unheard song- sorry for the record skip near the beginning. Originally recorded in 1986. Brett Milano on the 1995 Dogmatics reunion.
"Lunch With Ed" - Dog-zilla ...Most of the (good) cuts on this comp seem to be time-warped from 1979 and totally missed the whole SST/Homestead/Caroline Axis of Love revolution and certainly spurned Mission of Burma and the other art-rockers in Boston. As a collection, the Dogmatics, the Cavedogs and the Titatnics seem to be tailormade instead for Amphetamine Reptile, total retro guitar buzz rock. But someone snuck Licensed to Ill and King of Rock onto Dogzilla's turntable and they were never the same. Here they sing of what happens when you're a fuck up -- eventually you must pay the piper and have Lunch. With. Ed! Oh, if you click on the picture of Dog-Zilla, that's not just some random girl the guy on the right is leaning on - that's Andy MacGuire and she later played with Spoon for their Telephono debut.
"High On Drugs" - The Titanics. Formerly The Flies (authors of an early Homestead fave LP), they reformed somewhat as The Titantics and became a dirty psyche band. This song has a wicket fuzzy electric sitar and pays tribute to getting high. Fuck peace and love. The only song in this collection recorded in Fort Apache North (pre-Lou Giordano) which must have been brand new at that point.
Although not in the same class as the above, one track deserves honorable mention:
"Born Rude" - The Blackjacks - a failed attempt at trying to transform glam into punk. Singer / writer Johnny Angel (also of The Thrills and other bands) now writes about the lowlifes in the City of Angels. Here's the story of why he decided to quit music.
For the music librarians who have linked to this blog, here's the listing of all the bands and songs for posterity.
When Rock Turns to Stone
Vild Records, 1988
"Radio Daze" - The Slaves
"La La La" - The Cavedogs
"Stay" - The Matweeds
"High on Drugs" - The Titantics
"Born Rude" - The Blackjacks
"T.V. Salvation" - Neutral Nation
"Lunch With Ed" - Dog-zilla
"Somebody's Company" - Screaming Brocolli (the original not that bar band by that name)
"Take Cover" - Condo Pygmies
"Hear My Call" - Rash of Stabbings
"Teenage Girls" - The Dogmatics
"I'm a Suck?!" - Big Huge
BONUS LINK - Your Prize for Reading to the Bottom of the Page
Fort Apache's website is worth reading just to ogle the list of awesome records recorded there
also... I wrote about the recent Bellafea show here.