The Oblivious Kids – Bombs Away

The Oblivious Kids
Bombs Away
1997 (no label)
Hillsboro, Oregon, USA

Shaun Oblivious – Vocals, guitars
Brian Oblivious – Bass, vocals
Jeremy Oblivious – Drums

  1. Responsibility
  2. First Love
  3. American Holocaust
  4. Have Another Beer

This is one of several rare tapes you can find on BandCamp. Hopefully I can get some time to review and post others. This band was a straight up gutter punk band with vocals that ride the line between bratty punk style and horror punk style. Also lots of “Oi! Oi!”s on this tape as well.  The BandCamp address made it seem like this would be a ska/punk band, but it’s not. I can’t find much else about this band online, but the tape is free to listen to and download on BandCamp:



Sherri Smith – Wavering Deficit

Sherri Smith
Wavering Deficit
1997 (no label)
Clyde, New York, USA

Sherri Schmitz Smith – Most guitars, lead vocals, percussion
Shawn Harnish – Some guitar parts
Scott Andrezejewski – Bass guitar on some songs
Tim Reed – Bass on all other songs
Art Ralston – Drums
Jim Hinrich – Background vocals, congas
Tim Sampson – Harmonica

Side 1:

  1. Go Away
  2. Shattered
  3. The Room Inside
  4. Please Rescue Me
  5. Dusted Angel

Side 2:

  1. When Will I Learn?
  2. What Can I Say?
  3. Be Not Conformed
  4. It’s Always Something
  5. Salsa Picante

This was a blast from the past. Well, one song at least. Sherri Smith had a couple of songs on HM Magazine CD samplers, and one of those songs (“Salsa Picante”) is on this demo. This is kind of rock/hard rock – but most of the songs have vocals on them (which I wouldn’t have guessed from the instrumental songs she placed on samplers). Some music fans describe people like Ace Frehley and Lemmy Kilmister as having “can’t sing/don’t care” vocals. That seems to be the model on some of the songs here. Sherri shows that she can sing on some songs, but when she gets aggressive it kind of falls into the “can’t sing (this style)/don’t care” model. Really, I think this demo is mostly to show off Sherri’s guitar skills, which it succeeds at.

The Israelites – Israelite Train

The Israelites
Israelite Train
1997 (no label)
California, USA

Peter Trusty – Lead vocals, percussion
Richard Carlstedt – Guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals, percussion
Jackieblu Carlstedt – Keyboards, organs, backing vocals
Jennifer Villarreal – Drums, percussion, backing vocals
Ginger Reyes – Bass
Allen Trammell – Tenor sax, suprano sax
Justin Bernadino – Alto sax, keyboards
Gabriel Sundy – Trombone, baritone sax, chicken cluck

  1. Israelite Train
  2. By Your Side
  3. Jah Jah
  4. The Resurrection
  5. Over the River

If you remember the ska craze of the 90s, you probably also remember it being referred to as “third wave ska.” Bands like the Israelites were part of the first and second waves. So there is no punk rock influence on this demo. You still have the heavy island reggae influence here, with a large horn section. However, they are all playing to make music and mood rather than a mosh pit. I don’t know enough about earlier waves of ska to have much more to say on this, other than this is the type of ska for people that got sick of third wave ska back in the day.

Lonesome Monsters – Amazingly Alive

Lonesome Monsters
Amazingly Alive
1997 (no label)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Bud Osborn
Graham Ord
Paul Blaney

Side 1:

  1. One Sacred Thing
  2. Dreams in the Americas
  3. Toledo Blues
  4. Amazingly Alive
  5. The Truth of Community

Side 2:

  1. Lamentations for the Downtown Eastside
  2. Jazz After Midnight Along Granville St
  3. Bury My Body

This is mostly spoken word over saxophone. It’s pretty trippy… and pretty bleak. I don’t mind some darkness, but three songs into this and I am getting pretty depressed. It seems to be all about street violence and crimes – but in pretty blunt and honest recollections. It seems to be the same person doing all of the spoken word (Bud Osborn I believe), and only one saxophone at a time – so I am not totally sure what all three people do (other than sharing song writing credits). Okay, so sometimes it does touch on some more positive themes – but it is quite the ride to get to those moments. Bud also does not feel the need to sanitize his language for Christian artists – which leads to some funny moments like yelling out “shout from my balls!” Apparently Bud was known for his work among the poor in Vancouver before he passed away recently. For those that like trippy different stuff, and can take a ride through some pretty dark bleakness at times, this is a good tape to track down.

Dethdoor – Beyond Death

Beyond Death
1987 Jeru-Slam Records
Pensacola, Florida, USA

Scottie Joel Cooper – Vocals, sounds, instruments

Pain Face:

  1. Introduction
  2. Industrial Generation
  3. This is for You
  4. Hellfire
  5. Human Fear

Hope Face

  1. Ecstasy
  2. DeathDoor
  3. Childhood Bliss
  4. There is Hope
  5. Who Can Write? (unlisted track)
  6. Scottie Talks About the Orthodox Church

This is probably the most well-known release by Scottie Joel Cooper, since it made it into the tape underground thanks to Jeru-Slam Records. I was sent a copy of the original master tape that appears to differ in a few places from the label release. First of all, it has a track list on the inside, so that really helps with the track names. It also has an unreleased album by Cooper on the back. Also, the track “This is For You” is not on the label release. You get the first words “This is for” and then it cuts right to “Hellfire.” Also, the song “DeathDoor” is two parts on the label release (the song and then a child reading the Lord’s Prayer), but it is three parts on this tape (the song, The Lord’s Prayer, and then a spoken word poem about Death Door). There is an unlisted track after “There is Hope” on the master tape, as well as 7 minutes of Cooper talking about the Orthodox Church and why he has chosen to go that path in his beliefs. The sound here is an interesting mixture of spoken word, noise, and industrial elements. Some songs are pure spoken word, while others have interesting metallic beats as a backdrop. Also some bits and pieces of found noise here and there. The only difference between the covers of the label release and this master tape is that someone wrote “Jeru-Slam Records” in blue ink next to “Distributed by:” (and they didn’t include the list of song names).

Krush – Lost

1997 (no label)
San Diego, California, USA

Phil Castillo – Guitar
Frank Citriniti – Drums
Eddie Gomez – Bass
Dave Meriweller – Vocals
Lou Tamagni – Guitar

Side 1:

  1. Lock and Load
  2. Lost

Side 2:

  1. Beside Me
  2. Old Man

This is the same Krush that recorded Welcome to Paradise in 1999 and Sindrome in 2002. I had kind of expected this to be more of the groove metal / numetal that they were later known for. But it was actually more on the heavy metal side. You could chalk that up their sound developing over time, and I would agree that may be the case. But this was out in 1997, and the sound was closer to what the metal scene was doing in 1993 – at least, the parts of the scene that were not trying hard to be grunge. Of course, I say that, and then “Lost” starts playing, and it is pretty much a slower grunge song. But then “Beside Me” roars back with a good commercial metal hook that would have ruled back in the metal hey-day. Beyond that song, a little more groove could have helped this demo, as it is not bad just feels a little “heard this before” throughout each song. “Lost” and “Beside Me” made it onto their first full-length Welcome to Paradise in 1999.

Update: Matthew Hunt reminded me that Phil Castillo was also in the early metal band Crossforce. I had heard that a long time ago, but didn’t make the connection while writing this review out. Thanks Hunt!

Du Laim Brainz – Fool of It

Du Laim Brainz
Fool of It
1997 (no label)

Steve Hook (and others?)

  1. Disfunctional
  2. Discover D&X
  3. Hardly Copy
  4. Sludge
  5. The Chain
  6. Hiur Intelajunse

This is an odd tape that I traded for. The rumor is that it is Steve Hook of Empty Tomb, but it seems there are many other voices on here. It is pretty much skits, with no music. Mostly right wing critique of left wing ideas (or at least, the weird view of “left-wing politics” that is popular in evangelical churches, but not really based on reality). Of course, 20 years later we know that people on the extreme left and right wings of politics rarely understand each other, so this is just an example of one side of that. I am sure there are also some left-wing versions like this as well. Worth maybe one listen, but cringe worthy at best. Unless you find Alex Jones credible 🙂