No Laughing Matter – V 1/2

No Laughing Matter
V 1/2
1987 Worthless Records
Mesa, Arizona, USA

  1. We Can’t
  2. The Call
  3. Alone With You
  4. Wildest Dreams
  5. Thermodynamics
  6. Don’t Feed Me That Line (Ceiling Fan 3)
  7. Chosen

This appears to be an early/rough mix of Volume 1/2 by No Laughing Matter. The songs here are in a different order than the official release, and the mix is a bit rougher here. However, the song “Don’t Patronize Me” is replaced with “Chosen.” Of course, “Chosen” went on to appear on Underground: Brains for the Stupid, Volume One Discernment, and Live Bootleg Skate Concert (even though the version on here is better recording quality than those tapes). Nothing new here, just an interesting tape that turned up in the stacks.

No Laughing Matter – Not For Sale

No Laughing Matter
Not For Sale
198? (no label)
Mesa, Arizona, USA

  1. Torn
  2. Closer Than a Heart Beat
  3. Dare
  4. CFV – Miracles
  5. Pain Can Sometimes Kill
  6. Requiem Mass for Oral Roberts

This tape actually didn’t have a name – I just called it “Not for Sale” because that was the only other words on it. It seems this is possibly a recording of a practice session of some kind. About half of the songs here were released elsewhere. “Torn” was on Underground: Brains for the Stupid in 1987. “Closer Than a Heartbeat” only appears in live form on Live Bootleg Skate Concert in 1987. “CF5 – Miracles” appeared on Volume One – Discernment in – you guessed it – 1987. The other three songs only seem to appear here, and they mostly don’t sound like early versions of other songs. “Requiem Mass for Oral Roberts” does sound familiar, so it might have been renamed something else on another tape. Interesting to hear unreleased songs, even though it is kind of a rough, raw practice session feel to it.

Missing Information: What years was this released? Who played on it?

No Laughing Matter – Lament

No Laughing Matter
Lament
19?? (no label)
Mesa, Arizona, USA

  1. You See It All
  2. She’ll Be Sorry
  3. Lament
  4. I Can See It Coming
  5. Away From Babylon
  6. Pool of Tears
  7. Last Night the Christ Came
  8. Your Tomorrow
  9. Father God, Mother Earth

This is an interesting find. All that exists about this tape is on the label itself. These were songs from an upcoming album to be called Lament. But it doesn’t say if these songs represent all of the songs or some of them. It seems that two of the songs here (“You See It All” and “I Can See It Coming”) were recorded for Monster. But they are pretty different here when compared to their versions on Monster. It doesn’t seem like any of these songs made it on to any other NLM recordings. So was Lament an early version of Monster that was changed over time, or a post-Monster project that utilized some songs from Monster? Overall, the sound here seems a bit darker and moodier than you average dark and moody NLM tape. The last track didn’t have a title, so I gave it a name based on some of its lyrics.

No Laughing Matter – Underground: Brains for the Stupid

No Laughing Matter
Underground: Brains for the Stupid
1987 Worthless Records (WR-050)
Mesa, Arizona, USA

Scott Roman – Vocals, keyboards
Ted Worthless – Guitar
Rod Glaze – Bass
Nate Stiffler – Drums

Side 1:

  1. CF4
  2. Wildest Dreams
  3. America (The Great Harlot)
  4. Psychotic Wallpaper
  5. Alone With You
  6. All God’s Children

Side 2:

  1. CF6
  2. Chosen
  3. Torn
  4. Don’t Patronise Me
  5. Requiem

I have always wondered if the “Underground” in this release goes with the band name (like how Lifesavors became Lifesavers Underground) or the demo title (as in this is an “underground” release). I would guess it goes with the demo title. This is a part live/part studio recordings of songs, some of which are also on other tapes. “CF4,” “CF6,” “Torn,” and “Requiem” seem to only appear on this demo. The Worthless Records page noted that some of these songs were recorded in studio – I would guess “CF4” and all of side 2 based on the lack of audience noise on the recordings. The cover is actually a full page printed on both sides and folded into a j-card that is too large to add here.

No Laughing Matter – Volume 1/2

No Laughing Matter
Volume 1/2
1987 Worthless Records
Mesa, Arizona, USA

Scott Roman – Vocals, keyboards
Ted Worthless – Guitar
Rod Glaze – Bass
Nate Stiffler – Drums

  1. Thermodynamics
  2. Wildest Dreams
  3. Alone With You
  4. Don’t Patronize Me
  5. The Call
  6. We Can’t
  7. Don’t Feed Me That Line (CF3)

This demo is (I think) the second demo by No Laughing Matter (after It Bites K-Mart Shoppers). Most of these songs would be re-recorded on Volume One – Discernment (and also a couple on Underground: Brains for the Stupid). “Don’t Feed Me That Line (Ceiling Fan 3)” doesn’t seem to appear on any other recordings. The song “The Call” is also on the Live Bootleg Skate Concert tape, but not any studio recordings. Musically, No Laughing Matter never disappoints with their dark, brooding brand of heavy alternative rock. The sound quality also isn’t that bad considering these are 4-track recordings from various family rooms. It’s still DIY demo, but at least you can hear what they are doing with each song. As with the other No Laughing Matter demos, you can also find this one for download online.

No Laughing Matter – Live Bootleg Skate Concert

No Laughing Matter
Live Bootleg Skate Concert
1987 Worthless Records (WR-026)
Mesa, Arizona, USA

Scott Roman – Vox, synth
Ted Worthless – Guitar
Joe Domikaitis – Bass
Nate Stiffer – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Thermodynamics
  2. Wildest Dreams
  3. Alone With You
  4. We Can’t
  5. The Great Harlot
  6. The Call

Side 2:

  1. Chosen
  2. Closer Than a Heartbeat
  3. Speed-Killer
  4. Psychotic Wallpaper
  5. All God’s Children

So this is an underground recording of a live concert by No Laughing Matter. Most of the songs on here appear on other demo tapes except for “Closer Than a Heartbeat” and “Speed-Killer.” There seem to be two versions of this: one that is clearer (but still a bit muffled) but recorded on a hand-written DIY tape, and another that is harder to hear, but on a tape that has labels that were typed up and made to look professional. The second one cuts off the end of the last song on side one as well. So I went with the first one, of course. I also had a hard time figuring out how to break this down, because there is sometimes a lot of talking between the songs. It seems that the free download of this semo online just went with keeping both sides as one track. I tried to see if I could break the banter between tracks to group with songs before and after, but that didn’t work too well. So I just made all the between-song banter into their own tracks (not listed above, of course).

No Laughing Matter – It Bites K-Mart Shoppers

No Laughing Matter
It Bites K-Mart Shoppers
1986 (no label)
Mesa, Arizona, USA

Stripe (Ted Worthless) – Songwriting, vocals, guitar, drill, bass, keys & more
Echo (Dave Baker) – Drums, vocals on “Living Lies”, misc.
Rick Hall – Keyboards
Mike Hustead – Vocals on “Eastern Theatre,” some bass

Side 1:

  1. King in a Stetson
  2. Romans 5
  3. Don’t Patronize Me
  4. Don’t Put Me in a Box
  5. Two Preachers
  6. Eastern Theatre
  7. Blue
  8. My Dead Lunch
  9. Living Lies

Side 2:

  1. With This Card and $1, You Can Get Away With 11 Murders
  2. Lonely Dog
  3. Eastern Theatre
  4. I Cor. 12:6-11
  5. Life is Like a Handful of Dirt
  6. Religion Sucks
  7. Disclaimer
  8. Colourwheel
  9. Ceiling Fan

Wow – didn’t expect to see this. The debut album by No Laughing Matter is pretty hard to find – it was for sale online for a little while, but I blinked and missed it. But here it appears in a stack of tapes to digitize. If it ever becomes available for sale again, and you like dark, weird experimental alternative – get it! This first tape finds an interesting mix of Ted Worthless’ experimental side and the band’s alt/goth rock leanings. Seems that in the future, Ted kept his trippy side to solo recordings and saved the dark rock for NLM. The only thing that Scott Roman is credited for on this album is songwriting for “Don’t Put Me in a Box.” Several songs on here are instrumental, and many songs have an improvised feel (probably because the liner notes say they were).