No Laughing Matter – Volume One – Discernment

No Laughing Matter
Volume One – Discernment
1987 Worthless Records (WR-060)
Mesa, Arizona, USA

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

Side 1:

  1. Wildest Dreams
  2. Thermodynamics
  3. Alone With You
  4. America (The Great Harlot)
  5. We Can’t
  6. Psychotic Wallpaper (Read Between the Lines)

Side 2:

  1. Two Preachers
  2. Discernment
  3. Itching Ears
  4. CF5 (Miracles)
  5. Don’t Patronise Me
  6. Chosen

No Laughing Matter gained some level of notoriety in the Christian music underground before finally signing with R.E.X. Music to re-release their Monstor demo tape. Apparently, that was too dark for the label that already had some pretty dark releases, so they parted ways. The sound on this tape is really dark, heavy gothic alternative. A lot of this kind of music was kicking around in the underground music scenes of the day, but very few Christian bands were into this. This and many of their early releases can be found on the Worthless Records blog for download – Except for their debut It Bites K-Mart Shoppers. That one was up for a bit, but I blinked and missed it. Anyone out there have a copy of it they would be willing to share?

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Ted Worthless – So You’re Skeptical?

Ted Worthless
So You’re Skeptical?
1986 Worthless Records (WR-010)
Mesa, Arizona, USA

Ted Worthless – Vocals, most (if not all) instruments

Side 1 (“Ted Worthless Releases Pent-Up Energy on This Side”)

  1. Flying/Sleeping/Thinking
  2. Derob
  3. Grave Yard Party
  4. Something I Heard on TV
  5. Carting Fan Two
  6. I Wonder What a Soul Tastes Like
  7. Bored
  8. Small Bottle of Courage

Side 2 (“Angst in a Drain Tunnel”)

  1. Beggarman
  2. Me and the World
  3. Angry Past
  4. The Grass is Green
  5. In This House
  6. Holier Than Thou
  7. Statement
  8. The Cross is the Touchstone of Faith

This is the first solo album by Ted Worthless. It was a pretty low budget release – the cover was just a sticker on the front of the cassette tape. The genre of most songs falls into the “noise” category, although some songs like “Carting Fan Two” are more alternative rock numbers with sampled sounds – almost an industrial feel. Most songs have no vocals, and those that do have them very low in the mix or heavily distorted. Some songs are hard to tell where the breaks are – they flow from one to another without a break. But still a very creative and interesting project.

Ted Worthless – Serpents and Bones

Ted Worthless
Serpents and Bones
1988 Worthless Records (WR-035)
Mesa, Arizona, USA

All songs written and performed by Ted Worthless

Side 1:

  1. Where the Moon Rises
  2. Serpents and Bones
  3. Hard Rocks at Pier 3
  4. Ceiling Fan 4
  5. Naomi’s Song
  6. Marital Strife
  7. A Medley of Many Poems
  8. Pain #1
  9. Attention!

Side 2:

  1. Attention?
  2. Surf Death
  3. All Gods’ Children
  4. You Can’t Sleep in the Grass, The Snails Will Crawl on Your Face
  5. Calling
  6. Vapours
  7. Created Equal
  8. Thirteen
  9. The Man with the Patent Leather Soul
  10. 8:11-18
  11. I Don’t Want to Be Rich

This is the second demo by Ted Worthless (member of No Laughing Matter and the head person of Worthless Records). These songs are very indie and experimental – just look at the song titles for a clue of the strangeness contained here. This would all fit under the alternative banner, but the presence of electronic instruments might give it an industrial feel to some. The cover is actually full size sheet of paper folded down into a j-card – too big to upload here.

Ted Worthless – Voice of Anger

Ted Worthless
Voice of Anger
1989 Worthless Records
Mesa, Arizona, USA

Ted Worthless – Vocals, most (if not all) instruments

Side 1:

  1. 100 Mile House
  2. Tense Party 3
  3. I Don’t Want to be Rich
  4. Serpents and Bones
  5. Father God – Mother Nature

Side 2:

  1. Last Night the Christ Came
  2. Home Sweet Home
  3. 7 Seals
  4. Every Single Morning
  5. Beggerman…

This release is numbered “No. 5” – Ted’s 5th solo demo. This continues the same musical style of his last one I transferred. It is dark, moody, gothic, and more ambient than rocking at times. I’m not even sure if I can make out any of the vocals – they are low and in the background. The music is very experimental – even the track transitions are different. Some just end mid song, others sound chopped up DIY style, and so on. This is what the tape underground sounded like in the 80s. Some people were putting together demos that were cleaned up as well as they could (in an attempt to get signed), and others were experimenting and going for certain vibes. No details on the j-card of who did what, but most or all of it is assumed to be Ted Worthless.

Missing Information: Who played what on this.

Ted Worthless – A Time for Fear

Ted Worthless
A Time for Fear
1988 Worthless Records (WR-070)
Mesa, Arizona, USA

Ted Worthless – All music, lyrics, vocals, drums, guitars, bass, keys – except:
Echo – Drums on “Tuesday’s Child Awakened”
Scott Roman – Lyrics on “The Pain Can Sometimes Kill”

Side 1:

  1. The Pain Can Sometimes Kill
  2. Trauma
  3. Tuesday’s Child Awakened
  4. Theme of the Red Lion Inn

Side 2:

  1. Tea & Cookies
  2. Tranquiliser
  3. Trinidad
  4. CF7 (Tricks I Can’t Explain)
  5. The Mary’s Song

This is an interesting piece of history from Ted Worthless, of No Laughing Matter and Worthless Records fame. The sound is a bit hard to describe – somewhere between alternative and gothic. It sounds dark, brooding, and a bit muddy. The vocals are hard to make out. But it is oddly compelling as well. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those that like things off the beaten path, it is one to look for. This release is listed as Ted Worthless solo release #3 – there are at least 5 numbered solo releases from Ted. I have heard #2-5 (will add those in the future), but have never heard #1. Worthless Records was active online for a while, but went silent about two and a half years ago. They did re-issue some old classic underground stuff there while they were open.