Scott Roman – Carved in Grey Matter

Scott Roman
Carved in Grey Matter
1989 Worthless Records (WR-090)
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Scott Roman – All vocals, instruments
Ted Worthless – Instruments on some songs

  1. One Man’s Floor
  2. Greenhouse
  3. I Can See It Coming
  4. She’ll Be Sorry
  5. The Defiled Sanctuary
  6. Lament
  7. The Pool of Tears
  8. Tomorrow
  9. On Another’s Sorrow
  10. Away From Babylon

This is Scott Roman’s first solo demo, which was released not too long after No Laughing Matter released Monstor. Scott’s band-mate Ted Worthless joins him on many songs here as well. The sound is still dark alternative like NLM, but more atmospheric, ambient, and spacey. Just like Roman’s 1990 demo Growing Pains, this tape is also available for download. Tripy dark stuff, but I like it.

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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 – Monstor

No Laughing Matter
Monstor
1989 Worthless Records (WR-120)
Mesa, Arizona, USA

Scott Roman – Vox
Ted Worthless – Guitar
Rod Glaze – Bass
Nathan Stiffler – Drums

Side 1:

  1. CF10
  2. Bad Blood
  3. Monstor
  4. If the Truth be Known
  5. Lifeline
  6. You See It All

Side 2:

  1. Helltown
  2. I Can See It Coming
  3. Frail & Thin
  4. I Need Your Touch
  5. Tuesday’s Child Awakened

Yes, this album was later released on CD. This is the original tape version, with a different cover. As far as I can tell, they didn’t really make any changes between the tape and the CD. But I still like to transfer tapes like this just in case they did tweak some things. Plus, tapes from this time period sound fuller than the CDs did – you can hear this one on BandCamp and notice that the mix is a bit thin in early digital form. That was really a product of the time. This album still holds up well as a classic dark underground alternative rock album. I would love to see this one remastered on vinyl, but that is probably not realistic.

Scott Roman – Growing Pains

Scott Roman
Growing Pains
1990 Worthless Records (WR-130)
Arizona, USA

Scott Roman – All vocals, instruments
Ted Worthless – Guitars and bass on some songs

  1. When Death Comes to Dinner (He Eats Your Heart First)
  2. The Sound of Arrogance
  3. When Loneliness and Love Become One
  4. Hellheart
  5. Exorcism
  6. The Grand Design
  7. You See It All
  8. Hollow Be Thy Name
  9. Shadows of Sin
  10. Change

This is the second solo demo by Scott Roman of No Laughing Matter fame. This demo is more of ambient and dark than No Laughing Matter. The first half of the songs are actually instrumental music, until the song “Exorcism.” After that, the music takes on a dark gothic vibe, with a few alternative influences. Also, the tape also seems to pick up aggressiveness as it goes along, with the last song “Change” being a faster alternative rock song. This was available for free download online for some time.

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?

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. Ceiling 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 “Ceiling 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.

(Note: updated “Carting Fan Two” to the correct title “Ceiling Fan Two.” Doh!)

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.