Maty’s Corner #16 Pulley: The Esteem Driven Engine Still Matters

Maty’s Corner #16

Pulley: The Esteem Driven Engine Still Matters

Pulley started up in 1994, right in the beginning thick of the Southern California skate punk revolution of music that shaped my life. This 5 piece hard hitting melodic punk unit is led by Scott Radinsky who was no stranger the punk scene by 94 having been in Scared Straight during its 10 year existence (83-93) being heavy hitters in the Nardcore Mystic Records scene. They then went on to become skate punk greats Ten Foot Pole. Radinsky was in charge of that unit for their first 2 releases then forced to leave due to his pro baseball that he was already 3 years deep into. Being that baseball conflicts with the tour schedule of most punk rock I see it is making sense. That didn’t preclude Radinsky from being the voice of TFP’s seminal single My Wall.

Right outta the gate Pulley was a bit of a super group consisting of Radinsky from his aforementioned bands; Jim Cherry (may his soul be rested) of Strung Out; Matt Riddle of Face To Face and No Use For a Name; and Tony Palermo from Ten Foot Pole and Unwritten Law.

Pulley’s first drop in was 1995’s Esteem Driven Engine. A strong door kicker of a debut from these punk veterans. It slams open with Cashed In which would be a candidate on a best of record. Right away this first album sets a tone for more introspective lyrics which tends to happen to us punks as we get older. Take for instance Bad Religion’s material from the mid 90’s and forward.

Right after this was 97’s 60 Cycle hum. Again a really strong track starts the whole album off on the right foot, or left if ya skate goofy. The most interesting track on this was Noddin’ Off. It kicks like Ten Foot Pole or Scared Straight. I think kinda letting us all know that they remember who they are. Another overall solid effort from this board breaking unit.

1999 brought us @#!*, referred to as self titled. Honestly my favorite album by these guys. I believe it’s also their most popular. The lyrics start getting real introspective and the music on a couple tracks is even a bit dark. It’s still Pulley. The differences show growth in the band and they sound tighter than their first 2 albums. The stand out for me has always been Over It. Somewhat of a scathing indictment of the rat race that even the punk scene can degenerate into. Less of a middle finger and more a wake up call. The more incendiary and equally great track is Nothing To Lose. It’s been the background to a fuck you in my life numerous times. Just a great one to sing with and let something out.

2001 marked Pulley’s first album as a 4 piece, Together Again For The First Time. Jim Cherry had left the band to pursue Zero Down and dropped one solid album with them before he departed us. Despite the missing guitarist, this is as solid and tough an album as Pulley had put out. The first real stand out on this is “Hooray”hooray,matters,olympus,friends, for me. Another honest critique of the scene from the perspective of growing up but not giving in. The other one that hits me of this effort is “Same Sick Feeling.” Always sounds like one off of the 99 album and that’s not at all a bad thing.

2004 marked Pulley’s longest gap between albums. Matters shows the band hasn’t lost a bit of edge over their first 10 years. The band just sounds tighter with each offering they put out. It was also dedicated to their guitarist and friend Jim. This for me is like 99’s “self titled”. Most stand out on Matters is Insects Destroy. Has a bit of Bad Religion and Pennywise feel. Makes sense being that they were all label mates for so long. This marks Pulley’s final album on punk rock Olympus of Epitaph records and their last full length to date.

2009 after about 5 years Pulley gave us their first ep on a new label, Time Insensitive Material. Ghost Inside My Skin is the stand out of this short offering. It’s a blend of classic Pulley with some new ideas. The first glimpse of something new to come. 20011 gave us The Long And The Short Of It ep. Coming in at only 3 tracks, it leaves me hoping for a full length in the near future. There’s been rumors swirling around a new full length since 2012. I was fortunate to see them play recently. After 20 years of Pulley and 31 years of Scott Radinsky, neither part shows any sign of letting up for a long time to come.
Check out Pulley if you don’t know ‘em, re listen or catch ‘em live if ya do.

Article published in the popular Mega Zine STAMINA #3.
www.diy-publishing.com

You can keep up with Pulley over at:

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/pulleymatters

EPITAPH
http://www.epitaph.com/artists/artist/59/Pulley

-Maty Almost

punxinsolidarity@gmail.com
https://punxinsolidarity.wordpress.com

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Maty’s Corner # 6

Maty’s Corner Issue # 6

Skate Rock San Jose- Steve Caballero and The Faction

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The first incarnation of The Faction were Steve Caballero, Gavin O’Brien, Craig Bosch, and Russ Wright. This lineup only lasted through a couple of practices when Craig Bosch left to join local punk band The Unaware. Bosch was replaced by Adam Segal who also became the band’s de facto manager.

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10434The Faction were a hardcore punk rock band. Pioneers of the skate punk era during the early 1980s many band would follow their after.

Starting on Halloween 1982 out of the streets, pools and ramps of San Jose California was The Faction!  Though they only lasted 3 years to the day Halloween 1985.

10435They would forever set a blueprint for the entire skate punk scene which birthed the Warped tour and X Games.  This wasn’t some bunch of posers, this was music by skaters for skaters.  First off you had Steve “Cab” Caballero on bass then guitar.  That’s right, the Bones Brigade legend and man behind the Vans half cab (a pair of which I’m rocking at the moment) as a founding member of this band.

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10433Steve Caballero was known for so many insane air variations and tricks and even has many trick variations named by him.  He’s also set a long standing record for highest air out of a pipe along with being Thrasher’s Skater of The Century.  Though being born with scoliosis he never really suffered from other than a kink in his neck and head position, it has never been evidenced by his career in the legendary Bones Brigade.

7761Along with Steve Caballero you had vocalist Gavin O’Brien who could skate anything and was a heavy hitter in the local punk rock.and growing skate rock scene. Lead singer Gavin O’Brien was also a notable skateboarder, popular at local Winchester Skate Park.

Drummer Craig Bosch has a skateboard trick named after him, called “the Bosch” aka invert to blunt. Pro skater Jeff Kendall would play with The Faction during 1989.
Adam Bomb who was known for crazy high top Vans and being one of the first to do switch tricks.  Rounding out the talent was Bosch who has a trick named after him which is an invert to blunt.

10452The Faction rocked as hard as they skated.  Their music sounded like a fucking bomb going off. I’d imagine their shows felt like one.  The Faction was the real deal for skate punks. An often judgmental scene that will call out a fake from a mile away! They’ve been the soundtrack to many a skate session with their biggest hit “Skate And Destroy” will go down in punk rock history. Faction will continue to be heard in garages and at back yard ramps as long as there are skateboarders.

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9066Steve Caballero At Age 16. 30 years earlier than the photo below, amazing!

8754Steve Caballero Front Side Invert At Age 46

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10435Their first album, the 7″ Yesterday Is Gone, was released on the band’s label IM Records in 1983. According to the band’s official bio, this generated a bit of resentment in the local punk scene. Some people thought The Faction’s popularity was only due to Steve Caballero’s status outside of the band. This would prove to be untrue, however, after embarking on a small summer tour of California. They quickly discovered that their album had reached a wider audience when they were greeted with much enthusiasm all through out the California large city arenas..

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10458The band’s next album, No Hidden Messages, was also released in 1983. The song “Skate And Destroy” became wildly popular as background music at skate parks, pools, ramp sessions, and early skateboard videos. “Skate And Destroy” was also featured on the official soundtrack to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 video game. Proving the band’s staying ability through time, The song has long been considered the official “anthem” for skateboarding and skateboarders everywhere. As the band’s manager, producer, and head of IM Records, Adam went to work booking a national tour in support of No Hidden Messages during 1984. The tour was a success and saw them play the infamous punk club CBGB for the first time.

10460The next album, Dark Room, was released in 1985. The punk sound wasn’t gone but the heavier side of the band was very apparent. As its title suggests, Dark Room indeed had a dark feel to it. Thanks to a generous helping of metal infused punk resounding. Dark Room would be the last album before the band’s breakup. The band played their final show on October 22, 1985 at the Keystone in Palo Alto, California on Halloween.

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The band’s final EP, Epitaph, recorded during the summer of 1985, was eventually released in 1986 on Thrash Records. A somewhat thrown together mix of songs, Epitaph does have a couple of standouts. Epitaph would be the last album for 10 years. A three word slogan on the back sleeve would prove quite prophetic, however. The slogan reads, “We’ll Be Back”.”

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In 1989, for reasons even unknown to the band, they reunited and played two sold out shows at the Cactus Club in San Jose. Demand for the shows was so high that club owners had to turn away a crowd of approximately 300 waiting outside on the first night. This was after they filled the venue. The shows featured the band’s final lineup minus Adam Segal. Pro skater Jeff Kendall took over Adam’s spot. This reunion spawned a four song demo tape. Two songs, “Looking For You” and “Pet Squirrel”, appeared in the Santa Cruz Skateboards video, “A Reason For Living”. This reunion didn’t last much longer and the band again called things off.

10419The band recorded new material during the early part of the new millennium and four tracks surfaced. “The Whistler” on a split 7″ with J.F.A. released in 2003, “Cut It Out” on another compilation, “Aisle Seat” and “Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?” The last two were never officially released with “Aisle Seat” ending up on the band’s MySpace page. The Faction continued to play in and around California as a foursome.
The final four were Gavin, Cab, Ray, and Keith.

-Maty Almost.