Maty’s Corner #32 Keepin’ The Ape Drape Alive: The Vandals

Maty’s Corner #32

Keepin’ The Ape Drape Alive:

The Vandals

 

            Starting 1980 outta Huntington Beach, CA is The Vandals! One of the most recognizable bands in punk. They are survivors of the 1980’s hard core scene who managed to stay punk and not just give up, even after the exit of founding vocalist Stevo Jensen. Along with being a legendary band, they also appeared in the punk rock favorite cult film suburbia and were a staple at the legendary Cuckoo’s Nest during its existence. All while poking fun at everything including punk itself.

            1982,84 and 89 mark the Vandals’ first release. This was initially two separate releases being Peace Through Vandalism and When In Rome, Do As The Vandals. The compilation was released on Mike Ness’ Restless Records. These releases saw The Vandals as a strange mix of hard core and cow punk. It was different from the rest of the musical landscape of the time. These were the only two releases with Stevo as he chose to leave the band. This release contains many of the Band’s best known songs.

            1989 saw Slippery When Ill which was straight up cow punk from this band. This was mostly as a joke on the resurgence in popularity of country music. A great, if not unconventional album. This was the start of Dave Quackenbush on vocals who was rather seemless as he sounded so much like Stevo.

            1990 saw the beginning of The Vandals being a beloved skate punk band with Fear of a Punk Planet. They were still weird as always. This album even includes an odd cover of Summer Lovin’. This was the start of a new era for the Vandals.

            1995 saw them sign to Nitro Records and release Live Fast, Diarrhea. This is a great album. It included the popular song And Now We Dance. The band gained notable popularity due to a song off this and a character wearing their shirts in an episode of X Files. This whole album is solid and has been a favorite of mine for years.

            1996 came out with what was my first and still favorite album The Quickening. This album largely pokes at Anarchism and Nihilism. It tears into a few other themes as well. This and the first release are always what I refer newcomers to as far as this band goes. Another great track is Aging Orange that tears into the music industry.

Settings

            Later in 1996 gave Oi to the World. The Vandals Christmas classic. It’s played in my home every year. Also gave the premise for the Vandals Winter Formal show that occurs in Anaheim every year. Aside from the title track my other stand out is Gun For Christmas. This album was released on Kung Fu Records where the band would later go on to stay.

            1998 gave the release of Hitler Bad, Vandals Good. Another solid one from this band. This has a number of great songs such as People That Are Going To Hell, My Girlfriend’s Dead and Ape Drape. This album had a lot more humor than the face kick of The Quickening.

            2000 gave us Look What I Almost Stepped in. It opens with another middle finger to the music industry. This album would see Brooks Wackerman leave to join Bad Religion (can’t blame him). From here The Vandals would leave Nitro for their own label of Kung Fu.

            2002 saw Internet Dating Super Studs come out. It features 43210-1 which is the theme of The Show Must Go Off series. This album largely poked the humor at internet culture. A stand out off this is Unseen Tears of the Albacore.

            2004 brought us The Vandals most recent release, Hollywood Potato Chip. The title is a reference to “love” stains left on a couch, you’re welcome for that. This album is a bit more aggressive than their last few. It’s like a lot off of The Quickening. So if ya didn’t know the Vandals, go forth and rock the fuck out now!

-Maty Almost

Maty’s Corner #31 I Wanna Be Unusual, I Wanna Be Punk Rock: Guttermouth

Maty’s Corner #31

I Wanna Be Unusual, I Wanna Be Punk Rock:

Guttermouth

Starting in 1988 from Huntington Beach, CA is a band with no middle ground on fan base, Guttermouth. One of the more influential skate punk bands, their lyrics definitely tapped into the attitude and these guys were exactly that. Led by the extremely sensitive Mark Adkins this band knows how to make ya feel special and loved. Actually, they don’t give a crap. Whether you think they’re awesome or they fucking piss you off, if you’ve heard them, you’ve strongly reacted. If you’re able to hang, enjoy the ride, if not, get off the ramp now!

1991 saw their first album titled Full Length. The cd version includes the Puke and Balls EPs. All of this was released on Dr. Strange Records. It would be reissued by Nitro in 1996. These first releases established the band’s presence as a hard driving fuck you of a skate punk band. Songs like 1,2,3, Slam and Bruce Lee Vs. The Kiss Army let us know that things aren’t that serious, so have a good time.

1994 dropped in with Friendly People. This really turned up the offense. Songs like P.C. set the tone for a band that that the “ethical” crowd wasn’t gonna dig on. 10 years after this album they would manage to get pushed out of a warped tour for upsetting a number of bands by not following the established punk rule of falling in line with the democrats. So much for punk being about having your own ideas and opinions.

1996 came out with Teri Yakimoto. They had started getting better musically. The tongue in cheek kept right on going. They had even been working with some harmonies. The Guttermouth sound was still true, just improved.

1997 saw what this band’s best album, Musical Monkey is probably. With songs like Lucky the Donkey, Lipstick, and Do the Hustle nothing was safe or sacred here. The entire album is hilarious and just rages through 28 minutes of punk fucking rock. It’s definitely my favorite. Do the Hustle is also known as Skater’s Anthem. If you don’t know why, find and listen to that song now, then come back to reading.

1999 brought Gorgeous. This would be their last release on Nitro. This had a more aggressive sound than their previous releases. It continues to be as good as their other albums. A highlight track on this is Viva America, reminding us that things could be worse elsewhere in their unique way.

2001 saw their first release on Epitaph. This saw Guttermouth move back to the sound of previous albums. There are several great songs on this, such as Can I Borrow Some Ambition and Secure Horizons. The latter track sounds halfway like financial advice from Mr. Adkins. Also an intimate look at relationships with She’s Got the Look.

2002 gave us Gusto! They got a bit more experimental with the sound here. It’s still good. The opening song is a stand out. The usual insult of the whinier contingent of the punk scene. Scholarship in punk and Contribution are also great tracks. Critics and fans bitched about the album being so different. Well, fuck the critics, and if you love a band, you’ll learn to adjust.

2004 saw Guttermouth sign to Volcom Entertainment and release Eat Your Face. The cover looks like a joke on the over angry crust punk bands who feel a need to put some fucked up looking starving child on every bands’ fucking album. Note: calm the fuck down Profane Existence, your making punk a dousche instead of a threat. Moving along, this is a great album seeing this crew go back to the sound we know and love so those who can’t adapt could stop freaking out. Great track here is Surf’s Up Asshole.

2006 saw what is their most recent release, Shave the Planet. Best track on this is My Chemical Imbalance. This is as good as their whole catalogue. They are currently active on Hopless records touring. Hopefully they’ll put an album out sooner or later. No go put on some Guttermouth and fucking shred!

 

-Maty Almost