New York Thrash

New York Thrash

Various Artists


Put down the magazine and go buy this. NOW!

For those of you in my demographic (I think it’s recently changed from 29-34 to 30-36, since people are getting older, but still religiously listening to punk rock), you should have a couple of the original ROIR (Reachout International Records) cassette-only releases from way back in the dark ages of 1983 or thereabouts. Me, I have two of them: The Dickies We Aren’t the World and the Fleshtones. In recent years, oh say over the last eight or so, ROIR decided to re-release these collections on CD. This is an incredible gift to the world of punk rock, as cassettes have a way of disappearing, and the chances of someone finding one today are very rare, unless you scour the yard sales and used music stores with a fine-toothed comb. Most of these recordings are obscure studio out-takes that really were good enough for an album, but were shelved for one reason or another; live recordings that otherwise would never have made it to vinyl (or tape) or collected singles from great bands that didn’t have the good fortune of starting out in the mid-1990s, when everyone has a recording deal.

New York Thrash, originally released in 1982, features the heart of the New York City (natives or punk emigrants) pre-crossover punk-hardcore era, bands that were heavily influenced by the ’77 punks, actually were ’77 and pre-’77 punks, or simply picked up a guitar and tried to ape the Sex Pistols and Ramones after hearing a couple of songs on the excellent college radio stations or the punk/New Wave mainstay, WLIR, in the area at the time (that time has since gone, folks — R.I.P.). New York Thrash features bands like the Mad, Kraut (does anyone who isn’t under 30 know who Kraut were? Hello!), Heart Attack, the Undead, and the mighty, mighty Adrenalin O.D. You’ll also find bands such as Fiends, the Nihilistics, Even Worse, the False Prophets, the Bad Brains, the Stimulators, and believe it or not, the wet-behind-the-ears Beastie Boys.

Why this collection is important to own should be more than obvious: here is genuine punk rock, serious vintage punk. To some it might sound dated, why? Easy: it sounds too punk. Too punk for folks who think the whole “alternative” music happening just appeared out of nothing in 1992.

It’s important for everyone who reads Ink Nineteen to own a copy of New York Thrash, because you need to understand what really was going on in the early 1980s. If you’re watching TV and seeing those retarded ads for 1980s collections, you’ll think the entire world was hooked on shit like Frankie Goes to Hollywood or Culture Club. The truth is those bands were as corporate as they come, just like the “alternative” (is that term fucking meaningful any more?) crap we’ve had to endure since radio discovered the huge market of disgruntled 1990s kids. Sure, some of that “new wave” crap was pretty good, but when I heard real punk rock and hardcore, it did something to me; I was overcome by an incredible, liberating feeling. This is the music that spoke for me then and speaks for me now. (I bought my first leather jacket, when? I’ll tell you when: a year and a half ago! I was 34! You spoiled teenage brats with your rich parents who shower you with the money to get your damned tattoos and “punk” costumes, and pick you up after a “punk” show in 1998 better buy this, and you’d better like it and seek out the rest of the albums, if they’re collector’s items, steal them, make tapes and circulate the tapes all over the country.) If it doesn’t speak for you now, and if you consider yourself a punk, die. ROIR, 611 Broadway, Suite 411, New York, NY 10012

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