Saturday, January 31, 2009

I've Heard Enough To Write A Book

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When I posted the "Guillotined at The Hangar" compilation last October, I mentioned that the Reducers' 1st LP back in 1984 was the first independent punk album I'd ever bought. What I didn't realize at the time was that it was still available through the Reducers' web site (www.thereducers.com) for a measly seven bucks. So, I snapped one up a couple of months ago, and here it is-- including the self-censored version of "Out of Step" that I sorta made fun of the last time.

Not having listened to this record in years, I'd forgotten how good most of these songs are; seriously, songs like "All About You" and "So Civilized"-- though they might owe as much to Dr. Feelgood and 70's pub rock as they do punk-- are as hooky as anything ever put out by The Clash, The Knack, or the Buzzcocks, believe it or not. For an unknown record that came out of Eastern Connecticut in 1984, that's pretty amazing, I think. No wonder I ate this up back then, and started craving more stuff along the same lines. Not long after I bought this album, I finally moved to a town that had a couple of decent indie record shops, and bought my first Replacements record; a few months after that, I started a fanzine (Feb. '85), and it was pretty much all downhill after that.

I'm leaving off "No Ambitions", since it suffers sound-wise from being the track closest to the label; I might get to it some other time, if I end up posting The Reducers' first single that it appears on as the b-side (though I don't actually have an original of, just the 1987 repress).


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The Reducers -

"Out of Step"

"So Civilized"

"Small Talk From a Big Mouth"

"Better Homes and Gardens"

"All About You"

(these files are now listen-only)


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10 comments:

Sean said...

This was the second or third LP I bought on my own from Rhyme's Records in New Haven, along with the "Some New Ruins" compilation..every "rest stop" state needs a few bands to stack up on mixes against top-heavy locales like New York and San Diego, and The Reducers have always been a point of geographic pride for me. I always described them as "The Replacements with healthier livers". Not a heck of a lot from '84 has aged as well..a perfect weekend post!

Brushback said...

Man, Rhymes Records was the best. I used to love going to that place. Great used section, and Morrie (who was in The Not Quite!) was carrying import singles by the 80's Aussie and Brit-pop bands (My Bloody Valentine, Feedtime, etc.) before most people had even heard of them.

I remember "Some New Ruins"-- that's where I first heard Bleached Black (Steve Deal's pre-Chopper band). Not very good.

Sean said...

Yeah, Rhymes really was great..you could get some amazing stuff for a dollar, and there was also the quasi-Lita Ford girl working there! It's probably mainly their fault I'm a walking recepticle of knowledge about one0off 7"s and side proect LPs (the Arsenal 12" on Touch & Go? Anyone??).

The interesting thing about that compilation is that it featured Senator Flux, who later became a DC mainstay after David Levine graduated Yale (I think he actually organized the whole project). I don't remember if Jeff Nelson from Minor Threat drummed on that cut or not, but he was on the full LPs from the same era. I just thought it was great to have a "townie" side and a "yalie" side, buying stock myself in such time-honored rivalries

Brushback said...

Brass City Records still has one or two copies of that Arsenal 12". I think I wrote something funny on one of the copies, though I can't remember what.

theneedledrop said...

This is great! We need to start throwing this LP around and telling the other 49 states we don't suck so bad.

Sean said...

I've always looked at it like a dorkier, slightly more Dungeons & Dragons version of a fantasy football league. Our tag-line might be "At Least It Ain't Delaware!"..although they DID get Milo Aukerman from the Descendents on a trade. Regionalisms are an awfully funny thing, and "the grass is always greener" rule applies...ALOT of my old penpals from back when I was reading Maximum Rock N' Roll regularly would covet my ability to see bands like Gorilla Biscuits more than once a year, while their weird shows in barns outside Pomona, CA with bands like Seein' Red seemed really appealing to me,marooned on the East Coast. The older you get..the more you appreciate where you're from, what's been done, and those who did it. Put THAT in a Hallmark card and affix yer 42 cents!

Brushback said...

As someone who's made a point of writing about Ct. bands most of my life, you know I can't let this one hang... from the early '80s hardcore stuff (C.I.A., Vatican Commandos, YOT, Violent Children, etc), to bands like Monsterland and China Pig in the 90's, and the full-on twenty or so awesome bands today, there's always been great stuff coming out of Connecticut.

I mean, seriously, I could list probably two dozen Ct. bands who're playing out and releasing records right now ('08-'09 at least) and stack them up against any scene across the country. Bands like Tombstone Minds, Murdervan, Estrogen Highs, Tractor Flip, etc. etc., take a back seat to no one.

Sean said...

Oh, definately..I've made locals-only mixes that have actually made people consider moving here from places like Austin...which is still kind of insane. I'll stack any show from The Anthrax to The People's Center and everything inbetween up against any show I've seen anywhere else...that of course coming from a decidedly biased guy who has been in several bands over the past five years!

Brushback said...

The mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. They've been moved to my Vox page (which is accessible through any of the above listen-only links) along with one other song, "No Ambition", which wasn't included in the original post becaue the rip came out too fuzzy.

planckzoo said...

Well, only a year and a half late. the Quasi Lita Ford girl at Rhymes was Lauren.
I used to visit Rhymes when I visited CT. It had a great selection for a long time and most of the employees were really pretty cool.
Morrie was a cool guy, he's changed a bit .... still very cool, but different