Friday, November 09, 2007

PROGRAM: ANNIHILATOR (1986)

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Not really standard G.O.M.E. fare, SST's Program Annihilator compilation is not only a schizophrenically enjoyable listen, but an important historic artifact. I bought this cassette back in '86, and I still have it to this day. Since it took me 21 years to score a copy on CD, I thought I'd pass it on to the Faithful and see what you all think. In 1986, the legendary SST label was eschewing it's punk and art rock, for which it was most famous, in favor of a decidedly metallic direction. Not coincidentally, that was also the direction the label's flagship band, BLACK FLAG, was pursuing at the time. Much like today, the underground fans of the '80s were an extremely fickle bunch, and by most accounts this stylistic 180 was a dismal failure. Personally, I enjoyed the majority of the music here in 1986, and I enjoy it just as much today. I'm assuming most of you are familiar with BLACK FLAG and SAINT VITUS, the two bands featured most heavily on this compilation. The obscure gem, though, might come in the form of OVERKILL (the LA biker punks, not the terrible NY speed metal band). OVERKILL was Merill Ward's (Greg Ginn's buddy) vehicle for creating big dumb MOTORHEAD-MEETS-BLACK FLAG rock & roll. SWA is another Ward band, and while they were more prolific (though I hesitate to say "successful"), Ward is at his absolute best on the OVERKILL songs featured here (all three tracks pulled from OVERKILL's sole SST release, Triumph of the Will). SWA was the more experimental of the two, though Merill Ward's lyrics are equally stupid with both bands, and that's part of their appeal. D.C.3 is equally interesting. To the uninitiated, "D.C." are the initials of BLACK FLAG's Dez Cadena, and D.C.3 was his less-hardcore side project. The SST roster at this time was particularly incestuous, with original BLACK FLAG bassist Chuck Dukowski playing in both SWA and WURM.

The original SST cassette was over 80 minutes long, so in order to format the compilation for CD, two songs were cut. While maintaining five BLACK FLAG tracks and four SAINT VITUS tracks, the CD version of the release omits OVERKILL's kickass rager "Head On", and D.C.3's interesting psychedelic rocker "We Feel the Sky". Since G.O.M.E. does indeed care about your future (assuming you have one), I'm including both omitted songs.

Overkill - Head On

D.C.3 - We Feel the Sky

1. Saint Vitus - War Is Our Destiny
2. Saint Vitus - White Stallions
3. Saint Vitus - Darkness
4. Saint Vitus - White Magic/Black Magic
5. Black Flag - Annihilate This Week
6. Black Flag - Society's Tease
7. Black Flag - You're Not Evil
8. Black Flag - Beat My Head Against the Wall
9. Black Flag - Thirsty and Miserable
10. Overkill - Victimized
11. Overkill - Ladies in Leather
12. D.C.3 - The Locust
13. D.C.3 - The Maniac
14. SWA - Catacombs
15. SWA - Sex Doctor
16. SWA - Sine Cosine X
17. Wurm - Feast
18. Wurm - Bad Habits

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12 comments:

X-Angel said...

God, what a blast from the past, Big Jack! Thankyou so much for all the music you guys post here!

Anonymous said...

Great SST stuff, one to go
(Across The River), hehehe

Cheerz, Ron

Matias said...

Would be nice to live in those times....Awesome kick from the past!!
Thank you man!

Rinjo Njori said...

Iloved this back in 1986 and sold it for like $.50 cents .. what a tool I am! If I had only known about ebay

Anonymous said...

could you repost this? the link is dead

Mrow said...

Rockin'! Now I'm no longer the only blogger to have posted DC3 tunes into cyberspace!

I do love that OVERKILL record; it's still got a garagey HC vibe, even though their sound was solidly metal by then. Everyone (particularly the amazing drummer Kurt Markham) is growing by leaps and bounds, you can almost hear em change over the course of that record! Their sound was totally unique to LA in '82, when it was recorded.

And any luck with uncovering the ACROSS THE RIVER demo?

Big Jack said...

New link.

rip2shred said...

Thanx for the write up. This is Felice the former guitarist from SST Overkill. We had a reunion 2 years ago without Merrill and Ron. We used the original vocalist Joe and Geoff the guitarist that played on the EP played bass. It was disaster once again, and I quit first. We did do another recording and the songs are available at http://www.myspace.com/sstoverkill

Please disregard the members that are listed as playing in the band. It was a sorry attempt of Joe trying to prostitute the L.A. Overkill.

Anonymous said...

oooooohh!!! i really wanna hear this comp. again! please posta new link. ^__^ thanks!

Anonymous said...

I got this from an ad in Circus Magazine (yes the metal mag) they were giving it away to try to find a new fanbase. I can't imagine they got many though.

Mikey Elms said...

I too got it for free from Circus Magazine. It introduced me to Black Flag whom I've loved ever since.

Deluge71 said...

Man, it's such a trip seeing this posted here! I ordered this from SST back when it was released (it was free with orders, or by request), and it was my first exposure to Rollins-era Black Flag, Overkill L.A. and Saint Vitus. They picked some great tracks for this. It brings back some very strong memories.