Amerika​/​MX

by STARK RAVING MAD

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Michael Smith
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Michael Smith Great record, but it'd be nice if the songs were actually tagged correctly. And didn't have large gaps at the beginning/end.
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  • Nuclear Blast released a vinyl version of this record back in 1989 ! After a long time the CD will finally be released !The most underrated US Hardcore band ever! Brutal fast stuff from Houston Texas. 32 songs like early DRI style hardcore .Was originally released as two 12" in 1984 and 1985.


    STARK RAVING MAD:

    Spunge Oid - Vocals , Steven Hershon - Drums

    Raidy Kilowatt & Bob (Byte) Wilson- Bass

    Sam - Guitar

    Colleen - Booking / Promotion

    Jack Crack McDuck Daniels - Cover Painting , Band Artwork



    One can hardly mention Stark Raving Mad without first mentioning Pissed Youth! Pissed Youth! formed in Houston, Texas in 1982. The lineup included front man, Sponge (Jeff Tunches); drummer, Steve Hershon; bassist, Barry D’Live; and guitarist, Charles (last name?); . Steve was married to Colleen, sister of DRI’s Spike Cassidy, and we enlisted her to book and promote our shows. Also known as PY!, we were influenced by hardcore bands of the era like Dead Kennedys & Black Flack, and Texas Bands, DRI & MDC. Pissed Youth blasted short, fast sets onto the stage of the local hardcore club, The Island. Our first t-shirt was a drawing by local artist, Kevin Bacos, of Sponge grabbing Ronald Reagan by the collar. While living and practicing at the infamous Beer Vats in San Francisco, Barry left the band, so we returned to Houston where we recruited bassist, Sam Blanton, former drummer of Doomsday Massacre. We traveled to NYC and played with Suicidal Tendencies at a Saturday Matinee at CBGB’s. Then, Charles quit just before a gig at the SIN (Safety in Numbers) Club with MDC. Now older, more pissed off, and madder than ever, we reformed with Sam playing guitar and & Bob Byte on bass and renamed ourselves Stark Raving Mad in 1983.


    We practiced every night at the Brooklyn loft of our friend, Justin Tentler. Our first show was with Jodie Foster’s Army in New Jersey. All band members worked day jobs, and we pooled our money for recording time at a studio called Noise New York. We pressed 1,000 copies of our first record, a 45 RPM 12", in 1984. In true DIY style, we created and photocopied the lyric sheet ourselves. Although we called it "Stark Raving Mad," the title of the record became known as "MX" thanks to the cover art which was drawn by a true barefoot, Haight Ashbury era hippie named Jack. We sold the record via mail order by advertising in fanzines like Maximum Rock N Roll and Thrasher. We were befriended by Steve Kaye, a DJ who helped us with mail orders and played the record and interviewed us on his WUSB radio show, Turmoil. After the release of MX, we left NYC and returned to Houston.


    In Houston, we played some shows at Ronnie Gaitz’s club, Cabaret Voltaire. KPFT hardcore DJ, Chuck Roast, gave us lots of airplay on his late night show, Funhouse. Jack did the artwork on our t-shirts and flyers. In 1985, we recorded our second record, also 45 RPM 12", at Rampart Studios with Raidy Kilowatt on bass. We called it Amerika after Jack’s 6-ft. by 6-ft. oil painting which was featured on the cover.


    Stark Raving Mad toured parts of the United States in 1984 and 1985, cramming 5 people, all our equipment and belongings, and Onyx the cat into a van which became our second home at times. Late in ‘85, we played a show in New Orleans with the Dead Kennedys. Our final show was at CBGB’s in 1986. Colleen played bass on the first half of the set, and as a favor, Bob Byte played bass for the second half. We even recruited saxophonist, David Sawyer, for the gig; something simply not done in hardcore.


    In 1988, German label, Nuclear Blast, combined both MX and Amerika and released them on one 12" record in white vinyl. One year later, Nuclear Blast released re-recordings of some of the tracks, along with a recording of the final CB’s show on a 10" record called Social Sickness.


    In 1995, Stark Raving Mad reformed in New York as a threesome; this time with Sam on guitar and vocals, Steve on drums, and Colleen on bass. Our music had evolved, and we wrote some new songs; but before we could get them to vinyl or CD, we lost Steve to a heroin overdose. Now, over 20 years later, Stark Raving Mad is proud to present MX and Amerika on CD to collectors and fans. Enjoy and remember!

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released February 25, 2007

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