• Spazz – Sweatin’ To The Oldies / Sweatin’ 3: Skatin’, Satan & Katon

    Spazz – Sweatin’ To The Oldies / Sweatin’ 3: Skatin’, Satan & Katon
    Released by: Tank Crimes
    Released on: March 11thh, 2016.
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    Spazz isn’t around anymore but from 1992 through to 2000 or so, bass player Chris Dodge (who was in No Use For A Name for a while), drummer Max Ward and guitar player Dan Boleri (all three shared vocal duties) put out a LOT of material, the vast majority of which is pretty damn hard to find. As influential in the power violence/hardcore scene as they are frequently hilarious, the California based trio have left in their wake a pretty complicated discography made up of singles, splits, compilation appearances, EPs and other oddball recordings.

    Spazz’s seminal Sweatin’ To The Oldies compilation album was originally released on Dodge’s own Slap A Ham Records in 1997. Fifteen years later, it’s back in print thanks to the efforts of the good people at Tank Crimas, so now you can enjoy sixty-four tracks of what is pretty much pure sonic mayhem without having to pay exorbitant collector prices! Taken from splits with bands like Charles Bronson, Brutal Truth and Rupture as well as from various compilations, live tracks recorded at KFJC and 924 Gilman St. and from the band’s self titled debut 7” EP there really is a lot to love about this release (which has been remastered by Dan Randall at Mammoth Sound). All of this material is from pretty early in the band’s career, having been recorded between 1993 and 1996.

    The complete track listing for Sweatin’ To The Oldies is:

    Gary’s Free Time (There’s Lots Of It) / Crocket / One Ghetto To The Next / Return Of The Wall Of Death / Who Writes Your Rules (Half Off) / Mighty Morphine Power Violence / Thrice The Heiney / Kiss Of The Sasquatch / Hot Dog Water Popsicle In The Hand Of Eric Wood / Problems In The Homeland / I Hate The Kids (S.O.A.) / Spudboy / Smoking Don’s Crack Hole / Dirty The Purity / Knuckle Scraper / Box II (Yates Goes To Africa) / Spazz Vs. Mother Nature / Nuge On A Stick / Donger / Gnome Servant / DJ Tinkle Fingers’ Diplomatic Services / Hard Boiled / 4 Times A Day / All Urban Outfield / Lethal / Hot Dog Water Popsicle In The Hand Of Eric Wood / The Box / Droppin’ Many Ravers / In The Name Of… / Might For Right / Loach / Mad At The World / Tripper / Uniform / Bore / Hard Boiled / All Urban Outfield / Weedeater / Bled Dry / Closet / No Room / Ghost Dance / Hug Yourself / YouGottaMoldIt / Lethal / Anemonie / Gas Pump / Enterslavement / Hard Boiled (Live) / Burning Tongue (Live) / Kiss Of The Sasquatch (Live) / Hot Dog Water Popsicle In The Hand Of Eric Wood (Live) / Dan Lifting Banner (Live) / Gertie / Enterslavement / Uniform / No Thought / Pressure / Burnt / Our Scene (Go!) / Force Fed / Biter / Precision Fastening / Lost Cause (Negative Approach)

    Also being reissued by Tank Crimes on the same day is Sweatin’ 3: Skatin’, Satan & Katon, also initially released on Slap A Ham Records back in 2001. This is the first time that it’s been reissued and it brings together a whopping sixty-seven tracks taken from yet more splits (with the likes of 25 Ta Life, Lack Of Interest, Hirax, Black Army Jacket, Gob and quite a few others) that were recorded between 1995 through 1998. Also included on this compilation is the band’s Tastin’ Spoon EP and a bunch of tracks originally released on various compilations and tracks from the Gummo soundtrack.

    The track listing for Sweatin’ 3: Skatin’, Satan & Katon is:

    Typical Hardcore Song #1 / A.S.A.L. / Angel Crisp / Old Youth / A Pray For The Complete And Utter Eradication Of All Generic Pop Punk / Satan’s Scrilla / Socal Battle Royale / Gilman 90210 / Short Songs (Dead Kennedys) / Doomriden’ / Hey Bob, What’s Up? (Pillsbury Hardcore) / Crop Circles / Gas X / Jean Claude Bland Dan In A Steel Cage Match With Mean Steven Seagal For The Title Of Crowned King Of Hilfiger Apparel WWF Style / War In The Head (7 Seconds) / Elder Mutant Stomp / Sanrio Soldier / Connie The Mack / Plastic Grandma Cackling At The Frozen Lemonade Fishbowl, Baby / Bastard Tomb Ride / Beattie And The Beat / Sir Wax A Lot / Billy Pepper’s Fist In The Glass Eye Of Jake Phelps / Skatin’ And Satan Go Hand In Hoof / B-Street Butta / Town Center / Crazy Eddie / Bolleri Mosh / AHM Solo / On Parade (Straight Ahead) / Stabbed In The Back (Youth Of Today) / Rat Pack (Sick Of It All) / Union Made Mayhem / Mervyns / Finn’s Mom Yodeling In The Bathtub / Dorsal Finn / Huckleberry Finn / Finn Pickens / Rin Tin Finn / And You Thought We Were Kidding / Where’s Winky / Mega Armageddon Death Part 4 (Electro Hippies) / Leather Punx / Timothen’s Answering Machine / You Suffer (Napalm Death) / Pray To The Windgod / Billy Milano’s Head (Sore Throat) / Camp Chestnut Part 2 – Project House / Untitled (Crab Society North) / No Neck Joe / Wooden Shoes / Your Very Own Comp Song / Scalpfarmer (Scalp Of Strength – Shaved Till Death) / It’s Up To You (Larm) / R.T.S. / Droppin’ Many Ravers / Crocket / One Ghetto To The Next / Climate Test / Dan Lifting Banner / Redenbacher’s Orgy Of Pain, Fear And Pestilence / Gummo Love Theme / Dan Lifting Banner / Caught In The Net / Deadly Finns / White Glove Test / Animal Liberation Now!

    That’s a lot of songs, but don’t worry, they’re all pretty short and most of them are well under a minute in length (there are exceptions, like Mervyns, which is positively epic by Spazz standards with a 3:22 running time). What’s impressive about revisiting this material years after it was first unleashed on the world is not only that the band is super tight (which they are) but how wonky and creative they get at times. Yeah, most of this stuff sounds like what you’d expect from melding power violence and hardcore but there are bits here that really throw you for a loop. Hip hop beats occasionally work their way into the music, samples pulled from some pretty obscure sources (everything from vintage kung-fu movies to talk shows to TV specials like ‘The Day My Kid Went Punk) and yeah, there’s even a track with a banjo on it. Spazz were clearly not afraid to experiment with their sound.

    The remastering here is good. All of Spazz’s material was recorded on analogue gear so it would be easy to overdo it and digitally clean stuff up too much. That hasn’t happened here. The audio quality is good, but not too good – you wouldn’t want it to be too good. Even if it hadn’t been touched, however, these would still be worth getting for those who don’t have them. For a band that was started by some kids in their mid-teens and over by the time they were in their early twenties, Spazz’s discography holds up remarkably well. The originals are still fun as Hell, the covers (Rat Trap and Lost Cause being the two best) are awesome.

    Even when the band is in full on blast mode, there are catchy hooks here to latch on to while the band incorporates a lot more fuzz and tone into their music than you might expect. The vocals are unhinged and over the top, the lyrics are frequently screamed or grunted more than they are sung, but it works in channeling some impressive aggression into the music. Even when these guys are clearly singing about humorous subjects, the intensity with which they do so is admirable, even scary.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Mark C.'s Avatar
      Mark C. -
      Amazon purchase link does not work.
    1. Mark C.'s Avatar
      Mark C. -
      Spazz is THE greatest hardcore band ever, I already own all their stuff on vinyl.
    1. Andrew Monroe's Avatar
      Andrew Monroe -
      Great band - I still have several of their EPs and splits, including one with Rupture (anther KILLER band from back then). Slap-A-Ham might be the greatest label name evah!