Greg Fasolino's account of the NY Thrash Reunion Show, swiped from his LiveJournal page (i left out some of the personal stuff).
Last night was The Monster NYC Punk Show of all NYC Punk Shows!
I would not have missed this for anything, the 20th Anniversary of the compilation "New York Thrash," which chronicled the underrated but quite fiery NYC punk scene in its 1981-82 heyday. As soon as I walked into CBGB I ran into my old friend Jack Rabid, one of the event's organizers. He was pleasantly surprised to see that I'd taken one of his antique Kraut/Even Worse flyers from '82, photoshopped it hot pink, then printed it into an iron-on t-shirt. We chatted with his co-organizer Brian Swirsky, who I vaguely remember from way back, and I preordered the CD by Jack's old band Even Worse, the East Coast's answer to such classic California femme-punk bands as Avengers, Bags, and Legal Weapon (Jack had given me this unreleased album on cassette back in 1983, but now the world will finally know how great Even Worse were/are).
Anyway, first band I saw was Nihilistics--very funny... They used to appear so doomy and serious, with a Crass/Flux sort of noisy vibe and misanthropic worldview. Now they all now look like 300lb. extras from "The Sopranos" in scuzzy leathers; play raunchier G.G. Allin-esque punk; and were wholly disgusting (lighting farts onstage, spitting real blood, priest-molesting jokes, etc.)... The original guitarist came on partway thru and they hit the old rants like "After Death" and "Love and Kisses."
I went outside and ran into Dave Vogt, still wearing his trademark beret. Vogt was the #1 punk in my high school, and the leader of The Betrayed (immortalized on the "Meathouse" cassette and "Big City Ain't So Pretty" EP comps). He's now a lawyer for Fox News (he described his job as "telling Bill O'Reilley what he's allowed to say"). We talked for a half-hr. or so outside CBs while Adrenalin O.D. played (I already saw AOD, opening for Dead Kennedys in '85, and they play their amusing songs---like the classic "Paul's Not Home---so fast that they begin to blur).
Even Worse hit the stage and I ran up to the front. They were simply AMAZING. Frontwoman Rebecca Korbet was just phenomenal, she now plays a mean guitar, which made their old-school punk sound even more devastating and intense. They did all their old (unknown I guess to most people) songs like "Illusion Won Again," "Emptying the Madhouse," "We Suck," and "Last Night's Blimpee," plus ferocious renditions of obscure '70s punk classics "Rather See You Dead" (Legionnaire's Disease) and "Kill!" (Alberto y Los Trios Paranoias). I quite like Jack's current post-punk/pop band, Last Burning Embers, but man, Even Worse are just awesome... I wish they'd reform for good.
Then we saw Kraut, who were incredible. Totally perfect sound...crisp, crunching, punching all the powerchords and drumbeats, nailing all the harmonies----THIS is what classic punk rock ought to sound like live and rarely does. So many punk bands speed their songs up live so they're unrecognizable, or they play with such bad trebly sound---Kraut just have that perfect clear crunch. They did everything I'd have wanted to hear if I'd been able to see them when I was such a huge fan back in high school: "All Twisted," "Unemployed," "Onward," "Getaway," "Don't Believe," "Kill for Cash." Doug Holland may be a bit of a loveable burnout, but his guitar playing was on fire! The leads on "Unemployed" were astonishingly good... Afterwards Mike wanted to say hello to Doug, who he'd worked on a music project with, and I was shocked that Doug remembered me from my brief, geeky visits to the roach-infested Lower East Side apartment he and Jack Rabid shared back in 1983-84...