July 13th, 2007
|06:45 pm - "evil larvae, chosen for you..."|
Angel Rot Live at CBGBs July 4, 1992*
(a kohntarkosz archive super special)
Preface: In the impoverished NY Rock scene of the late 80s there were essentially four competing strata of rock bands. There were underground luminaries of various stripes like Rat At Rat R, Swans, Prong, Missing Foundation, Unsane, White Zombie and Karen Black, there were dozens of superlame and now mostly forgotten "hardcore" bands, mostly from Brooklyn, like Supertouch, who played to massive matinee crowds of 16-20 yr. old repressed (and not so repressed) nazi-jocko-homo-morons at Irving Plaza and CBGBs, there were a few true metal bands like Carnivore, mostly relegated to playing Club L'Amour in Brooklyn (where mostly touring, non-NY bands played), and then there were the so-called "scum rock" groups of the Lower East Side of Manhattan like Da Willys, Hammerbrain, Smokin' Gas Truck, The Freaks, and Reverb Motherfuckers (I urge you to seek/youtube search "Reverb Motherfuckers"). When White Zombie got signed to Geffen, they immediately jettisoned their most musically talented member Tom 5 so as not to threaten the rule of musically talentless control freak Rob "Zombie" (real name: Robert "Bob" Cummings), who went on to ripoff all of Tom's musical ideas and make a fortune. Not one to cry over his misfortunes, Tom 5 looked around and found an insane drummer/partner-in-crime at Parsons School of Design, Steve Kleiner, and formed Angel Rot. Despite Angel Rot's closer affinity to the 'dangerous' and out of control sound of original hardcore pioneers Black Flag than the then-current hardcore crowd's idiot-friendly, proto-emo bands, and maybe just because they all had long hair, the hardcore fans hated them. They were also too weird for the metal crowd (though they did get on a bill with Trouble) and the scum-rockers mostly thought they were too metal, since Angel Rot were obviously listening to groups like Venom, Motorhead and Celtic Frost even if they didn't sound like them or wear leather outfits full of metal studs and holes. They and kindred spirits Brutal Truth and 13 were pretty much on their own in bringing the doom/black/death metal influence to NY's early 90s rock scene. They were an incredibly devastating live act (banned from CBGBs after exploding multiple TV sets on stage) and NY hasn't seen anyone like them since.
Tom 5 runs it down:
"It all began in the Summer of '88 in his hot, cramped Hell's Kitchen apartment. Living on coffee, popcorn and beer, Tom Five compiled leftover, unused White Zombie riffs with arrangements and writings about alien worms destroying the human race. After a couple of bad (yet enlightening) acid trips and paranoid desciptions scrawled into a sweat-stained notebook labeled ony "writings" Angel Rot was conceived. By the Summer of '89 the first Angel Rot lineup to stick and actually play was Five, Steve Kleiner on drums and Mike Davis playing bass. Their first show was at the Pyramid opening up for Antiseen and The Thing. A-Rot's first single "Screwdrive" backed with "Monkey Rape" came out in 1989 on Caroline Records subsidiary Fuck Records as catalogue # Fuck 1 and was followed by the "Necrostrangle" single with a rocking yet poorly recorded version of "Stayin' Alive" on the B-side. Buzz from the Melvins put the latter single out on his own "Fuck You Wrecords" as catalogue # Fuck You 2 in '92. (Artwork on both 45s from the talented pens of Five and Steven K.). These singles should be destoyed on sight by any self-respecting person that stumbles upon them.
Some time in the early 90's Tom, Steve and Mike started recording what would later be known as the "Unlistenable Hymns of Indulgent Damnage"- the 'unlistenable' being their music and the 'indulgent damnage' being their collective lifestyle and lack of social skills. Before the completion of "the Hymns" Steve left the band for reasons of over-indulgence in the obvious muse of all recognized and celebrated musicians. Tom and Mike continued to work on their 'opus' until their friend and owner of the studio Ira spent a prolonged vacation in a federal prison. At this time the studio, soundboard, and mastertapes were moved out of the space in Manhattan and stored in various places throughout Westchester county. Only after corresponding with Ira and learning the location of the tapes, were Five and Davis able to track down and collect the mastertapes for the Unlistenable Hymns in a dingy pile of cardboard boxes, located in a storage room on the backside of the Nanuet Mall! Angel Rot also collected talent from Gobblehoof/Dinosaur Jr. in drummer George Berz and continued playing NYC a year later. At some point after all this Mike D. quit to pursue his career as NYC's premier vinyl vendor. Jump to 1998- the band has not played for two years. Man's Ruin gets hold of a mix of the Hymns and wants to release it. So finally, in 1999, over 6 years after it was recorded, Man's Ruin releases "Indulgent Damnage" to near universal indifference. Gyda Gash steps up to play bass and they start jamming with ex-drummer Steve. The band decides to tour the states with the release of Unlistenable Hymns in 1999. Drummer Scott Sanfranetello joins band in the Fall of 1999 and they tour the South and Mid-west several times. Finally, Tony Mann (or Tony Wolfman) is recruited to play drums. Angel Rot record the unreleased "Rotten Noise From All the Dead Things In The Universe" at Beaten Back to Pure's guitarist Vince's studio in Virginia. Tom Five is currently living in Los Angeles and is working on a project loosely referred to as "SONIC MEDUSA" with Gregg Rogers (The Obsessed/Goatsnake) Steve Darrow (ex-Hollywood Rose) and Scott Renner (ex-SourVein/Brickbat) . Steve Darrow and Tom also sometimes perform in "Rat Salad" an early Black Sabbath Tribute."
[mostly cribbed (with a few minor revisions from me) from Tom 5's myspace site devoted to Angel Rot: http://www.myspace.com/angelrotfive where you can grok 4 more fabo, uplifting A. Rot tunes.]
Angel Rot (l-r: Mike D., Tom 5, Steve "Kabbalah Syringe" Kleiner, photo by Andy McCormick)
Tom 5 in rock action! (photos by Gimli Glavin)
These were ripped (@320 kbps) from the crappiest possible quality cassettes which the band chose to dupe their demos on but they sound remarkably killer for all that.
Live at CBGBs 7/4/92:
Erotic Catacomb mp3
Narcissectional Punishment mp3
Foetal Machine mp3
So Damn Holy mp3
bonus kill 1st demo tracks:
Dirt Trip mp3
Clean Disease mp3
*this post should be of particular interest to korperschwache and kaliflower and anyone else who digs Black Flag and Celtic Frost equally.
P.S. I know my preface is way too wordy and subjective, full of slanderous and inaccurate claims and possibly offensive to portions of the LJ community. Yes, I totally ignored all the junkie-art bands like Cop Shoot Cop. So what. Too bad. Don't bother commenting to that effect if that's all you have to say!
Current Music: ripped up old cassette tapes
Hey, thanks for posting -- I just glommed all those MP3s. I actually had a copy of INDULGENT HYMNS for a while (and wish I still had it -- I'll track down another copy eventually, I'm sure). It's too bad Rob was so obsessed with technical playing issues, because Tom was one of the more interesting guitarists in White Zombie, despite all the rude shit Rob's had to say about him over the years.
A postscript: I got so excited about this that I went ahead and bid on a copy floating on Ebay. A cheap copy, too!
cool. I got someone excited about Angel Rot! I hope you win that disc, but if you don't, it shouldn't be hard to get another one off ebay, and cheap!