Tuesday, April 17, 2012

SNFU - Better Than A Stick In The Eye (Cargo, 1988)


I'd be hard pressed to remember the name of any punk/hardcore band members, even singers, since, oh, say the 90's. Maybe due to downloading, maybe old age or maybe the fact that bands don't have the same longevity or impact that they used to.

A band with longevity and impact up the wazoo is SNFU. And Chi Pig is a name and singer that's hard to forget.

Like with most bands in the 80's, I first heard about SNFU through Thrasher Magazine. Apparently the band first came together through skateboarding as well (Chi Pig has even started to resemble Animal Chin a bit). Never having heard them, I picked up their second album If You Swear, You'll Catch No Fish on cassette and loved it right away. Not quite crossover, they were definitely heavy and tight as hell, mostly thanks to the dual guitar work of the Belke Brothers. But the heart of their unique legacy was, and continues to be, Chi Pig's maniacal lyrics, energetic stage presence and artistic vision for the band. Their discography is a consistent display of cool cartoons, paintings and photos. Their first album was infamous for "borrowing" a Diane Arbus photo, forcing the band to change the cover art right before heading out on tour.

The last time I saw them live was the mid 90's, but even then they were an explosive ball of energy. The Belke Brothers were still in the band and Chi was doing his signature headbang, and bringing out props and puppets throughout the night. My favorite memory of the show is when Chi picked up a half full cup of water and flung it like a rocket across the venue, hitting my friend right in the head. Something about it just made sense.

So the album I'm actually sharing is their third album, Better Than A Stick In The Eye. If you didn't know, each of their albums has a 7 word title. I've heard people say that this album doesn't compare to their first 2, but those are the kind of people who don't like anything past a band's first 7". While a little more metallic than their other albums, to me this is a perfect progression from If You Swear. Really, between their first 5 albums (including Something Green And Leafy This Way Comes), I don't think I could pick a favorite. They're all great in their own way.

The CD is really quiet and a little muddy sounding, so I tried to brighten it up a little and boosted the volume. Sounds way better, I think.

If you haven't seen the documentary about Chi Pig and SNFU titled "Open Your Mouth And Say...Mr. Chi Pig," you should check it out. There's also a section on them in the documentary, "Let Them Know - The Story Of Youth Brigade and BYO Records." Or just look up some of their old concert footage on youtube.

SNFU - Better Than A Stick In The Eye (R) (vbr 0)

10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. nevermind...

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    2. how do i extract these without the passowrd then sorry if im being stupid

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    3. if you have a pc you can use 7-zip to open them with the password, or on a mac, stuffit or zipeg. let me know if you're still having problems.

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  2. heya neal, wanted to hear this snfu record today without diggin around and that brought me quickly to yr blog. of course i then fell down the rabbit hole (what blog named after a dri lyric WOULDN'T i spend a coupla hours on?) and i've gotta say, it's fucken great what you've got here - and kinda eerie, since i'm 38, still skate, and share a lotta faves with you (wehrmacht, the wonder that is zapped!…). anyhow maybe ya wanna check out my band if ya have a minute:
    http://nervosas.bandcamp.com/

    cheers! and thanks!

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    Replies
    1. thanks for the message, cruise! and thanks for the link to your band. i'm diggin' it. sounds right up my alley.

      i went to visit a friend in 1997 (i think) when he was living in columbus. we went to some concrete bowl park and magnolia thunderpussy records. i think that was the last place i went trick r treating too.

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    2. I am totally missing the boat on the password thing. Can somebody help?

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    3. Find it? In the About section: couchslouch

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  3. Sorry - the file is broken (i.e. can't release the MP3) - could you please re-up?
    jbinjapan@tumblr

    ReplyDelete