In randomly admiring the back cover to the 1984 Mystic Records comp, Mystic Sampler #1, I noticed a few key things. I present them in no particular or chronological order. 1) Discogs doesn’t have an entry for Slamulation, the comp album on which the original Suicidal Tendencies line-up released their early track, I Saw Your Mommy (also featured here). 2) There is a red vinyl version of Mystic Sampler #1 (Wantlisted). 3) The cover art to the Mystic Records cover compilation is the only advertised record NOT featured on this back sleeve. The only cover without a cover, is an album about covers.
Record on the right, the 1986 black vinyl (vs yellow or blue… le sigh) Super Seven Records release, So What if We’re on Mystic! EP. The record on the left, one of the 126 Inches of NOFX box set from 2012 of the same name. The original was one of the first records sought after in my early collecting days. You see, Bob Turkee, the dick that he may be, was my favorite song for a good year or so, and I needed to own a copy of its origin. NOFX, or No F-X as it were, have come a long way, but they’ve (arguably) never exceeded their crowning achievement, Bob Turkee.
Obsessions are born, not necessarily made. Am I willing to save up, and eventually fork over $1k for a Rocket from the Crypt record, perhaps… does this tidbit of information have ANYTHING to do with tonight’s gesture? Well, decidedly, no. Released in 1985 on both (this) blue, and white vinyl, this 7-track 7” titled, Mystic Records Super Seven Sampler #2 features some pretty solid hardcore licks from Doggy Style (not what you think), Wall Flowers (again, not at all what you think), and the then titled, NO F-X. $10 for this guy back in 1998 was a bit of a head scratcher, but looking back, I can’t imagine ever thinking twice about this record’s purchase. Indulge the senses, kiddos!
Still fighting off whatever head-pressing virus has decided to camp out amongst the deserted prairie that is my weakened immune system, today’s contagious groove come from the 1984 Mystic Records Sampler #1 and Ill Repute’s Book and It’s Cover.
The Nardcore kings of hardcore punk, Oxnard, CA’s Ill Repute come with an in-your-face approach to the classic conception, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” I’m desperately searching for ways with which to attribute this philosophical approach to the name of the band (Ill Repute) and my current haze (sickness), but alas… none doin’ (this medication is causing a thick cloud of fog to form between my ear canals).
Back when NOFX was NO F-X, the now prolific and household-recognizable band was signed to Mystic Records. In early 1985, then again in 1986, NO F-X released their first two EPs for the label (NO F-X and So What If We’re on Mystic). Both EPs, along with a bunch of early demo tracks (1988’s The Album) made their way, without the band’s permission, to the 1989 comp, E is for Everything, then again to the exact same comp (with a different name), 1992’s Maximum Rocknroll.
The version featured here is a reissue of a reissue of a reissue, and was promptly released in 2008. Not that any of this matters, because, like it should, the music speaks for itself. Stripped of the tongue-in-cheek humor the band is now known for, these 22 tracks are much more straightforward, dirty hardcore punk rock. Fans of the band’s later material (Ribbed, Punk in Drublic, Heavy Petty Zoo) who haven’t stumbled across this gem may hear it and not know it was NOFX (or, NO F-X).
These poorly recorded, poorly played songs have a certain charm and angry grace that inevitably gets abandoned when money and opportunity get in the way. In that regard, Maximum Rocknroll is a great collection of classic hardcore by a much younger, haven’t-yet-made-it NOFX, and is worth seeking out. I guarantee it.
Setting the musical content aside, as I assume few of you frequent the sheepish delights of early 80’s hardcore, Mystic Sampler #1, has a very distinct, unique, creative, humorous and memorable feature that NO OTHER record in my collection possess. It is a feature so ingenious, it can be easily misinterpreted as a pressing error. Had it not appeared at the exact spot on both sides of the album, I would have written it off as such, and this post would never have existed. It is a feature I’m dubbing, “The Intentional Skip.”
Punk Rock is more about emotion than it is about music. Whether you believe that or not is irrelevant, and beside the point. Allow me to explain this with a scenario. Imagine getting a used record… for me it was Mystic Sampler #1. Now, imagine putting your newly purchased record onto your trusty, freedom-yielding phonograph. The record starts… plays… you’re happy. Cut to the last revolution of the last track on Side 1. Familiar with the song or not, you can’t help but notice the record skip… and skip… and skip. You think, “Great! No wonder it was so cheap!” But as you start towards your music machine, you begin to think, and slow your determined approach. You listen, as the record repeats… looping the same words over, and over, and over… “Have a nice day. Have a nice day. Have a nice day…” As you stand, with a dumbfounded look on your face, you begin to cock your head, not unlike a dog when it thinks it understands what you’re saying. You begin to wonder… “WAS THIS SKIP INTENTIONAL?!”
Suddenly, there is a warm and fuzzy part of you that perks up, and for a brief moment of spontaneous realization, you find harmony with the world… that is, until a moment later when your head begins to ache from the incessant looping of an angry adolescent with their opinionated, political overtones bouncing back and forth inside your head-space until you physically ACT, and raise the tone arm in the attempts to cease the infernal rage. Punk Rock requires action, if only the motor skills with which to turn it off.
I simply will not entertain any notions that this emotion-inducing feature was anything but deliberately intentional. To do so would paint a picture of a world I want nothing to do with… a world in which I do not want to exist. As far as I know, The Prudent Groove is coining the term “Intentional Skip,” but if any of you have heard about this amazing feature, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I’d LOVE to read more about it. I’d LOVE to read more about it. I’d LOVE to read more about it…