2/7/12

Vintage Musicians #8: 1980s Punk Bands (Part II)


Time for another round of punk musicians that fell way below the Retrospace radar.  We here at Retrospace pride ourselves in obscure 70s acts, whether it be disco or yacht rock; however, our knowledge in the ways of punk begin and end with The Ramones. Beyond that, we are like Olivia Newton-John at a Hawkwind concert - lost, confused, and a little bit afraid.

Anyway, we won't let blatant ignorance stop us from pressing onward.  Buckle up, it's time for more photos of arrogant, fancy-haired youths staring at you condescendingly. Let's go!




I can honestly say this band makes me want to become a member of The Church of England.  I'm not kidding.  Just as a sinful hypocritical clergyman can make someone want to the leave the church, these guys so annoy me that it makes me want to become a baptized Anglican.


According to Mojo magazine, this band's single "The Murder Of Liddle Towers" is one of the best punk songs of all time.  That being said, I still think I'd rather listen to even the worst song ever recorded by Earth, Wind & Fire.... but to each his own.


The fellow on the left must be lost - he can't possibly be with this band. Shouldn't he be with The Misfits or The Damned? It's like Danzig hangin' out with Kajagoogoo.

Great Scott! Those eyes!.... Those eyes! 

Admittedly, I did enjoy some goth music back in the 80s. The Bauhaus, The Cure, Siouxie & the Banshees, The Cult, Mission UK, Gene Loves Jezebel and Echo & the Bunnymen all qualify as goth acts, and I loved them all.  However, I must say, I never heard of 'Look Back in Anger'.  What the hell?


These lads are proud of their alcohol addiction.  After all, 'Drinking In Moderation' just doesn't have the same ring to it.


If their sense of style is any indication, then I'm sure "Abrasive" is probably a pretty apt title for the group. Although, "Irritating Douche Bags" might also have worked.


Admittedly, I've never heard their music, but their use of miniskirts is certainly something Retrospace can get behind.


I'm sorry for being so negative towards these 80s punk acts, I admit that I'm not very open minded towards this genre.  But, truth be told, just looking at these guys makes me want to listen to a good ole Seals & Croft LP and wash this shit out of my mind forever.


Dear God, get me a Foghat and a Kenny Rogers LP on the double! I've got to counter-act this Alien Sex Fiend garbage pronto!  Better bring a Sugar Hill Gang record while you're at it, just to be on the safe side.

23 comments:

  1. I used to skateboard in the Eighties and 'punk' was our music. Maybe a skate punk thread would be cool, especially California punk. My fave was Agent Orange, who might actually still be doing gigs.

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  2. The guys in Abrasive Wheels were obviously frat douches who used daddy's money to buy all the latest "punk" accessories. The only thing they rebelled against was having to drive the family Volvo back to college after they rammed their Celica into a telephone pole.

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  3. Alien Sex Fiend were a GREAT band! Truly!

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    1. I'am in a Coma dial 999! Alien Sex Fiend another Iconic band! The Next Post will have unheard bands like Black Flag, Fugazi, Fear, Circle Jerks, Bad Brains, TSOL, Generation X, and The Damed. :P

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    2. Boycott gilligan he's definitely showing his idiocy in this department

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  4. Rubella ballet is pretty good! And Alien Sex Fiend is really great & VERY well known, and they're still making albums and touring. I saw them at WGT in Germany 2010, top notch!

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  5. i like to visit this page! it's great!

    http://desdemi-ventana.blogspot.com/

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  6. I think Drinking in Moderation is a great name for a band!

    Rick, you're funny.

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  7. Armpit Studios, nice... the Abrasive Wheels were from Leeds and there are no Fraternity Houses in Leeds, which is in Yorkshire which is in the North of England... I expect Daddy's money (as you put it) went on bus fares and chips

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  8. Hmm, if you were into goth it is kinda strange that you're not familiar with Alien Sex Fiend.

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    1. Is my goth cred in question?

      You've found me out. My claims of being familiar with goth are completely fraudulent. Was it not knowing about the 'iconic' Alien Sex Fiend that gave me away? Or was it my vintage Christopher Cross concert tee?

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Of this I can assure you: You have a lot of smart, good-humored fans (and many are aging punk rockers). This is a great website and your efforts in digging up the nostalgic past are much appreciated. So - you enjoying these reactions? It's pretty punk rock, eh? Ya-know, this music wasn't just an acquired taste, it absolutely demanded from its fans that they think for themselves. Those who couldn't trudged off with everyone else to be mocked by Lester Bangs. Back then, say, starting about '79, punk rock didn't die, but rather birthed a 2nd generation of devotees, (of which many of these bands are a part). Like the first generation of punk acts, these bands and their followers were seen as uninteresting or repulsive to most. In my experience it was those who needed to look to their left or right in order to know what their own opinions were. Very few of the kids who enjoyed the music that these bands produced needed to be convinced or sold on the ideas offered to them. They either took 'em or ignored 'em. Sadly yes, commercialism ultimately won out here too, but for a while there we frightened the right people. Speaking of whom, one of your commenters wonders, "why these bands even bothered," and the answer is: to separate us from you. It didn't matter that the production quality was terrible or that many of these guys couldn't play their instruments, what mattered was punk rock (at least initially) upheld the one thing that rock 'n roll seemed let go of as it wheezed dignity from its bloated, dying carcass: If rock 'n roll isn't just a little bit threatening, if it isn't just a little bit dangerous – it ain't rock 'n roll. As for you Mr. Gilligan, you described yourself as having pursued only mainstream tastes back then, so your dedication to the content of this website isn't surprising; meaning people obsessed with nostalgia often typify the inability to innovate. I think we can all agree that independent thinkers are the very definition of innovators. Anyway, you keep up the good work. As Ted Knight in Caddyshack assures us, "The world needs ditch diggers too," so keep digging.

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    1. Wait a minute. Because I'd rather listen to Seals & Crofts over Alien Sex Fiend means I'm not innovative and a ditch digger? Brother, you need to relax. Put on some "Summer Breeze" and exhale.... it's all going to be okay.

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    2. Punk Rock died on the same rock-n-roll vine as the music of the Baby Boomer generation. Everyone... get ahold of yourselves and face the *cough* music and the fact that rock-n-roll comes in many forms and never - EVER- actually changes the world. I know... I wanted to believe it too. It's not Gilligans fault that Punk Rock didn't change the world.

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  11. Gilligan, I think you touched something some of these bands never did (and didn't care...) A chord! Music is, for some, born out of the moment. The right buzz, at the right club, in front of the right (any) girl, and the moment is born - some of this music by no one's design becomes the soundtrack and there you have it. Some noise indelibly linked to your life - no control, no concern for their talent or image...it's just their. I can't hate "Echo" they did that to me and I wouldn't change it for anything.

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  12. Er... "a chord" was all most of these bands knew!

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    1. Some were bad Will but many may surprise you too.

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  13. Ive followed yor blog for couple of years and have enjoyed your Podcasts , I ve even got a few dozen people to check out your site but it's becoming quite clear that you are starting to become a ranting intolerant old geezer & I can no longer Stomach your petty comments. Buh-bye, over and out!

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    1. OMG! buh-bye ?? Really? When your dissing a man for lack of PUNK knowledge?

      LOL why not 'gag with me a spoon'? seriously, Babs, c'mon.

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  14. Being familiar with all these so called obscure U.K punk bands I had to snigger at your comments. Many of these groups continue successfully today ( in a non profit anti establishment kind of way )and I saw a few at last years 'Rebellion' Blackpool festival. These pics were from a short lived but legendary magazine called Punk Lives and thanks to you I wallowed in a little nostalgia.
    Rubella Ballet's drummer Sid was originally from an anarchist band called flux of pink Indians who later set up an indie record label and launched the career of a certain Bjork.

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  15. Gilligan:

    Having just finished reading the stories on MSN about kids at the Grammys "Tweeting" 'who tf is Paul McCartney' -- Your not knowing Alien Sex Fiend is understandable to me............ assuming YOU know who tf Paul is that is.

    Cheers obey _gravity

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  16. Try the Straps who Alien Sex fiend used to support down the Music Machine

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