"Product of America"
Released: November 2016
The biggest reason I published a zine, wrote for the Morning Call, DJ'ed countless radio shows on a half dozen stations and continue with this blog, is the satisfaction I get when I turn someone on to music that connects with them. I have always loved turning people on to music they end up loving.
Fact: In the 1980s it was difficult to find and get music. You had to research, read, listen to college radio, buy albums based on the cover artwork, send your cash in an envelope through the US postal service to get records delivered weeks later...
In 2017, if you are connected to the internet, it is easy to get music. But I think it is equally as difficult to find. Why? Because there is so much of it out there it is easy to get lost or miss something that you shouldn't miss. It is also easy to get caught up in convenience. Everything is available, which is an overload.
So I bring you case in point, Exterminators "Product of America".
The record came out last November 2016. I never heard one peep about this record until the summer of 2017. I was turned on to "Product of America" by the band's publicity. I am so thankful they reached out to me. Now I hopefully return the favor and turn you on to Exterminators (or if you were in on this last year, remind you to listen to this again).
"Product of America" was produced by Cris Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets, Exterminators were one of Phoenix Arizona's first punk bands and this LP is a recording of songs culled from a cassette tape of the band performing live in 1978 with the original lineup featuring Dan “Johnny Macho” Clark on vocals, his younger brother Doug “Buzzy Murder” Clark on guitar, Don Bolles on drums, and the late Rob Graves on bass (Kirkwood took over for the departed Graves on the new album).
Exterminators formed in 1977 and took a break in 1978 and then let these songs ferment for nearly 40 years.
If the members of Exterminators sound familiar, they are: Dan Clark (vocals) was in The Feederz and Victory Acres, guitarist Doug Clark was in The Brainz and Mighty Sphincter, drummer Don Bolles was in The Germs, Celebrity Skin and Ariel Pink and both Don and Rob Graves were in 45 Grave.
So yeah. Of course this freaking rules. I mean the Feederz, Germs and 45 Grave are three of the biggest reasons I got into Hardcore and Punk in the early 1980s... and Meat Puppets "Melons Rising".
"Product of America" is a ripper from start to finish. The sound is amazing. The intensity perfect. The riffs and guitar work is classic. The songs diverse but fit well together. Chris's bass work is of course on point.
I love Don's drumming. Always have. Precise tight and driving the songs to wherever they need to go.
Dan's vocals snarl like it was 1980. I think I'd have a heart attack at my age trying to do what he does. Hell, what the whole band is doing. It rages that much.
If you have ever liked any of the aforementioned bands (Germs, Feederz, 45 Grave...) or Circle Jerks, Dead Boys or NoMeansNo, you must obtain.
Give "Bionic Girl", "Patriotic American", "First and Last", "Static Planet" (love this song so much), "Mechanized Death" a listen.. They are all great.
I love vinyl. Most of the time people turn me on to the digital version of their music. If I love it, I'll order the vinyl. I ordered the vinyl. A must for the physical collection. A must for the ears, eyes and mind.
Addendum: After receiving the vinyl in the mail, I realize that the writing credit for the song "I Hate You" goes to "Some Kid From The Neighborhood". Brilliant.