UP IN ARMS – LIVE AT THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS!

Of course there’s more from the Springfield High School Battle of the Bands. Today, we’ve got two songs from Up In Arms. I’ve mentioned them on this blog before and, as far as it can be described, Tazmanians and Up In Arms were sister bands.

Just as there was so much to enjoy in that Tazmanians video, there is a slew of enjoyable mentions in this video as well. Jeff’s 1989 Batman t-shirt rebranded “I Hate…Batman”, Fernando’s sliding drumset and of course, Jeb’s Sid Vicious t-shirt.

VILE

As I’ve said in numerous posts, I do so enjoy the submissions of other people to this blog. A different perspective is always appreciated. However, thanks to busy schedules it can be a while before anyone has a chance to contribute. Such is life. Surprisingly, Jeff Vaders popped up again the other day and sent in some very, very old gems from his very first band, Vile. Starring folks who would go on to be in Up In Arms, then Fracture and Public Descent and beyond, this is a very worthy contribution. Thanks Jeff!

Vile was born into existence when Jeb Bell and I became friends in middle school. Through the combination of Thrasher Magazine, skate videos and watching our friends AK-47 / The Tazmanians play, Jeb & I mustered up the courage to create our own band. After several terrible name nominations, one being Auto Erotica, we democratically decided upon Vile. And that is how our first band came to be; create the band name first, then get the instruments and people.

Jeb had recently purchased an Ibanez electric guitar and Peavy amplifier and was learning tunes from our favorite bands. Rob Bell was already a formidable drum master and had an extensive setup in his parents basement. We recruited our friend Dan Goldberg to play guitar as his chops in 8th grade wowed all of us. Finally, I purchased a microphone and yes, Peavy amplifier as our solution to a PA system and the band was officially formed.

We practiced in The Bell’s basement and my parents garage nonstop. We dedicated hours upon hours on both weekdays and weekends to practicing our favorite punk rock songs. Dan Goldberg was lucky enough to have a reel-to-reel recorder that we used at many of our practices to re-listen and perfect our sound. Like all bands, after a couple weeks we began writing our own songs. Below is a sampling of these prolific tunes that sadly up till now did not get further than a few people’s ears. Sadly, I do not have photo evidence of Vile and its 4 month existence. The original songs below were recorded in the summer of 1989 in my parents garage. Only a few tunes recorded on reel to reel in my parents garage in the summer of 1989. I don’t know which is funnier, the teenage suburban angst etched into each tune or our unique egalitarian approach to counting down the songs. Enjoy.

3RD WORLD WAR – In the midst of the Cold War, would a punk rock band from suburban Philadelphia would not be complete without a Cold War protest song.

DOWN TO THE GROUND – One of the first Bell/Vaders creations. The lyrics speak for themselves. It’s about burning a house.

EVEN THEM OUT – Written right after Down To The Ground, another Bell/Vaders collaboration. Possibly the greatest lyrical writing ever, “a shot in the knee, a shot in the heel, even them out, give them something to feel”. This song is a gem and I am surprised it was never covered by anyone else.

PMRC – Penned by Dan Goldberg, this song was to change Vile’s direction from songs about burning and killing to something more intelligent.

SUBURBAN POLICE – If memory serves me correctly, this may have been the first real group collaboration. Music by Bell/Vaders, lyrics by Dan Goldberg. Our protest song against the local cops.

Sick.