Wednesday, May 2, 2012

SUNSET BEACH - "Long Walks, Short Piers" + Cassingle - Tape - 2002

Think of this as "Part 2" of  the post about Matty Luv and Sarah T.

   Matty Luv was gone and the next day we still went ahead with the already-planned 5 year anniversary of Mission Records, even though it seemed like the hardest thing in the world to do. To date, it is still the saddest show I have ever been to in my life. Even though the show was set to start at 5 pm, people were already hanging out in the store, lighting candles, crying in corners and telling stories over beers when I woke up that morning. It felt natural for people to come there to grieve and be with friends. I'm glad that the space was there for them.
   When the bands started up, it just felt awful and counterintuitive. We were trying to celebrate this place and time, even though an integral piece of its entire day-to-day operation was missing forever. I felt crazy depressed and I'm sure everyone else did too...possibly more so. I barely remember anything about the show besides three things: 1.When my band, ALLERGIC TO BULLSHIT played, we were out of tune since Matty always tuned Iggy's guitar. 2. We gave Aesop (one of Matty's oldest friends and bandmate in HICKEY) a mic for the whole show so that he could loudly heckle every band. 3. When THIS IS MY FIST was playing, I was crying my eyes out. I looked around and everyone else was too, including the band.
    The next week was filled with a lot of sadness, some group hangouts, countless homemade tattoos and much more. When the funeral happened the next week, I didn't want to go (who really wants to go to a funeral?), but I borrowed a black button-down and did it anyway. After paying my respects, I was headed out the door to unlock my bike and saw a kid sitting in the funeral home who looked like the spitting image of a young Matty, which threw me for a loop. There were friends and family hanging out on the street, but I needed to get back to Mission Records to help out with the last punk show that Matty set up.
    In the days of HICKEY, it seemed like no town appreciated the band better than Tulsa, Oklahoma. From the stories I heard, it seemed like every time they came through town, they were met by an army of cult devotees who's fervor was unmatched by the rest of the country. I remember going there one time and stumbling upon a crew of drunk dudes in a parking lot, blasting MANOWAR. They happened to be listening to the only song I knew by them at the time, which led me to join them, singing loudly. They spotted the HICKEY patch on my jacket, which sent them into drunken hysterics, numerous accolades, and praises of that fine band. I swear that by the time I walked away from them, they would have loaned me rent money and  killed any of my enemies...and that was just for being a fan of the band. Sooner or later, it was inevitable that some of these fervent followers would start a band, but I was never aware of how good that band would be.
    So, here I was back at the record store with a bunch of sad, post-funeral punks awaiting the start of the show. It turns out that the guy who looked like Matty played in the touring band from Tulsa (his name is Aaron and he no longer looks anything like Matty) alongside Jon Paul, who is still one of the best punk drummers I've ever seen. When SUNSET BEACH took to the rickety, sagging stage, they thanked Matty for setting up the show and raged through a relentless set. Some of the songs seemed like total HICKEY-worship while others felt mired in insane metal riffs. By the end of the set, they were pulling out alcohol and a torch. I remember exchanging worried glances with some other denizens of the store as the fire was lit and then trying to scramble up to the stage as visions of the dust-trap of a store going up in flames danced through my head. It was too late. Aaron started breathing fire as they played their last song and I helplessly watched 10 foot flames flow across people's heads and lick the cracks in the ceiling. When I saw that we were not gonna die in the next 5 minutes, I finally exhaled and smiled for the first time all day. It was a great show.
   I ended up getting both of their tapes out of the free box at the store a few weeks later. For a long time, I thought that some fool had thrown them in there, but now I think Jon Paul put them there as a way to distribute them. The first side of "Long Walks, Short Piers" is total HICKEY-worship, but in the best way possible. I remember when I first heard it, I thought "Damn, do you guys only listen to one band?" and being a little annoyed, but over time, it's really grown on me and has become indispensable to my life. In the intervening years, I grew to appreciate them in their own right. If a band is gonna be influenced by someone, I'd rather that it be HICKEY instead of THE QUEERS, GHOST MICE or CREED. Side two starts off with "Napkin" and the first time I heard it, I seriously thought the band had accidentally dubbed a different band onto their tapes. It starts off with a  straight up metal riff and dives into fucking awesome thrash. The entirety of side two stays in that vein and it totally rules. The closer, "In The Name of Justice" delves into some dual guitar riffage that sounds like what might have happened if IRON MAIDEN had grown up on DIY punk and bathtub crank. This tape is pretty ambitious for a demo at a time when not many people cared about tapes at all. I started off casually listening to this band, but this tape soon became fused with the boombox at my shitty kitchen job and provided the soundtrack to many fucked up nights. I love it.
   Also included in the download is their two song cassette single where they sound like another entirely different band..maybe one that is influenced by early 80's radio, THIN LIZZY and good, good indie-pop. Still so good. 
  Enjoy that shit and go start a band that is at least half as good as this.

1 comment:

Rebekah, formerly of Randolph Street said...

Thank the gods someone remembers Sunset Beach and that show at Mission that day besides me. The first time I saw them was at 16th & Mission, playing with the Two Gallants and Sacrilicious. Still love them all. :P
At least the 2 Gs are still around, and Fucking Antonio, that band you are in now is horrid lol.