Most of the time, when punks think of San Pedro, CA, the first bands to come to mind are THE MINUTEMEN, FYP or maybe TOYS THAT KILL. Maybe even CAN OF BEANS or NIP DRIVERS (even though they were from Torrance). Did you know that there was a crazy, burgeoning scene laying just below your radar in the late 90's in Pedro? Well, of course you did, but you probably never heard them because most of those bands never played outside of town and never released anything besides the songs on this compilation. The scene revolved around an unnamed record store where the punks hung out and caused trouble. Once, they even built a pyramid out of empty 40 bottles in front of the shitty tattoo parlor next door to them. When the rockabilly dude who ran the place walked out to yell at them, the entire thing collapsed, causing shards of broken glass to slice the dude's vintage suit and eyebrows. This was the beginning of the end for this little local scene and the record store was soon defunct. Many of the bands broke up soon afterwards.
So this tape is your only exposure to the small geniuses that leaked into the Pedro scene for a short little while. There's the sleaziness of THE MOISTMAKERS, hardcore punk by CARBONATED GENOCIDE, the creepy dudes in CREEP ALERT and the sketchy drug-dealers of Sunken City who played in THE VANS. SWEATS AND TIGHTS kept playing as their acoustic duo at open mic nights for a few years until they moved to Goleta. THE DRIVEBYS were one of the first of these bands to break up after their singer Matt "One Lung" was arrested for first degree murder (Too long of a story for this venue). NOBODY LOVES ME kicked around Pedro playing their brand of low-fi pop until the couple in the band broke up. BACKYARD PARTY played wild, teenage, fucked up skate thrash and refused to play any 21+ venues...until Dan turned 21 and became a barfly. Their best line is "Hop on my board, can't land a trick. Let's see how many times WE CAN FLIP IT!!" JON BENET AND THE COVERGIRLS were fucking awesome and spent most of their time trying to get old men to buy them beers at the liquor store. They had a line up change and became THE JAG OFFS. Their best line is "Don't try to impress us! I think you'd rather undress us!" HATE MY JOB was some sad sack who always came into the record store and played guitar in the corner, so they let him be on the comp. PRIEST SLAPPER was a group of Black Metal dudes who played satanic thrash. I remember seeing them around town when I visited and they seemed really out of place wearing all black and corpse paint among the palm trees and 95 degree weather. THE WAKE UP LATES played kinda shitty street punk. They were cool people though. FLAME RETARDED sucked. THE PINK MC'S were a gay rap group who hung out with the punks because no one else liked them (San Pedro is pretty fucked up).
Most of the people in these bands became squares and dropped out of punk. Lots of them got jobs at the tattoo shop they used to make fun of. You can still find the guys from BACKYARD PARTY hanging out at Harold's Bar on any given night. HATE MY JOB still plays open mic nights on Tuesdays. PRIEST SLAPPER moved to LA and fizzled out due to drugs...
I hope you enjoy this tape. It's a brief time capsule into a forgotten part of San Pedro punk history.
Wait....are you just gonna believe me? You are, aren't you? Okay, here's the real story: Back in 1998, my old band THE GRUMPIES were on tour with FYP. At some point, we were driving from like, London, Ontario to Winnepeg, Manitoba...which is about 25 hours of absolutely nothing but beautiful vastness, moose, bears, tiny towns and two lane freeways. Sean (from FYP) and I got on one of our long rambling talks about music and we soon started discussing plans to construct an entire fake punk scene, complete with a record store, back story and compilation tape. I had found a Polaroid on the ground in NYC and wrote CREEP ALERT on it. Thus, that became the first band....
Tour continued and we kept discussing the plan and constructing bands in our heads. When tour ended, Sean stayed in Pedro and I went home to Chattanooga. A few short months later, this tape and zine showed up in my P.O. Box. He had actually done it! I had forgotten about it, but he had gotten together punks in Pedro to carry out the plan....and a lot of the songs are really good! I even covered the JON BENET song in a band I played with...which begs the question, "Does that make them a real band?" Real or not, I think most of this compilation is great.
Features members of FYP, TOYS THAT KILL, THE JAG OFFS, THE LEECHES and more..