Iconoclast: Domination or Destruction 12” - If I’m being honest, it would have been difficult for me to choose anything to write about besides this Iconoclast reissue. This LP compiles all of this CA hardcore band’s recorded output from 1983 to 1985. I always have loved what I’ve heard from this band, but at first, my awareness of them was fairly limited. I remember my mind being blown by the footage from the Flipside video fanzine that circulated on YouTube even yeeears ago. But until recently, I feel like The Iconoclast has been severely underrated. This is due in part because for a while, it was pretty difficult to gain access to their music. Maybe the air of mystery around them is part of what made The Iconoclast so interesting? The eponymous 7” was always pretty hard to find; and though it’s been bootlegged in the past, most digital rips of the demo sound pretty terrible. At least, until now. The mastering treatment on this La Vida reissue finally does these recordings justice. Crisp, clear and punchy, it was hard for me to take the platter off of the turntable. Finally, I feel like Iconoclast are given a presentation where they come across as one of most powerful and sincere moments in American hardcore punk.
Record of the Week: Iconoclast: Domination or Destruction 12" + Staff Picks
Iconoclast: Domination or Destruction 12” (Sealed) It’s no secret that the punk reissue market has long segued into the back side of the bell curve, but this reissue from California’s Iconoclast proves that there’s still gold in those hills. Domination or Destruction does what a great punk reissue should, plucking an under-appreciated gem from the depths of record collector land and giving it the packaging and presentation that it needed to stand alongside the classics. The video footage of Iconoclast in Flipside Video Fanzine is the stuff of legends, years ahead of its time and one of the most raging things ever committed to (video) tape. However, when you went poking around for audio recordings by Iconoclast (no easy task!) it was easy to get frustrated by the poor electronic rips you could find online and/or the poor-sounding bootleg of their collectible lone 7”. This reissue on Sealed Records, however, leaps out of your speakers with the huge, explosive sound this band always deserved. Stylistically, Iconoclast fit in well with the small batch of North American bands who took inspiration from Discharge (Crucifix, Against, Michigan’s Heresy, Canada’s Unruled), with a sound that brought together the primitive riffing of early Anti-Cimex and Shitlickers with the high-energy sound of American hardcore like Minor Threat and Negative Approach. They also have some peace punk touches that are cool, but their hardcore tracks are perfect music. Besides the brilliant sound, this recording comes with a thick booklet full of reproductions of flyers, interviews, and vintage zine reviews. It wouldn't surprise me if this wasn’t every significant scrap of documentary material related to the band. Domination or Destruction is just a brilliant record, and if you’re a person who takes the time to read this, then I’m almost certain you’ll love it.
Staff Picks: Jeff
Staff Picks: Dominic
The Fall: The Infotainment Scan - Matador 1993
There are things in life that shape us and make us the people we are. For me the major influence has been music. I have made life-long friends through the common love of certain bands and records and I have even made career decisions based on my love of music. Case in point, The Fall. Something that several of my closest friends share is our love and appreciation of this group. It’s no coincidence that I joined Sorry State Records, where The Fall are held in very high regard. Working here we see lots of cool records every day but arriving today I saw that Chubb had bought a US copy of Infotainment Scan yesterday. To say that I had a smile on my face a mile wide would be an understatement. This record is quite an elusive item in the huge Fall catalogue, coming out when it did in 1993 when vinyl releases of new music were on the decline or just simply didn’t happen. It was their fifteenth LP and it also happens to be one of their best records in my opinion. Not all critics agree naturally but the great British public made it a top ten charting album at the time.
It has everything you could want from a Fall record and indeed any record. You get a brilliant opening track- Ladybird (Green Grass), a pop hit- Glam-Racket (a dig at Brit Poppers Suede), two of their best covers- Lost In Music and I’m Going To Spain, plus some of the best lyrics and “singing” from Mark. How can songs with titles like Paranoia Man In Cheap Sh*t Room and The League Of Bald-Headed Men be bad?
I have been searching for a copy of this LP for quite a while. It’s not cheap as it’s only the original UK and US versions that are available on wax. You, good Sorry State customer, can hurry to the store and try to pry it from mine or Daniel’s hands.
Talking of Brit Pop group Suede, we recently got in a bunch of cool UK 12 inch singles and among them was a copy of Suede: Animal Nitrate on Nude also out in 1993. This was the group’s third single from their debut album and perfectly sums up what it felt like to be young, living life better through chemistry (i.e. taking drugs) at the dawn of Brit Pop. Apparently, guitarist Bernard Butler based the riff on the intro to the theme from old police television show Dixon Of Dock Green. Regardless of the inspiration it is a great riff and Butler does his best Mick Ronson tribute to go with singer Brett Anderson’s Bowie.
A nice slice of 90’s nostalgia for those like myself who witnessed it first-hand.