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Look Behind You

9 Dec


No, I’m not exactly back in action just yet, but in the meantime . . . do read Joe Carducci’s touching tribute to SAINT VITUS and the singularly heavy drum style of Armando Acosta (RIP) over at The New Vulgate. Fittingly, Joe ends by locating VITUS in the larger pantheon of great but criminally-ignored bands hidden down in the South Bay during the 80’s – SACCHARINE TRUST, OVERKILL, SLOVENLY, SECRET HATE:

‘Ray Farrell . . . referred to the SST bands as “neighborhood bands”, which made me think that that might be the secret, maybe only in the south bay did rock music continue to be a folk music like rock and roll had been for the sixties garage bands and the rockabilly bands of the fifties’

We at PS Recon couldn’t agree more.

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The Vitus Touch

6 Feb

Saw SAINT VITUS play this week here in London – what a rush.

Looking even more out-of-time than he did 3 decades ago, greyhead Dave Chandler was so glad to finally have a sizable audience in front him that he played his skittery breaks and white noise solos like he was a giddy teenager. Mark Adams kept his head down, playing his bass smooth and economically. Wino fractured into a wraith of hair, tattoos, and piercing, psychotic eyes halfway through the first song. And new drummer Henry Vasquez was good & effective in a vicious, animalistic sorta way – though I missed Armando Acosta’s languidly loose basskicks that once dragged their records even slower than anyone thought possible. Regardless, when they collectively dug their hooves into songs like “Living Backwards” “Look Behind You” and “The Troll” we knew we were staring at geezers who’d completely changed the sound of rock and roll, for all time.

But can we finally agree to quit with the quips that SAINT VITUS were somehow merely a BLACK SABBATH clone? If BLACK SABBATH were a rich, hearty bowl of minestrone soup, then SAINT VITUS could only be that soup if it was boiled over a high flame all night long, leaving but a viscous sludge stuck the bottom of the pot. And them two meals ain’t nothing like each other. See em live while they still stand, and check out a great, recent interview with Dave Chandler here (so it was OVERKILL who first brought em to the attention of Greg Ginn! Merrill Ward deserves a lifelong pension for such foresight).

Thanks to whenwedie for the killer photo of Vitus live in SF last week

Projected Annihilation

9 Aug

Get your doom nod on with footage of a Scott Reagers-era SAINT VITUS, thundering through “Zombie Hunger”, live December 20, 1984.

Note: the DK sticker on Dave’s gtr; not one but two BLACK FLAG t-shirts clothing the band; plus Henry Rollins working up a sweat and getting off down in front, no doubt gearing up to join Brother Ginn for the main attraction.

What a voice! What a headpounding riff! What a solo! Aaahhhhhooooooooooo!

For more from this gig, including clips of BLACK FLAG and openers TOM TROCCOLI'S DOG(!) check out all of downtownlive's uploads here.