I asked some of the older guys from the Irish hardcore punk scene to write a little bit about their favourite Irish hardcore/punk record or about a record they felt was maybe a bit overlooked. I think most people, me included probably, for one reason or another don't listen to much older Irish hardcore.
I'd like to think it's because it's simply more difficult to find Irish records and not just because most of the bands were never that big or hyped or whatever, but I wouldn't be sure about that.
I think it's definitely easy to just presume that these older bands must not have been up to the standard of bands from the UK, the mainland, the US or wherever, but there have definitely been some incredible records in Irish hardcore history that I really think more people should check out, hence the reasoning behind these posts. That and being obsessed with the Double Cross blog.
This first post is from Gary Sloan who has played in the Kabinboy, My Name is Satan, Knifed and Oak, and currently plays with Weil Rats.
Here's what he sent me:
Pink Turds In Space - Greatest Shits (In Your Face Records,1988)
"So,I was asked to write a little bit about my favourite Irish record. It was never going to be hard to choose. There's not another record in the world that can bring me back to my teens in Belfast getting into punk and hardcore. To be honest,I don't remember the first time I saw Pink Turds. I believe I saw them once with Shane singing,the original singer. But they didn't
really impact me until the regular gigs in the Art College in Belfast. If I remember correctly,gigs started happening in the Art College in about '88. They were probably about once a month or so,but I can't be sure. It was usually UK bands,Ripcord,Instigators,HDQ,Concrete Sox,Generic,Snuff,Doom,and loads more would make the ferry ride over and play with local bands opening. I always felt that Pink Turds were as good or better than any band they played with.
By the time the Billy Hartley File demo came out,I knew every song on it before I even heard it. Live tapes,usually recorded from the desk, circulated and Pink Turds sounded ferocious. The demo didn't disapoint either. Sure,it was raw and lacked some clarity between instruments,but Marty's guitar slashed through sounding so powerful in comparison to many of the Irish bands of the day,the riffs couldn't be more catchy. Even Ann's vocals sounded way more pissed off than any of the other bands. And the bass playing? No one played like Dee. Not in fasthardcore bands I'd heard. It was so melodic,and yet only added to the anger and power. Not long after,word got round that the demo was getting released on vinyl. In Your Face records were releasing it. For something I already had albeit as a by now worn out tape,I couldn't have been more excited to get the vinyl. They were the first band I "knew" who released vinyl,and they'd set the standards high. Reading the lyrics was quite a treat,as the songs mentioned local areas and mentioned the troubles etc. You could relate to the lyrics and hearing them sang with a strong "norn iron" accent only made more impact (when I first moved into a house in the Holy Lands of Belfast "Eugene's Shop" was my local shop and I always found that funny)
The lp version ,now called Greatest Shits soon sold out,even though it wasn't available in the shops. At 2.50 a copy it was never going to last and I was pleased to have my own copy. In fact I bought and traded many a copy and I doubt I ever got the better deal. Pink Turds next record was a split lp with Sedition and after that they did a split 7" with Charred Remains (aka Man Is The Bastard) and although most people favour the split lp,it'll always be the first record coming out tops for me. When I listen to it,I'm straight back in the Art College,hearing the shouts of "Yer Ma!!!!" coming from Ann in between songs and a lot of old faces come back too,people I've not seen in maybe 20 years. The Art College is completely different now,outside and inside. But I'll never see it in any other way than how it was for those punk gigs of the late '80's.
For me Greatest Shits summed up the punk/hardcore scene in Belfast at the time. Even though I didn't always have direct experience of some of the topics covered in the lyric's it wasn't hard to find someone else who did. Singing about local topics always made more sense to me than
singing about war,animal rights,multinationals or even being straight edge etc as many of the other bands I listened to did.
Of all my Irish records, Greatest Shits would be my most treasured and I would urge anyone who likes early raw hardcore with a hint of metal riffage to check out the first Pink Turds record. It may not be the coolest record in the world,or the rarest or anything that makes records desirable. But to me it can hold it's own against any record. I don't believe an Irish band will ever better it."
As Toxic Waste Records in Belfast still stock the record, I am instead including a link to the Pink Turds in Space discography as posted on Ed's amazing DIY Irish Hardcore Punk Archive Blog.
Thanks so much Gary, we really appreciate it.
I'll post up the other replies as I get them.
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