Wednesday 11 April 2012

Suburban Slag - Late 79-80 (1980)

Late last year, we posted a strange demo of the fabled band Suburban Slag that came to us via another blog. The always smiling and soft-spoken Doug Boland (whose name we've been misspelling on this blog for the past four years) passed us this CD of basement demos from, uh, late 1979 and 1980. Hence the title, we suppose.

We're still not sure what the original demo was - maybe a random selection of the tracks from this, as chosen by a tape trader somewhere along the way? That sounds plausible, so we'll go with it. What we do know if that this full batch of demos is a great improvement over the sound quality of our original posting. Plus, covers of punk rock standards "Holiday in the Sun" and "Blitzkrieg Bop" - although our favourite thing on here it the original "New Improved."

Also since our original Suburban Slag post we picked up and read (all Oprah's Book Club-like and everything!) Chris Walters' Personality Crisis bio. We've been meaning to read us some Walters, and this book seemed like the perfect excuse - although Personality Crisis were from Winnipeg, they spent enough time in Calgary (...and Vancouver, and California) to be sometimes mistaken as a Calgary band. Plus, Suburban Slag is the band that drummer Jon Card ditched to join PC. The book is filled with gems related to the Calgary scene (if we can get our stuff together, we'll put a book review up on our Facebook page), such as "a youth named Al Charlton turn[ing] Jon on to punk rock" after Card played in a metal band called Stonehenge (which sounds too good to be true).

According to Walters' book, Jon and Al "jammed regularly", but by the time Card got around to wanting to form a band, Al was in the Sturgeons. So, Jon hooked up instead with Doug Boland (you think it's bad we misspelled Doug's name? Walters calls him "Bolen"!), Jeff Burns ("who went on to a career producing music") and Jim Hanlon. Walters drops a comment about suggests that Suburban Slag had a lead singer before Hanlon, but then says something about Hanlon (maybe? Walters' wording is vague here) having fronted Silicone Injection, which doesn't line up with what we know.

What Walters isn't vague about is that Card arrived late at Personality Crisis' Calgarian Hotel show, where they announced their drummer was quitting. "After the show, [Card] gave [Personlity Crisis'] Mitch [Funk} a Suburban Slag demo tape" - likely the very recordings we're posting today.

The rest, as they say, is history.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely monumental punk rock..i had the recordings previously, but thank you for posting them.
In my humble opinion, this band are second only to The Subhumans in terms of Canadian top class..its a crime they didnt record to vinyl, but at least we have these gems.
In London Uk at least, these classics have been regularly blasted out for years, & probably always will..
All hail SuburbanSlag !

Anonymous said...

Jeff Burns was a very good friend of mine for many, many years. Met him playing in Suburban Slag at "The Calgarian Hotel" I seem to remember Jon Card playing drums at that one. 1980

He passed away on March 6, 2021 due to pancreatic cancer.

I'm glad to see that his music will live on for a long time on this web site.

-Buke Lactivose.