Thursday, January 3, 2008
Old Skull-Get Outta School (1989)
These 3 Wisconsin tykes with the help of their dads Vernon Toulon and Robin Davies (who had both been punk musicians) got a recording contract with Restless records. The result was an album that some consider to be pure garbage, but I've always liked this one. For me, the main thing I like about old School punk is the raw energy and feeling of sonic nihilism, these kids had that in spades! By their next album the group's personnel would almost completely change and the lyrics would be much more influenced by their fathers. But on this album when the kids were around 9-10 years old, the kids sound almost completely unhindered by adult supervision. Think about it, who is better suited to making a noisy, pure energy music nihilism than untrained punk kids? Because of their lack of any polish, I do admit this sounds much more closely related to No Wave music of late 70's New York than any of the well known old school punk bands. Alternate playing this album with the album "No New York" and I bet you'll find a striking similarity. I once spoke to father and agent Vern Toulon about making a music video for the band, but our distance in miles kept that from being a reality, they did make at least 1 video however called Homeless and it aired occasionally and is now on YouTube. These kids are now young men and almost all of them seem to be continuing in their musical aspirations. Take a look at their page on Wikipedia for more complete information. It is being reported that Vern Toulon ghost wrote most of the material on Get Outta School, which I disagree with. I asked him about that back in 1993 and he suggested the kids wrote most of these songs with some topic suggestions from Vern, and he helped much more on the 2nd album "CIA Drug Fest". The lyrics really are very different on both albums which supports that as well. Here you mostly just hear overly caffeinated kids singing about what's cool to them (hot dogs, pizza, skating, kicking ass) and it makes for some twisted fun. There is already a good post of this album on blogger at Outside My Scene, but I thought I would post a higher bit-rate version and share some of my knowledge and opinions about the group as well. You'll want to go to that page if you want the record cover in it's original layout, I just put this one together for those that like a larger version.
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