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Rock is Hell: Meet GOD, the teenaged Australian punk rockers and their awesome one-hit wonder
05.17.2017
12:22 pm
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The back cover of Melbourne-based punk band GOD’s 1987 single ‘My Pal.’
 
First things first. Yes, a band actually had the balls to name themselves GOD. Although historically they are not the only band to ever do so in the name of punk or rock and roll, they weren’t calling themselves the Godz or something like that, but GOD. The difference might be subtle, but it’s there.

Aside from their cheeky name, the Melbourne-based group GOD had a short but impactful history in the Australian music scene. Though they are generally characterized as a punk band, some musical historians credit GOD for one of the earliest cultivations of grungy sounding grooves that did not originate from the Pacific Northwest area back in the late 80s.

So who exactly were this GOD? Well, they were kids, teenagers quite literally, when they got their first taste of success. Vocalist/guitarist Joel Silbersher was only fifteen when he penned “My Pal” and bass player/guitarist Sean Greenway was the oldest member of the band at the ripe old age of seventeen. In fact when it came time for GOD to sign with Au Go Go Records in Melbourne the details of the contract were negotiated by their parents on their behalf. When the single hit the stores it even included Silbersher’s home address which was noted to be the address to send fan letters to the “GOD Army” (pictured at the top of this post.) That probably made things very weird, and also pretty great back when “My Pal” was the go-to song for punk youth in Australia back in 1987. Because who doesn’t want a legion of female groupies and fans camping out on your lawn when you’re just fifteen? The answer to that question is no one, because everyone does. End of story.

GOD’s first album, Rock is Hell would come out a year later in 1988 and for some strange reason did not include “My Pal.” What it does include are a bunch of kooky-titled songs like “Tommy the Toilet” (remember these are teenage boys we’re talking about), “Worm Sweat,” and “Rok Zombi.” Despite the juvenile naming conventions I just mentioned, Rock is Hell is actually a pretty great, super fuzzy listen. There is also pretty much no doubt that the boys from down under were channeling the emerging grunge sounds of Seattle and the PNW that ring clear in the songs posted below. Sadly, they would disband shortly before the release of their second and final record, 1989’s For Lovers Only which, while different sounding from their debut, really isn’t half bad either. I’ve included fantastic live footage of the band performing “My Pal” and a few other songs from both albums, as well as an adorable interview with GOD from 1988 where they talk about adjusting to their new-found fame in which vocalist Joel Silbersher is still wearing his braces. Awww
 

GOD!

See GOD performing “My Pal” live (and much more) after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.17.2017
12:22 pm
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Horrible hair, animal remains & leather: Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction talk fashion in 1987


Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction back in the day.
 
In the April/May 1987 issue of Smash Hits magazine members of Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction did a rather strange spread for the glossy mag. But did they talk about their lust for creating flesh-pounding songs about sleazy chicks, breaking the law and screwing your best friend’s wife? No. There was also sadly no discussion about gay Nazi disco dancers or stories about vocalist Mark Manning’s acid-dropping days. Nope. What the two-page spread did enlighten us to was the bizarre (yet completely understandable) fashion choices made by each of the Love Reaction’s members at the time. Let’s begin with Zodiac Mindwarp himself, shall we?

Manning notes in his little bio in the magazine that his vision for the band was for everyone to look like “monsters from outer space” thanks to all the time he spent reading science fiction as a kid growing up. To Manning, the Love Reaction had to look like they just arrived from “Planet Freak Out.” Though everyone in the band was cultivating the “horrible hair” look, Manning went the extra mile by adding animal fur to his, and who knows what else. Because according to the then 28-year-old Manning if it “looks good” you should wear it. Manning’s jacket is covered in patches including a Sonic Youth one (nice) with a bit of fox fur on the shoulders. Topping off Zodiac’s look is a Nazi SS replica hat which Manning only dug because it was a “rather striking tifter” which is British slang for “hat.”

For Trash D. Garbage (bass player Alan P. Bailey) he actually one-upped Manning in the deceased animal department by affixing the paws of a dead cat to the shoulders of his leather jacket. Garbage notes that he obtained the paws during his days as a firefighter in Canada following a failed rescue of a cat stuck in a tree. Oof. On the back of Garbage’s jacket are the words “Sex Pig” and the reason his hair was shorter than usual for the shoot was because according to Trash someone stuck a huge wad of gum in his do at a party. It was then decided it made the most sense to pull his hair out by the roots along with the gum instead of cutting it out like a reasonable person. But this is Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction we’re talking about, not the fucking Brady Bunch. And rock stars deal with problems that involve gum differently than the rest of us.

Rounding out the sleazy fashion worn by the band are a few other notable things. Like drummer Slam Thunderhide and his “Sex Machine” belt buckle which was crafted from a Triumph motorcycle, Manning’s famous bullet belt, more Nazi symbolism (it was the 80s?), plenty of pentagrams, tons of leather, ripped clothing and more leather, because pretty much all of those things are quintessentially metal, like it or not. I’ve posted the photos from the band’s two-page layout in Smash Hits below for you to wonder at as well as the Love Reaction’s video from 1987 for “Backseat Education.” All hail the High Priest of Love, baby!
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.02.2017
10:18 am
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