Crown Of Thorns - Pictures 12'' and Kingdom Come 12" (1983)

These two 12" were both released in 1983. According to the IRS band site: Crown Of Thorns was one of the forerunners of the "disco/synth" influenced techno sound, albeit with a "punky" edge, that would become all the rage a decade later. They made their first album appearance on the Illegal Records collection The Defiant Pose in 1983 with "Gone Are The Days." Their debut EP followed in the US later that year. In 1984, five more songs appeared in the UK only, in various 12" and 7" combinations: "Kingdom Come", "Guns In The Name Of God", "World Radio", "Diamond Jim" and "No Man's Land". The band's output seems, abruptly, to have ended there. An anticipated debut album never materialized and the band soon faded from memory, reduced to nothing more than an entry on William Orbit's resumé...
IRS Band Page here with more info

Cactus Mouth Informer posted the Kingdom Come 2 song single here

and a different Pictures Ep here

Crown Of Thorns:
Keith Finch (keyboards)
Ty Holden (bass)
Malcolm Mehyer (guitars, vocals)
Phil Snow (drums, percussion)
Steve Soer (vocals, trumpet)

My rips:
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Nova Boys - Death In A Dress (1984)

Arizona's Nova Boys combined Cowpunk and Rockabilly, on this fine 4 song disc. This is the only vinyl release I know of from them. Three originals and a cover of Tobacco Road.Produced by Robin Johnson (Gentlemen After Dark, The Pills). Recorded at Chaton Studios in Scottsdale and released on Positive Change Records.

The Nova Boys:

Tim C - Singer
Chris Kenan - Guitar
Danny Bones - Bass
Al Penzone - Drums

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Baxter Robertson - Panorama View Ep (1983)

Baxter Robertson had a minor hit in Silver Strand (People In Motion) from this 1983 RCA release. He went on to release two full LP's (Vanishing Point II and Mere Mortals) but this solid 5 song ep was by far my favorite. He also had a song on the original Karate Kid Soundtrack (Feel The Night), which was co-written by Bill Conti.

Robertson later went on to be in Family Pets and Sofa Lords (among others).

Robertson's daughter plays guitar in The Donna's.

Produced by Tony Peluso

The Band:
Alan Maggini - Lead Guitar
Jay Bodean - Vocals, Bass
David Adelstein - Synthesizers
Gary Durrett - Drums
Baxter Robertson - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards

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Baxter Robertson's Silver Strand received light airplay on MTV.

Spooner - Every Corner Dance (1982)

This power pop record by Spooner is notable for Doug "Duke" Erikson and Butch Vig who went on to fame in Garbage, and obviously Vig's Producing career.

Comprehensive band page here

This was released on CD in the late 80's as a twofer but has long been out-of print.

Dave Benton - Guitar, Vocals
Doug Erikson - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano on "Cruel School"
Joel Tappero - Bass
Butch Vig - Drums, Vocals
Jeff Walker - Keyboards

Produced by Gary Kiebe and Spooner

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Bootbeast - Carnival 7" and Bootbeast 12" (1990)

By request, Bootbeast (Bootbeast Carnival as they were know on the More Coffee compilation)

Two reviews sum up their sound nicely, which is a gloomy blend of punk, metal and pre-grunge.

carnival 7"

noiseville. 8 / 2 tracks / 1989

feat. ex-Drunks with Guns / Mighty Sphincter members. 500 made, some on gold vinyl. + label flyer.

Experimental (post-)hardcore remotely resembling Die Kreuzen's sound. Strange guitar riffs, vocals are rather sung than screamed. Despite the experimental approach the music is powerful & compact.

The following year, after they released a self-titled cassette tape which New Times writer David Koen (April 1990) accurately describes their sound:

If Anne Rice invited Rush, Vincent Price, and Led Zeppelin over for drinks and rolled this tape to provide some instant atmosphere, no one would complain. Bootbeast is a postmodern, haunted-house cruise through the inner sanctums of art-metal.

Sometimes the Tempe band chokes on the songs' own atmosphere. But then sometimes Bootbeast emerges from the fogginess. It's this kind of well-balanced horror movie/rock 'n' roll hybrid that appeals to the doomster in us all.

they released this 4 song self titled 12".

Jim Andreas - Vocals
Mike Doskocil - Drums
Jeff O'Rourke - Guitars
Lloyd Whittaker - Bass

Lyrics- Andreas Music Andreas/Doskocil,O'Rourke, Whittaker

Produced by Greg Horn
Engineered by Andy Kern

Recorded at Cereus Recording

Download Bootbeast - Carnival 7"

Download Bootbeast 12"

The Penetrators - Discography (San Diego's The Penetrators (1979-1982)

1982's A Sweet Kiss From Mommy

"We come from San Diego, California for a good time" was a lyric (Cassanova)and a great explanation of The Penetrators. Nothing Town brings back some awesome memories for me and my days listening to 91X.
I have included their first 7" Sensitive Boy and their ep Walk The Beat and their LP A Sweet Kiss From Mommy. There are a couple of songs from some comps I will get to in the future.

This article from the the San Diego Troubadour (Penetrators)sums up their story better than I could ever do:

It’s easy enough to take much of what the local scene has to offer today for granted. Local airplay is a given, at least on the local shows, and the pop machinery is such that there are now literally dozens of local nightspots where a group can perform original music. But in the late seventies, it was a different time indeed. No cable television, no MTV, and VCRs were rare. People now crank out landfill CDs in their bedrooms while once having something immortalized on vinyl was a big deal. Original music, especially anything that wasn’t from the cookie cutter radio mold, was considered radical. The police frowned (heavily) on it at the time, but then so did some of the public. So it was against enormous odds that the Penetrators took hold of the public consciousness.

True enough, when the Penetrators first exploded on the San Diego scene in the late seventies, they were considered by many to be a punk band. Time has shown them to be much more than that. They were precursors to what eventually became known as roots rock, but their sound was actually a unique mix of many different styles. Elements of surf, new wave, sixties garage, R&B, even nascent electronica, all filtered through their music. Just as important, the band were pioneers of the do-it-yourself ethic, inspiring legions of musicians, this one included. They found locations in which to play — from small but essential stages such as those at Abbey Road and the Skeleton Club to the local Lions Club and the Glorietta Bay Recreation Center. A personal highlight was a show at La Jolla Country Day School. If they could set up a P.A. and play, they were there. And they built a huge following, becoming arguably the first stars of the modern day scene.

The core of the band originally centered around the vocals of Gary Heffern, Chris Sullivan’s bass and most important, secret weapon Dan McClain on drums. Original guitarist Scott Harrington departed just prior to the release of their first EP, Untamed Youth, in 1978. He was quickly replaced by Chris Davies, whose staccato surf-inspired guitar attack was the perfect foil for Gary’s over-the-top vocals.

Their first big break was a gig opening for the Ramones at SDSU circa 1978, but it was with their 1979 single “Sensitive Boy”/”Stimulation” that the band truly hit their stride. Adding Jim Call to the band on drone keyboards and sax gave the band a broader palette from which to create. And they were up to the challenge, although in actual time the time between their first and second 7-inch vinyls was mere months, the difference in music was light years — much more confident and driven, pointing toward today’s eclectic modern rock scene.

By the release of 1980’s certifiably classic Walk the Beat EP, the band was on the verge of big time success, even selling out Golden Hall and crucially gaining airplay on influential Los Angeles radio station KROQ. In today’s context, that’s the equivalent of RFTC selling out Qualcomm Stadium, with no radio airplay. Pieces in the local press, as well as the L.A. Times and an infamous cover story in the Reader only added to the legend. The band did receive major label attention, with Capitol among their suitors at one time. The band also shot a series of five videos at A&M studios in Los Angeles for tunes that include “Walk The Beat” and “I’m With the Guys.” The videos remain unreleased, but there is, in fact, a sizeable amount of footage available from both live shows and TV appearances, such as their 1982 two-song set on the Cox Cable TV local music show in 1982.

1982 also saw the release of the groups only full-length album, A Sweet Kiss From Mommy, which would prove to be their final release. Notably the album added the vocal charms of Joyce Rooks (ex-Dinettes and Trowsers) to the mix. Unfortunately A Sweet Kiss From Mommy didn’t receive the attention it was due, sabotaged by an album sleeve featuring 30 of their friends’ rear ends. Today maybe, but in those days the cover ensured that many people wouldn’t pay attention to the great music inside and, in the end (pun intended), the album couldn’t even be displayed in most shops. And that’s a great shame, as the disc included a wealth of should-have-been classics, from the opening “Standing in Line” to the closing “Jimmy Don’t Do It,” effectively if unintentionally closing their recording career with a song that harkened back to their early days with Scott Harrington.

Sadly, except for a few compilation album appearances and a wealth of unreleased studio material (be sure to look for the classic “5th & Bop” on the 1983 edition of KGB’s Homegrown), that was it for releases and the band dissipated.

What’s interesting to note is that the Penetrators were the eye of a storm, with all sorts of projects emanating from within. Dan McClain published incredible fanzines such as New Hippie and Hobogue as well as running one of the first independent music stores in San Diego, Monty’s Rockers. He also played with R&B legends the Crawdaddys.

Chris Davies performed with the T-Birds at teen dances, recording an unreleased single that made it to the test-pressing stages. And lots more, of course.

McClain, sadly, is no longer with us, but if there was ever a candidate for San Diego Artist of the Century, he is the obvious choice. Everybody knows that he went on to greater fame with the Beat Farmers via many side bands, including Country Dick and the Snuggle Bunnies, and eventually released records on Rhino, Curb, MCA, and Demon. Chris Sullivan formed a few bands, including the Front Four who released a fun single, “Charger Rock,” but it was his work with the Jacks that brought him back to the big stages again, eventually signing to Rounder.

Gary Heffern, currently resides in Portland, continues to write poetry, and has released a number of albums under his own name, one of which also included another local ex-patriate, Eddie Veddar. Chris Davies still gigs around town and has performed alongside Cindy Lee Berryhill and others. Jim Call still deejays around town. Of the two short-time members, Joyce Rooks went on to work for Capitol Records and has added her cello to many projects, including a stint with top L.A. powerpoppers Wednesday Week and David J, most recently seen with Bauhaus. Scott Harrington meanwhile produced the first Manual Scan EP, before brief stints in the Upbeats and a legion of short-lived bands. Even all this is just the tip of the iceberg for the world of the Penetrators.

Hopefully someone will reissue the great music of the Penetrators someday. Other than a pair of compilations, not a note has appeared on CD. Keep an eye out for Shake Some Action Vol. 4 or the 2001 San Diego Music Awards Sampler, which is the only way to find their music other than a visit to the used record store.

Fans of the Penetrators got a huge surprise last year on November 10 when the band reunited for a five-song set at the Casbah as part of a tribute show for the late Dan McCLain. With Joel Kmak ably filling in for McCLain, the band received a hero’s welcome from the sold-out house, so much that the group has decided to do one more performance at the Casbah this month on January 29. The band will do a full set this time out and anticipation is high, but perhaps in the long run even better news is the fact that the group is in the middle of an archive dig with an eye on releasing an anthology.

The San Diego music scene owes a major debt to the Penetrators. It’s safe to say that today things wouldn’t be the same without their music and pioneering shows, as well as for the help they gave to local bands throughout their career: always available with a kind word, a bit of advice, or even an opening spot on one of their shows. January 29 will be a rare opportunity for San Diego music fans. Longtime scenesters will have a chance to relive their glory days one more time while newer music fans will get a chance to see what the fuss was all about, up close and personal. It all adds up to a show that shouldn’t be missed and some terrific music that’s ripe for rediscovery.

1980's Walk The Beat Ep

1979's Stimulation/Sensitive Boy 7"

Downloads all available on main page :

Cook The Books - Piggie In The Middle Eight/ Gone To Black 12" (1982)

By request, Cook The Book's debut 12" single, recorded , according to wikipedia, in response to the widespread British Riots in 1981.
Hailing from Liverpool, England, they later changed their name to Cook Da Books and released an LP in 1983.
The B-side is an instrumental with many songs combined including the theme from Hawaii Five-O, Batman and Piggie In The Middle Of Eight.

More Info

Band Members:

Owen Moran - Vocals, Bass
Peter Deary - Vocals, Guitar
Tony Prescott - Keyboards
John Legget - Drums, Percussion

Downloads all available on main page :