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KPH Blog


Updated: Feb 26, 2023

By Ben Forsberg


Starting off strong here with the prototypical "fastest band ever", NEOS, from Vancouver BC (PNW thrash!!!!!). Their two 1982 EPs, "End All Discrimination" and "Hassibah Gets the Martian Brain Squeeze" (hits!!!!) garnered them respect if not fame, going on to be one of the most influential hardcore bands maybe ever. (Charles Bronson even did a cover on their 1994 demo!). With a first wave straight-edge ax to grind, Steve Bailey, A.B. and Kev penned songs about the perceived hypocrisy of the punk scene of the day from a leftist, straight-edge point of view. Bailey recounts in a 2021 interview, "In my lyrics, I was talking to the punk scene about how I wasn’t on that side. What we needed to do was talk about building community and cooperation. That classic Sex Pistols idea of destroying everything only works when there’s something else to replace it with". And if you thought they were fronting about being for the community, think again! The vinyl release of their second EP includes not only homemade lyric sheets, but scores for guitar, drums and bass written in Steve's own form of tab (which he devotes an entire page to explaining). The scores include such golden nuggets of instruction as "this composition should be played at the fastest possibly attainable speed (without becoming a blob of noise of course)". Because even if they were the fastest band ever, they still have taste.

The feature song for today, "Sexual Revolution" is the 14th track on Hassibah and perhaps the record's most pronounced expression of the bands straight edge ethic. Bailey, age 15, pontificates on the ways our desires and ideology manipulate us, and the consequences of a hedonistic society. Alternatively: a self-loathing diatribe expounding Bailey's disgust at his own sin.

The album's title, explained via the included (pre-)history of the 'martian brain squeeze' (which dates back to ancient Greece!) supports the self-flagellation thesis. Bailey elucidates the identity of the titular target of the EP's sonic and lyrical assault: "Hassibah is whoever you want it to be but I think he was originally invented by myself to represent myself". But why the hell am I telling you what to think?!! And in such pretentious language at that!



Hey look at me, I'm sexually "free" / none of your myths frighten me / I dont care about anyone else / I just want to satisfy myself

You think your sexually revolting? Well you're right / it doesn't matter what I think / You don't care

Only one thought fills your head, another night another bed / you've got something to prove but you don't know who to / you don't believe the lies, don't believe the fools, but the proof lies in you / and worst of all you're hypocrites, you talk about them, then you do it

You think your sexually revolting? Well you're right / it doesn't matter what I think / You don't care

You're digging in your hole again, you're on the edge of falling in, you cant climb out cause you're too scared, to be yourself, you've never dared / you say im living in the past? Well get your head out of your ass / 'cause this isn't "social evolution", just another misguided, bloody revolution



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