KILL THE HIPPIES "Will Not Overstimulate" 7" EP
Somewhere-- and I swear it really exist... There is a cassette that was recorded with a rather classic 'recording unit' or 'cassette player'(I don't know what to call those infernal machines anymore)... The type that had manual buttons-- when you hit 'eject' a little tray would pop up holding the cassette; you remember buttons of this type don't you? I had that cassette player with a loaded with a blank tape that evening at The Mantis Gallery... When I seen Kill The Hippies (KTH) for the first time ever. In the recording can even hear me over the usual Mantis pre/post song stage-noise-- or what passed as a stage, proclaiming "I LOVE YOU!" Morte responded "We love you too!" just before ripping into another number. I have wrote about this incident before and you have probably read about it before but it's just bod of those defining moments to me that I never tire of.
Yeah, I remembered that fucking cassette player even though I forgot directions to the venue that were left still sitting on the kitchen table back in Cincinnati, 3+ hard driving hours south. Talk about humiliating... I somehow remembered the number of the place we were supposed to meet our Kent contacts at the time, Kenny "Hussie", who lived in what would become a spot nearly as legendary as The Mantis Gallery itself... The second floor apartment dwelling of Kill the Hippies. Their 'headquarters' in those years packed full of cats, wooden creaky floors and a 'leaning' porch out back adorned with a karate sign. It was a wonder that porch never collapsed. I dialled 677-WAR1... I still remember the number... Dawn from THE CHEATIN' HUSSIES answered. I spoke with so nervous stammer, "Uh, hello... My name is Shawn Abnoxious from the Cincinnati band The Socials... I forgot directions to the venue, but I remembered this number. "Can you help me out?"
Its a wonder I ever got anywhere without a cell phone or mapquest.
It was 1998 or maybe 1997. There wasn't any snow on the ground, but I remember the temperature being cold... This time period was in the earliest days of publishing THE NEUS SUBJEX. I was still using a typewriter, xerox machines and cut-n-pasting layouts... I had adopted a system of rating bands releases in attempts to distinguish the BEST punk-rock bands that was based on awarding 1-10 'safety pins' in the categories of music, lyrics and artwork. If I remember correctly, KTH was the first band to score a perfect 10. My search had basically just started, but it was over. KILL THE HIPPIES were the BEST band to ever breath air and The Neus Subjex safety-pin rating system eventually faded away in future issues.
At The Mantis Gallery that night THE CHEATIN' HUSSIES played as well as other bands including my own, but as I would years later acknowledge, this time was as an 'era', The Mantis Gallery would be the unofficial epicenter of all things punk-rock to me. It was my MASQUE, my ROXY... My CBGB's... KTH would be my Ramones... My Sex Pistols... My version of The Clash or Black Flag... In a place heated by body heat from shoulder to shoulder binge drinkers. the heat was as-if a Native American sweat-lodge. The Mantis changed me then as it did others before me and after me. In a spot where the dirtiest bathroom in the free world was legendary (but still got the job done)... The same spot where there was always a weird fucked-up system when it got time to divide up the nights earnings with Sam... The spot that was notorious for providing the essential punk ingredients for greatness: violence action, filth, fury, explosions, knives, sex (hey, that guy is getting head WHILE the band is playing over there), drugs, good music, alcohol, spikes, leather... ideas... Did I forget filth? Lots of filth... The Mantis Gallery had it all including KILL THE HIPPIES.
Now. Here in 2014 that time was more special than words could ever define... Truly an era indeed. There has been some really great bands and Mantis Alumni that would release some great music that played there or were converted there thru the years of debauchery like THE COCKSPANIELS, SWARM OF ANGELS, CRIMSON SWEET, even BATT LION and DAVID BAY LEAF (more recently) but I will still argue that one band, KTH, and their record that I took home with me that night not only stands as a document and representative of such fond memories... The same record that I found in a friends collection of 7"s in a holder that he proclaimed he 'didnt care that much for', is none other than the infamous, legendary, Will Not Overstimulate EP released originally by Rock Action Records.
What do you do when one band personifies every quality of punk-rock all in one place, in one time, in one package? Simple, you talk about it, write about it and play it for everybody you can trying to 'convert' them to your way of thinking... It becomes imperative... Finally you realize how the passion of the early American explorers and conquistadors felt about their passion of trying to bring GOD to the 'savages'. Those dudes had passion for their beliefs. Enthusiasm for their task... They really wanted to do good OR ELSE. I love Stimulate so much I stole that friends copy from him, liberating and relocated it to a place in my collection because I didn't feel it was being loved enough.
Packed with full-on KILLED BY DEATH style punk chargers from start to finis-- from back to front, in all directions! KTH on this record, was an expanded KTH roster the likes of which has never been seen again. Two male vocalist with PP Envy providing a much needed female vocal twist to the fray. The songs are fast, break fast punk-rock (with the dash) running you through the gambit of emotional wrenching. Fast, furious, destructive blast of dissonance, alienation, violence and uncertainty... Its all here, in this one place, this one total package! You read on other records PLAY LOUD, like its a gimmick almost... A reminder... Not on Will Not Overstimulate... You don't need to be reminded on this record. You naturally will turn it up loud. If you 'get it' you don't need instructions. It comes naturally or not at all.
KTH changed my perception of what punk-rock was on Will Not Overstimulate and redefined the genre to me ever since. If you listen to this record and don't agree with me instantly, I will secretly get sort of mad at you and whereas I may respect you and your word, I will never forget that you just didn't 'get it' with me. You'll become, in hopes of something lesser, an enemy. A savage refusing GOD and you know what happened to the savages don't you?
You can find the KTH "Will Not Overstimulate"EP with tons more hard to find stuff of theirs on the Erectrospective CD
Get the NEW full-length from KTH "You Will Live With Us Forever" (pictured below) it's a rager.