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play hi-fi  Johnny Got His Gun
play hi-fi  Make Guns Not Love
play hi-fi  Dead Men Tell No Lies
play hi-fi  Boy With A Needle
play hi-fi  I See
play hi-fi  Rebel Youth
play hi-fi  My Father's Son
play hi-fi  Mary Sue Ellen's Clique
play hi-fi  Rockabilly Rumble
play hi-fi  Folsom Prison Blues
One of the least known of the hardcore punk outfits tearing up the late-70s San Francisco music scene, No Alternative garnered a rabidly loyal local following during the band's too-brief history. Sadly, the band's lofty reputation among Bay area punks never extended far beyond the borders of California. No Alternative's relative obscurity wasn't due to any lack of chops; if anything, the band's fast-and-furious aural assault and socially conscious lyrics showed deeper artistic influences and more intelligence than many of No Alternative's contemporaries. Johnny Got His Gun '78 -- '82 is a 26-song collection that presents a fairly comprehensive history of the band, including side projects and early recordings. The disc offers a number of rare live recordings circa 1979-80 (taken from shows at the legendary Mabuhay Gardens, the Deaf Club and Wheeler Auditorium), unreleased studio tracks and the odd compilation contribution. All of the material has been remastered for the digital age, engineered by East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys. The studio material is as crisp as any low-budget recording of the era and the live tracks are quite tolerable given their age and the primitive equipment they were captured on. It's the music that earned No Alternative its reputation, however, a high-octane and highly flammable mix of British hardcore (think U.K. Subs or the Damned) and American punk (Johnny Thunders school) with a dash of roots rock thrown in for good measure. Fueled by the incendiary six-string work of singer/guitarist Johnny Genocide (ne Hugh Thomas Patterson) and a strong rhythm section in bassist Jeff Rees and drummer Greg Langston, No Alternative came across more like a Bay area version of X than another Sex Pistols-influenced hardcore act. No Alternative imbued its material with more intellect and less rhetoric than many punk bands of the time. The band introduced young punks to Dalton Trumbo with the popular anti-war anthem "Johnny Got His Gun," (which was featured on the seminal S.F. Underground compilation) while "Rebel Youth" is a powerful call-to-arms with twangy guitar and jackhammer rhythms. The nihilistic "Life Of Suicide" features a scorching solo by Genocide that would put many stadium rockers to shame while a blistering guitar line and crashing rhythms drive "Dead Men Tell No Lies" towards chaos. Genocide rips off a riff from Golden Earring's "Radar Love" and sledgehammers it straight into your brain. Some of the live material here offers a glimpse of the band's energetic and eclectic performance style. A cover of Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" is played straight with fierce rockabilly undercurrent while the Genocide original "Sir" sounds like a cross between Jamaican dub (as filtered through the Clash) and mid-70s heavy metal. No Alternative covered Johnny Cash almost a decade before Social Distortion, revisiting "Folsom Prison Blues" with a piss-and-vinegar reading that captures the songs original intent if not its sound. Johnny Got His Gun '78 -- '82 also includes the interesting, cow-punk styled "Show Em' All" and the generic punk rocker "Picture frame Seduction," both recorded by an early pre- No Alternative band called KGB that included Genocide and Rees along with future Dils drummer Zippy Pinhead. A side project formed with Mike Fox of Tools and called "Alternative Tools" yielded the half-dozen songs that close Johnny Got His Gun '78 -- '82, tracks like "I Hate The Government" and "People's Revolution," penned by Fox, eschewing Genocide's relative lyrical subtlety in favor of in-your-face anarchistic sturm-und-drang. No Alternative were an important part of a San Francisco punk rock scene, contemporaries of better-known artists like the Dead Kennedys and the Avengers and an obvious influence on bands like Rancid that would follow in their wake. Johnny Got His Gun '78 -- '82 rescues the band from the dustbin of history and establishes No Alternative as major players in one of the most important times and places in the punk rock pantheon. ~ Rev. Keith A. Gordon, All Music Guide
Why this name?
We were sitting around watching some TV show, Star Trek I think it was, and Mr. Spock turned to Captain Kirk and said "I'm afraid there's No Alternative Jim." That was it, our name was born.
Do you play live?
We toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada, including the legendary Hardcore 82 tour with Black Flagg and DOA. We play live and are planning a series of shows in California this fall.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
Prior to the internet, we had to go into a analog studio and record Vinyl. Now we have our own studio for recording. In the bad old days you had to put up flyers announcing your shows. You had to put up thousands of those damn things. Now you announce a show on the net and bam, you've got an audience.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
No way. We are happy with the deal we have with our current label. They allow us to completely produce our music the way we want it, not the way some idiot, cranked out half ass record producer with no knowledge of our music thinks it should sound
Band History:
One of the least known of the hardcore punk outfits tearing up the late-70s San Francisco music scene, No Alternative garnered a rabidly loyal local following during the band's too-brief history. Sadly, the band's lofty reputation among Bay area punks never extended far beyond the borders of California. No Alternative's relative obscurity wasn't due to any lack of chops; if anything, the band's fast-and-furious aural assault and socially conscious lyrics showed deeper artistic influences and more intelligence than many of No Alternative's contemporaries. Johnny Got His Gun '78 -- '82 is a 26-song collection that presents a fairly comprehensive history of the band, including side projects and early recordings. The disc offers a number of rare live recordings circa 1979-80 (taken from shows at the legendary Mabuhay Gardens, the Deaf Club and Wheeler Auditorium), unreleased studio tracks and the odd compilation contribution. All of the material has been remastered for the digital age, engineered by East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys. The studio material is as crisp as any low-budget recording of the era and the live tracks are quite tolerable given their age and the primitive equipment they were captured on. It's the music that earned No Alternative its reputation, however, a high-octane and highly flammable mix of British hardcore (think U.K. Subs or the Damned) and American punk (Johnny Thunders school) with a dash of roots rock thrown in for good measure. Fueled by the incendiary six-string work of singer/guitarist Johnny Genocide (ne Hugh Thomas Patterson) and a strong rhythm section in bassist Jeff Rees and drummer Greg Langston, No Alternative came across more like a Bay area version of X than another Sex Pistols-influenced hardcore act. No Alternative imbued its material with more intellect and less rhetoric than many punk bands of the time. The band introduced young punks to Dalton Trumbo with the popular anti-war anthem "Johnny Got His Gun," (which was featured on the seminal S.F. Underground compilation) while "Rebel Youth" is a powerful call-to-arms with twangy guitar and jackhammer rhythms. The nihilistic "Life Of Suicide" features a scorching solo by Genocide that would put many stadium rockers to shame while a blistering guitar line and crashing rhythms drive "Dead Men Tell No Lies" towards chaos. Genocide rips off a riff from Golden Earring's "Radar Love" and sledgehammers it straight into your brain. Some of the live material here offers a glimpse of the band's energetic and eclectic performance style. A cover of Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" is played straight with fierce rockabilly undercurrent while the Genocide original "Sir" sounds like a cross between Jamaican dub (as filtered through the Clash) and mid-70s heavy metal. No Alternative covered Johnny Cash almost a decade before Social Distortion, revisiting "Folsom Prison Blues" with a piss-and-vinegar reading that captures the songs original intent if not its sound. Johnny Got His Gun '78 -- '82 also includes the interesting, cow-punk styled "Show Em' All" and the generic punk rocker "Picture frame Seduction," both recorded by an early pre- No Alternative band called KGB that included Genocide and Rees along with future Dils drummer Zippy Pinhead. A side project formed with Mike Fox of Tools and called "Alternative Tools" yielded the half-dozen songs that close Johnny Got His Gun '78 -- '82, tracks like "I Hate The Government" and "People's Revolution," penned by Fox, eschewing Genocide's relative lyrical subtlety in favor of in-your-face anarchistic sturm-und-drang. No Alternative were an important part of a San Francisco punk rock scene, contemporaries of better-known artists like the Dead Kennedys and the Avengers and an obvious influence on bands like Rancid that would follow in their wake. Johnny Got His Gun '78 -- '82 rescues the band from the dustbin of history and establishes No Alternative as major players in one of the most important times and places in the punk rock pantheon. ~ Rev. Keith A. Gordon, All Music Guide
Your influences?
Chainsaws, hammers, human screams, link Wray, Robert Johnson, Deep Heavy Metal, anything but punk rock
Favorite spot?
Memphis TN, and Clarksdale MS
Equipment used:
Marshall Stacks, Gretsch, Epiphone and Agile guitars (Agile Guitars rule)
Anything else...?
Yeah, we sound like us so don't ask me who we sound like. We've been doing this for 30 years so other people tend to sound like us. We were doing what Green Days does, but 30 years ago, not to speak poorly of them.
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