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V/A EMPTY SKULLS- Compilation Tape (Fartblossom Enterprises, USA, 1984)

emptyskulls_cover.jpgemptyskulls_tapecoverfull.jpgemptyskulls_cassette.jpgJoe over at Last Days of Man recently posted a demo tape by REAL ENEMY, a short lived but amazing Pittsburg (and not Philly, haha)  HC band. I downloaded the demo, played it and was immediately in love with it. A couple of tunes later I thought I had somehow heard this before and when “1 2 3 4 Ward Street Hardcore” was bursting out my speakers, I realized: They were on EMPTY SKULLS.
One of the topnotch compilation tapes of the earlier days, EMPTY SKULLS is a mad blast of U.S. only HC – no fills, just thrills! Most of the bands are popular by now, a portion of the recordings can be found elsewhere, but some of still exclusive to this tape, for instance the incredible live tracks by N.O.T.A. They live version of “Toy Soldiers” makes the one on the 7″ look pale in comparison! Other highlights include the blistering NO MERCY (Suicidal Tendencies members; “Brain Damage” is a hit! forget their shitty LP), NO LABELS, OUTPATIENTS, the ever-overlooked OUT OF ORDER and AGAINST. The demo songs from RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED are not as good as the 7″ that came shortly after this, but still, excellent material! The SEPTIC DEATH songs seem to have a different vocals mix, but I’m not sure. Anybody care to compare? One mystery band is NO DIRECTION from Norman, Oklahoma, who don’t have song titles (I can’t help it, but I keep hearing “Titty Fuck” as title for the 2nd of their songs). Another such is ELECTRIC COOL-AID from East Peoria, Illinois, who obviously had a good laugh when recording. In one word: The whole thing is a pearl!
Here are a few scans from the accompaning booklet (cover art, you recognized it, by Pushead. Every band has one page, I only document SEPTIC DEATH’s contribution here):emptyskulls_booklet1.jpg
emptyskulls_editorial.jpgemptyskulls_septic.jpg The tape was, just like the follow up compilation LP (“Empty Skulls Vol. 2: The Wound deepens”) released by southern californian Fartblossom Enterprises, a fine small label run by the people of Pillsburry Hardcore. The LP has international bands on it, is lacking the intensity of this gemm but is still a good buy.

Download Empty Skulls here (zip file).

PS: Was too lazy to number the songs. Check the playlist for correct order.

39 Comments

  1. BIG AL THE PUNK

    THIS IS A GREAT POST ! THIS COMP IS A ALL TIME CLASSIC FROM THE EARLY 80’S.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 04:31 | Permalink
  2. bobbie

    this was floating around in slsk a while ago. had a bit rate of 128 and sounded like shit. downloading now and curious to find out whether this sounds better or not. it hopefully does! thanks anyway.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 04:48 | Permalink
  3. Admin

    It’s ripped from the original tape, as you can see. As always, I amplified the songs and cut them so they would be just like on the tape, using pro soft- and hardware. Please compare and tell me what you hear.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 04:52 | Permalink
  4. BIG AL THE PUNK

    MAN I ALREADY HAD A RIP OF THIS TAPE ON CDR AND THE FREAKING “HISS” WAS LOUDER THAN THE MUSIC. IT SOUNDED LIKE CRAP.
    THE ONE YOU POSTED IS ALOT BETTER. ITS A VERY GOOD UPGRADE FOR ME. THANKS !
    CONSIDERING ITS A 23 YEAR OLD TAPE IT SOUNDS GOOD.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 06:25 | Permalink
  5. Mat Wilson

    How many shit-hot HC compilations are out there!!! Living in England, I missed 99% of them bar ‘Flex Your Head’ and ‘LTE Jellybeans’. I never listened to any HC for 20 years since The Stupids and am having the time (listen) of my life having found all these feckin great blogs:-)

    Mat Wilson

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 09:30 | Permalink
  6. This is great. I used to own the LP of “the Wound Deepens” which I believe had COC on it and the classic “I Hate Paper Cuts” by Pillsbury HC but this kicks its ass.

    One correction though. Real Enemy were from Pittsburgh which is the other side of the state (6-7 hour drive) from Philly. Philly is sort of an East Coast town like Boston or NYC while Pittsburgh is definitely more of a midwestern town. I only mention this because those Pittsburgh guys are super-proud of thier town!

    Anyway, thanks Erich…another killer!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 09:38 | Permalink
  7. Admin

    Oops, Joe – I keep mixing up some u.s. cities, but already corrected my fault. Are you serious that there are people around proud on “their” city?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 09:44 | Permalink
  8. Ugggh…maybe more like proud of thier “scene”…a word I hate using. In the USA, as you probably know, cities like NYC and LA get all the attention while cities like Pittsburgh are usually forgotten. So people from these towns are usually proud of where they come from as a reaction to feeling overlooked by popular culture at large. I say this while living in Saint Louis, which is generally considered the armpit of the USA.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 13:21 | Permalink
  9. Thanks for posting this! I love when old cassettes like this get put up! Hmm, I wonder if No Direction are the same ones who put out the pretty good “Reaganomics” 7″ in ’83 (and an LP which I have yet to hear- anyone?). But the discography on Collector Scum.com says they were from fucking Sioux Falls, SD of all places and not Oklahoma (maybe they relocated in ’84?). By the way, my blog is already off of Blogspot and has a new URL:

    http://punkbusinessmanager.com/

    New posts coming soon…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 14:05 | Permalink
  10. Admin

    As for the year of release: I THINK this was released in 1984, but at least part of the recordings are actually older. That No direction 7″ you mentioned would be a nice post on your blog 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 14:13 | Permalink
  11. Fucking amazing!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 17:27 | Permalink
  12. Eddie

    I used to see No Mercy and Against play a lot in ’83-84. I remember No Mercy used to play a tune called “Fuck Life” and I wonder if a demo exists? I don’t think No Mercy had any members from Suicidal Tendencies but they were good friends with the band. I remember when No Mercy played at the Cathay in Hollywood and a rival gang of the Suis called the LADS stopped their set and asked them if they were from Suis gang and the singer told them he wasn’t gang related just friends with them.
    I remember toward the end of ’84, the last time I saw No Mercy play was at some high school gym in Culver City and Mike Muir from ST sung a song with them and then No Mercy played the opening verse to Black Sabbath’s “Electric Funeral” and I should have known then that the crossover to metal was going to take place.
    Against used to play at the Cathay a lot and I remember seeing them at the Music Machine and the free show outside the Federal Buiding. That was an awesome free gig. I remember it was just before the summer in ’84 and I remember Circle One, Shattered Faith, Red Scare played as well but I can’t remember who else played (too long ago). I also remember seeing Black Flag playing a free show at the Fed Bldg in ’83.
    I knew that Septic Death and NOTA played at the Cathay in ’84 but I found out afterward and missed them, fuck!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 18:15 | Permalink
  13. mosh

    just to further nitpick, the pittsburgh in question has an H on the end of it. not to be confused with pittsburG, california.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 18:47 | Permalink
  14. johnny

    yes,going to blast this

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 19:44 | Permalink
  15. Admin

    Eddie: When I saw No Mercy in 86, in Berkeley (?), Mike Muir from Suicidal Tendencies sang for them.

    Okay, okay: Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 23:32 | Permalink
  16. bobbie

    compared your version with the one i had from slsk. this one here is A LOT better and has 4 songs i didn’t get on slsk (not speaking of the cover and booklet). so thanks a BUNCH man. just one question: how much time did you spend?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Sep-07 at 00:39 | Permalink
  17. Admin

    This one was quite a bit of work. I would say around four hrs. maybe a bit more.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Sep-07 at 01:31 | Permalink
  18. bacteria

    sorry for asking this publicly but i can’t see how i could contact you. i’m a pushead collector and have never seen this before. would you consider selling this? i would pay 200 u.s. dollars.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Sep-07 at 02:44 | Permalink
  19. bacteria

    oopsy forgot my email adress. now you got it. thanks. great blog btw.
    bacteriaATgmx.net

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Sep-07 at 02:50 | Permalink
  20. Admin

    Nah, sorry Bacteria. I’m not selling this. I ordered this when it was still available for a couple of dollars and I know that if I’d sell it, I’d soon regret it. And it seems to be pretty hard to come by, like all original tapes, so I’d probably never find it again. No way am I giving this away.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Sep-07 at 03:40 | Permalink
  21. BIG AL THE PUNK

    YOU MIGHT KEEP AN EYE ON E-BAY. IVE SEEN IT ON THERE A COUPLE OF TIMES IN THE PAST 2 OR 3 YEARS.
    IF YOUR WILLING TO SLAP DOWN 200 U SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET IT. LAST I SAW WHEN IT WAS ON THERE IT WAS UP TO 60 OR 70 DOLLARS.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Sep-07 at 05:35 | Permalink
  22. I absolutely love the No Labels and here’s yet some other tracks to to add to the ones that can be found on the Master Tape Vol. 2 and the Why Are We Here comp. 7″. And the NOTA stuff is the best stuff I’ve heard with ’em. Agree that Out Of Order is overlooked. Their LP is pretty good! My top pick here has to be Outpatients! Too bad their LP didn’t lived up to their comp. tape tracks. Both Ballon and GPD can be found on some other comp. tapes.

    Ah fuck it’s hard to pick a fave! Real Enemy is killer too.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Sep-07 at 06:17 | Permalink
  23. As usual, another great post! Keep it up man, and thanks for the tunes! Cheers!…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Sep-07 at 03:03 | Permalink
  24. Hey Eddie,

    I played with Hated Principles at that Federal Building show. I know Red Scare, Stukas Over Bedrock, Against, No Mercy and the roller skating guitar guy from Venice played that show. Not sure of Circle One. I don’t think Shattered Faith played either. George Newberry who did Upstart Records threw that show.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Sep-07 at 17:53 | Permalink
  25. thanks for posting this!

    bacteria – i have a spare copy… but not a spare booklet… and looking at my spare cassette – not sure if it’s “original”.

    eddie – no mercy was on the same show as septic death at the cathay – great show!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 19-Sep-07 at 15:07 | Permalink
  26. Hey Paul,

    I looked on your site and saw the flyer for that show and it was Neighborhood Watch that played the Cathay show not No Mercy. If No Mercy played, I don’t remember now. I was at that show and that is where my brother Katz shot the band picture that Pushead uses alot.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 21-Sep-07 at 10:43 | Permalink
  27. yeah, no mercy was not on the flyer… condemned to death played too!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 23-Sep-07 at 17:55 | Permalink
  28. brian

    this was one of the first underground HC tapes I bought and it really opened my eyes, I still have my (less than perfect condition) copy with booklet, never getting rid of that shit.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 22-Oct-08 at 22:30 | Permalink
  29. Borg

    Did the band Against ever release anything else??

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Jan-09 at 21:05 | Permalink
  30. eddie

    Erich, Mike Muir was not the original singer of No Mercy.
    DonoftheDead, i remember seeing katz take pictures a lot at the shows. whatever happened to that HP roadie who used to have dark spiked hair and then he shaved off half his hair and dyed it green or some shit? i remember he was a lush but a cool dude. can’t remember his name.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 21-Mar-09 at 21:36 | Permalink
  31. roswell47

    my copy looks exactly the same and if i remember right i got this as well as a few other tapes (BCT ones mainly) from x-mist/germany who might have had some sort of agreement with certain US labels back then. i think armin taped and xeroxed those himself to spread them in europe. so anally spoken it’s maybe not the complete real deal but the european version. then again i’m not 100% sure. anyone still in touch with x-mist? that is if this question is of anyone’s interest at all.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 03-Nov-09 at 00:30 | Permalink
  32. I ordered my copy in the USA, from Raunch probably.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 03-Nov-09 at 08:08 | Permalink
  33. roswell47

    i see. so probably i’m wrong and they were all imports anyway.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 03-Nov-09 at 09:48 | Permalink
  34. It seems the archive is corrupt. I would really appreciate it if you would re-up the file. I’ve been looking forever and a day for this. Please email me with how much you want me to contribute and how I can do so. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 07-Mar-10 at 23:02 | Permalink
  35. The archive has been downloaded many times and never appeared to be corrupt. If you have a mac, try Zipeg to expand.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 07-Mar-10 at 23:54 | Permalink
  36. Ok, it’s all good. It just must’ve been a one time thing. Hanx!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 08-Mar-10 at 23:53 | Permalink
  37. Michael

    I have this tape stashed away in my music library! I would listen to it for days straight til I reached the point of where I got tired of it and just stashed it and forgot about it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 20-Jan-11 at 15:14 | Permalink
  38. Justin Conlan

    This the Comp Tape That,Tim( Comiskey),, And I put Out( Fartblossom was basically the financing),,As 13 yr old Punks From Beverly Hills, Ca, And Being Rabid Fans Of Those Early Great Hardcore Tape Comps( Charred Remains,,etc)), We decides to Round up a bunch of Bands we were fabs of and ir happen to know from the scene,, Managed to Get Ahold Of Pushead- Whom was very cool, And gace Us An Original Drawing – Which is what we wanted, even back then, his stuff was starting to get used and re- re-used,,,, Placed Ads in Flipside,, Maximum RnR,, Forced Exposure,etc,, And The Reat is Punk Rock History,, Ha ha,,,Not a Bad,”After School Project”, for a couple bored, punk kids,,

    [Reply]

    Posted on 02-Dec-13 at 01:53 | Permalink
  39. fusered

    hey Tony – there was 2 bands called No Direction – 1 from Norman / Oklahoma & another from Sioux Falls / South Dakota who released the Reaganomics 7″ & couple of LPs

    (OK) http://killfromtheheart.com/bands.php?id=466
    (SD) http://killfromtheheart.com/bands.php?id=526

    [Reply]

    Posted on 22-Nov-14 at 22:34 | Permalink

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