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BATTALION OF SAINTS / S.V.D.B.- Split 7″ (Mystic Records, USA, 1983)

What a crime! One of the shortest Split Singles of the early Hardcore days and definitely one of the very best and the perfect sound for such a lovely early spring day (although I caught a virus that pins me down to my bed most of the time)! BATTALION OF SAINTS salacious wir lieben die jugendlich mädchen-esque “Sweaty little Girls”, backed up by another L.A. band, the incredible S.V.D.B. (SAINT VITUS DANCE BAND – now how’s that for a band name?!). Both bands totally rip, both songs are top-of-the-top hits, hard to say which is better. Maybe I like S.V.D.B.’s melancholic tune a tiny little bit better. “Chain Reaction” sounds like it could have been on one of the very best Posh boy releases. BATTALION OF SAINTS as always totally shred! A bit more on the punkier side, raw and dirty and with George Antony’s buzzsaw vocals.

Here’s what the apparently official BATTALION OF SAINTS internet biography has to say about this and all other Mystic releases: «Shortly after their first EP was out, they were asked to contribute a few tracks to the BYO Records compilation “Someone’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In” – a compilation challenging youth to stand up for what they believe in – especially to take a stand against police brutality. The band went to Mystic Sound Studios and recorded. Three of the tracks were used, including the vicious attack on police brutality, “Cops Are Out.” Some other bands to appear on the comp were Youth Brigade, Adolescents, Social Distortion, and Bad Religion. They also appeared on Version Sound’s “Meathouse 1” compliation, and the “Our Blow Out!” compilation (local San Diego band comp.). Tracks from the Hit Single sessions were used for these comps.
After recording at Mystic Sound, Doug Moody of Mystic Records, who kept the masters, released the Second Coming 7″ EP on his label, with really raw & screamy early versions of 3 tracks. He also used an otherwise unreleased track, “Sweaty Little Girls,” to be included on the Destroy L.A. Fanzine on vinyl. After the release of the ‘zine/record, Mystic used 2 of the Destroy L.A. tracks and released a split 7″ with the Battalion of Saints track on one side, S.V.D.B.’s track “Chain Reaction” on the other. Unfortunately, none of these Mystic releases were ever authorized by the band, and the band got no money from Mystic. The singles sold several thousand copies – more than any other band had done for Mystic at the time. They were legitimate releases on a somewhat legitimate label, but as usual, Mystic got in the habit of ripping off bands who worked with them. A few years after they had disbanded for the first time, Doug Moody of Mystic put out the Sweaty Little Girls ep with the track from Destroy LA, and on the B side 2 live tracks. At the same time, Moody also got in touch with Randy Fuele from Hit Single and got some of the tapes from the band’s two recording sessions there. Using these demos, the Fighting Boys session, and again the Destroy L.A. track, along with more live recordings, Mystic put out a bootleg Best of… lp of the Bats titled “Rock In Peace.»

What I never could understand was the role of the two fanzines Sound of Hollywood and Destroy L.A. in these releases. How could a fanzine work together with Doug Moody in releasing bootlegs?
I’d also be very happy to hear more about S.V.D.B. As far as I know, this is the band’s only recording that’s ever been released on vinyl (note: both tracks of this split 7″ also appear on Mystic’s “The sound of Hollywood” compilation LP which is a smasher!). Anybody has more?

If you want to find out how I uncovered one minor Punk Rock scam that involves the BATTALION OF SAINTS, you should click this link.

BATTALION OF SAINTS: Sweaty little Girls.mp3
SAINT VITUS DANCE BAND (S.V.D.B.): Chain Reaction.mp3

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