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Mystery Bands III: POWER OF THE SPOKEN WORD- Language of a dying Breed LP (Sacrifical Records, USA, 1984)

Repost from August 11 2006 of one of the most spectacular yet forgotten Hardcore LPs of the early 80s. New information & band photos added. Full album download in a fresh 320 kb/s rip.

You know, there are bands that are easy to like, just like there are people with whom you will easily get along. Then there are bands that need time. To like them requires a bit of work and patience. Liking such bands increases your skills to like more of their kind, weirder ones. So it appears like this: Taste is not something that accepts or declines at once, it’s not so much of a spontaneous reaction, a habitual way of adressing yourself to an object; taste is an elaborated aesthetic. POWER OF THE SPOKEN WORD is not one of these bands everybody likes just like that. Finding access to them requires a fair amount of labour. One could use a simple and rather pittoresque metaphor which would compare the band’s music to a secret spot where there’s many a pleasure to find and enjoying them would require finding a way through the forest of your own ignorane first. But I’m not using such laughable speech here. Not me!
Before there was “Pagan Metal”, there was “Pagan Hardcore”. Here’s an excerpt from “The Language of a dying Breed”, the band’s theme song: “In this age they say it is wrong, to drink the wine of the knowledge of the ancients, and are we forbidden to speak the language, so if you’re like me and you happen to be, an ungodly pagan – and if you believe, in spiritual rebellion then you must speak, the language of the dying breed.”

The overall atmosphere of POWER OF THE SPOKEN WORD’s only vinyl release (the band came from Nebraska, surprise surprise) pretty much fits into that magical-mystery-ancient-rites-smoke-and-fire – style. Some of the most bizarre and original vocal tracks here; a band like no other and quite possibly (maybe together with SPIKE IN VAIN who had another bizarre LP not so much unlike the aesthetical concept of this one) the inventors of what you might want to call Pagan Hardcore. Even when the band plays fast Hardcore, it’s totally off the wall. “Decide or die” clearly belongs to the fastest songs of the 1984 era, although the music is not about speed, inf fact the fast parts are few. All songs are kept short and effective.

Who knows more about them? They also had a couple of songs on BCT’s “Brain Of Stone” comp tape which I might add if there’s a need for it. Maybe nobody else will like this. It would make me happy if somebody would share the pleasure with me.

Download POWER OF THE SPOKEN WORD’s “Language of a dying Breed” LP here. (.zip file: Choose”save target as”)

So here’s the additional info I received upon the initial posting. Thanks Marty & Andre!

Here’s what I found out about the band: Drummer Phil Judt has a website that used to include a FAQ and forum. Now it only a homepage with an email link. Since he mentioned POTSW on the old site, I think he would open to answering questions if you had any.

According to this website — , guitarist Steve Schleich died in November 2000 of a drug overdose.

Curiously enough, there’s a press release online recording the dedication of a park named for a Stephen Schleich who also died in Nov. 2000. However, THIS Stephen Schleich was an attorney and realtor, and was involved in providing affordable housing. They could be the same man.

By the way, Mott-Ly, the artist who did the album art, died recently. Here’s an article:

Mott-Ly was in the very first punk rock band I ever saw — the Tunnel Dogs. They opened for Husker Du at a 1983 show.

Thanks for keeping up your blog. It’s very important.




Years Playing 198? – 1985
Jake Ryan – Vocals
Steve Schleich – Guitar
Phil Judt- Drums
Language of a Dying Breed – 1985- Sacrificial Records
Members came from: Hymn To Joy
Members went to:

The photos are from the Brickyard in Lincoln ne.

They were on this site.


  1. Thomas

    This is really the best blog around. I remember buying the LP back in 85/86 (not sure). It was a recommendation from Tom from Sasquatch Mailorder in Berlin. He was really into the most unusual stuff and promoting the hell out of music nobody else would have listened to otherwise. Whenever he had a new list out, I would call him up and order stuff that I thought sounded cool. And then he would add his five cents what I should get. Got burned a couple of times but most of the times he was right on the money (especially in hindsight). POTSW was one of those cases. I remember being totally creepep out by the strangeness of the music, especially since no information whatsoever was available who these guys were and what their intent was. Great to read all the info here. What a cool band.


    Posted on 04-Mar-10 at 10:33 | Permalink
  2. Marius Bauer

    Wow… I thought I was the only one in the world who liked this band. Loved them fromthe very first day it ended up in my mailbox somewhere in ’86 or ’87. A review in MRR sparked my interest. I still play this record from time to time. I wouldn’t be surprised I was the only person in The Netherlands who owned this beauty.


    Posted on 07-Aug-10 at 08:00 | Permalink
  3. brian walsby

    I was in a band called Scared Straight years ago and we played with this band. We bought thier record and even though they were way better live, there was something about them that just commanded..there is no other way to put it.

    I remember eating lunch with Jake/Ikky and having a good time talking to him….always wondered what happened to these I know..

    I know of a few people who even know who this band was and they are (like me) also impressed..they certainly stood out!


    Brian Hobbs Reply:

    I remember Scared Straight–you played cool hard core–you guys were friends, and still are.


    Posted on 17-Aug-10 at 01:08 | Permalink
  4. Jacob Judt

    The Drummer was my dad! Phil Judt im deadly fuckin serious look him up on Facebook


    Posted on 07-Nov-10 at 21:13 | Permalink
  5. David D

    Man this site is a great find. POTSW meant so much to me and my friends. I grew up in the Midwest (mostly Oklahoma) and a friend of mine who did a local zine tuned me on to the Language of a Dying Breed album. For years I played it for everyone who I thought would dig it, and most everyone got into it.

    I put tracks from this album on a zillion mix tapes in the 80s and early 90s for people. Just one of a kind, killer music.

    I would LOVE dearly to hear the BCT Brain of Stone tracks!

    Thanks for posting this.


    Posted on 04-Dec-10 at 04:54 | Permalink
  6. David D

    PS– I never met the guys in POTSW unfortunately, but I saw Mott-ly’s band Mudhead a number of times and one of my old bands almost opened for them once, but something happened to prevent it. He was a great guy.

    RIP folks, RIP.


    Posted on 04-Dec-10 at 04:58 | Permalink
  7. Jacob Judt

    Sorry about the F bomb back there. But yeah, my dads doin okay. 7 years ago, we migrated to North Carolina and now were back and im following in my dads footsteps. Lets keep this blog going, and it sucks that Jake died. ( I was partially named after him and my great grandfather). My dad knew him since junior high i think, putting boom boxes in a locker on full blast and locking it. Seemed like a good guy. Peace Out, and lets bring back some memories and keep it goin.

    -Jake Judt

    P.S. I can do 540 bpm double bass. Just sayin’. 😛


    Posted on 17-Feb-11 at 03:17 | Permalink
  8. futility

    I think Jakes had a cousin who was related to Judge Dale Farnbruch who, early in his career, had been a chief prosecutor in the trial of Charlie Starkweather and Caril Fugate. I remember one PSW show where Jake introduced a song as being “about a good midwestern boy: Charlie Starkweather!”

    I think I got my facts straight there, maybe.

    Also of note for the PSW fans, some mysterious person video of 4 songs by another Jake Ryan project, Mortis Gentis, performing live at Lincoln’s legendary Brickyard. You can seethe Lincoln Police stop the show in the middle of the song “Dying Breed” here:


    Posted on 29-Apr-11 at 09:10 | Permalink
  9. I still have this vinyl. I met these guys in Salt Lake City in 85. They were supposed to play with Gang Green but those assholes never showed up.
    Link to the flier for that show
    If you ever see the movie SLC punk – the very opening scene is a shot of a red brick building under an overpass. I smoked pot with POTSW in their van under that viaduct and the red building is were Raunch Records was.


    Posted on 17-Jun-11 at 16:13 | Permalink
  10. Brian Hobbs

    Jake and Steve both OD’d and died. Yup, Schleich was a lawyer and in law school at the time we recorded this album. They were both close friends and confidents–I am sad at their passing. I attended both funerals. At the time that we made this album–the only other band in town was a skate-punk band. We were the odd-balls. We finished every night at the Brickyard–we did not start our set before 11:00 pm. Thank you for posting–

    Take Care,



    Posted on 08-Dec-11 at 03:56 | Permalink
  11. martin b

    I knew Jake in Chicago in the late 1980s. He did rather odd Santeria-inspired tattoos here. I remember him mentioning his old band with affection.
    He was a nice guy. I was very sorry to hear he died. RIP.


    Posted on 21-Jan-12 at 01:13 | Permalink
  12. tim tharp

    I was in SG with Brian, Jake and Mott. what a blast! and PSW was otherworldly live. the whole freaking band had presence. I’ve never seen anything like it. the hype is true…..


    Hobbs Reply:

    Hi again Tim–you are us. The Circumfrence of a Circle.


    Posted on 16-Nov-12 at 00:12 | Permalink
  13. Hello,
    Here’s a review of their 1984 demo tape “The perils of being sane in insane places” :


    Posted on 27-Apr-13 at 02:06 | Permalink
  14. Madison Schleich

    My dad was the was the guitarist Steve Schleich. I was only 5 years old when he passed. I would do anything to hear him play ??


    Posted on 07-Oct-16 at 05:12 | Permalink

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