Monday, April 17, 2006


I oughta give some background on the project before I go into any details. OK. Sometime last summer a guy named Jim Lanza wanted to put together an exhibit of his photographs from the old Cleveland/Akron hardcore scene. In order to publicize the exhibit, he wanted to find a bands from those days who'd be willing to reunite for a one-off show at the gallery. So he posted on the "Bathroom Wall" forum. To everyone's amazement, not just one, but several of the bands from the old days were into playing together again. Within a short time, the original idea became much bigger. It soon turned into a multiple band reunion show at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland and a date was set for December 10th, 2005.

Here's the final line-up with my own subjective views on each band. You can find more info on these groups at the Clepunk website ( under "Bands."

My two favorite bands on the scene were ODFx (which I joined) and Offbeats. Offbeats had a strong pop sensibility. Their songs had hooks, melodies, all that good stuff which most hardcore bands lacked. I'm not even sure they qualify as hardcore except for the fact that they played all the hardcore shows. Their style was more like the Ramones or the Dickies. They put out an LP on Relativity in the mid 80's. Unfortunately, that album really didn't represent them very well. Recently they've issued a CD on Smog Veil Records which finally gets it right.

The Guns started out as a teenage thrash duo. These kids were a phenomenon to behold. I think Scott Eakin was 14 and Dave Araca was 15, or maybe the other way around. But when they played it was just pure power. Their song "I'm Not Right" is a hardcore hit that should have been. Every bit as intense yet catchy as "Institionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies or Black Flag's "Rise Above." It's the soundtrack to the trailer of the movie. The band expanded and started playing a more metal sound which won them a lot of fans. Dave Araca passed away and that looked like the end for The Guns. But Scott reformed the group for the December show and put on a smokin' performance.

Agitated started off being a metal band. At least that's what they told everybody at the time. But they always sounded like thrash to me. Tommy Hawk of Offbeats was the guitarist and main song writer, so they sometimes sounded like a thrashier version of Offbeats. Lead singer Mike Mohawk had one of the first mohawk's NE Ohio had ever witnessed. Their original bassist, Johnny Phlegm, wanted no part in the show, so I was drafted as a replacement. One of the most fun shows I've ever played.

I've put up a whole page about ODFx (aka Zero Defex) at So go there and check it out.

The Plague were another amazing group. In some ways they remind me of Agitated. The fact that they shared the same lead vocalist kinda ads to that effect. Their EP "Nazi Submarine" is one of the most sought after punk rarities ever, and with good reason. A hot, hot tune. When the band played Germany they were afraid to play it, thinking they might start a riot. Instead the fans screamed for it at every show.

Two other new bands also shared the stage that night. CHROME KICKERS are basically The Plague reunited, an amazing band who kick chrome for sure. DRIVEN HIGH features Scott from The Guns on drums along with two hot chicks on bass and guitar. Another band not to be missed.

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