Laffinstock

Tim, Reverend Steve, John-John and Sean

So I was doing a guest spot on Scene of The Crime a few months back and as I was wrapping it up, who the fuck walks in but none other than Tim Mize, the lead singer of my all-time favourite St Louis hardcore band Laffinstock. Now if you have paid attention on any of my other St Louis hardcore related-posts, you know that the Laffinstock demo represents the friggin hardcore Holy Grail for me. I seriously never thought I would hear it again and then last week, what arrives in my mailbox? A package from Tim Mize containing the Laffinstock demo and some unreleased stuff

So does the demo stand up to the test of time? Hell fuckin’ yeah it does. Now, I am fully aware that it is difficult for me to be unbiased about this stuff as it was basically the soundtrack to juvenile delinquency for me as a teenager, so let’s study it objectively and scientifically. Let’s take a look at the first track, played endlessly by me and my delinquent buddies back in the day. “Fucked Up For Days” was at face value, very similar to the prevalent NYHC style of its time (1987). But take a listen again…

The song moshes along after a Dennis Hopper Blue Velvet quote more in the Drunks With Guns tradition than any NYHC band. Then the break and it speeds up wicked fast and the lyrics kick in. But is it about “scene unity” or some fuckin’ bullshit? No! It’s about being fucked up for days. Then Tim asks you for a beer and it goes back into the mosh which you now realize has a lot more in common with Wonderful Subdivision than it does with Break Down The Walls. I have now concluded after my scientific analysis that this track kicks ass.

Tim wearing a wig at Bernard’s

What was great about Laffinstock was that they took everything that made St Louis unique during the hardcore era (which lasted longer here than in most places) and wrapped it up into one big powerhouse of a band. They took the heaviness of Drunks and combined it with the speed of White Suburban Youth and added the humour of Ultraman. Look at the banner from one of their Bernard’s shows with Tim in the wig. It looks like a fuckin’ sign outside a pizza joint. Might as well say St Louis’ own Gooey Butter or something.

They were the last great hardcore band for me. The fact that they were local was irrelevant. By this time the scene had really degenerated into posi-core and neo-Nazism. I moved away to Tulsa between the demo and these extra tracks and did not return for many years. In Tulsa I discovered Am Rep and Sub Pop and the game was pretty much over for me as far as hardcore was concerned. Looking back, what started in 82-83 for me with the Dead Kennedys and The Circle Jerks, ended for me in 87-88 with Laffinstock and Ultraman.

So, listen to the songs. They are a perfect combination of black humour, misanthropy, brute force and adrenalin, which at its best is what the St Louis sound was all about. They took these local traits and combined them with obvious outside influences like Fang and The FU’s to great effect.

It’ll sneak up on ya. This stuff fuckin’ rules.

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14 Responses to Laffinstock

  1. Tom says:

    I can’t downlaod the Webster version of What Now?

  2. Joe Stumble says:

    fixed

  3. Anonymous says:

    Holy Shit! This brings back some memories. I remember that these guys had two tapes floating around. One was the one with “Fucked Up For Days” on it, the other was called “Black Mama Titty Juice”. I remember that one well because when my mom found it she went balistic like she’d caught me smoking pot or something. Not sure if each tape had 2 or 4 songs on them. I know they had a tape that came out after the two demos. I only got to hear it once but I remember thinking it lacked the heaviness of the versions I was familiar with. Joe, you rule for posting this. Cheers!

  4. Brushback says:

    Hell yeah, that’s a great demo. Sorta Gorilla Biscuits-like at times, but heavier.

  5. Joe Stumble says:

    The heaviness is that St Louis rock thing I think….I have no doubt that if Laffinstock were around NYC in 87 instead of St Louis they would have been CBGB matinee favorites.

    Instead, they got to play Bernards!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jesus, I feel old now. A friend bought the demo with Black Mama Titty Juice (was that the “I’m a child molester and I know what you want” song?) in front of the Skate Corral/Palace down on Delmar across from the Wing King back in 87 or so – forget what show we were there to see, might have been Descendants. We were from Illinois and this was our first-ish trip to the big city for some punk rock… Man we thought these guys were cool. I’d almost forgotten about how crappy Bernards was yet then we kept coming back for more. Who remembers this: “hey man, I’ll rap for a quarter”?

  7. Joe Stumble says:

    The one visual memory I have of Laffinstock playing (and I musta seen them at least a dozen times or so) was with Pat Hercules. He had a big flag draped over him like a bathrobe or something. Was that at the Descendents show? I saw the Descendents at the Sports Palace / Skate Corral with MIA I think.

    I remember the “hey man I’ll rap for a quarter guy”. Years later I’m walking down Mass Ave in Boston and a guy came up to me and just started rapping. When he was done he wanted some $$$ and I told him “fuck no”. He got all pissed off with me and I informed him that “you need to ask for the quarter before you start. That’s how they do it in Tha Loo. Otherwise you’re giving your raps away on the honor system.”

    Fucker had NO idea what I was talking about.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think Laffinstock necessarily played the Descendants show (or whoever it was we were there to see), I think Tim was just out front selling tapes to whoever was looking gullible which the group I was with most certainly would have. Probably the first or 2nd punk show I ever emoerged from the Illinois corn to come and see. Opened my eyes just a wee little bit you might say. “Holy crap guys, real live skinheads!!!”

  9. Erich says:

    Altzhough late 80s HC normally ain’t my cup of tea, this really has it. Great guitar sound and urgency!

  10. Elvis Kennedy says:

    Rap for a quarter..holy shit I remember that. There was a kid that would back flip off your car for 50 cents. Bill Bernard would sleep ( pass out) out front at Bernards at shows. The dust inside Bernards when the mosh pit would kick in was crazy. Laffinstock was my definatly one of my favorite st louis bands! My band The Dead Celebrities covered a Laffinstock song. St louis had an amazing scene.

  11. Joe says:

    I remember the back-flip kid! That was a trip.

  12. D says:

    Holy shit! I never thought I’d hear the old fuckbags (remember, they were in plastic baggies w/xerox artwork?) again.

    Don’t remember where I got it (a brother of a friend, maybe?), but I remember I loved it. Actually changed my life. Thank you thank you for posting.

  13. WOW Finally somebody found them!!! I have been searching for those demo tapes for years!! I had em both and used to listen to them till my mom screamed at me… I used to play a lot of suicidal tendencies too, just for her…. But anyway, I was there, I remeber the flip kid and the rapper guy! bernards pub was like our mecca. I remeber when danzig came and they got booed so bad and the crowd kept screaming till laffinstock came back out for an encore. thats what STLpunk was about, fuck the national acts, we want “our” bands!! I’m so glad I found this post… the stars are perfect or something…I was digging in the garage and came across an old box, inside my punk paraphenalia stash!! the first tour shirt I ever bought @ mississippi nights from my all time favorite band suicidal tendencies. and a murphy’s law/mighty bosstones tour shirt when they played at some vfw hall in soulard there is a video on youtube of that where you can see me. and the all time coolest…. My DOCS! i bought them from a skin under the “bridge” in forest park for a 12 pack of beer and they still fit! those days were so fucking cool… just an added little push to get me online looking again, Blue Velvet was in my netflix! Lets hit the fuckin road!! now I have to rent “Evil Dead” who’s laffin now!!

  14. Jimmyjames and the blue flames says:

    Gosh, I really felt this was the best band I ever heard in the late 80′s . So much so, that I stalked Tom until he became friends with me.
    I remember the shoe where he told everyone to ‘ get on the stage’ . Beautiful chaos ensued.

    If you see Tim, tell him I miss him. He truly is St Louis’ favorite son!

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