Useless Pieces of Shit – Fuck Shit Up

Useless Pieces of Shit – Fuck Shit Up (dis-illusion records) 1987. The Useless Pieces of Shit were on my fifth hardcore podcast and goddamm it if I didn’t fall in love with the band all over again while I was working on that epic piece of podsploitation. Around that time, I shared the video for Fuck Shit Up on my Facebook page and I think it was shared around faster than any other video I have personally ever posted, which really says something. Most of the comments that accompanied the video as it spread like a disease across my friends Facebook walls, pointed out how generic and “HC by numbers” the band was and I can’t say I blame these people for thinking that. From every perspective this 7inch seems like the quintessential generic US Hardcore 7inch EP from the 1980s. Look at the cover. Look at the song titles. Look at the name of the band! I mean let’s deconstruct Fuck Shit Up a bit. What’s the deal with these guys?

Let’s start at the beginning when Useless Pieces of Shit, who also went by they quintessentially hardcore moniker of U.P.S. founded in Tucson, AZ in 1983. The original line-up were four crazy dudes who went by the quintessentially hardcore names of Sleepy Pieces (vox), Slug Useless (guitar), Rat Shit (drums) and Dr Blood (bass). Next order of business for the four amigos was the completion of a demo tape which they entitled the quintessentially generic Stupid Punk Demo. They then went on the required Stupid Punk Tour to support the Stupid Punk Demo and found demand for their tunes was so overwhelming that upon returning to Arizona, the band set about recording a 7inch to sell at their shows. At this point, original vocalist Sleepy Pieces left to get hitched in El Paso and was replaced by their roadie, the also quintessentially named Dumpy Pieces. Dumpy and the rest of the band recorded the masterpiece that we are currently discussing, the epic Fuck Shit Up.

Fuck Shit Up pretty much represents what it was like to be a hardcore punk in the mid-1980′s. The songs are all full of attitude, the riffs are fast and the lyrics are stupid. The cover has a FUCKING SKELETON SHOOTING LASERS OUT OF ITS EYES. The video they made for the song Fuck Shit Up (a different version than the one on this EP) is as quintessentially hardcore a video as one can imagine and this is where I diverge from the detractors who decried the bands genericism on Facebook. They are missing the point in that yes, the Useless Pieces of Shit pretty much singlehandedly exhibit every single trait of the US Hardcore movement of the 1980s but that does not mean that they suck. In fact, that is the core strength of the band! How many other bands nailed every single item? If you try to tell me that there were thousands of other bands like U.P.S. I would say no, there were thousand other bands that exhibited some of the traits of U.P.S., but how many got every single requirement? Maybe Chronic Sick, and everyone knows that those guys were awesome. Plus, the Useless Pieces of Shit were actually pretty good in that sun-baked, Southwestern Hardcore sort of way. They remind me of Stark Raving Mad, which is really never a bad thing. The beginning of Junkie Punks even reminds me a bit of the Meat Puppets, also from Arizona. OK, maybe that is going too far…

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10 Responses to Useless Pieces of Shit – Fuck Shit Up

  1. Dave says:

    Yeah, this is only slightly above generic! My recollection of these guys is that they were one of those marginal Toxic Shock/Toxic Ranch type bands… sorta sun-baked “desert hardcore”, the kind of stuff that I’d imagine Jack Shit (remember them? they were on Positive Force!) sounded like, too… you’d see the ads in Flipside, but never buy the records. I also seem to remember that in the old scene reports and ads stuff they were first called just “U.P.S.”, it took a little bit before it came out that it stood for Useless Pieces of Shit. Though that could just be my old memory failing me…

    “Junkie punks, junkie punks, junkie punks – O.D.”, isn’t that just a re-do of “Nazi punks fuck off”?

  2. Joe says:

    TOTALLY… They are so completely generic in every way that they are more a parody than Anarchy 6 or Crucial Youth. And those guys were intentional parodies! The only item on the “US HC Band from the 1980s checklist” that I have yet to locate is the cool logo ala the DK logo or the NOTA Arrow or the DRI moshing guy. Haven’t found one for these guys and I would think they would have been all over that. They are the prototype!

    And yeah, I remember the ads in Flipside and such. They probably never sold any. I woulda totally ignored these guys in 1984 but I think its great now!

    Jack Shit by the way, is on Podcast #5 along with UPS…

  3. Dave says:

    Yeah, I remember when it seemed like every new HC band had a three-initial name (on all the compilation tapes I’d get in the mail, and on all the MRR and Mystic comps and so forth) and it was like a bad joke. I was like, ‘have we really gotten that redundant?’

    ‘Here’s my new band, M.A.S. – Mad At Society- check out the song about vivisection on our demo’

    I should see if you’ve posted anything about O.N.S. – Our Neighbors Suck. Another one of those desert hardcore bands, I’m sure.

  4. mrpoopy says:

    I have the O.N.S. demo and LP up at my blog with comments from a couple of the band members. I always liked this record, but you left out the best part: the insert!

  5. Mark Beef says:

    the band in the video was the original lineup not Sleepy (vox) or Rat (drums) and they were one of the first bands to exhibit that speed (even faster than Bad Brains et al) at that early of a time. Also pretty much introduced tattoos into punk/hardcore ask the UK Subs. By the time this record came out, which for the Tucson scene is a rarity in and of itself – why American Hardcore and most other bibles will know nothing of our town, they were in full clown costumes. Another trend they could arguably said to have started (the gimmick costume punk band)

  6. malfeitor says:

    If only the laser beam skeleton wasn’t drawn so well- it would really up the ante. SRM’s MX absolutely destroys this.

  7. Joe says:

    @Malfeitor – Yes Stark Raving Mad were at a whole different level. Amerika is better than this too. Gotta confuse my dimly made points, with your facts dontcha?!? (;

    @Mark Beef – There were other bands playing that fast in 1983 but yes, UPS were the first to play in clown suits. The video is great and I love the 7inch. Also props for pointing out that Tuscon was not represented in America Hardcore. A lot of cities weren’t (or were made fun of like Pittsburgh and St Louis) and its annoying if you are from one of those places…

  8. Chris Oliver says:

    I remember reading an interview with…maybe Exploited?…and they mentioned a band from Arizona called Useless Pieces of Shit that were “about as far as you could go with hardcore.” I never heard of them again, and I eventually decided that he meant Dirty Rotten Imbeciles and just got the name wrong. I’m with Joe: I would have HATED this in ’84, but it’s great to listen to now. Sort of in the same way a lot of MTV music that I hated now makes me feel nostalgic.

  9. Tim says:

    LOVE THE VIDEO — I think I’ll pass on the downlaod though.

  10. Slug Useless says:

    I’m the former guitarist for Useless Pieces of Shit and the head of Disillusion Music Label. I just discovered this forum so I know I’m late to the party. It comes as a big surprise and interest to me how much people have read into what we were doing back in the day. We always wanted to force an emotion from all that came within earshot of our music/noise. We wanted people to hate or love us, no middle of the roadies allowed.
    Let me start by saying that the use of U.P.S. as the band name was not our idea. It was shortened by clubs, promoters, radio stations, and fanzines because they were afraid to say or print the word ‘Shit’. We always went by the name Useless Pieces of Shit.
    I’m glad that people today can still enjoy the video and music but the real Useless Pieces of Shit experience was to see us live. The seven inch vinyl, Fuck Shit Up, was done on a very small budget and isn’t truly a representation of our sound but it still has a quality that stands the test of time. The YouTube video has just hit 100,000 views and has generated much discussion. We have released several CD’s that include several years and four different lineups.
    So if you want to relive the olds days of hardcore punk rock we are here for you. Enjoy if you want at DisillusionMusicLabel.com or UselessPiecesofShit.com
    Your friend,
    Slug Useless
    P.S.: If someone wants to discuss Useless Pieces fo Shit more check our Disillusion Music Label Facebook page or email us at Disillusion.Music@gmail.com

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