Sacred Denial – Life’s Been Getting To Me

Sacred Denial – Life’s Been Getting To Me (Four Front Records) 1985. In a continuation of my Jersey post is this first Sacred Denial release, Life’s Been Getting To Me. I recently picked this up in Minneapolis for a dollar. That’s fuckin’ crazy when you think about it. This is a great album! I compare them to Void below and I think the comparison stands. I am not saying they are as good or as consistent as Void but I do think at their best (the two samples below for instance) they are. Even the lesser stuff is excellent 80s hardcore. So what happened? Why do we cherish first editions of lesser releases while super-cool stuff like this is banished to the cut-out bins for all eternity? I think in Sacred Denial’s case its a combination of a few things. First of all, they were too late. This album was released in 1985. Had it been released in 1982 it may have been a different story for these guys. Same story as Social Unrest and 76% Uncertain. However with Sacred Denial, there is more at play. The second factor is that the cover art is terrible. I mean, it looks like one of those drawings on the back of a leather jacket or something. A lot of us woulda ran away from this thinking, generic cheese-core. The third reason why this album probably never got any respect was simply cuz its from Jersey. I’m telling you, if I saw this LP with this cover in 1985 and then someone said it was from New Jersey, I would have said “thanks but no thanks”. It’s funny really. All of these external factors at play that we are unaware of. So check this out. What do you think? Should this get a little more respect than it does or am I just wrong?

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25 Responses to Sacred Denial – Life’s Been Getting To Me

  1. Greazy Tony says:

    Great Record! Yeah, it was out of place for Jersey punk/hardcore for the time, but how do you expect us to act like in the shadow of tough guy NYHC? Jersey had no choice but to be ironic goofballs! Sacred Denial was truly one of Jerseys best. Anthony Trance kept booking punk shows, at the clubs that would have us, all the way up till his passing. I miss him. RIP.

  2. Erich says:

    Another band I used to have on the radar. When this and the other 12er came out, I really liked SACRED DENIAL for a short period of time. Then they got somehow boring, I don’t know why. Listening to it again, I think I should have kept the discs. If I remember correctly, Germany’s Metal label “Nuclear Blast” (say it like Homer Simpson) had re-released this in the later 80s and managed to make the cover look even worse. That label was great at releasing the worst looking covers. That should be documented one day.

  3. OTTO says:

    Tony… small fuckin’ world… I saw you guys play a few weeks ago woth the Nihilistics and the Freeze. Brought my 13-year old son along… think Ron Rancid’s stage banter scarred him for life!

    The Bristles delivered a nice set… sounded good.

  4. Brushback says:

    “Should this get a little more respect than it does or am I just wrong?”

    This record totally rips. I’m just going from memory, because I had the record back then and I haven’t listened to your mp3s yet, but almost everyone who I played this record for back then agreed with me (and I used to throw it onto mix tapes a lot, and so forth).

    I don’t think the cover art had much to do with it. Their next record was called “Extra Strength Tylenol, Anyone?”, or something like that, and it looked even worse. I don’t know if their other records were as good as “Life’s Been Getting To Me”.

    Like I said on the other post, I interviewed Sacred Denial back then, too — I talked to “Ant” (Anthony), the bass player, who I didn’t realized had died a few years back.

    I still have that issue of my zine– there’s some photos in it that I could scan, though they weren’t all that great to begin with…

  5. Joe says:

    Brushback — You should post the whole interview man! This is a great LP.

    Bill C — Thanks for the stories dude! Its always kickass when people who played on the records write in.

  6. bill c Toturgul old school sacred denial drummer says:

    I was the drummer on that lp I think it’s Kool that people still talking about it we didn’t get the status that the nyhc bands would get but we actually sold some records back in the day and played some big shows opening up for circle jerks and stuff and we were in the mix at alot of the oldschool cbgb Sunday matinée johnny stiff the promoter who booked the sunday matinée shows had a special relationship with me because I booked shows out in jersey in toms river, Clifton,Passaic new bruswick so when bands would come into play cbgb on Sunday I would book them on a Thursday before or Friday blah blah blah so we played alot of Sunday matinees all the government issue shows at cbgb and varios local shows infact when the famous punk vs skin fight/riot broke out on the floor we were the band playing but when you read the maximum rocknroll article it talks about the fight breaking out during the agnostic front murpheys law show all good yo back then I was very close with my boy jhon a crazy black punk rocker who played in a band named warzone the two of us beatdown alot of skinheads at cbgb at rockhotel and then all of a sudden when bands like af were blowing up other bands reinvented themselves as a skinhead band to gain popularity so warzone got rid of my boy john and shaved their heads and bought red docmattens and voilà new skinhead hardcore band of the month club life is crazy peace bct. ;)

  7. OTTO says:

    Just downloaded and listened! Wow… that’s rock’n'roll kids. It’s shit like this that keeps me comin’ back, Joe. Nice one.

  8. todd says:

    Sacred Denial got no respect in New Jersey. I have seen them a number of times and they never packed the halls like AOD did. Second tier all the way, but good. I had a demo that was better than the album…

  9. Joe says:

    todd — you should rip that demo and send it to ME!

  10. ian says:

    Joe, I agree with Erich – a post covering some of the worst HC/punk record covers (as in record covers) of all time would be great! I remember that ‘extra strength tylenol’ cover & it was a nightmare…its so true that a crap cover can really make you not want to own that record…that terrible ‘cartoon’ genre of the mid 80′s was the worst. Anyhow my nomination would have to be either of the Stupiss LPs – great tunes, but the artwork was painful beyong belief…

  11. ian says:

    whoops – Stupids

  12. Brushback says:

    Man, I loved the Stupids. You’re right– great band, but mostly crappy covers.

  13. Steve says:

    After 2 listens I was hooked! Thanks for posting this one!

  14. Greazy Tony says:

    Hey Otto, thanks for the compliment! The Freeze were amazing, right? Say ‘Hi’ if you bump into me!

    Holy crap! Bill, I remember the stories about that fight! And that you guys were playing! I think S.D. got a rep that that was going to happen at all the shows! Stupid rumors! I’m not sure. It was a long time ago and my memory is shot, but it’s slowly seeping back.

    Yeah, for some reason S.D. ‘Tylenol’ cover made me stay clear of it. That is very ignorant, I know. the record is good and the songs are written the way I liked them. Slow at first then everyone could go crazy at the fast part! Not the other way around.

  15. bruce/AOD says:

    I’m playing an extra guitar track on WCWBF.
    Did a week-long with SD filling in for mike.
    great band!

  16. bruce/AOD says:

    whoops! “week long TOUR”

  17. Brushback says:


  18. Mike says:

    Joe, thank you for this. I had “What religion” on a tape for the longest time and was looking for the whole album. I’ve never run across it – (although I never really tried too hard either).
    I have some earlier stuff, and some later stuff and both are considerably weaker. – Just went in the other room to dig them out: “Exhumed” and “North of the Order”.- blah! That must be why I never tried too hard to find this, I think I feared “What Religion” might be the lone hit on it and the rest would sound like those other two.

    Thanks for keeping a retro-active open mind and giving Jersey another chance.

  19. chris cooter says:

    I love SD’s first LP, what a great post! Was definitely just a couple of years too late to be recognised for it’s greatness. I dunno about the sleeve, yello is not good!… Mind you, it’s no worse than the Zero Boys, so maybe much more the timing… Wonder how many other gems havn’t found an audience and are fighting for respect from ’85, ’86 and even ’87? There’s a bucket load I’m sure! I had ‘North of the Order’ some years ago and it’s echoey production held it back cus a few songs were really good. Being a Limey, nice to hear the Stupids mentioned. They’re playing again, and causing quite a bit of excitement with ‘the kids’!

  20. Jamie says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to rip this extremely hard to find album. Thank you. I have been looking for this for a good long while!

  21. Razide says:

    I was searching old bands I used to listen to back then when Sacred Denial came to mind. I used to go to school with Ant at EVS in NJ. He told me they were putting this album out so I got a copy, still have it in mint con too. Was always good imo. I don’t usual post anything anywhere, but I’m posting here because I see that a few of you said he passed away? Can someone say how and/or when? If it’s too personal then no worries, I was just curious and sad to hear that.

  22. Gar says:

    Hey – I was friends with Ant as well – more Treyce his girlfriend. Razide I hate to say it was drug related; Trey called me the next morning.

    You can hear the last thing he did on iTunes — search for a band called Johnny and the Has Beens. Nice raw glamy sloppy rock and roll.

  23. Desiree Williams says:

    To Bill Toturgul-drummer of S.D. Seeing your comment was a blast from my past. You probably don’t remember me but we knew each other from our teen years down at the Jersey shore. Hope life is treating you good. You keeping your drumming chops up?

  24. Lona says:

    fyi, janus, the lead singer, did the cover art. he was in one of my art classes in high school and i always admired his artwork. i thought it was pretty fucking cool that he got to do album covers. i have an original copy of north of the order, and the cover art on that is brilliant. i also worked with janus at ploch’s garden center—i hear he’s a landcape artist now.

  25. thebear says:

    i’m a youngster by this blog, i was only 11 in 1986. i grew up in NY suburb bordering Jersey, i have a lot of good friends and good memories of Jersey. this is a great blog, and i appreciate you putting this stuff up. although i may not have been around for this, i also wasn’t around for 99% of the old school hardcore stuff. i love going back and checking out the different scenes and bands from back in the day. hardcore and punk has pretty much been my life since i was 12, i really enjoy hearing old stories, bands, and shows from way back when… thanks to Dave Schwartzman for pointing this blog out on the jersey hardcore page on facebook. i see you already check out my buddy Dave’s blog rocket science records, it’s great seeing you older guys keeping us “youngsters” informed and educated about the early days of the scene. thanks again.

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