Jim Trainer

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#20, Dear Maximum RocknRoll

In music journalism, news media, punk rock on January 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm

3923 Run of the Oaks Drive #G
Austin, TX 78704

Editors, Maximum RocknRoll
PO Box 460760
San Francisco, CA 94146



Punk rock doesn’t mean anything anymore.  If you were there or part of it, sure-it means allot to you and for the rest of your life.  But this generation doesn’t get it.  And I fear they never will.  They’ll only think of punk rock in Guitar Hero terms, as a fashion or hairstyle.  Kurt Cobain.

11 years ago a band came out of Philly that was the real deal.  Seeing The Bad Vibes play meant you’d get your whole body chopped off in just under 15 minutes.  There might be bottles broke and basses through windows but you welcomed this annihilation.  It was rock and roll.  You had to find a way to get the world off your neck.

2002’s Hate Your Everything was propulsive-fast.  Furious and full of hate.  It was punk rock with as much virulence and nihilism that could be cranked into a 10 song, 15 minute album.
2005’s All The Right Ways To Do You Wrong took strides in being something exceptional within the genre.  It was post-punk but had lost none of the original ire.  I Smell A Rat, for example.  The song conveys vulnerability in a bitter, hands up way that many of the band’s contemporaries can’t touch.
After 6 years the guys are back.  They’re getting ready to release an EP and start playing the kind of shows that scare off the phonies and help us kill it in our heads.  I’m hoping you’ll consider running an interview I’ll be doing with them in a couple of weeks.

When I reviewed Hate Your Everything in 2002, I wrote that The Bad Vibes were Anti-Core Core.  They were against any kind of movement, even the one they were creating.  Reminds me of The Business, singing about being on the wrong side of whatever side there was.

Hail, hail rock and roll.

Jim Trainer
Austin, TX

#LetterDay, send me your address and I’ll write you a letter.
P.O. Box 49921
Austin TX 78765
#goingforthepost—we’re all mad here.


  1. Man I’m old. I remember drinking beer in sweaty broken down Elks Lodge halls while local punks thrashed and slammed themselves to pieces on the dance floor. Half the crowd was high on poppers, the other half propped against walls like shadows, the whole place smelling of piss, cloves, and stale Pabst as the lead singer spit on the audience and the music crashbanged off the walls like a demolition derby in a blender. That was punk in 1982 in Philly. Cheers, Brother!

    • You&me both, Brother Charlie. I’m not sure if this is what our parents were talking about. I mean, we should pass the torch but, man, the technology and values of this generation are totally eclipsing everything I love about music and the written word. Oh well. Rock and roll can never die. And there are enough good ones left to make life worth living. I’m including you in that statement. Loving “Far From Luck” and should be getting my copy of “Smoking in Elevators” in the mail today. Thanks for reading, Brother Charlie! Great to hear from you one here.

  2. […] the word.  Once I’ve thrown in and close this window, I’ll log on to the New York Times, get a letter to the Editor off and pitch to the travel mags and poetry pubs.  It’s got to mean something to the folks down […]

  3. Reblogged this on Going for the Throat and commented:

    #LetterDay, send me your address and I’ll write you a letter. #goingforthepost—we’re all mad here.

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