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Negative Trend - We Don't Play, We Riot (Cover Artwork)

Negative Trend

Negative Trend: We Don't Play, We RiotWe Don't Play, We Riot (1982)
Subterranean

Reviewer Rating: 5


Contributed by: BrandonSideleauBrandonSideleau
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In my opinion, the best of the early '80s hardcore punk bands were the ones that strayed from the generic norm a bit. These bands include, but are not limited to, Flipper, Black Flag, Reagan Youth, SS Decontrol, and Negative Trend. These bands each tried and succeeded at bringing a heavier and more .


In my opinion, the best of the early '80s hardcore punk bands were the ones that strayed from the generic norm a bit. These bands include, but are not limited to, Flipper, Black Flag, Reagan Youth, SS Decontrol, and Negative Trend. These bands each tried and succeeded at bringing a heavier and more obscure sound to their music, and all but Negative Trend have gotten any of the tribute they deserve.

Negative Trend formed in November of 1977 in San Francisco and features Will Shatter and Steve DePace (who would eventually become members of legendary SF band Flipper); other than that, I am hard pressed to find any concrete information on the band. Musically, Negative Trend can be most easily compared to Flipper, but only slightly.

In short, this short and nicely varied record is easily one of the greatest recordings done by any San Francisco Bay area band EVER. The record opens with the haunting, slow suicide tune "Black & Red." The next track, "How Ya Feelin',?" about drug addiction, changes the tempo up a bit with a fast hardcore track that features a touch of rockabilly. "Meathouse" is a bit more of a rocker, with some bluesy riffs and gory lyrics. Finally, the last track (and my personal favorite) is the straight up hardcore blast "Mercenaries," whose lyrical content is similar to that of the early Dead Kennedys song "Back In Rhodesia" (which would later be changed to "When You Get Drafted"). The track is fast and catchy, but mantains the record's gloomy and angry mood.

In conclusion, it's really very difficult to accurately describe this band, as is true with all great bands. This album is now "out of print," but should be easily available on eBay or GEMM. If you are a fan of punk rock in general this is essential listening; there really isn't much out there like it and it rocks like no other. Another random fact about the band: their claim to fame was opening for the Sex Pistols on the SF stop of their ill-fated US tour. These guys, without a doubt, blew the Pistols away.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
lushj (February 17, 2007)

By the way, this incredible record has been reissued on cd by Henry Rollin's label 2-13-61.

Thanks for the back-and-forth below guys, it was pretty educational! Seriously!

Anonymous (June 12, 2006)

Brilliant stuff. The guitarist was Craig Gray, later of Toiling Midgets. Their original vocalist was the infamous Rozz Williams.

Anonymous (January 7, 2006)

As there has also been a discussion of these recordings on the Adolescents board, I have posted my response there.

http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/theadolescents/ vpost?id=777249&pid=7990349#post7990349

Robbie Fields
Posh Boy Music

Anonymous (April 1, 2005)

Posh, you have some fucking nerve posting your comments here.

"Let me correct some factual inaccuracies. Negative Trend did not open for the Pistols in San Francisco in January 1978. The Nuns and the Avengers did. The true story was that McClaren had wanted the WORST band in San Francisco to open the show and the promoter Bill Graham engaged in an elaborate ruse to prevent it by convincing the dopeheads they were better off CLOSING the show and then switching off the power as they got on stage."

First off, Malcolm liked Negative Trend and he never said he wanted the "WORST band" in San Francisco for the gig. That sounds like Howie Klein's lies. You had nothing to do with Negative Trend at that time. For that matter, I didn't have anything to do with Negative Trend at the time, other than being a friend of Will's, but I did manage them throughout the rest of their existence.

"There was genius in Negative Trend but they were totally untogether. Will Shatter showed up for his recording session with me without a bass and when we did find one, was incapable of playing. His parts were overdubbed by Jay Lansford. But Will was utterly brilliant and absolutely missed."

By the time Rik was in the band, Will wasn't playing bass any longer. Jonathan Hendricksen was brought in to replace him by that time. Will showing up without a bass was hardly unusual for the Trend. The band virtually never had its own equiptment, even by the time they were headlining gigs and always had to borrow everything. My favorite instance of this was a gig at the Mabuhay, when noone would loan them equiptment. They ended up putting Will directly into the sound board (and since Will's playing was never worth shit, that was the last thing you wanted to sound clear), Craig had this little pignose amp, which they mic'd up, but it was almost pure feedback, and knowing it was going to already sound like crap, they put all this reverb on Roz's vocals. It was the most bizarre sounding set imaginable and very, very Negative Trend.

"The Beach Blvd. (Posh Boy) and Tooth and Nail (Upsetter) tracks were all the same recordings, just different mixes. As Rik L Rik had left the band, we all decided to release the Negative Trend material under Rik's name."

"We all!" Who was that "we," you and Rik? Negative Trend--the actual Negative Trend, that is, not one of their singers for a brief period, were extremely pissed that you decided to release their recordings under Rik's name. You never consulted them at all.

"Rik L Rik's first band was F Word! It was after F Word! that he joined Negative Trend replacing a lead singer called Roz, not to be confused with Rozz Williams. Causing further confusion was that the Roz recordings came out after Rik's sojourn with the band and after the Rik recordings were released."

Wrong again! Rik, the little weasel, replaced Mikel Waters, who is the singer on this EP, so probably worth mentioning here. Originally, Will Shatter and Craig Gray were playing in a band with Don Vinyl, later the lead singer of the Offs, the name of their band eludes me right now, but they were short-lived anyway. Essentially, Don was booted and Roz joined them and eventually Steve Depace was their drummer. They were fantastic and totally anarchic, both in playing style and politically. Will, at the time, was a quite serious anarchist and had been a member of the I.W.W. in Britain and was tight with a couple of people from the N.W.L.F. at the time. Roz had a great many 'issues' and sometime in '78 he moved back up to Oregon, where he was from. He was replaced by Mikel Waters, who was originally from Australia. It was during this period that this EP was recorded. It wasn't originally on Subterranean, but was released by Debbie Dub on a private lable called "Heavy Manners." That version was a 7", but was a relatively limited release (1,000 to 2,000 copies) and Debbie later sold the recording to Subterranean. Anyway, Steve was kicked out and was replaced with Tim Mooney of the Sleepers (later of the Toiling Midgets and then the American Music Club). Mikel decided to go in a different direction (he later put out a single with a reggae-influenced band from out of the San Francisco punk scene called the Soul Rebels, who were pretty good. Having heard that F-Word had broken up, the Trend asked Rik to join, as they'd been impressed with his LA band. He just never really took to the band though. The rest of the band thought he was an unbearable primadonna, but were pleased that Posh Boy financed some recording time for a demo--later released without their names on it. Will split and hooked up with Steve again and formed Flipper, which was sort of a joke/post-punk band, primarily focused on shooting heroin. Will was replaced on bass by a 17 year old by the name of Jonathan Hendericksen, who later took the name Nosmo King (get it, no smoking). After Rik was sent packing back to L.A., the remaining three members of Negative Trend (Craig, Tim, and Jonathan) hooked up with Paul Hood, who'd moved down from Seattle, to form the Toiling Midgets (who were initially, and periodically throughout their history, an instrumental band, based on how negative their experience with Rik had been. The Midgets continued on and off for the next 15 years, releasing four albums along the way on different labels.

"Drummer Tim Mooney has survived to have a career as an engineer/producer. Guitarist Craig Gray is alive and well, both of these guys still living in San Francisco."

Actually, the Midgets second drummer is the better known engineer/producer--that would be Tom Mallon--and Tim would probably have liked it to be mentioned that in addition to the Midgets, he drummed for American Music Club. Craig, who was, in fact, the backbone of Negative Trend and the only member in the band throughout its entire history, just re-mixed and released some early Midgets recordings and a couple of years ago re-mixed the Negative Trend recordings (with Roz) on the Miner's Benefit record which includes the Trend, the Sleepers, Tuxedo Moon, and the Offs (as I recall).Anyway, the Trend were one of San Francisco's best loved and most memorable punk bands from the 1977-1980 period (after which, it doesn't really make sense to talk about there being a real San Francisco punk scene).

Peter Urban

Anonymous (April 1, 2005)

Posh, you have some fucking nerve posting your comments here.

"Let me correct some factual inaccuracies. Negative Trend did not open for the Pistols in San Francisco in January 1978. The Nuns and the Avengers did. The true story was that McClaren had wanted the WORST band in San Francisco to open the show and the promoter Bill Graham engaged in an elaborate ruse to prevent it by convincing the dopeheads they were better off CLOSING the show and then switching off the power as they got on stage."

First off, Malcolm liked Negative Trend and he never said he wanted the "WORST band" in San Francisco for the gig. That sounds like Howie Klein's lies. You had nothing to do with Negative Trend at that time. For that matter, I didn't have anything to do with Negative Trend at the time, other than being a friend of Will's, but I did manage them throughout the rest of their existence.

"There was genius in Negative Trend but they were totally untogether. Will Shatter showed up for his recording session with me without a bass and when we did find one, was incapable of playing. His parts were overdubbed by Jay Lansford. But Will was utterly brilliant and absolutely missed."

By the time Rik was in the band, Will wasn't playing bass any longer. Jonathan Hendricksen was brought in to replace him by that time. Will showing up without a bass was hardly unusual for the Trend. The band virtually never had its own equiptment, even by the time they were headlining gigs and always had to borrow everything. My favorite instance of this was a gig at the Mabuhay, when noone would loan them equiptment. They ended up putting Will directly into the sound board (and since Will's playing was never worth shit, that was the last thing you wanted to sound clear), Craig had this little pignose amp, which they mic'd up, but it was almost pure feedback, and knowing it was going to already sound like crap, they put all this reverb on Roz's vocals. It was the most bizarre sounding set imaginable and very, very Negative Trend.

"The Beach Blvd. (Posh Boy) and Tooth and Nail (Upsetter) tracks were all the same recordings, just different mixes. As Rik L Rik had left the band, we all decided to release the Negative Trend material under Rik's name."

"We all!" Who was that "we," you and Rik? Negative Trend--the actual Negative Trend, that is, not one of their singers for a brief period, were extremely pissed that you decided to release their recordings under Rik's name. You never consulted them at all.

"Rik L Rik's first band was F Word! It was after F Word! that he joined Negative Trend replacing a lead singer called Roz, not to be confused with Rozz Williams. Causing further confusion was that the Roz recordings came out after Rik's sojourn with the band and after the Rik recordings were released."

Wrong again! Rik, the little weasel, replaced Mikel Waters, who is the singer on this EP, so probably worth mentioning here. Originally, Will Shatter and Craig Gray were playing in a band with Don Vinyl, later the lead singer of the Offs, the name of their band eludes me right now, but they were short-lived anyway. Essentially, Don was booted and Roz joined them and eventually Steve Depace was their drummer. They were fantastic and totally anarchic, both in playing style and politically. Will, at the time, was a quite serious anarchist and had been a member of the I.W.W. in Britain and was tight with a couple of people from the N.W.L.F. at the time. Roz had a great many 'issues' and sometime in '78 he moved back up to Oregon, where he was from. He was replaced by Mikel Waters, who was originally from Australia. It was during this period that this EP was recorded. It wasn't originally on Subterranean, but was released by Debbie Dub on a private lable called "Heavy Manners." That version was a 7", but was a relatively limited release (1,000 to 2,000 copies) and Debbie later sold the recording to Subterranean. Anyway, Steve was kicked out and was replaced with Tim Mooney of the Sleepers (later of the Toiling Midgets and then the American Music Club). Mikel decided to go in a different direction (he later put out a single with a reggae-influenced band from out of the San Francisco punk scene called the Soul Rebels, who were pretty good. Having heard that F-Word had broken up, the Trend asked Rik to join, as they'd been impressed with his LA band. He just never really took to the band though. The rest of the band thought he was an unbearable primadonna, but were pleased that Posh Boy financed some recording time for a demo--later released without their names on it. Will split and hooked up with Steve again and formed Flipper, which was sort of a joke/post-punk band, primarily focused on shooting heroin. Will was replaced on bass by a 17 year old by the name of Jonathan Hendericksen, who later took the name Nosmo King (get it, no smoking). After Rik was sent packing back to L.A., the remaining three members of Negative Trend (Craig, Tim, and Jonathan) hooked up with Paul Hood, who'd moved down from Seattle, to form the Toiling Midgets (who were initially, and periodically throughout their history, an instrumental band, based on how negative their experience with Rik had been. The Midgets continued on and off for the next 15 years, releasing four albums along the way on different labels.

"Drummer Tim Mooney has survived to have a career as an engineer/producer. Guitarist Craig Gray is alive and well, both of these guys still living in San Francisco."

Actually, the Midgets second drummer is the better known engineer/producer--that would be Tom Mallon--and Tim would probably have liked it to be mentioned that in addition to the Midgets, he drummed for American Music Club. Craig, who was, in fact, the backbone of Negative Trend and the only member in the band throughout its entire history, just re-mixed and released some early Midgets recordings and a couple of years ago re-mixed the Negative Trend recordings (with Roz) on the Miner's Benefit record which includes the Trend, the Sleepers, Tuxedo Moon, and the Offs (as I recall).Anyway, the Trend were one of San Francisco's best loved and most memorable punk bands from the 1977-1980 period (after which, it doesn't really make sense to talk about there being a real San Francisco punk scene).

Anonymous (April 1, 2005)

"Nice review but why no mention of Rik L Rik whose first band was NEGATIVE TREND?"

Rik L. Rik's first band was called F-Word and they were based in Los Angeles. Rik was Negative Trend's third and last singer and was such a primadonna that he was a big reason for the band breaking up and a big reason that the Toiling Midgets (which was made up, originally, of three members of Negative Trend and Paul Hood) had no vocalist initially.

Regarding this EP, however, it is a great record, but it is a shame that somebody hasn't put out a later version of Black and Red. As time went on, the song played live got slower and was much better as a result. Craig Gray, the band's guitarist, wrote Black and Red totally by himself (most Negative Trend songs were collaborations) in a single night, while wired on meth. It is a personal favorite of mine and was a big favorite of the inner circle of the early San Francisco punk rock scene back in late '78.

Peter Urban

Anonymous (March 4, 2005)

Let me correct some factual inaccuracies.

Negative Trend did not open for the Pistols in San Francisco in January 1978. The Nuns and the Avengers did.

The true story was that McClaren had wanted the WORST band in San Francisco to open the show and the promoter Bill Graham engaged in an elaborate ruse to prevent it by convincing the dopeheads they were better off CLOSING the show and then switching off the power as they got on stage.

There was genius in Negative Trend but they were totally untogether. Will Shatter showed up for his recording session with me without a bass and when we did find one, was incapable of playing. His parts were overdubbed by Jay Lansford. But Will was utterly brilliant and absolutely missed.

The Beach Blvd. (Posh Boy) and Tooth and Nail (Upsetter) tracks were all the same recordings, just different mixes. As Rik L Rik had left the band, we all decided to release the Negative Trend material under Rik's name.

Rik L Rik's first band was F Word! It was after F Word! that he joined Negative Trend replacing a lead singer called Roz, not to be confused with Rozz Williams. Causing further confusion was that the Roz recordings came out after Rik's sojourn with the band and after the Rik recordings were released.

Rik died of brain cancer in 2000.

Drummer Tim Mooney has survived to have a career as an engineer/producer. Guitarist Craig Gray is alive and well, both of these guys still living in San Francisco.

Robbie Fields
Owner
Posh Boy Music

lushj (February 9, 2005)

Oh yeah, and just based on the sheer amount of their brilliant Subterranean songs, Flipper's a slightly more favorite band for me too. Then again, they're also one of my top 5 punk bands and top 10 any-genre bands.

Never got into Crime, but it seems inevitable...

lushj (February 9, 2005)

The score is for the "American Hardcore" book. It's full of wrong information and, as someone else noted, opinions presented as facts. It's awful and I'm sad that some folks are not gonna know that so much of it is just plain incorrect.

One example from the book: there's a club in Oakland, CA called 924 Gilmore. That's the club where San Francisco skinheads affiliated with Tim Yohannon, founder of MRR, beat up Jello Biafra.

In reality, the one that you and I exist in, there's the Berkeley club called 924 Gilman, at which crusties from Phoenix Arizona jumped Jello. The crusties had nothing to do with MRR, Tim Yo, or skinheads from Frisco. As a side note, Gilman worked with Jello to try to find the crusties, but they split town before they were found.

BrandonSideleau (February 8, 2005)

This is one of my favorite records of all time....but I'll agree that Flipper is better....like my second favorite band of all time.....behind, obviously, the Flag.

bizzlebrizzle (February 7, 2005)

Decent album, I would not put them ahead of Flipper however. As for the book American Hardcore, I was very disappointed in the book-spends too much time on crap he was invovled in and ignores important bands and scenes. He should have done some research instead of basing everything on his opinion and presenting it as the gospel.

I also noticed that he seems to downplay the role of NYC Hardcore, even though so many people overplay that role.

Anonymous (February 7, 2005)

Decent album, I would not put them ahead of Flipper however. As for the book American Hardcore, I was very disappointed in the book-spends too much time on crap he was invovled in and ignores important bands and scenes. He should have done some research instead of basing everything on his opinion and presenting it as the gospel.

BrandonSideleau (February 7, 2005)

SOA is decent....if very straight forward......dc hardcore. they've got some great songs and a few average ones. Not as good as Minor Threat.

Anonymous (February 7, 2005)

They're not as bad as everyone makes them out to be. Definitely better than GI or the Youth Brigade (DC)...

-BSD

Anonymous (February 7, 2005)

bsd what do you think of SOA

Anonymous (February 5, 2005)

Those are all good bands, but none are as great as CRIME (SF's First and Only!)

-BSD

lushj (February 5, 2005)

1. This is hands down one of my favorite punk bands EVER! The guitar sound, the vocals, the whole thing is just fantastic. Seriously, this is a great record. "Meathouse" is the "hit" but "Mercenaries" is my favorite song on here too. Absolutely incredible.

2. Other first or second generation San Francisco bands not to miss are (obviously) The Avengers, The Lewd, The Nuns, VKTMS, No Alternative (who sound really close to Negative Trend), and Flipper (though they're a love/hate band- you either love them or despise them). If you can dig up the brilliant "SF Underground volume 1" and "volume 2" you're ahead of the game (they're both also on Subterranean, which still exists on-line and as a distributor in S.F.).

3. RikLRik's stuff on "Beach Boulevard" compilation is pretty awesome too, and includes some or all of these songs... though the real hits on that comp are the Simpletones tunes. Great sunny, SoCal poppy punk from 1981. They've got a great single tune called "I Like Drugs" too.

4. Back to Negative Trend, I'm kind of glad they only put this out. It's such a perfect 4 song P-U-N-K 12". I wish they had it together enough to release more while they were a band, but this is just so awesome it's enough for me. My head would probably explode if there was a full-length.

BrandonSideleau (February 5, 2005)

I forgot about him.....i own the entire pop sessions.....but since he wasn't on this EP it slipped my mind.

Anonymous (February 5, 2005)

Nice review but why no mention of Rik L Rik whose first band was NEGATIVE TREND? They had two tracks on the what? records 'tooth and nail' compilation and then this EP in 1978. Rik then went on to front F WORD, probably the greatest Cali punk band of pre-hardcore era and released one live record.

Rik L Rik recorded some solo tracks mixing new material and older NEGATIVE TREND stuff for the 'beach boulvd' split on posh boy as well.

bizzlebrizzle (February 5, 2005)

And also BSD, for me talent doesn't prove anything as far as whether music sounds good. Talent is nice...but...eh.

bizzlebrizzle (February 5, 2005)

I'm still more of a Damned man than Sex Pistols.

Anonymous (February 5, 2005)

Not really... Talk about talentless schlock... Dude, you listen to thrash. The main reason I like thrash is because of it's minimalism...

And the Pistols only sound generic because every shitty band to come out of England after them blatantly stole their gig... They didn't try to play into any pre-conceived notion of "punk"... It wasn't even a movement when they started... Sure, their manager gave them free clothes, but they openly held contempt for followers who copied the look.

Maybe they don't "thrash", but the Pistols are Rock n Blues at its dirtiest and most working class.

-BSD

bizzlebrizzle (February 5, 2005)

That's probably because they weren't hardcore at all.

-BSD

Never bothered listening jerk off.

But there's still good odds that they're a million times better than Sex Pistols.

punkcorekid (February 4, 2005)

yea the book was pretty informative...just got really boring towards the end when talking about every two-bit band in every city that had any kind of scene.

Benjasaurus (February 4, 2005)

I read American Hardcore before I was ever even into any hardcore bands besides Black Flag, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, and the Dead Kennedys (the staples, basically). It's honestly a really entertaining read apart from the long namedropping sections.

punkcorekid (February 4, 2005)

yea i just got done reading that book.

Anonymous (February 4, 2005)

That's probably because they weren't hardcore at all.

-BSD

bizzlebrizzle (February 4, 2005)

This band is name-dropped in American Hardcore, which is ironic since I'm reading the book right now. He calls them an anti-hardcore band, as the reviewer says, they strayed from some of the musical limitations of early hardcore.

bizzlebrizzle (February 4, 2005)

I can't take the Sex Pistols seriously at all.

gladimnotemo (February 4, 2005)

So this is a band MRR would namedrop.....anywhere I can find mp3s?

Anonymous (February 4, 2005)

surprised to see this on here. flipper's good too.

BrandonSideleau (February 4, 2005)

my point is that....if you've ever seen the Sex Pistols play live....as I have on plenty of DVDs.....they really pretty much blow, plus half of their songs are very basic and generic. I don't see anything "cool" about disliking the Sex Pistols (I can thinking of over 100 far worse punk rock bands), but Negative Trend were fucking great live.....I've only seen one video, but that video alone confirms this. It's funny how people seem to find something to bitch about in every review....talk about the fucking band.

dazed (February 4, 2005)

If this sounds like Flipper it's probably great.

Has anyone ever thought that perhaps "blew the Pistols away" is more of a compliment to this band than a diss on the Sex Pistols?

Anonymous (February 4, 2005)

This sounds good. but not as good as Born Against :)

-!GreenVandal!

Anonymous (February 4, 2005)

the sex pistols were a great fucking band, and im real sick of seeing "punker than thou" people ripping in to them. the pistols did more for music in 26 months than most bands can achieve in a lifetime.

Anonymous (February 4, 2005)

This album is now "out of print," but should be easily availible on eBay or GEMM.

Score's for Avail.

-Chinatown

joeg (February 4, 2005)

speaking of legendary san franicsco bands that opened up for and blew away the pistols, i wrote a review of the avengers. hope that comes up soon.

Anonymous (February 4, 2005)

"These guys, without a doubt, blew the Pistols away."

Maybe live... But there's a difference between musical quality and musical obscurity, and yeah, these guys (along with a lot of other bands) are cooler to like than the Sex Pistols, but definitely didn't write songs as well.

-BSD

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