Choking Victim - Crack Rock Steady EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Choking Victim

Crack Rock Steady EP (1994)

Non-Commercial Records

Can you imagine twenty years ago looking through a stack of 7—inches and finding the Crack Rock Steady EP where on the back it reads "IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU SHOULD BEFORE PURCHASING THIS PRODUCT: ‘Psst…hey you. Yeah you. Pretend like yer reading some stupid liner notes.. now without turning yer head peak at the shopworker/owner person…are they looking at you?...well then the second they're not looking at you, Quickly but very Quietly place this product (A) down yer pants (B) in yer bad (C) in yer coat (D) yer favorite shoplifting orifice (E) all of the above…before you do this, you might want to pretend that you are setting this record down while infact picking it back up behind something lame (velocity girl, sxe, etc.) to use as a decoy so when you place us down yer pants you still look like you are a potential velocity girl record buyer which as we all know makes record store owners and fans of other lame bands happy a like.'" Chances are that this is the only EP in the store actually encouraging you to steal it. Makes you wonder what the band would have thought about mp3's back then doesn't it?

As you can tell this was no ordinary EP. The Crack Rock Steady EP was the first release ever by Choking Victim, with its earliest line up consisting of a very young—sounding Scott Sturgeon on vocals and guitar, Skwert on vocals and drums, and Sasha Dubrul on vocals and bass. No Ezra or Alec yet.

Interestingly, only one of the four songs on this EP actually made it on to Choking Victim's first and only full—length, No Gods/No Managers, and that was "Money." The other songs were three ska—punk gems that unfortunately didn't make the cut and those were "Choking Victim," "You Outta Die," and "Apple Pie & Police State." All four songs had the themes that would eventually be continued in Sturgeon's future musical ventures like corporate greed, suicide, and hatred of the police and religion. Granted a lot of punk rock bands bring up these subjects in their music, but what made Choking Victim's (and later on Leftover Crack's) material so unique was that the band was able to combine ska, metal, and punk rock sounds in their songs without them sounding disjointed or inconsistent all— all while writing provocative lyrics in extremely creative ways that gets the listener to think politically out of their comfort zone and explore different points of view.

Twenty years ago, in the depths of C—Squat, the members of Choking Victim started the crack rock steady /ska—punk subgenre and subculture that we know today and it all started with their first EP. Members of Choking Victim branched off to form bands such as Leftover Crack (obviously), Star Fucking Hipsters, INDK, Morning Glory, and Krigblast, while influencing many more. To me, I think of the Crack Rock Steady EP more as one of the blue prints to the ska—punk masterpiece that is No Gods/No Managers. Without it, that album would not have been as amazing as it came out to be.

Reminisce with us, and watch Choking Victim perform live back in the day: