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Gold Among the Blogs Part 1: SGM's Aggression

20 January 2009

Okay, okay, okay! I know I’m really pushing the boundaries here as far as free legal downloads are concerned, but since exploring the Killed By Death site, I’ve found various blogs that host some incredibly rare albums that have been on my mental want list for a decade or more (almost 20 years in one case…see below). Seeing as how these albums haven’t been reissued, at least to my knowledge, and there’s little or no chance of them ever getting reissued anyway, I think it’s fair that the music is preserved and archived so that people who live it, breathe it, eat it (like me) can appreciate it for our own personal use. Who knows? If there’s enough interest, maybe somebody with some financial clout will take the first step and reissue these albums so we don’t have to give $400 to some record collector who’s not giving a cut to the band anyway…


It’s a long story, so I’ll try to be brief: When I was in Junior High School, there was this guy who’d drive me to fencing practice (I know, what a dork) and he contributed vocals to the cover of “Monster Mash” that was used on the soundtrack for Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. He gave the soundtrack to me on cassette, and I listened to his version of the 1962 classic. Several months later, I decided I needed something different to listen to, so I pulled out this tape and got a serious dose of thrash metal, the likes of which my twelve-year-old being had never before witnessed. All of a sudden, this song “Power” by a band called SGM came on and completely destroyed my concept of what music could be. Simply put, it was the first time I heard the word f*** shouted blatantly over heavy, angry music. I was 12, but I would never be the same.

After 18 years of searching for this album, I found it on the Zer blog (linked above) in all its sleazy glory. The JACK ENDINO-produced Aggression was released in 1988 on the Medusa label. It’s a proto-grunge metal album full of dark riffs and psychotic, ranting vocals. At times it sounds like a cross between GREEN RIVER and very early SOUNDGARDEN. “Power” is still as “power”-ful as it was when I was 12 (ha ha), but “Gutter of Pain,” “Blow Job” and the title track all elicit the same inebriated insanity that so attracted almost 20 years ago.

Now, while I am eternally grateful to Zer for posting this album on his blog, I feel obligated to point out that I have examined the rest of his blog and I have some serious issues with his uploading ethics, namely, that he posts entire discographies of bands that are in-print on CD – basically, he posts the entire CDs, which, to me, is just wrong on so many levels. Posting music that is readily available in an official capacity at the touch of a button (thanks to the internet) is not only cheating the bands and labels, but it’s also redundant and unnecessary. I, for one, take the responsibilities of downloading music very seriously, and, after extensively exploring the Killed By Death site, I logged into my Emusic account and digitally “purchased” CDs by bands that I downloaded from KBD. There’s an ethical way to do this that benefits everyone involved, so I urge you at the computer to put some thought into the acquisition of megabytes and take the high road.

In my next post, I’ll discuss a music blog that I think does this very well. Until then…