James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list

It Came From NYC

from The Observer

‘It Came From NYC’ Remembers When White Zombie Ruled Noise Rock (Not Hot Topic)


White Zombie.White Zombie. (Photo: Jay Brown)

For many who grew up in the New York City area during the Koch and Dinkins eras, the local underground was always a din of rust, rage and creativity informed by the squalor of its surroundings. Sunday afternoons at CBGB and Saturday nights on the Bowery were a far saltier way to spend your weekend, proving to be more like an exercise in survival than a casual opportunity to catch a show on a free day.

Fifteen or more years on, it’s hard to imagine such cultural inhabitation existing on the sanitized streets of this rapidly gentrified metropolis, a place where Vampire Weekend and Animal Collective would’ve been held at knifepoint in a dark alley near the Williamsburg Bridge and jacked for their vintage Hush Puppies.

In spite of the grit, or arguably because of it, this period marked one of the city’s most fruitful times in underground music, a time when some of the most savage and innovative acts in metal, punk and hardcore converged on the stages of such fabled venues as The Pyramid Club, L’Amour and ABC No Rio. Pussy Galore. Cop Shoot Cop. Swans. Unsane. Live Skull. Sonic Youth. White Zombie.

Wait, what?

That’s right, kids. Before they became the Beavis-approved, platinum-certified, Grammy-nominated alt-metal juggernaut of the 1990s, White Zombie first existed as a noise band assembled by a quartet of students from New York’s Parsons School of Design in search of a way to conjure the elements of Butthole Surfers, Black Flag, The Doors, The Birthday Party and X into one cacophonous brew. When those passions were cross-referenced with the interests of frontman Rob Straker (now Zombie), particularly his love for both The Misfits and Italian horror films, the band’s image stuck out from the masses of torn denim like a fluorescent green thumb.

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

Posted on August 13, 2016 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »