Posts Tagged ‘Empty Records’

The X-Rays

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Speed Kills CD
Empty, 1996

A number of my favorite records made me laugh the first time I heard them. Melt-Banana‘s Scratch or Stitch LP was so ridiculously jolting and squeaky that I grinned ear to ear in bemused amazement. Emperor‘s Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is so preposterously melodramatic and fast that I still can’t take it seriously. And who can listen to Xerobot‘s dazzlingly robotic Control Panel CD with Greg Peter’s spastic vocals without busting a chuckle? All classic, all amazing, and all noteworthy for an x-factor quality that really made them stand out from the pack. In this great pantheon of underground benchmark albums lies The X-Rays’ Speed Kills CD. While they were part of the mostly unremarkable Gearhead zine garage punk scene of the mid-1990s, they upped the ante with an outrageously loud, fast, and over-the-top take on the whole leather jacket punk rawk thing. I can still distinctly recall hearing the first few seconds of “Racin’ Outta Napolis” for the first time, shaking my head and laughing at the audacity and overdrive of this Nottingham psycho squad. It begins like a number of lesser gearhead punk albums, complete with revving engines throttling to take off, but after a quick count it lurches into crazy territory and races into one of the more noteworthy garage punk records of the genre. Their Empty follow up Double Godzilla with Cheese continued the wacky hi-jinx with the entire album playing backwards after the last track.


The X-Rays – Speed Kills (28.1MB)

Holden Payne & The Agonies

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Shuffle Along 7″
Empty Records, 1996

One of the low points of 2008 — just about a year ago — was the announcement of longtime Seattle punk ‘n roll label, Empty Records, calling it a day. While I didn’t love everything the label cranked out in its heyday, the Empty roster always had a handful of bands that absolutely tore it up, from Dead Moon to The Motards, to The Reatards, X-Rays, Lost Sounds, Tokyo Electron, Destruction Unit, and many others. Buried within that impressive punkrock pedigree was this perfectly boozy bluespunk rager, the only release from Holden Payne & The Agonies. The band was made up from members of The Latch Key Kids (who I know nothing about, so if anyone can enlighten me, please do) and the Kent 3, and featured a brash, blaring, reverbed guitar sound that paired perfectly with swaggering, drunken vocal warbling and a few blasts of harmonica. During my Zeen zine days, I tried to get an interview and more info on this NW punk powerhouse, but to no avail. Whether they were too punk or too drunk to cater to nerdy fanboys, they remain a mystery, so I’m still wondering why they only left us with these 3 brilliant songs on a 7″ that no one has heard…


Holden Payne & The Agonies – “Shuffle Along”
Holden Payne & The Agonies – “Drunk Tank
Holden Payne & The Agonies – “California… Why?”