Smog Veil Records announces long awaited double LP vinyl retrospective of seminal Cleveland hardcore band, The Guns. Pressed on black vinyl, with eco-friendly recycled content jacket featuring Vince Rancid’s (Raw Power, MDC, Vatican Commandos) original cover art as commissioned by the band in the ’80s. Each LP comes with a digital download card. This collectable release is strictly limited to a single pressing of 900 pieces and is out now.
Scott Eakin and Dave Araca, influenced by bands like The Stooges, Pagans, The Dead Boys, Damned and Sex Pistols, first played with Tom Dark’s band, The Dark before forming their own band, The Guns. Their debut performance was in 1982 at The Beer Bash, in the home of local band Spike in Vain. The performance generated an instant following for the band because of songs like “I’m Not Right,” about a lack of acceptance from their peers, “Locked Inside”, about feeling trapped without adult freedoms, and their bastardized version of “The Jetson’s Theme.” In 1983 they invited their best friend, Sean Saley to join the band. The trio immediately started gigging at places like The Pop Shop, a club that was in the basement of the larger Agora venue; The Cleveland Underground, a bar in The Flats that was a strip club up to the moment the bands came in (meaning bands played with stripper poles between themselves and the audience); The Lakefront, a derelict hole-in-the-wall of a bar just a couple blocks up from where Cleveland Browns Stadium now stands.
In the summer of 1984 The Guns entered Sound Factory Studios in Cleveland recording a 14-track album for Scott Lasch’s Trans Dada label. However, Lasch lost interest and the band eventually put the tape in the hands of Enigma Records through Paul Cutler of 45 Grave. Excepting the track “Your Mistake,” issued on a vinyl compilation in 1984, nothing from the Sound Factory demo would be released for 10 years.
By March 1985 the band’s new songs bore the influence of bands like Slayer, Iron Maiden, and Ride the Lightning-era Metallica. This final version of The Guns played shows in 1985 and 1986 at places like Cleveland Public Theater, Variety Theater, Peabody’s Down Under, and JB’s. It’s not clear why The Guns eventually broke up, but both Scott Eakin and David Araca began playing in a new band called False Hope. Scott Silverman went on to play with bands like Biblical Proof of UFOs and Brant Bjork and The Bros. Bob Ries eventually made his way to Seattle and played for a few bands, most notably, RC5. Sean Saley’s never stopped playing and has been in Government Issue, Moodroom and is currently drumming for Pentagram.
For the remainder of the ’80s and throughout the ’90s, Eakin played in many projects, including Knifedance and Stepsister. in 2001 he met Karen Gortner and together they played in The Driven High. David Araca played in False Hope, which morphed into Asphault and later played with Cleveland hardcore band Integrity. He became a very accomplished tattoo artist, winning awards at conventions and eventually opening his own shop. David Araca died suddenly in 1994 from a brain aneurysm. He was 26 years old.
In late 2005, Jim Lanza, an omni-present part of the punk scene in Cleveland in the ’80s pulled together a multi-band reunion show called Cleveland’s Screaming which took place at The Beachland Ballroom. Scott Eakin and Sean Saley, who had not talked to each other for nearly 20 years, re-established contact to play the show. David Araca being irreplaceable, it was agreed that Saley would play drums and hand bass guitar duties over to Karen Gortner, who was by now Eakin’s fiancee.
The concert was set for December 10th, 2005. To commemorate the reunion, this line-up went into Closerlook Recording Studio in downtown Cleveland. After twenty years of dormancy, just two days and two practices yielded 18-tracks, which Saley describes as “tight-as-fuck slabs of raging rock fury.” Eakin and Saley mixed the album titled, Attack, and released it on Eakin’s imprint, SFE Records, in the summer of 2006. The Guns played the show the next day and then reunited one more time, nearly a year later in November 2006, for the 3rd Cleveland’s Screaming spectacle. And that was the end. In February 2007, Scott Eakin died of a heart attack at his home.
The Guns retrospective features Scott Eakin (The Dark, False Hope, Knifedance, Stepsister); Dave Araca (The Dark, False Hope, Asphault, Integrity); Sean Saley (Starvation Army, Government Issue, Moodroom, Pentagram); Bob Ries (Idiot Humans, Shadow of Fear, RC5); Scott Silverman (False Hope, Biblical Proof of UFOs, Brant Bjork and The Bros.). The 43 songs on the release include:
1) “I’m Not Right”
2) “Locked Inside” (from The New Hope v/a compilation)
1-2 recorded by Ray Fister at Pyramid Recording in Lyndhurst, Ohio (Fall 1982)
3) “Close up”
4) “Green Grass”
5) “I’m Not Right”
6) “Kill Preps”
7) “Locked Inside”
8) “One True Desire”
9) “Outta Glue ”
11) “Rotting Away”
12) “Shut Up”
14) “The Chair”
15) “Waste Of Talent”
16) “Your Mistake”
3-16 recorded by unknown person at Sound Factory in Mayfield, Ohio in 1984
17) “Preps Suck” (extra track from “The New Hope” compilation) .
17 recorded by Ray Fister at Pyramid Recording in Lyndhurst, Ohio (Fall 1982)
18) “Locked Inside”
19) “Jetson’s Theme Song”
20) ” Kill Preps” (2)
18-20 recorded by Charlie Watts at Soundstage 25 in Cleveland, Ohio (Spring 1982)
21) “The End”
22) “Out Of The Ruins”
23) “Real World”
24) “Who’s To Say”
26) “Nickerson Gardens”
21-27 taped from a live radio broadcast by Frank Mauceri in Columbus, Ohio in 1985
28) “Nickerson Gardens”
29) “The Attack”
28-30 recorded live on a boombox by Chris Smith at Variety Theater in Cleveland, Ohio in 1985
31) “Kill Preps” (3)
31 recorded live by Dave Spiga at the Pop shop in Cleveland, Ohio in 1984
33) “Ookla away!”
32, 33, 35-36 recorded at a live practice on a boombox by Sean Saley in the Marec’s family basement in Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1984
34) “The End” ( 2 )
34 recorded live by unknown person at The Guns’ last show at JB’s (down) in Kent, Ohio on December 21, 1986
35) “I’m Not Right”
36) “Locked Inside”
37) “Ookla away!”
38) Untitled / instrumental
40) “Discharge song”
37-40 recorded live on a boombox by either Sean Saley or Chris Smith at The Lakefront in Cleveland, Ohio in either 1983 or 1984
41) Instrumental 1
42) Instrumental 2
43) “Orkin Theme Song”
41-43 recorded live at the New Hope benefit concert by Vicky Sprague and Jimi Imij in South Euclid, Ohio in January 1983
The Guns were:
Scott F. Eakin: guitar on tracks 1-40, lead vocals on tracks 1-7, 11, 16-20, 23, 25, 28, 31, 33, 35-37, 43 and bass on tracks 17, 34 and drums on tracks 41 and 42
David N. Araca: drums on tracks 1â€“40, 43, and lead vocals on track 25 and back up vocals on tracks 1, 5, 6, 17, 19, 20, 31, 35 and bass on track 17 and guitar on tracks 41 and 42
Sean Saley: bass on tracks 3-16, 31, 32, 33, 35-40 and lead vocals on tracks 4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 32, 39, 40
Bob Ries: bass on tracks 21â€“30, lead vocals on tracks 22, 24, 29, and back up vocals on track 25
Scott Silverman: lead guitar on tracks 21â€“30, and 34
Smog Veil Records was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1991. This release will be distributed by Revolver, CTD, Ltd., Forced Exposure, Sonic Unyon (Canada) and IODA (digital). The Smog Veil roster includes The New Hope v/a compilation, OBNOX, Batusis (Cheetah Chrome and Sylvain Sylvain of New York Dolls), Complaints Choir, This Moment In Black History, Peter Laughner, Pere Ubu, Tin Huey, Easter Monkeys, Pistol Whip, Unknown Instructors (Mike Watt, George Hurley, Joe Baiza, Dan McGuire, Raymond Pettibon, David Thomas), The Pagans, Teacherâ€™s Pet, Thor, Rocket From The Tombs, Amps II Eleven, New Christs (featuring Rob Younger of Radio Birdman) and Rubber City Rebels. Visit the label online at SmogVeil.com.