Track listing: Tick Panic / Head On Sideways / Saddle Up Your Ass / That’s Right (He Died) / Radio Tower / Eye of the Goat / Mongolian She-Devil / High and Mighty / She Loves Cold Tongue / Green Maiden / I Really Wanna Go / Banana Peel / Dark Days in the Valley / Mount Rockmore
Recorded and mixed by Carl Plaster and Devin Charette at Mad Oak, Allston, MA, 2006-2007. Complete lyrics included.
“The dubious marriage of punk and metal has produced some of the most horrid music to ever be inflicted upon human ears. But the few bands that get it right tend to really get it right. I mean, come on: fucking Turbonegro! I put The Bags in the same category. If Mount Rockmore fails to fill you with delight, if it does not quickly compel you to jack up your volume knob to neighbor-enraging decibels, I’ve got to wonder if you’re really capable of enjoying good music.
Of course we’re talking about the Boston Bags – famed for their late ’80s/early ’90s output and their considerable influence on Beantown punk-metal. They were broken up for a long time. Well, they’re back. Mount Rockmore is their second post-reunion album, and it’s just fucking great. Welding the thunder rock stylings of Sabbath, Motorhead, KISS, Dio, the Nuge, and Spinal Tap to the hard-slamming aggression of old school punk, this album has me banging my head and hoisting the horned-hand from start to finish. And while these guys have a great sense of humor and quite a flair for the comedic aspects of operatic metal, there’s nothing ironic about their commitment to rocking out. They genuinely love this music and play the hell out of it! Full of bonecrushing riffs, pummeling drum work, and kick-ass guitar shredding of the first order, this is the kind of record that would have had me drooling in awe when I was 12. The trio’s playing is tight and powerful; the songs are punchy and surprisingly hooky. I can just imagine Butt-Head telling Beavis, ‘This is the greatest album in the history of albums.’
Humorously rehashing medieval rock themes of epic quests and fantastical adventures, Mount Rockmore suggests what Tenacious D might be if they weren’t a joke band. Except The Bags are funnier. ‘She Loves Cold Tongue’ is about a girl whose interest in exotic foods is limited to one delicacy, while ‘Banana Peel’ is about the grave dangers of, uh, a banana peel. Surely The Bags are the only band I know of that are singing songs about Mongolian she-devils, killer ticks, and green maidens with sinister hypnotic powers. The title track is the sort of grand manifesto you rarely hear in today’s rock:
With Sherpas for roadies
We ascend and take the stage
And hail the gathered multitudes below
With the strength of the Saquatch
The widsom of the sage
We unleash an avalanche of rock and roll!
Is there really anything more that needs to be said?” -Lord Rutledge, NOW WAVE WEB-ZINE
SHARPEN YOUR STICKS
Our first full length release after a 13 year hiatus! Sharpen Your Sticks contains 15 songs recorded by Carl Plaster at Mad Oak Studios in Allston.
Track listing: Bucket of Blood / Believer / Babbling Cadaver / Here Come the Creeps / Want It All / Cavemen Rejoice / The Footprint / Thank You / Ivan The Terrible / Unbelievably Cool / Me Dumb / Ass Kicker / Gargoyle / Unlock the Cage / Anemone
“Cavemen Rejoice” – from Sharpen Your Sticks – is featured in the hit PlayStation 2 video game Guitar Hero.
The Boston Phoenix says:
“Along with Bullet LaVolta, the Bags are the band most often credited (or blamed, in some circles) for introducing punk metal to Boston. Which means that they don’t have to worry too much about their sound having gone out of style since they last rocked. In fact, to a large extent, the new CD picks up where 1991’s Night of the Corn People left off. There is a key difference, though: the CD of Corn People had 13 songs and ran 69 minutes. (Granted, one of those songs was “Waiting for Maloney,” the first and only lengthy rock opera about commuting from Allston to rehearse.) The new disc serves up 15 songs in 36 minutes: the sound is still metallic, but the songs are all punchy and punky. Meanwhile, the lyrics from Wood and Hardy amount to a puncturing of metal’s ponderous tendencies. Imagine the post-therapy self-loathing of Metallica’s St. Anger played for laughs and you’d have the Bags’ “Believer” or “Ass Kicker” (“You’re gonna kick my ass, that I do know — Kung Foe”). So forget about this being just a respectable comeback and call it the Bags’ best album. Period.” -Brett Milano
NIGHT OF THE CORN PEOPLE reissue
Track listing: Amsterdamned / The Mole / September / A Pile of Money / Covered Up / Who’s Laughing Now / Naked Lady / I Smell A Rat / Movin’ To The Country / Barb Jones / L. Frank Baum / Matter of Time / Hey Maloney / The Shower / Refrigerator Song / In My Headphones / Meanwhile / Maloney’s Trip / The Grand Mythooza
Bonus Tracks: Dr. Lb. / Frilly Underwear
“The Mole” – from Night of the Corn People – is featured in the film Air Guitar Nation (2007), and “I Smell A Rat” is covered by Sebadoh on the album Harmacy (1996).
Originally released by Stanton Park Records just prior to the band’s extended 12 year vacation, Night of the Corn People was described at the time as “a feast of a set which contains enough hardcore guitar overkill to satisfy most heavy guitar rock fans, enough strange poetic weirdness and odd signatures to have children of the psychedelic revolution revolving in their jelly baths, and just enough rock-operatic genius to satisfy the self-seeking progressive lovers of ‘serious’ rock & roll” (Phil McMullen, Ptolemaic Terrascope, April 1992).
This reissue includes bonus tracks and a 12-page booklet featuring old and new cover art, liner notes, lyrics and photos.
THE BAGS ’89
THE BAGS ’89 is a collection of performances never before released in digital form.
From The Bags LP: Bagpipe / Evil / Beauty of the Bud / Atomic Coconuts / Dropout / Rip You Down / Dummy / 1000 / Acre Woods / Superpower / Take It Or Leave It / Closer Then / Swog
Unreleased Tracks from 1989: Volume Freak / China Doll
From the 1989 Stanton Park 45: Hide and Seek / I Know
Some original press:
“With the grade-A snarl and swagger of their self-titled second album, the Boston raunchers the Bags are shoo-ins for Kings of Garageland 1990. At their best, the Bags rip it up like the Meat Puppets-meet-Motorhead, a marriage surely made in bar-band heaven.” – David Fricke, Rolling Stone
“Bagpipe, Evil, and Dummy all storm from the speakers in a surge of hardcore energy, but there is an extra weight to the rhythm section, a wilder mania to the guitar, that wasn’t present on Rock Starve.
While trading off vocals from song to song, both Wood and Hardy now display a fearsome mastery of the lower, louder regions of the voice box. Powered by this vocal prowess, Beauty of the Bud is a crushing rock stomp, not an ode to Anheuser-Busch but a song written from the point of view of a non-believer in the benefits of smokable drugs. Atomic Coconuts is a ridiculously catchy jumble of funk and nonsense that Janota claims is about sex or drugs or, most likely, nothing. Huge and ominous, Thousand Acre Woods, Closer Then, and Rip You Down (on which Wood expresses a preference for Hell as an address) tread the fine line between introspective hard rock and nightmare.
But it’s not until the record’s final track that the Oaf completely rears its head. Swog proudly devours five minutes of vinyl in a conglomeration of psychotic vocals and instrumental grunge. This is the Bags at their most glorious.” – Polly Campbell, Boston Phoenix
THE BAGS CD Single: 2 SONGS LIVE
This disc features Ivan the Terrible and Hide and Seek, recorded live during the “comeback” show at the Middle East Downstairs in February 2004. Ivan the Terrible was a brand new song at the time, and later appeared on Sharpen Your Sticks. Hide and Seek is a chestnut from 1989, previously available only on rare 7″ vinyl (Stanton Park). This single was the first release on The Bags’ label, Oaf Records!
CDs can be ordered from Stanton Park Records.