Monday, March 2, 2009

The Origins of the Mid 90s Roswell Scene - Ripchord, Pax 13 and The Strange Death (of Silas Deane)

Above: Lee Corum at Sprocket's
Below: David Axelrod in a garage

Today is a triple post of sorts.

The first is Ripchord, here is the download:
Ripchord 7"

The second is Pax 13, here is the download:
Pax 13 Demo

The third is The Strange Death (of Silas Deene), here is the download:

The idea for this post first started when Alex LaRoche sent me a recording of the Ripchord 7", and soon after Scott MC sent me the Pax 13 demo tape, and soon after that, Jordan Noel sent me a recording of The Strange Death (of Silas Deene). All three bands existed during the middle to late 90s in Roswell, Georgia, which is where I happened to live from 1986 to 1993.

Three bands from the northern suburbs of Atlanta, back where everything started for me, but several years later, after I was already over the hill. The idea for this post first started when Alex LaRoche sent me a recording of the Ripchord 7", and soon after Scott MC sent me the Pax 13 demo tape, and soon after that, Jordan Noel sent me a recording of The Strange Death (of Silas Deene). All three bands existed during the middle to late 90s in Roswell, Georgia, which is where I happened to live from 1986 to 1993. I didn't know these guys until the Kossabone Red and Chapterhall were fully up and running, but everybody has a beginning, and this is part of theirs. The guys in these bands are personally responsible for such later contributions to Atlanta/Athens music as Some Soviet Station, Mock Heroic (supposedly these pictures above are actually of them), Chapterhall, Paper Lions, Copa Vance, Home of the Wildcats, Gentleman Jesse and His Men, Teenage Methlab, Lay Down Mains, Breakheart Beat, Baryshnikov, Love It to Deth, Dream Girls, Little Francis, and many more that I'm forgetting. Please send comments with whatever stories and recollections you might have from these guys, they are a great group of kids and kept local music going in Atlanta during some pretty lean times.

Here is an overview of Ripchord and Pax 13, graciously provided by Scott MC from Concurrent Records/Portrait/Chapman Park:

Ripcord started out as a 3 piece - brothers Justin and Nick playing guitar and drums, respectively and Chris on bass. They all went to Roswell high school (but Justin might have been out of high school by then). I think it was Chris who gave a us a demo tape (or maybe their 7" (on legendary Crazy Man Records out of Roswell)). Gavin and I thought it was great so we booked them to play a show at the I DEFY (I have no idea who they played with). I think they later realized that there were a few other bands around the country called Ripcord so they changed their name to Kossabone Red. Right about the time of the name change Jesse joined the band. Jesse was in another band at the time called Pax 13 with his brother Lee on drums. I seem to recall Jeph playing with them for a minute as well. I think Nick got sick of doing the whole band thing and quit as drummer. That is when Jeph started to play with them. Nick never did another band after that but he is still around Atlanta going to the occasional show now and then.

Just to round out the post, Jordan Noel provided me an overview of his band with Lee Corum (Some Soviet Station, Copa Vance, Home of the Wildcats, Lay Down Mains):

The Strange Death (of Silas Deane) was a post-hardcore Atlanta band in the style of the San Diego / Three.One.G sound during the mid-late 90s. The 3-piece consisted of two members of the recently defunct hardcore band Between Shadows, Jordan Noel and David Bryan, and then Chapterhall drummer, Lee Corum. TSDOSD existed for only a brief moment in 1998 and never played a proper show (although one show had been set up at Sprockets and later cancelled). During summer 1998 the only semi "shows" took place when friends would come to rehearsals. Although only 3 songs were written most of the material the band played was an improvisation. Unfortunately, any rehearsal tapes documenting the improvisations (we're not talking jam sessions, we're talking noise and rock mayhem) have been lost in the shuffle of the past 11 years. BUT, there is still a rehearsal tape of the 3 written songs. The tape was recorded on a karaoke machine in Lee's parents basement.

TSDOSD Line-up:
David Bryan - guitar/vocals
Lee Corum - drums
Jordan Noel - bass/vocals

Thanks again to Alex, Scott and Jordan for the music and stories. Hopefully we didn't let too many skeletons out of the closet on this one.


  1. The only time I saw Pax 13 was at the Buford Civic Center and I remember this because they played in the middle of the space. Most bands setup against the back wall on the right. Unfortunately, I can't recall any other bands on this show.

  2. justin from kossabone red went to the same high school that i did in arkansas. he was in a band called LOST DOG, hands down the worst band i have ever heard in my entire life. he was always a nice guy but man, that band was awful. a few years later i'm on tour in florida and kossabone red is supposed to open, we couldn't believe it was the same guy, haha. if anyone knows him, ask him about LOST DOG. they recorded a demo but i don't think i have it anymore.

  3. Oh man. The Strange Death... I remember we were all so full of this frenetic energy and wanted to like, freak out and scare people and go crazy when we played. (I know, really original, right?) I don't remember there being so much wild Banshee screaming. I wish we would have played at least one show. We were supposed to play this one show, it was at this church in Roswell somewhere off Old Alabama I think. We actually showed up with all our gear but the scene was so lame that we just got back in the car and left. I don't know what happened with us not playing Sprocket's. I think I'd maybe already quit to focus more on Some Soviet Station, which also started out practicing at my parents' house. My parents really deserve a lot of thanks for letting me have band practice at their house. Some practices would last for 5 or 6 hours, just constant noise. STOSD was especially loud, which I think comes across on these recordings. I also played in this really bad noisy band in like 8th or 9th grade - we basically wanted to sound like Sonic Youth during their really early, noisy days. I mean, my parents would have to put up with just horrendous, loud, droning notes and pounding drums that could go nonstop for like 30 or 40 minutes at a time. I know I had some of this stuff recorded as well, but it's long gone. I remember the kid Zac, who played guitar, had really nice equipment to be so young. He had an American made Fender Mustang or Jaguar, I can't remember which, a really nice Fender amp, and like a trillion pedals, of course. I think he really idolized J Mascis. Anyway, thanks for the memories!!

  4. Oh, and that second picture of David is from Chapter Hall's first show. I think it was at someone from Portrait's house, maybe Jeph, like out in Snellville or Lawrenceville. We have some stuff recorded that Lewis did at Under The Couch. There are no vocals though (which is probably actually a really good thing). I have that on tape if you want it. That band was me, David Axelrod, and Seth Barnham (we went on to do the Mock Heroic thing) and Matt Miller on guitar / vocals. Matt and Seth went to Lassiter in Cobb County.

  5. Hey Lee - I would love to get a copy of the Chapterhall recording. Chocolate Kiss played with you guys on May 7, 1998 at Under the Couch - our second show. Also on August 9, 1998 at Sprockets with you guys and Baby I'm A Star. Remember them?

  6. I remember the name. And I remember playing with you guys there. I may have pictures from that show. I have to hook up my scanner at some point. If you look in that picture of Chapter Hall, in front of David is a mic. You can make out Matt's face yelling into it. Seth's a blur in the background. It's so weird to think that I haven't heard the TSDOSD for 10 or 11 years. I had a copy of that that I remember looking for in vain probably 5 or 6 years ago. And Jordan, if you read this, "Hi." Hope you're doing well. And what ever happened to David? James, do you have the capability to transfer from tape to digital? I also have some Mock Heroic stuff. It's funny to think that when we were recording this stuff cassette tape was still so widespread.

  7. Oh, and I think Chapter Hall or Some Soviet Station, or both, played with Chocolate Kiss at Sprockets too.

  8. Hey Lee - yes, I do have the capability of transferring tape to digital. Just send me an email and we'll work out the details. We should really work on a Mock Heroic post.

    TSDOSD seems to be really San Diego/Gravity influenced from back in the day, reminds me of Honeywell - here's a sample:
    How much of the Gravity records scene were you guys into back then? What exactly were your influences when making the music for this band?

  9. Man, I don't know. I think we were all probably listening to Antioch Arrow and Angel Hair and Rorschach. I had a few Gravity records at the time: UOA, Mohinder, Monorchid, Heroin, Swing Kids, etc. I had one Honeywell 7". Moreover, around that time I was more into Karp, also the early Rye Coalition stuff and some other Lovitt bands like Sleepytime Trio. I was also digging a lot of the stuff Gern Blandsten put out - Merel, 1.6 Band, Native Nod, the Van Pelt. That's probably a good summation of the sound that was in my brain when we were playing this kind of stuff.

  10. ah man, if you never played a show it doesn't count! awwwSNAP! just kidding. but seriously though.

  11. Dude. Whatever!! We played an integral part in shaping all of the Atlanta music that came after us!! Without those three songs on that tape, there would be no Black Lips, man!

  12. Seriously true about the Black Lips. They thanked me again last weekend for making them possible. Ha!
    Hey Lee! Its been awhile! All good here... I keep hoping to run into you when i'm in Atlanta but it never happens. David is great! He ended up marrying Nicole and they have an (almost) 1 year old baby girl. They live waaaaaaay out in the country and David doesn't really play music at all anymore. I see him often and was at his house a few weeks ago and he's still got that old awesome Ibanez or whatever sitting out. I'll tell him you said hello.
    I had forgotten about that church show in Roswell. That's hilarious. I'm glad to now have that memory. and Lee- I probably didn't thank your parents enough 11 years ago so tell them i said "thanks" again.

    TONY- i remember that show at BCC pretty well except that i can't remember who played before them. They played last and if i remember correctly i think they just kind of decided to play at the end. Did Jeph Burgoon play bass for them at that show? I bought a size L Pax 13 shirt at that show and after a dozen years or so it finally fits me!

    JAMES- I was definitely into Swing Kids, Spanakorzo (sp?), Antioch Arrow, that first Piebald ep, early Cave In 7"s, the Gern Blandsten stuff especially Native Nod (who were probably my favorite at the time) and Rye Coalition, Constantine Sankathi, Reversal of Man, Roswell, Ordination of Aaron, Sleepy Time Trio, Early Grace... all that wild Banshee kinda stuff... haha.

    I'm gonna scan in a bunch of my pictures soon and I'll send them to James... hopefully it will spark some more memories.

  13. Oh! and i will definitely be asking Justin about LOST DOG... that's hilarious.

    has anyone seen his new band? It's him and Chris McNeal... called VINCAS. It rules.

  14. Jordan, good to hear you're doing well. Def tell David hi for me. How sweet, the high school sweethearts got married!! I'll try to catch Vincas.

  15. It's pretty crazy to think about high school kids from Roswell listening to 1.6 Band, UOA, and Antioch Arrow. Lee - I got a chance to see Vin Novarra from 1.6 Band play drums while he was in Crownhate Ruin, you would have loved it. That guy was definitely the best drummer of all these bands mentioned, although I was really influenced by the UOA drummer (and James Canty from NOU) back in my Car vs. Driver days. It's also funny to see how well known Swing Kids became, even though they only had one single and a split 10" and probably lasted one year as a band.

  16. Well, there weren't many of us. Not to mention, this was really before the internet, at least as far as it's ubiquitous nature as a way to find out about and hear music. I remember how I'd order a record or cd, and looking through the actual catalog or booklet insert and reading the descriptions of other bands on the label and being like, yeah, that sounds good, I'll order that. Then I'd take a chance and buy it. Now, everything is at your fingertips. I could go on and on about how I feel about the internet's effects on the state of the current indie / DIY music "culture", but I'll digress. Brookes, or Brooks, Headley, from UOA, was a real skin smasher. Can't wait to listen to the Third Season stuff. Ahhh.... work is draining all energy. It's 4:30 on the longest Friday ever. Must... get... out...

  17. I remember the couple times I drove out to Sprockets was just like going into a different country. So surreal. I was so blown away by the bands I saw though that I had many of them play at the Echo Lounge (which I had just started booking in '97 or '98). Seeing that photo of David Axelrod makes me remember that he still looks IDENTICAL today as he did then.

  18. I can safely say that i probably have Gavin to thank for getting me into most of that stuff back then. I remember pretty clearly the day he said he thought i would really like Native Nod. I would just ask him what i should get that day or night and he was pretty much always spot on. I have to give Jeph Burgoon credit for Antioch Arrow though. I felt like he had an AA record in his hand at every show.
    I was actually in Alpharetta during this time... i don't know if that's more or less crazy than Roswell. I went to Chattahoochee High School which is apparently where one of the Serotonin kids went before me. Also, I was right around the corner from Jeff Jawk's parents house... we would hang out there sometimes, which was pretty hilarious. I think most of us (me, Lee, Chris McNeal, Justin, etc) met at North Point Mall or at least that's where we really became friends. All those guys worked at the carousel. Matt Northpoint worked at some custom hat kiosk at the mall, too. It was a real late 90's Atlanta hardcore hotspot. Sometimes we would go over to Gwinnett mall (i think it was that mall) and see Zack and all those Gwinnett kids cause they all worked there. Its weird to go in there now... i guess the new breed just works at Hot Topic. Ugh.

  19. I went to Chattahoochee High School myself - class of '93. I would park at Jeff Jawk's parents house and walk to the school because I didn't want to spend the money for the parking permit. I also remember the "Northpoint Mall carousel" scene, as my girlfriend at the time (later my wife) worked at the Media Play during the summers home from school and those guys would be pretty obnoxious to her. Gotta love it.

    Even though we were Roswell/Alpharetta based, I kind of lump everything into the town of Roswell if it was in Fulton County, whether it was Roswell High School, Chattahoochee/Crestwood High School or North Springs High School. These three high schools have produced all of the bands mentioned here, the bands I've associated with, and the don't forget the whole Greg King/Will Greene bloodline (Quadiliacha, Thenceforward, etc.).

  20. There was this gay kid named Josh that worked at that Media Play that had this really huge, obsessive crush on me. One time I hung out with him, just you know, to be cool or whatever, and he tried to put the moves on me in his car. When I rejected his advances, he got really pissed and then from that day on, I think he hated me and he'd always give me these cold, go-to-hell glances whenever I went into Media Play to buy some Seaweed or Snuff cds or whatever they sold that I would buy.

  21. No way! That's wild. I had no idea. I promise it wasn't me being obnoxious to your girlfriend/now wife, although i was pretty obnoxious back then. Who else went to Chattahoochee back then? Were there other scene kids?

    I definitely haven't forgotten about the North Springs crew... I was handing out flyers at Chattahoochee lunch one day for a show that Quadiliacha was on and this girl Nicole saw the flyers and said that Will Greene used to take her to school when she was going to North Springs. We became fast friends and as it turns out she is married to David from TSDOSD.

    I haven't seen Will in years but i see Greg pretty often. Unfortunately i missed those Quadiliacha reunion shows. Bummer.

  22. As far as other people who went to Chattahoochee - Jon Rothman, who was also in Car vs. Driver and then has been in several bands outside of Atlanta, including the Long Winters who are on Sub Pop. Jesse Lauricella, who was in the Go-Steadys with me, but later on formed Mandorico who is still active in Los Angeles. Not many others outside of the guys I played in bands with, but in 9th and 10th grade, we went to Crestwood High School which was off Northridge (exit 6) and Peter Buck from REM went there, although back in the early 80s. Some of the teachers remembered him.

    I was just talking to Ben Davis last night, and he grew up in Toccoa, Georgia where several of the local parents, teachers, etc. knew James Brown as a kid, after he was released from juvenile detention back in the 50's, and his teacher showed him the building where the Fabulous Flames recorded Please Please Please. That blew my mind.

    I also saw Will Greene last night. He's all over the place, you just have to keep your eyes open.

  23. Great great post. Sprockets brings back so many memories of the last year at RHS and the first year at GSU, 1997-99 period. I still pass it everyday on the way home from work, it's still strange to think that some great bands played there (the Ink & Dagger show sticks out).

    I think the first Ripchord show happened in Justin and Nick's parents' basement one summer night in '96. They had another one there, I distinctly remember Pax 13 playing. The police showed up, so it came to a quick end. I also remember Ripchord trying to get Clobber to play there but it didn't happen.

    We'd always wanted a venue in Roswell to have shows, and after a bad experience booking a show at the East Roswell Park Community Building (Gavin trudged out there with all his records, only to be shut down, Quadiliacha getting through a few songs before being shut down), Sprockets came about.

    I ran into Justin last year at a friend's going away party. If I remember correctly someone told me he recently got married. I used to work with him and Nick at the Chick-fil-A in Roswell, many good times.

  24. I remember a funny story someone once told me about that Chick-fil-A, where some kids used to skate. Well, one day, all these guys were skating and this one kid that everyone hated - just really had it out for - shows up and like walks in front of someone while they're skating or does something stupid trying to be funny. Well, as this kid's skating away this guy runs after him and just pushes him off his board and the kid eats it. Everyone's laughing and cheering. Well, while the kid's flat on his back on the ground, the other guy pulls down his pants and puts his balls right on the kids chin. I want to say the kid started crying from humiliation, but I could be wrong. This was like 10 or 11 years ago. Anyway, the whole thing was supposedly caught on video.

  25. I remember announcing the show at East Roswell Park on the Album 88 "punk" show. I was helping this girl Catherine on the show for a few weeks, and decided to read off the show list Radiobomb style, and came across this show back in my old home stomping grounds. Did the Perpetual Sciamachy Theorem (sp.) play that one? I seem to remember trying to pronounce their name on the air, and people were calling in to correct me. Those were definitely the days - when you had an unpronounceable band name.

    My high school girlfriend worked at that Chick Fil A. There was definitely plenty of funny business going on there, but I worked at the theater, so it was all second-hand.

  26. james, no props for milton hs? only the old stomping ground of saucemaster, jawk, new age, matt northpoint, myself and many others...

  27. i was referring to one of the comments not the post itself...

  28. I believe i saw Pax 13 once at this dude named Ryan's basement on the edge of Sandy Springs (i think he died of an OD a couple of years later). Wasn't Jesse's younger brother in that band, or am i thinking of someone else? This was way before Black Lips, i think Cole's other band played too?

  29. Yeah. Lee Smith, Jesse's younger brother played drums in Pax 13. He went to the Atlanta Institute of Music, moved to Cali, and joined this crazy band called Estradasphere. Go to if you're curious.

  30. Hey guys — just saw this post/thread and wanted to interject that I was the vocalist for Chapterhall for about a minute. I lived in the city and wasn't a native — I don't even recall how I got hooked up with them. I think I saw 'em play a show instrumental and was so into what they were doing that I approached somebody after the show and offered to audition as a singer.

    The audition seemed to go well, I wrote lyrics for all the songs on the demo and played one show with them at Under The Couch, maybe with Chocolate Kiss? That was ancient times, so I don't remember. Didn't hear from those guys for awhile after that performance and heard from a 3rd party that I wasn't in the band anymore. It was like a middle school breakup! But I look back on it all with a sense of humor.

    And to Lee: I thought you were an amazing drummer, even way back then. Always wished I could have played in another band with you later on. I remember finding the SSS CD on the west coast a few years after I moved and being blown away.

  31. Hey Jack - good band dumping story! Yes, I remember Chocolate Kiss playing with Chapterhall, and noticing that Lee was quite the force as a drummer even back then. I would like to post a demo or something by them sometime, if anyone has one.