Five On The Black Hand Side (Punk Edition)

We’ve had a lot of special guests swing through to Nostalgia King to talk about some of their favorite records and the stories behind them. It’s fascinating how worlds connect for many of us in how we were initially turned onto certain things or what a certain feeling was like when we heard things for the first time although we come from different backgrounds. Their is an underlying element of culture which is the basis for most of it which and starting point for something that would last a lifetime.  Our next guest and heavy collector on the scene is Kris Holmes who has amassed a serious collection of records of varying genres but today we’re here to discuss the seriousness of his punk collection and his top 5 picks that shaped his ear and passion for the genre.

Kris Holmes’ Five Big Bangs

A handful of indispensable Punk / Hardcore 7″ with black & white picture sleeves that shaped a life and are also a great jumping in point for people new to the genre!

Along the way in my last 20+ years of collecting and DJ’ing Funk & Soul 45’s, I’ve met a lot of other collectors and DJ’s who like me, came from a Punk Rock background.  This has always fascinated me because on the surface, while the two genres have little in common, if you scratch the surface back it begins to make sense. If you choose to heed the call, you always remember the time you were made aware of Punk. For me it was the first time I heard the Ramones back in 1990.  Cassette tapes (mainly dubbed) and a prized Ramones t-shir bought with paper route earnings sealed it. My life was changed, skateboarding, loud / fast music and starting middle school, I was hooked!  The next few years were a blur of one who used to pause the song credits on skateboard videos to get the band names and record label details, reading Thrasher Magazine for the Skaterock column and then take it through to the heady days of the RevHQ message board and record trades. Mail-order was by, uh… mail and sending cashing in an envelope. Remembering, I was in New Zealand, half a world away from the sounds of American Hardcore that I had ultimately gravitated to. Once I reached the end of High School, I had amassed a pretty epic collection of punk & hardcore related vinyl but I had also started collecting Soul.

Through until I actively stopped collecting (i.e. tracking down / buying new release) punk / hardcore in 2010, both Soul & Punk had been running a joint race form collecting attention.  Eventually Soul, Funk and R&B won out and although I’m a casual punk observer now, it never really left me entirely. Thinking about writing this column, I popped the Micke & The Soul Generation CD out of the player in my car and replaced it with Minor Threat’s “Complete Discography” to get me in the mood. Talking with some friends a few years back about how we all got into collecting via Punk / Hardcore, we came to the realization that Dave “Bass” Brown, drummer for legendary hardcore band, Negative FX kind of lead the way for us all when we became Dave “Philly Soul” Brown and in a weird way, became sort of the patron saint fo all hardcore kids turned soul collectors.

I know for myself, the fact that both scenes were primarily based around the fetishism of the 7″ record release was really appealing and it’s true that often the most crucial music in each genre was originally 7″ only. Ultimately, one can’t stay angsty, angry or young forever and the progression to soul & funk might just be us finally growing up?


Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop (Sire, 1976)

Where it all started for me, 14 years after it was released.


7 Seconds – Skins, Brains & Guts (Alternative Tentacles, 1982)

This band changed my life sometime in the early 90’s.


Bad Brains – Pay To Cum (Bad Brain, 1980)

The speed of this blew my young mind, still makes the hairs on my neck stand up!


War Zone – Lower East Side Crew (Revelation, 1987)

Ray Beez RIP. The first release on Rev, much collecting of various pressings of different releases, all of them, followed.


Minor Threat – Salad Days (Dischord, 1985)

When I first heard this, I thought it was the angriest thing ever. Tubular belles for the LOL though.