Tuesday, February 2, 2010

S.N.F.U. - The Last of the Big Time Suspenders

When first I witnessed him, I thought Chi Pig a marvel: an acrobatic punk rock front-man, possessed of a wild head-dress of hair with a life of its own and the most ghoulish sense of humour. Mr. Chi Pig (Kevin Chinn) has led a version of S.N.F.U. for over a quarter of century of lows and highs; lost friendships, break-ups, disappointing albums and one horrifying descent into addiction.

Alongside the brothers Belke, Marc and Brent, on guitar and an ever-changing rhythm section Edmonton's S.N.F.U's hit their glory years after the (north) American hardcore scene had peaked in 1983. After so many left to play speed-metal or college-rock, those who remained in the punk underground (mostly skater kids and freaky nerds) grabbed onto this band who played as tight as a metal band but whose front-man channeled the skull-rattling energy (and unusual singing style) of vocalists like Keith Morris and Iggy Pop into some demented form of martial art.

My first witness of S.N.F.U. occurred upstairs at Wellington's (Teenage Head were playing downstairs) back in 1985, where I met the first girl who'd break my heart (Damn you Chi Pig!) It was my first real punk show, y'know, the first one where I slammed, the first one where I met my fellow misfits, and, consumerism alert!, the first one where I bought an album AND a T-shirt. The album, And No One Else Wanted To Play would dominate my listening over the coming months and I'd eventually wear the Berni Wrightson inspired T-shirt down to the threads.

Today's offering is a rarities collection from 1989 called The Last of the Big Time Suspenders but it's a minor addendum to their major work of the eighties and their inconsistent but worthwhile work since their frequent returns to action.

MRML Reader: Leave us a comment with your take on the works of S.N.F.U.

The Last of the Big Time Suspenders CD

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  1. Man, I loved this friggin' band. I gues I still do, but in some ways more critically. I first heard them from a local radio station in Dallas, KNON. They played a song off the upcoming album Better than a stick in the Eye. It instantly captured my attention more than any other song that night. I had to have that LP right away! Now in hindsight it is not the best album, but it was the first I heard. I went to Dallas ASAP to find a copy. This ws not as easy as it sounded. Dallas was at least an hour south of the little 1000 person town in which I lived. Once in Dallas, one still had to travel through a sketchy neighborhood or two to find the record shop. It ended being nearly a 3.5 hour trip, but well worth it. I played the life out of that LP to the annoyance of siblings, friends, and parents. A few months later I had the chance to see them. While making the journey into Dallas to find records, I saw fliers for a Circle Jerks show followed by a few weeks later, SNFU!!! Woo-whoo!! Sadly though I never made it to SNFU. After getting my ass handed to me by nazi-skins at the Circle Jerks show, I could not attend the SNFU show. Of course, they did not return until after Something Green and Leafy came out. I think I hate the skins more for making me miss that show than anything else. Sons-of-bitches! I did eventually see them years later with a much depleted line up. I was saddened to see the trailer on youtube and clips of Chi-Pig. Thank you vey much more this post, it is a much needed trip down memory lane!

  2. nice post. I'm actually on a little bit of an SNFU kick myself due to the fact that they are playing next month here and I think I may actually drag myself out of the house for it.

  3. I forgot how frenetic SNFU were. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. convertido
    I don't love them quite the way I did in '85 (a lot of those Epitaph albums didn't move me). But I've come back around to see their power once again.
    That's such a good story (record-hunting, Nazi-skin beatings), it's like a blog post in and of itself. I enjoyed it, so thanks!

  5. Mike
    Ya gotta go - all the Canadian shows are a screening of the movie followed by a performance. I'm going and I'm dragging Koop with me.

    it's a **** thing
    Yup Chi was/is a force of fuckin' nature. I We all need to be reminded of that!


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