Volume 3: New Strings For Old PuppetsAlternative Tentacles
Alternative Tentacles is proud to present the first-ever complete, three-volume collection of Texas punk legends Really Red. None of their catalog has been available for years—some not for decades!
Really Red was the backbone of Houston’s underground from the early punk era clear through ’80s hardcore. Like The Dicks in Austin, they directly challenged an insanely violent police department at no small risk to their own lives. Their sound itself incorporated art and post-punk elements, with a musical and lyrical depth on par with bands like Mission of Burma, Wire, or Dead Kennedys. Singer Ronnie Bond (a.k.a. U-Ron Bondage) was never afraid to push intelligence or mess with Texas. Kelly Younger’s guitar style is as unique in its own way as that of The Gang of Four’s Andy Gill, while Bob Weber’s taut, precise and sometimes unorthodox drum patterns would not be heard again until the likes of John Wright of NoMeansNo. It’s all driven forward by the driving, elastic basslines of John Paul Williams. This collection presents the sound better then it has ever been, so hear them again for the first time—or the first time ever.
Volume 3: News Strings for Old Puppets could be the surprise hit of the bunch. Here in one place are all the highly sought-after Really Red 7-inches, plus more from the early days that has never been released in any form until now. The LP kicks off with the KBD cult classic Modern Needs and the even rarer Crowd Control singles, followed by an unlikely punk cover of Petula Clark’s “Downtown.” Finally seeing the light for the first time is “Little Death,” the song Jello wanted for the 1981 Alternative Tentacles compilation Let Them Eat Jellybeans that only survived on a cassette he found in his vaults. Then it’s on to the hardcore era and the New Strings for Old Puppets EP itself, before a final rewind to the live songs originally released as the Despise Moral Majority official bootleg EP. The sound is dramatically improved, and it ain’t a muddy bootleg anymore! This is one kickass album, lovingly curated and remastered by Biafra with part three of David Ensminger’s (Left of the Dial) extensive interview with Bond.