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Crack Rock Steady​/​Squatta's Paradise

by Choking Victim

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about

The uber-hip environ that is today's Lower East Side couldn't be further from the stomping grounds of legendary squattingvagrant punkers, Choking Victim, whose personnel included future members of ska/punk legends No Commercial Value, and the infamous Leftover Crack. The band was formed and rehearsed in what was known as C-Squat, in the now fashionable Alphabet City neighborhood. This explosive and abrasive group expressed transient and drug addled lifestyles through its surprisingly satirical take on the Rocksteady style, which they dubbed "Crackrock Steady". Breaking up only a day after recording their full length, this band spawned many viable offshoots, and inspired countless others. The album that was salvaged from the wreckage of their sole recording endeavor is a testament to the raw talent of its members. Choking Victim was a band that endorsed vulgarity, drug use, spouted ironic Satanism and ranted on all it deemed society's ills: specifically against police oppression and America's grotesquely commercial and ruined values. And while drunkenness often got in the way of clarity, the Squatta's Paradise/Crack Rock Steady Split is a historical document of modern punk's raucous past. Not only does Choking Victim's lyrical content remain provocative even today for political punk fans, but fans of poppunk mainstays like Operation Ivy and Rancid find Choking Victim's guitar work to be surprisingly hook-infused. With rare exception, this is the stuff that leaves even the most jaded of expunkers wanting to pogo around their cubicle, reminiscing for the days of beer-soaked house parties, making out with "a smelly girl with the Chelsea haircut," and getting beat up for it when you were done. Since being persuaded to "compromise" by adding a barcode to a sticker on this release in 2004, it has sold thousands of copies. With the added promise of drummer Skwert's new project American Distress (whose new CD on Tent City spent a month as interpunk.com's top-selling title) touring consistently, there's no sign of sales of this seminal punk classic slowing any time soon.

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released January 1, 1996

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