Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nobody Laughs Anymore

When I was first getting into punk in the 8th grade I immediately found a small group of older and like-minded friends. Together we started a tradition where everyday we sat on a ledge outside of our high school listening to CD's through crappy computer speakers connected to an old disc man. Though we listened to a lot of classic bands such as Minor Threat, The Dead Kennedy's and the Ramones, we were lucky because at the time the New England punk scene was blowing up. All of the best bands around were available for us to see live on a monthly basis in Boston and suburban Massachusetts. This was right when the Dropkick Murphys gained Al Barr from the Bruisers and started making a name for themselves nationally, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones had released their commercially successful Let's Face It. Underneath all that were unbelievable bands like The Showcase Showdown, :30 Over Tokyo, The Pinkerton Thugs, The Ducky Boys, and my favorites of all of them, The Trouble.

Along with a couple of compilation tracks and 7'''s, The Trouble only released one LP, Nobody Laughs Anymore on GMM Records, which was re-released by Bridge 9 in 2005. The sheer force and energy of NLA along with Gibby's excellent lyrics, hooked me right away and I often found myself listening to it over and over again. I've always loved how it's a simple punk rock record, but in it are strong traces of street punk and hardcore. The lyrics are reflective, violent, and often dark, and the cover of Joy Division's "Insight" as a secret track cements NLA as a moody classic.

It's no surprise that the singer went on to form Panic, a front runner of the 2002'ish lyrical hardcore scene along with American Nightmare and Carry On. I'm sure a lot of people who didn't know The Trouble got into them from AN's cover of "Dead & Gone" on The Sun Isn't Getting Any Brighter EP, and because of the B9 re-release of Nobody Laughs Anymore. Either way, it's a classic 90's punk record, which gets played in my room on a weekly basis, and deserves more recognition.

"All things lost, nothing gained
Every passing day intensifies my pain
I look towards tomorrow, yet cling to yesterday
Hoping sometime I'll find my way.

Each day a reminder of my mistakes
Each day a reminder of what it takes
Nothing to look forward to from what I can see
The old days ended too soon for me."
-Dead & Gone

1 comment:

LauraDanielleDotN said...

I remember sitting on the ledge, too.
I think my (limited, but still impressive to some folks) knowledge of punk rock can be attributed to you and any mix tapes you made me in 8th grade. So thanks.