GRAVE069: THE LADIES "... Blow Your Mind" Discography Tape
"The latter part of the 2000's in Richmond started to kinda suck dick. The old faithfuls remained old faithfuls, which was neat and all but at some point you're gonna want to see something new. Alas, the newer bands that were springing up weren't too horribly exciting. I found myself constantly playing the "nice guys, but they don't do much for me" card when folks from out of town would ask me why there was a noticeable drop in quality with the newer Richmond bands that were coming out. I honestly couldn't find a newer band that I could fully get behind until THE LADIES came around.
I first met Tony Bitch in April of 2006, I'd just finished playing a gig and some gangly motherfucker wearing all white denim comes up to me and starts asking for free merch. He was wasted and really wanted a record on green vinyl. I told him he had to do something entertaining and it was all his. He proceeded to bum some strangers out in a way that I can't remember exactly but that excited me enough to grant his wish and give him the record. Over the next few months I got to hang out with this freaky man more often; he got me a job at the local health food store he worked at and we became neighbors when he moved into the PUNK TOWER down the street from my apartment. I liked listening to records with him because he knew his shit and on top of that he was one of the only folks in Richmond that shared my love for THE DWARVES. Tony had previously served time in THE DIRTY FINGERS, a band whose name I was familiar with having grown up in the Tidewater area and being a fan of THE CANDY SNATCHERS, with whom they'd toured. He always seemed hellbent on forming another band, one with a more punk edge than his previous endeavors. BAD ADVICE came about but didn't seem to stick due to band obligations of the other members.
Then in late 2007 / early 2008, THE LADIES finally came about and it was everything I hoped it would be! The perfect mix of "Blood, Guts, and Pussy" meets "Saturday Night Special Ed" all the while retaining its own unique approach. The lineup was quite the mix of interesting motherfuckers as well; you of course had Tony Bitch on vocals / handling the song writing, Tom Goon on drums, Mike ta Life on guitar, and Keith Babe on bass. Having spent many an inebriated night at the Punk Tower, then the Slut Hut, and eventually Sean and Mindie's Basement - I'd had the pleasure of hearing what I will call the "demo versions" of most of their songs before they came to fruition. Basically, it would be Tony fucked up and playing the songs on an unplugged guitar and reciting his lyrics in a "There Once Was A Man From Nantucket" kinda way. He was always writing songs, always thinking about cool designs for shirts or record covers - the guy was intense about his band and I appreciated that. I loved hearing songs like "Hole Sailor" and "Retard Stock Boy" come to life; songs I'd heard early "vocal renditions" of in the break room at Ellwood's.
THE LADIES entered the studio 3 times over the course of their existence yielding four separate 7" records. My personal favorite recording session was the one that yielded the "Hole Sailor" EP and the "Trashed" EP - honestly the lyrics to / concept of "Dirty Pictures of Your Mother" is the fucking shit. "Can't Come In" reminds me of the 3rd story projected beer bottles whizzing past my head when escaping the shitty party the song is based on. Tony's lyrics in general kinda stood out from the rest of their garage punk (or whatever you wanna call it) contemporaries in a way. Sure, they were dumb, but they had that clever feel to them as well if that makes any sense - something the aforementioned contemporaries lacked. They didn't get to tour much; an occasional semi-regional outing to Raleigh, DC, Baltimore, Charlottesville, etc along with a yearly pilgrimage to HORRIBLE FEST, but probation and other assorted shenanigans seemed to keep THE LADIES stuck in Richmond most of the time. Regardless, I had the pleasure of seeing them absolutely smoke the bands they were opening for on various occasions. The performances were always great in their own way - lots of ripping (relatively) sober sets, many more falling-down-drunk-yet-still-keeping-it-together-somehow sets, and some where the members were so fucked up that whatever the hell they were doing on stage was like some weird performance art or some shit. I still think they had the best set at the ROCK'N'ROLL OVERDOSE in 2008 (though I did blackout before THE HOOKERS played, so hey...) and at the NO WAY FEST 3 gig at the old firehouse place.
Bands fizzle out, it's what happens. I can't remember the circumstances behind the demise of THE LADIES, all I know is I missed the last show due to a fucking wedding. I'm still pissed about that. Regardless, these assholes left behind a colorful discography of punk hits for those who want it. Perhaps some folks not already in the know will take notice so Tony Bitch and the gang can school some motherfuckers. Rest in power, Tom Omachel."
-Mark Shubert / 2014
Tracks 1-5 from the s/t 7" (2008) originally released on Riff Raff Records, later repressed on Grave Mistake Records
Tracks 6-8 from the "Trashed" 7" (2009) on Cowabunga Records
Tracks 9-12 from the "Hole Sailor" 7" (2009) on No Way Records and Black Lung Records
Tracks 13-18 from the "Six More Reasons to Hate The Ladies" 7" (2010) on Grave Mistake Records
released November 17, 2014
All songs recorded and mastered* by Lance Kohler at Minimum Wage Studios / Richmond, VA
THE LADIES are:
TONY - Vocals
MIKE - Guitar
KEITH - Bass
TOM - Drums
*All tracks remastered in 2014 for this compilation
Dedicated to the infernal soul of Tom Omachel (1982 -2011)
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