A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring. I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up. I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever. Enjoy!
Timely selection for today’s track – “Can’t Relate” by Caustic Christ off their 2003 album of the same name.
I sit along cold as night in an even colder room
Visions keep haunting me of the world’s apparent doom
Like writing on the wall it all becomes so obvious
Unleash my morbid plan upon the world that I disgust
I mention this is a timely selection as it was just announced a couple days ago that Caustic Christ will be reforming for a reunion set at this year’s Skull Fest. This will be their first show since 2009.
Caustic Christ, like Behind Enemy Lines, formed from the ashes of Aus-Rotten right as The Roboto Project was getting started. They were one of the bands that I was really fortunate enough to get to see from the beginning and got to see them evolve. By the time Caustic Christ started these guys were scene veterans and were all accomplished musicians, so they burst on the scene like a punch in the face. Boom! Really a great band occupying that space in the venn diagram between 1) band whose music I really like, 2) band made up individuals who I like, and 3) band who is actually generally easy to work with.
Caustic Christ’s music was just raw punk, no bullshit. Eric wrote pissed and intelligent lyrics. He delivered the vocals with a good mix of anger, humor, and energy and had a great stage presence. The band was tight, wrote fast punk songs that were fast and loud, but also interesting, though also didn’t try too hard to be anything more than they were. “Can’t Relate” is probably my favorite Pittsburgh PUNK record (though not necessarily my favorite lower case “p” punk/hardcore/diy record, but when it comes to straight up punk rock, definitely). Their 2nd LP “Lycanthropy” is a killer record as well but the debut LP is where it’s at. Put it on, turn it up loud and pogo in the kitchen.
I’ve never necessarily been close with these guys but over the years they’ve always been friendly with me and supportive. We largely inhabit different worlds but I’m always pleased to see any of them and they’re the type of guys that you can just have a nice conversation with. I feel like there are plenty of people i’ve met over the years through punk rock who if I see we’ll do the “what’s up?” “not much” “me either” thing. It’s nice when you can have a little bit more than that.
Over the years I did get to work with these guys on a few projects. They put their first released song on the “Go Down Fighting, Come Up Smiling” compilation I put out in 2001. Later they would contribute a track to the “Revolved Back To Failure” tape compilation I put out in 2005. I did an interview with these guys for the “Punks Over 30” issue of my old zine Here.Be.Dragons which turned out really well. Over the years I also booked them on a number of shows. They were always excited to be part of something, respected my time/energy and were easy to work with; not something I could always say about every band I worked with over the years.
I remember in the early 2000’s a Caustic Christ t-shirt was pretty much the punk rock uniform in Pittsburgh. While I loved the shirts, I never got one just because it seemed like EVERYONE had one. Now I so much wish I had one. That and one of those Aus-Rotten mugs.
Anyway, go listen to this album. And follow the punks to wherever Caustic Christ ends up playing at during Skull Fest, i’m sure it’ll be awesome.