Thursday, November 25, 2010

Civic Minded 5 demo

     Civic Minded 5 were one of the best local bands in Vegas towards the end of the 90’s.  They were contemporaries of Part-Time Whore and we played with them a handful of times.  They were a good counterpoint to what we were doing.  While PTW was all overblown trying to be intelligent and arty CM5 were just balls out party attack.  Words and concepts weren't as important as the feeling.  Perfect example is the song Chicken Gender.  That song doesn't make a lick of sense and it fuckin rules.    

      Jason was the first guy I met from CM5.  He described their sound as pop punk which by and large is true, but this ain’t no bubblegum shit.  There are harmonies, but the vocals are gravelly and snotty pushing it into more punk rather than pop territory.  Some of these songs even border on the Filth sound where feedback and growls abound.  The first song on this demo is some searing hardcore.  Blistering really. Still I'm willing to bet every song on this demo will stay in your head the rest of the week after one listen.   It’s catchy but I hear equal amounts of aggression and goofiness.  It strikes a good balance which I think is a hard thing to pull off in the cookie cutter world of pop punk.

      I saw them at least a half dozen times.   They were usually pretty solid live although they had a problem keeping drummers.  I don’t know who the drummer was for this recording but the usual cast of characters are present.  That being Billy Venom on bass, Lazer Lavin on guitar, and Jason on the other guitar.  It seems like Jason should have had a flashy nickname but I don’t think he ever did.

      The cover tells you little aside from the fact that it was recorded at A-Able Mini Storage by Shimono in August of 1998.  I forget the significance of the Manatee.  They eat a lot.  I forget the significance of the name Civic Minded 5 as well especially considering they were always a four piece.    
      This is from their split demotape with Cobra Versus Mongoose.  Civic Minded 5 later released a record on Recess Records.  I think some of these songs re-surfaced on that record which was a solid release as I recall.  I'm digging the versions heard here.  Raw and lo-fi.  Just like how they sounded live.  

      They were a fun band.  I miss em.  I’m out of the loop and don’t know if they’re still together or not.  Here’s to Civic Minded 5.  I'm sure they're probably drinking right now.  I know I am.    

       Glad these songs are stuck in my head again.  Maybe I’ll try and add more commentary later?  This might be a good time to confess that I go back and edit all the text from these posts well after the fact.  Forgive me.  At least I’m becoming a better writer now right?

Download Civic Minded 5 demo below
1.  Bugman
2.  Daze
3.  Chicken Gender
4.  Wooly


  1. I'm not from Vegas, but I loved CM5. I still listen to the trackin' the Bacon train cd regulary. From what I know (again I'm not from Vegas) Jason and Clay (the last drummer also in The Heroines) formed The Mapes. Billy Venom might be in that band too but I am not sure. Anyway, I had the pleasure of seeing CM5 live twice and they had an energy that made them incredible to see live. In fact the first time was in front of maybe 8 people and they played like it was a packed venue. Thanks for posting the songs, they are on the TTBT album but might be different versions so I am going to go listen to them and see.

  2. I forgot to mention that they were extremely nice people as well.

  3. You owe these guys money or something?

  4. Nah, but they gave me a few 7" records and Lazer fixed my distortion pedal. I think they are a bunch of nice guys, just wanted to mention that.

  5. I like this recording of wooly