The long standing misconception that American punk rock and it's subsequent offshoot genres only took hold in the vastest of metropolitan centers, i.e. New York, Chicago, L.A, San Fran, etc, is an understandable but ultimately lazy notion. The fact is, just about any small or mid-sized city in the US circa the early-80s could likely lay claim to dozens of subrosa rock acts, thus resulting in a "scene." Unfortunately, many were under or inadequately documented, thus making it all the more challenging for future generations to partake in the music and ephemera that was produced at that time. One unlikely locale would be Nebraska, or more specifically the city of , which during the Reagan-era boasted a population of approximately 172,000. Though not a prominent musical hotbed (at least not nationally) Lincoln was actually something of a microcosm of several post-punk genres including hardcore, coldwave, avant-garde and more. One such document of "Star City's" home-grown music movement was a local fanzine, Capitol Punishment
, that over the course of four years produced twelve issues charting the evolution of the Lincoln music scene...and beyond. The book painstakingly reproduces every page of those dozen, self-published chunks of tree pulp, leading things off with a thorough timeline of pertinent bands, events and record releases.
When initially published, issues 9-12 were accompanied with compilation cassettes of local bands. Separate from the book (but inextricably tied-in with it) the The Capitol Punishment Compilation, Vol. 1
CD features 29 selections from those tapes, leading off with the jittery funk-punk of The Click
who were helmed by vocalist Sara Kovanda
. Anthologized by six songs here (doubly outdoing their other roster-mates) and written about extensively in the book, I envision The Click as being one of the beacons in the Lincoln scene, and they had some considerable songs under their belt to back that assumption up. Those seeking straight-up hardcore punk would do well with Rapid Vapid
, Twisted Justice
, and K-Bad
. The icy, keyboard saturated strains of coldwave enthusiasts Pogrom
stick out like a sore thumb here, as do the art-damaged rantings of Sacred Cows
To me (and some of you I would assume) the city of Lincoln, Nebraska will always be dutifully represented by
, a long-running post-punk trio, who's signature strain of melodically austere indie rock has consistently tugged on the right heartstrings. Prior to adopting that ironic moniker, the band was dubbed D.B.L.
and soon thereafter Four Against One
, which is the name(s) their two selections here are credited to. Prior to For Against, frontman Jeffrey Runnings
played guitars and keyboards in Hymn to Joy
, who occupy two tracks here as well. Capitol Punishment
features another branch of the For Against family tree by way of Cartoon Pupils
, who included in their lineup intermittent F/A guitarist Harry Dingman III
. The link below is for a three track sampler from the album. If you like what you hear and care to hear/read more, visit
Capitol Punishment Zine online. is good too.