21 June 2010

Meet the Honorable Kent Basky... Also, meet SADISTIC HUMOR.

It's an honor for me to introduce the next guest blogger at Antivenin. Kent Basky is an old friend, and I was a fan of his before I even met him.

Y'see kids, back in the mythical olden days before the internet, and before all broadcast media in Canada was owned by only 3 or 4 megacorporations, there was this incredible thing called public access TV, where, if you could come up with a viable (
read: no-budget) idea for a TV show, your local television station would let you put almost anything on the air on a local channel. Kent hosted a public access show in my hometown of Kamloops, BC called All The Rage. ATR was dedicated to all things metal, which, again, goes to show how cool public-access TV was in Kamloops in the early 90s. The show was a weekly ritual for Kamloops heshers, and even though I lived in Penticton at the time, word of the show filtered down to the Okanagan through its cult following, and I couldn't believe my old hometown Kamloops had a TV show about metal. Years later, when I moved (back) to Kamloops, I finally got to see All The Rage on bootlegged old VHS tapes that friends of mine had, and it was everybit as awesome as I'd hoped it would be (Kent, you gotta get that shit on YouTube soon!)

I wound up meeting Kent in the spring of 2001, shortly after I quit my old band Chi -actually, right after I quit- at their CD release party in Brocklehurst, as I recall it. The two of us went on to host separate radio shows on Kamloops' fledgling college radio station,
CFBX. My own show was pretty shortlived; I moved to Vancouver about six months after I began it. However, Kent's show, Mass Hypnosis, went on to garner a respectful following about town. Occasionally we'd sit in on each others shows and play a game called "Try to Get The Other Guy To Curse On-Air". Turns out Mac's Rock Cups are a topic that unleash a wicked blue stream of invective from Mr. Basky. Ask him sometime. But remember, no matter what he says, DO NOT GET IN THE TENT.

In my humble opinion, Kent Basky is the dictionary definition of metal, and he has always waved the flag high. So when he told me he wanted to write for Antivenin, I nearly shit myself. Well, okay - no, I didn't - but I was pretty damned excited. In his maiden-voyage critique for Antivenin, Kent reviews a perennial Kamloops thrash favorite from back in the day, Sadistic Humor, with their retrospective CD, R.I.P. ...Thrashing Into Oblivion. So let me turn it over to him...


R.I.P. ...Thrashing Into Oblivion

(Ulusulu Music)

Every town has a band just like this: the seeming kings of the scene; the most popular and talented. And that band always seems to fade away before ever making it, though there seemed to be that potential. For my hometown of Kamloops BC, that band was Sadistic Humor. Some of their shows were the stuff of local legend; they opened for many a touring metal and hardcore act, worked hard and released several demos.

I personally went to almost every show these guys played, and even auditioned to be vocalist at one point. I watched countless rehearsals, and introduced them in front of a crowd of 3,000 when they opened for DOA and SNFU in the Coliseum, a personal highlight for me. And right when it seemed they were on the brink of getting signed they broke up, leaving a legacy of great live performances and some pretty good demos.

Guitarist Sean Luciw (these days of Crushing Complex) has compiled tracks from these demos, many of them on CD for the first time. It takes you through the band's history, from their debut demo Knock Knock..., a couple of rehearsal recordings, and tracks from their later, most-polished releases Slow Function and Transload.

At first glance Thrashing Into Oblivion may not seem to be anything more than a nostalgic trip back in time, but that would overlook the evolution of a band that moved from its primitive skate-metal roots to some fairly slick post-thrash (is that even a term? I guess it is now). From the rough punk-like vocal delivery of Grant Hartley, to bassist Trevor Mason's cleaner singing style, to the soaring voice of Iain McLaren, the vocal changes mirror the evolution of the band. It's quite the metamorphosis to go from the raw sounds of tracks like “Religion of War” and “Sadistic Humor” to the mature, layered sounds of “Broken Wing” and “Followers”. They've even thrown in their ‘hit’ “When I'm Naked I'm Free”, written for the local, public-access comedy show Euphoria Emporium.

A great listen for those not familiar with these guys, and a long overdue memoriam to the band that really fueled metal in Kamloops in the early 90's.


Anonymous said...

Grant Hartley is still at it ..


Trevor Mason said...

Yes, those were the good old days. My son Tai is talking about doing some Sadhum covers with his band. He's 14 now. After introducing him to Megadeth? That was all it took to convert him into a true metal guitarist.

AQB said...

www.shaw.ca/ShawTV/Kamloops/ Looks to me like they still offer a good opertunity to start your own show, tough to find people who would. I might, if I did I might also drag your buts back for a reunion, ifn you still got the guts!

Kent said...

Wow. That is awesome that Tai's in a band, Trev. And I am always amazed and flattered that people remember ATR. To be honest, I couldn't see shaw ever hosting a show like ATR. ATR was what it was because of Bill Ligertwood (Cable 10 boss) giving us the freedom to do whatever we wanted, play what we wanted. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat, but it would have to be under the right conditions.