local music scene south carolina
It is important to note here that Red Menace and Bored Suburban Youths literally paved the way for punk music in the Southeast. Red Menace was probably one of the very first punk bands to come out on the east coast and definitely one of the first from the south which is a musical fact Orangeburg can be proud of. Bored Suburban Youths obtained the honor of being included on a punk compilation album that is known worldwide and historically represents the best music of the genre for that time. During their lifespan Red Menace opened for The Minutemen and Bored Suburban Youths opened for such label based bands as Suicidal Tendencies, The Circle Jerks, The Melvins, Scream, and the Bad Brains – In the end it can be said each band cut out a piece of music history for this state.
Bio (provided by Steve “Sonic” Adkins):
Red Menace, one of the earliest Punk bands from the southern US, was formed in or around 1979 by Steve “Sonic” Adkins and 17 year old Connie “Armageddon” Brewington, who began writing together while searching for musicians to complete the band lineup. Lisa Brillinger joined on drums and the band recruited Jay Koenig for their first shows in Orangeburg, SC. A succession of bass players followed, including T. (Tony) Bird, Wayne Cassetti, and Sam Mitchum. Though never a mainstream commercial success, Red Menace did open for the Minutemen and later got worldwide airplay with their radio only tape, 1980's "Unprovoked Retaliation", which was a four track recording of the band recorded live in Sam Mitchum's living room by two USC students for a class project. The tape included the song "Life", which was the first collaboration between Armageddon and Sonic, and is arguably Armageddon's best lyric. Red Menace was an oddity in that all members contributed to the songwriting, particularly Armageddon, who wrote about half of the band's lyrics. Red Menace's style went beyond the classic Punk style of the day to include elements of funk, reggae, and some of the earliest Hardcore Punk. The band eventually settled on a lineup of Armageddon, Sonic, Kenny “Jolt” Gillam and Carl Van Sewell before Sonic left to join Columbia's Bored Suburban Youths band. Connie “Armageddon” Brewington passed away in August, 2012 at the age of 47, still the reigning queen of SC Punk. Her contributions to local and regional music history as a punk music performer as well as one of the only females to do so in a predominantly male genre make her remarkably unique. There was simply no one to compare her to, either before or after.
Red Menace 1980
Unreleased radio only cassette. 7 tracks recorded on a 4-track reel to reel in Sam Mitchum's living room.
Engineered by Danny Lane
1. I'm So Bored With You (Sonic)
2. 1-621-543 (Baughman/Sonic)
3. Life (Armageddon/Sonic)
4. Politicians (Armageddon/Sonic)
5. Rabid (Sonic)
6. Drop Dead (Sonic)
7. Day To Day (Brillinger/Sonic)
Steve Sonic's notes on "Unprovoked Retaliation":
This recording was done for a student project by two USC students. Their names were Nancy and Pricilla. I have no recollection as to what their last names were. The recording is completely live with no overdubs. Most tracks are first take. The band used this as a demo and got airplay in Charleston, Columbia, Japan, and Kenya. There is no truth to the rumor that "Drop Dead" was a boyhood favorite of Barack Obama... "Drop Dead" is one of the earliest recorded examples of Hardcore Punk.