video shot and edited by: George Forste
2010 idgf underground
Founded by four suburban youths in 1983, Sluggo ambushed the unsuspecting Cincinnati music scene with its brand of fast, loud, straight-edged hardcore influenced primarily by the Dischord bands from Washington, D.C. The Cincinnati scene had several great punk bands around (Musical Suicide, SS-20, The Edge, Snare and The Idiots, and others), but Sluggo stood apart by being younger, appearing more clean-cut, and playing much tighter than any of their older counterparts.
Across the river in Newport, Kentucky, The Jockey Club was the center of the Cincinnati underground music scene in those years, and Sluggo quickly found a home there, playing on multi-band nights with local groups, and on other nights warming up for nationally touring acts such as Discharge, The Necros, Negative Approach, JFA, and The Dead Kennedys. In the early years of the band, school responsibilities kept the youths from traveling much. The final incarnation of Sluggo found a way to play several short tours throughout the Midwest.
The first line-up of Sluggo recorded and released an eight-song, seven-inch record (titled Contradiction EP), which they organized themselves. It was well received in the national punk press and fanzine network and even garnered some airplay on college radio stations througout the United States and Europe. Locally, Sluggo gained notoriety for being the first band to make no apologies for releasing a relentlessly thrashing record. Legendary disk jockey Handsome Clem Carpenter regularly featured the Contradiction EP on his weekly punk show, Search and Destroy, on WAIF in Cincinnati.
As members changed and the musical interests of the members evolved, Sluggo moved away from the thrash sound of D.C. toward the metallic appeal of Motorhead. This direction was an appropriate one, as guitarist Chris Donnelly had matured into an accomplished lead player. In their later days, singer Julian Bevan, having completely overcome his initial shyness, put on an extraordinary show by leaping around the stage with a sweaty devillock obscuring his growly face while Donnelly displayed his virtuosic guitar work.
The second and third incarnations of Sluggo each produced studio recordings that for a variety of reasons were never released. Fortunately, the master tapes survived the intervening years and they have been digitally re-mastered, now sounding better than ever.
25 years later, Sluggo was invited to perform at the Jockey Club Reunion at the Southgate House in Newport, Kentucky on November 20th, 2010. See you there!
source: band website