Gang Green was the invention of Chris Doherty, Mike Dean, and Bill Manley - three 15 year-olds from Boston's "hardcore mecca" of Braintree. The group played rough hardcore punk, but played it faster and wilder than any of their older musical contemporaries. Gang Green's early sound was defined by raw feedback and distortion, manic drumming, and Doherty's uninhibited cracking-voice scream. The band secured their place in hardcore history with seven blazing tracks on the This is Boston Not L.A. compilation. These recordings are legendary for their speed and intensity. Did I mention they were 15?
Gang Green shared the stage with the rest of the Boston greats of the early eighties, but only lasted for a couple years. After the band's initial demise, Doherty joined fellow Braintree outfit Jerry's Kids for their 1983 classic Is This My World? on XClaim. Gang Green reunited briefly for the release of their Sold Out 7", the first record put out by Taang. The second chapter of Gang Green's history really begins in 1985 when Chris Doherty reformed the group as a four-piece. The lineup was less stable, including at one point or another Walter Gustaphson, Brian Betzger (x-Jerry's Kids), Joe Giddleman (future Mighty Mighty Bosstones), Tony Nichols, and I believe Josh Pappe from DRI. More of a bar rock band than a hardcore band at this point, Gang Green put out several records on Taang! and Roadrunner, with Doherty singing about the rigors of being a hard rockin', budweiser drinkin' dude. Hell yeah! I think the greatest achievement of mid-period Gang Green is the title to their 3rd album, I81B4U (a response to Van Halen's OU812).
The third and final (?) chapter in the Gang Green saga: after breaking up in the early 90's, the band reunited again in 1996. They put out two more records for Taang!, along with a CD reissue of the Sold Out 7" and Boston Not L.A. tracks. This was followed by some Boston-area shows, playing "early material." At the end of the decade, the Boston punk club the Rat was torn down, along with the Gang Green graffitti in the back parking lot, to make way for development. To the best of my knowledge, Gang Green as a band has met a similar fate.
SOLD OUT 7" (Taang!, 1984)
DRUNK AND DISORDERLY 10" (Deluxe, live from 1985)
PMRC SUCKS 12" (HIM, 1985)
SKATE TO HELL 7" (Taang!, 1985)
ANOTHER WASTED NIGHT LP (Taang!, 1986)
YOU GOT IT LP (Roadrunner, 1987)
I81B4U LP (Roadrunner, 1989)
OLDER... (BUDWEISER) LP (Roadrunner, 1989)
CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT LP (Roadrunner, live from 1990)
BACK & GACKED EP (Taang!, 1997)
ANOTHER CASE OF BREWTALITY CD (Taang!, 1997)
KING OF BANDS LP (Roadrunner, "best of" collection from 1991)
ANOTHER WASTED NIGHT CD (Taang!, has mid-80's material)
PRESCHOOL CD (Taang!, has Sold Out 7" and early comp tracks)
THIS IS BOSTON NOT L.A. LP (Modern Method, 1982), "Snob", "Lie Lie", "I Don't Care", "Rabies", "Narrow Mind", "Kill A Commie", "Have Fun"
UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED EP (Modern Method, 1983), "Selfish"
THRASHER SKATEROCK vol. 3 tape (Thrasher/High Speed, 1985), "Skate to Hell"
MR. BEAUTIFUL PRESENTS: ALL HARD LP (Modern Method, 1985), "Let's Drink Some Beer"
Liner Notes to the "Pre-School" CD
Gang Green Page
A short bio on the Taang! Records website.
From the liner notes to the Boston Not L.A. reissue on Wicked Disc:
There was no way to know how the Gang Green sessions would turn out. They were just three 15 year old South Shore kids who had played a few shows at the Media Workshop and Gallery East. Their earliest live shows sounded pretty awful; not much better than blenders on overdrive. It was just as hard to find Gang Green's sound in the studio. We put the band members in separate recording booths to isolate what each person was playing. It still sounded like crap - we weren't ever sure they could hear each other. From the control room each Gang Green song sounded exactly the same - an initial blast of feedback followed by a furious rush of guitar/bass/drums noise, a sudden stop, and more feedback until we paused the tape deck. It seemed hopeless.
Our discouragement improved slightly during the initial mixing sessions. We finally heard some structure lurking beneath the chaos. After dubbing the vocal tracks, we mixed each tune, but the results were still less than great. We just couldn't get the right balance of song and energy, and had run out of our allotted time for Gang Green. Their tracks would have to stand as they were, the mixes for all the other Boston Not L.A. bands still had to be finished.
We kept listening again and again to the initial mixes. It was obvious that the Gang Green tracks could be better, so we went back in. We scraped some extra cash together for a few more hours of studio time. This time it clicked. All the sound came together and morphed into a god-like, punk rock experience. We played back the new mixes one more time. There was no need to say anyting, we all knew right then... fuck yeah - this is what Gang Green sounds like.
-Mr. B (Michael Bastarache)