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143. Us Kids – The Lifesavors

US KIDS (1981)

The Lifesavors

It was 1981 and I was a sophomore in High School and not yet blessed with driver’s license but with a part time job. I kept hearing about this new band that was “taking over” and playing every weekend at local Lutheran Church gyms and Baptist Fellowship Halls. Their debut album would be released on a Saturday and I knew of only one store that was going to carry it. It was about 15 miles away in Fullerton, CA.

I woke up with a fever, dizzy as hell and doing everything I could not to throw. I took a long shower in hopes of building up enough energy to ride my bike the 30 miles round trip. I couldn’t move. I ached all over. But I had ten bucks burning a hole in my pocket and a desire to hear this band that was stronger than any damn flu bug!

The ride home took forever with the combination of anticipation and over one hundred degree temperature taking over. But I made it and I still have that copy of Us Kids even though I have purchased it several more times in different formats. I have never gone more than a month since without listening to it. I know every line from every song and can even impersonate Mark Krischak’s fake British vocals.

Oh yeah, that right. Many don’t realize that The Lifesavors started out as a Mark Krischak lead project. Mike Knott played rhythm guitar and provided backing vocals, but the real voice behind the band belonged to Krischak. The songs were primarily written by Krischak and bassist Chris Wimber, whose father pastored a new and growing Church in Anaheim called The Vineyard, a church that was meeting at Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills and was mentioned in the single released bewteen this release and the Dreamlife album.

Us Kids was OC punk rock that was clearly influenced by British punk bands as well as new romantic and new wave bands of the late 70’s and early 80’s. The album goes back and forth between fast punk songs and new wave, groove tunes. There is not a single song worthy of skipping.Fun, 50’s influenced bop and driving punk combine to create a totally authentic and enjoyable experience.

Krischak left soon after the release of the album and formed Labor of Love with Brian Doidge who would later become a part of The Lifesavers. Small world, especially fitting in Anaheim. Labor of Love was under consideration for inclusion, but despite the decent songwriting the production was just too weak to overcome, though i readily admit still listening to often.

It was Us Kids that began my love affair with Christian new wave and punk and served as the entry drug from bands like Undercover, Altar Boys, the 77’s and Bill Mason Band.

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  1. Greenchili
    December 31, 2011 at 9:28 am

    30 miles by bike? Now that’s what I call dedication!

  2. Tim
    December 4, 2013 at 4:14 am

    Good coverage of the original LifeSavors and Mark Krischak. I love that record to this day in spite of the fact that I’ve been an atheist for at least the last 15 years. I saw them play at Roller World in Tempe Arizona and still have an autographed picture signed by all the members. As far as I’m concerned, the LifeSavers (post-Krishchak) were dreck.

  3. August 26, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I saw them play Great Skate in Glendale Az in the 80’s.
    Still LOVE the Record too

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