114. Sin Disease – Scaterd-Few

SIN DISEASE (1990)

Sacterd-Few

Some bands knock on the door. Other bands knock down the door. Scaterd-Few took a freakin’ bazooka to the door to insure there was no mistaking that the door would ever work again. Brash, aggressive, creative, fearless and utterly and completely “punk rock,” both musically and thematically.

After a few false starts in an attempt to kick start his musical career, Allan Aguire (then known as Ramald Domkus) worked in the studio with Terry Taylor and Gene Eugene to formulate, create and present Scaterd-Few, the most important and creative punk rock in Christian music at the time. A touch of Janes Addiction and a dose of Dead Kennedy’s and Shattered Faith, the results were one of the most important releases in the history of Frontline Records.

Though it never reached the sales results it deserved, it still reins as one of the most critically acclaimed releases in the progressive labels illustrious line up. I remember when all of my Family Bookstores were ordered to pull the album from their shelves because of some clearly misunderstood lyrics. The most controversial song appeared to be “Glass God.” Oddly, the song is one of the most powerful anti-drug songs ever written by a Christian band. It wasn’t helped later, though, that Aguire admitted to smoking pot.

The creative influences of funk, jazz, progressive jazz, reggae and world music poured into the mix of heavy punk and stratospheric vocals created the most original sound of any Christian alternative music for the time. There were instrumental interludes and progressive jazz solos with a leading bass line.

Highlights include Glass God, Later (one of the truly great punk vocals ever), Lights Out and the reggae influenced “A Freedom Cry.” Beggar simply rocks with its aggressive bass line leading a funky groove atop a grinding and winding guitar riff.

Though many songs clock in at just over a minute, it is the four minute “Look Into My Side” that shows off the bands skills and Aguirre’s brilliant songwriting and vocals. Progressive and unrelenting, the song builds and builds \, while changing and rearranging.

 

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  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    March 17, 2011 at 5:07 am

    I respect this record more than I enjoy it. But this placement strikes me as about right

  2. March 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Still in my top-10 favorites albums of all time.

  3. Greenchili
    March 25, 2011 at 6:25 am

    This album is pretty wild!

  4. October 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Wow. This is a pretty respectful placement. Top 500? Yikes…

    FTR: Glass God was about free basing crack cocaine. I never free based crack/cocaine. Heh…

    Thanks, as always, for the support!

    Allan

  5. -Nas
    October 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Great, GREAT album. Artistically and thematically sound, and still stands up. Needs a reprint – in fact, all the Scaterd Few library needs a remaster-reprint release.

  6. October 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Nice to see this. It gets kind of old to read these reviews that credit this albums writing and Scaterd-Few’s beginning as an “Allan” only thing. At least I was mentioned as a “leading bass line” and “aggressive bass line leading a funky groove”.

    Where do you think that “creative influences of funk, jazz, progressive jazz” came from?

    As for the “Aguirre’s brilliant songwriting” on “Look Into My Side” I will say this. Look at the credits of the song and you will see my name, Omar Domkus, there. The additional instrumental arrangements and the lyrics were brilliantly written by my brother, Terry and Gene had a hand in the arrangements of the strings, but the song and its structure is all based on the foundation of the melody established by the bass. To credit Allan in this write up as the sole writer is a bit insulting to me.

    In the past 15 or so years I have read many reviews concerning Scaterd-Few and have said little or nothing about them. Just for the record, Scaterd-Few never started as an “Allan” only thing and only became so when I left the band at the end of 1995.

  7. October 23, 2011 at 5:19 am

    As i mentioned on Twitter, i haven’t yet heard 500 Christian albums — and how many people who have could even name 3/4 of them? — but based on the hundred or so that i HAVE heard (among which some of my favorites are Believer, Building 429, Chasing Furies, DC Talk, Deliverance, DigHayZoose, LSU, Charlie Peacock, Scaterd-Few, & Tourniquet), i would estimate by extrapolation that Sin Disease should easily be in the top 100, and probably the top 50. Amazingly original and inventive, far too varied and progressive to be labeled simply “punk rock.” Then again, most critics of the last decade or two seem to think that punk was created by the Sex Pistols, when in fact it was much better (and a bit earlier) represented by Elvis Costello! I’d also suggest the Clash as a superior alternative to the Pistols. Anyway, Sin Disease is the kind of album that (when it came out at least) if you played it for somebody without showing them any of the lyrics or artwork, and without their paying a lot of attention to the lyrics, they would almost certainly NOT believe it was Christian. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it was groundbreaking in this regard.

    I haven’t read many reviews of the band or this album, but if most of them are as disregarding of the REST of the actual band, i can see why Omar would be upset. To give more credit to Terry & Gene than EVERYBODY ELSE (apart from Allan/Ramald of course) combined is a major insult indeed. Sure, Allan has been more visible with Spy Glass Blue and active tweeting and whatnot, but that has nothing to do with a 20+ year old album!

    Finally, i’m with -Nas: remaster releases of at least the first two SF albums! Some of us still have great appreciation for the physical product of compact disc and booklet/sleeve. . .i’ve been using PCs for over 15 years now, and i have yet to hit the triple digits in MP3s owned.
    (Compared to, oh, well over 500 CDs.)

  8. Kit
    November 29, 2011 at 5:28 am

    When I first heard this in 1993, I thought it was the most obnoxious thing I’d ever, so I went back to my 77s, Mortal and Choir records. Fast forward 15 or so years later, after digesting a lot of goth, punk, post punk, and indie rock from the secular realm, I returned to it. It was beautiful. The importance of this record can never be overstated.

    Also, I might be hearing things, but I think “Kill the Sarx II” from this record, and “My Frontier” from DA’s Motorcycle share some of the same samples (?).

  9. Kit
    November 29, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Oops, I meant…

    Kit :
    When I first heard this in 1993, I thought it was the most obnoxious thing ever,

  10. Greenchili
    January 6, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Kill The Sarx II sounds like an attempt at “Revolution #9 Part II” or something..

  11. plevasee
    October 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    this band was at the for front of protesting consumer based christianity. and paid a price for it. great band no matter what label they are under.

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