Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Limit - Self Titled EP




A1. Uh Oh


A2. Call Jane


B1. Candy Rocks


B2. Dream Of Love


THE LIMIT (New Orleans, LA)
Self Titled EP
Pendulum (PR-OO1), 1983

The Limit was the first real band for Christian Paul Serpas (vocals, bass), Manny D. Reyes (guitar, vocals) and Justin Patrick Newbury (drums). They played their debut gig in the spring of 1982 at the Showboat, one of the few places in New Orleans that catered to original bands playing new wave and punk music. They often shared the stage with NOLA kingpins, The Cold, as well as their good friends, The Models.

The band went into the studio to record four songs in November of '82 for an intended EP. But before they got to release the material, radio station WRNO chose one of the songs, "Modern Girl," to be featured on their Rock Album compilation of local talent. The WRNO album brought in plenty of requests to the station to hear The Limit, which earned them lots of airplay and helped expose the band to a new crowd.

However, legal obligations to the Rock Album prevented them from including "Modern Girl" on their own EP. So in December they went back in the studio and quickly hammered out "Candy Rocks" to fill the gap on their record.

Justin left the band shortly after the recording. Jeff Oteri was the obvious replacement as he was always hanging around with the band and he and Christian had been kicking around in the garage before The Limit even formed. With the departure of their original drummer who played on the recordings, they were unsure if they should even release the record. But alas, they opted to put it out, including Jeff's face on the cover even though he didn't play on those sessions.

The record finally hit in May of 1983 in an edition of 500 copies. The intended title was "New Music," which was cited in newspaper ads and even put on the back of t-shirts, but the band changed their mind at the last minute and didn't give the record a proper title. They opted to release the EP as a 10", drawing inspiration from the Clash's Black Market Clash and Cheap Trick's Found All The Parts, which both used the irregular format.

It initially sold well and received promising reviews, but unfortunately only 10 more shows were played before Manny announced his departure from the group. Rich Ladner jumped in to fill the remaining dates they had already booked, but the focus and motivation had dissipated by this time and it just wasn't fun anymore.

Early in 1984, Christian and Jeff formed a band called True Faith with James Singletary who had just left Red Rockers following their Good As Gold tour. They played together for five years, even moving out to LA to try and get picked up by a major. In 1999, Jeff and Christian started Christian Serpas & Ghost Town, a revved up country/Americana band who have five CDs and a DVD under their belt.

Manny formed 3rd Echo in 1990 and they have three CDs to their credit. Justin played in a cover band for a short while after the Limit but quit because it wasn't fun anymore. They are all still friends and had a blast for the two years they played together as The Limit.

Keep your eyes peeled for a Limit LP coming in the Spring of 2012 on Cheap Rewards Records. It will include the five songs from their EP and the WRNO comp, as well as previously unreleased demo and live recordings.























Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Reactions - Love You EP




A1. Nights On End


A2. Marianne


B1. I Can't Help It


B2. Rebel Rousers


THE REACTIONS (Miami, FL)
Love You EP
Reaction Records, 1981

The Reactions existed for just a couple short years but left behind quite a legacy with their two four-song EPs, Official Release and Love You. But those recordings are just a tiny glimpse into how great the band really was.

In 1980, the Reactions won a battle of the bands competition and the prize was four hours of studio time in a local rehearsal space. So they brought along a 4-track recorder and laid down a bunch of material. Their four favorite songs were chosen for release on the their first EP, while the other remaining tracks were forgotten about and the tapes eventually misplaced.

After much digging around, Cheap Rewards Records managed to track down a cassette rendering of that session. 30 years of repeat plays and being stored in harsh climates resulted in significant deterioration of the tape. But it was evident that the songs were top notch and needed to be cleaned up. So the tape was sent off to Dave Eck at Lucky Lacquers for a complete restoration. Dave spent months tweaking every nook, cranny, drop-out and phase issue, while eliminating the ever so bothersome tape hiss.

Dave also mastered the songs from the two EPs and some live tracks recorded in 1980 and '81. The end result is a 17-song collection of Reactions material entitled Saturday's Gone Wild. The band-sanctioned LP will be released in December, 2011 as the debut for Cheap Rewards Records.