I was always underwhelmed by the L-SEVEN 45 that hardcore-era Touch & Go put out in 1982 – mostly because, well, it wasn’t totally, totally ‘core. The label even tried to distance themselves from it a bit and released it on “Touch & Go Special Forces”, as a nod to the fact that this aggressive, druggy, hard-goth postpunk was in a different stylistic league from The Fix, The Necros and Negative Approach.

So it took me a couple of decades, but not long ago, I revisited the thing – maybe in a fit of Laughing Hyenas mania, whose Larissa Stolarchuk/Strickland was a prime mover in L-Seven – and it clicked. And remember, Touch & Go went on to put out a record by The Virgin Prunes, so they already had a little weirdo goth blood coursing through them. With thirty years and change worth of hindsight, I think we can agree that while the lone L-Seven 45 doesn’t quite touch the raw-throat genius of the label’s early hardcore records, it’s a first-rate pounder in its own right. And we wouldn’t even be making the comparison if this had come out on, say, 4AD or Rough Trade, now would we?


I’ve held a 1987 radio show tape of Detroit’s LAUGHING HYENAS, live on WCBN-Ann Arbor, close to my bosom for many years now, and I think it’s time to let this thing loose for the people.

I thought these guys were amazing at the time, especially live. 25, 26 years later I feel very distanced from their theatrics and hate-vibe sound, but I can still appreciate it at some neanderthal gut level. I wrote a piece about my 21st century thoughts on the Laughing Hyenas on my old Agony Shorthand blog here, which you can read if you have a couple minutes.

Meanwhile, there’s this digitized tape for you. You ought to hang around through the interview(s) with the band on this thing – they’re completely comic and nonsensical and full of quotables. I’ve been using “Joe Mama Angie Daddy” on unsuspecting rubes for years now!

Track listing:

Playground / 7 Come 11 / Sister Come Sh*t In My Mouth / Gabrielle / Stain / That Girl / Chuck’s Jism / Hell’s Kitchen / Love’s My Only Crime

DOWNLOAD – Laughing Hyenas, Live on WCBN, 6-22-1987