Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Unholy Three - My City Was Gone

Here's an overlooked gem (CD-only unfortunately) from late 90s Akron hardcore punks, The Unholy Three. Yes, before there was current Columbus $kum fuck$, The Unholy Two, these 4 NE OH dudes raged hard +1 (+2 too). That's a lot of band math, but these guys ruled it for a few years. After a great self-released 7", they teamed up with short-lived Akron label, Teenage Sex Vixens From Outer Space (also responsible for the excellent Ligod 7"), and long-time Kent label, Donut Friends (responsible for classic records from bands like Harriet the Spy and Party of Helicopters, among many others) to release this 16-song/22-minute tour de force.

Singer Larry Gargus had been in Akron HC band, Splinter (my first real "punk" show was seeing Splinter at the basement of a pizza joint in Kent [blanking on the name]; I missed Born Against by a few weeks apparently) and had published the zine, Crunchface. This was in the days of Victory Records-dominated hardcore, and straight edge was HUGE, as was the influence of horrible later NYHC, like Judge. Not my scene, AT ALL. I went to high school with the guitarist and bassist of The Unholy Three, brothers Clint and Chris. Later, after shaking off the burden of 90s big-pants-core, Clint became a pretty intense record collector, eventually assuming the responsibility of taking care of legendary Akron punk/new wave label, Clone Records' remaining stock. For quite a few years, you could buy originals of most of their catalog at face value, 5 bucks for a 7" etc, from Clint. I've also gotta credit Clint for turning me onto the pre-Cure Cult Hero shit ("I Want to Be Old"/"I Just Need Myself" etc) and the Beach Blvd. compilation, which is an all-time favorite. Finally, the drummer was some 18 year old kid from Canton (even more of a cultural wasteland than Akron at the time, and most likely still). This kid was a sick drummer, throwing in crazy fills all over the place, and solid as a rock.

I saw The Unholy Three play a few times, but not as many as I'd have liked, cuz I was living in Richmond VA and Columbus OH for most of their existence. I do remember them opening for Los Crudos at the Legion of Doom in Columbus and they held their own in that cramped, packed, stinky-ass basement (fuckin' crusties).

After UN3 broke up, they morphed into Don Austin with essentially the same line-up intact (minus the drummer + another guitarist). Don Austin has a bunch of quality 7" EPs that are even more nihilistic and bitter, channeling a serious Negative Approach vibe. You can probably find some of these without too much effort.

So here's The Unholy Three's only full-length, named after The Pretenders' song for some real reverse Akron pride.

The Unholy Three - My City Was Gone (1998)


  1. Yeah- Thanks to weirdo Ohio-philes like you I'm finally digesting Pagans- "Everybody Hates You". Don't blame me- I'm from the east coast, I had no idea, and still have never even been to the Cleave. This shit is life changing. Keep it up. -Jackie-O

  2. Excellent. It's never too late to digest some of the finest punk rock ever made, and 'Everybody Hates You' is good start. After that, it might be time to take a dip in the pool filled with Electric Eels.