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Most Influential Arizona Punk Rock Records: #1 -- The Consumers, All My Friends Are Dead

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The band's first-ever gig was at a club called The Zoo, and the Consumers, according to Borens, did their three sets to people dressed in garbage bags, thrift store attire, and military garb.

"We introduced drink specials and did our thing, which was loud and faster than fast. Everyone that showed up was so into it, so interested in what was going on," Borens says.

Subsequent gigs often turned into violent confrontations, and eventually the band got tired of fighting with the crowds in Phoenix and moved on to the seemingly greener punk pastures of Los Angeles.

"The punk ethos of destroy everything was something that really appealed to us," Cutler says. "I hated public school. I hated Phoenix, which was at that point largely a retirement community with not much opportunity for young people. I hated the consensus of society. I hated the government. I hated the police. Destroy everything made perfect sense. Still does."

When you listen to All My Friends Are Dead (and you definitely should), you hear the influence of the Sex Pistols, but there are also hints of both the Damned and the Ramones mixed in there as well. The Consumers more than hold their own against these better-known punk powerhouses, and one can only wonder if their name would be up there in the pantheon of punk as well if Dangerhouse Records, which originally was supposed to release the record, as well as the Consumers themselves, had not imploded when it did.

Luckily, In the Red Recordings was able to connect with Cutler in 1995 and get hold of the recording to finally put it out for the masses.

"Amazingly, I still had the 2-track master. It had to be baked [a process that is used on old tape archives] in order to copy it to a DAT tape," said Cutler.

Clocking in right around 20 minutes, the 11 songs on All My Friends Are Dead are simply ferocious. For myself, it was love at first listen, and the love only grows with each subsequent spin.

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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon