The St. Louis hardcore band Cardiac Arrest
has been invited to play a reunion show for the influential club A7
on Saturday in New York City at the Knitting Factory. (Check out a retrospective of the club's heyday and full preview of the show by our friends at the Village Voice
The show features a number of legendary-in-their-own-right New York hardcore bands that frequented the long-shuttered A7. Along with CBGB and ABC No Rio, the venue was a scene hub for New York hardcore. It was open for only three years, from 1981 to 1984, but hosted dozens of influential punk bands.
So how did a band from St. Louis get on the bill, alongside many of the bands who helped influence its music? We asked singer and songwriter Rob Ruzicka.
"The people who are putting it on, Wendy from Sexual Suicide
and Guillotine Fanzine
wanted to know if we wanted to play."
Arrest's connections with Grave Mistake and No Way Records, which are based on
the East Coast, also helped, as both labels have other acts playing the
show and have released CA records.
The other big names performing this weekend
include some from the original A7 era, such as Antidote, Urban Waste, Reagan Youth,
Mental Abuse and the Nihilistics. But the complete list of reformed bands playing would make jaws drop -- groups with their own hit or two, and influential enough to earn cover treatment from today's acts. And
their records? It'd take a small fortune to buy the original versions on eBay.
Still, considering that many -- if not all -- of the reunited bands are comprised in
part of non-original members (due to a variety of circumstances, in
some cases death), some are skeptical about seeing these bands in the
"Everybody I've talked to is pretty down on it, like
'Whatever, reunions,'" Ruzicka says. "I mean come on, Jerry's Kids, maybe the Abused,
but we all went and saw the Adolescents when they came [to St. Louis
At least two other more popular bands from the era --
the Bad Brains and Agnostic Front, who both played the original A7 -- were
rumored to play, but are not on the bill.
Listen to Cardiac Arrest MP3's
. Click the above flier for a high-resolution version.
- Nick Lucchesi