Friday, September 23, 2011

Forgotten Gems: Not Us (Natas)-Think What You Want

Wild Rags Records

If your a little "older" like Mark and I are then chances are might remember seeing ads for Wild Rags Records in heavy metal magazines like Metal Maniacs back in the eighties. Based out of Monticello, CA the record label Wild Rags seemed to have a rooster filled with bands like Not Us who would appeal to both punks and metalheads. Based solely on the awesome hand-drawn album art I knew "Think What You Want" was a must have. For whatever reason though I never got around to picking up the original vinyl although years later I would get a chance to hear it from a guy I knew in college. This Chicago, Illinois band was formed in 1984 originally under the name Natas (Satan spelled backwards). After several demos the band changed its name to Not Us. More than likely this was due to the fact that numerous punk bands in the early eighties went by the name Natas. Along with the name change came a slight change in their music. While the band's early demos were heavy thrash (almost primitive death metal although not quite) their later material was hardcore/thrash. Although the album has nine tracks this one is more like an EP since it's under 19 minutes in length! This three piece band plays the same early C.O.C/Cryptic Slaughter crossover thrash that was all the rage in the eighties and the fact that this killer EP (as well as their demos) has never been given a proper re-release is criminal. Not Us were the sort of band you'd see playing in small clubs or basements back in the mid to late eighties. In the days before heavy metal was watered down thanks to nu metal and metalcore there were tons of bands like Not Us that united punk and metal kids together. Under one roof kids were all united listening to other kids like themselves truly rage against the government and the lack of hope we all felt. While acts like C.O.C., D.R.I and Cryptic Slaughter deserve their fame I honestly believe Not Us would have been right up there with those greats and more fondly remembered if they had a larger record company behind them. Somehow though I suspect these three kids didn't care about all of that and just wanted to be heard. Since this one is rare and was never released to CD as far as I know I've included a link for the album. This one deserves more recognition.



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