Alibi V.15 No.29 • July 20-26, 2006 

Music to Your Ears

Stabbed In Back, Moving Forward--It was only a matter of time. Stabbed In Back was scooped up by California's Basement Records and have just released their first EP, recorded under legendary punk drummer Bill Stevenson (Black Flag, Nig Heist, ALL and Descendents). So why haven't you heard of them?

Probably because they haven't been around for that long. The Stabbed In Back boys are relative newcomers to the Albuquerque scene, more or less playing out since November of 2005. Talk to these guys and you'll get the sense that they have a vision and a plan to make it stick--and they've been barreling through both with the intensity of an NFL linebacker.

Much of that driving force can be credited to Tim O'Hara, formerly of Wyoming punk rockers The Lillingtons. Tim is an impressively large fellow. Hunkered over his drum kit, he shares an uncanny resemblance to a wind-up drumming toy gorillas. In fact, he'd almost look silly--if pulverizing his miniature drums with crushing, lead-fisted blows didn't scare the shit out of you. (In reality, he's a very nice guy.)

For a time, both The Lillingtons and Albuquerque's The Eyeliners were label mates on Lookout! Records. When The Lillingtons called it quits, Tim hooked up with The Eyeliners, playing relief sets for the ladies' exhausting touring regimen. He moved to New Mexico and, it's worth noting, is now married to bassist Lisa Eyeliner.

Stabbed In Back is Tim's New Mexico lovechild. Their sound is a screamy tangle of bands like Bad Religion and Good Charlotte--dark, hard, melodic and easy on the eyes. As Tim says, it's a band that “embraces the 'Old School' ethics of punk rock all the while not disappointing the 'newbies' on the block.”

They've got ethics, too. Stabbed In Back is a proud supporter of Food Not Bombs, which seeks to end hunger through nonviolent, noncorporate, vegetarian means. Kids are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to SIB shows, which they can trade in for merchandise. “We want the kids to become more politically active and to let them know they do have a voice and to stand up for the things they love,” Tim says.

Stabbed In Back will release their new EP on Friday, July 21, at the Atomic Cantina (21-and-over). They'll have a second, all-ages release show in Santa Fe on Saturday, July 29, at Warehouse 21. The album, titled A Portrait of Noise, is available for sale online at Interpunk.com and for MP3 download at Downloadpunk.com.