The Punk Vault

Selections from The Punk Vault [Sand in the Face]

Since the Klowns are on tour, thus making it be even longer before Destroy Your Radio is back up and running (along with the Live From Combustion Manor radio show), I figured it was time to share some selections from the vault with you my faithful readers. Hopefully this will expose you all (all 3 of you or so) to some fine punk rock music you may not have heard before and might want to seek out for yourself. That or you at least will get a peek into random records in The Punk Vault and can make your own list of “stuff I want to record on a visit to Combustion Manor someday”. I’ll probably do this once a week or so, whenever I feel inspired. So for the first selection we have a record that is a long time favorite of mine, yet largely ignored…

Sand in the Face – Self Titled LP (1986 Twisted Records)
Sand in the Face were from New Jersey and existed at a time when New Jersey was becoming a hotbed for punk and hardcore. They shared bills with their neighbors such as Adrenalin OD, Bedlam, Sacred Denial, Mourning Noise and lots more. I remember reading about them in scene reports in Maximumrocknroll and being interested not only for their name, but for the fact of where they came from and that the reports on them all sounded good.

If they released a demo to the masses, I never came across a copy. They appeared on the Hardcore Takes Over 2 compilation on Dirt Records, which was a compilation of New Jersey bands. They also had a song on the rare and obscure Master Tape Volume 2 compilation on Affirmation Records, both which came out between around 1983 and 1985.

In 1984 they recorded a 16 song full length album that wouldn’t see the light of day until 1986. It was released on Twisted Records which I am pretty sure might have been their own label, and was manufactured and distributed by the Independent Label Alliance, who from what I understand, screwed over everyone they worked with and must have had some evil contracts as I believe everything that ever came out under that umbrella has never been reissued since by anyone. When the records were pressed, the labels were placed on the wrong sides so they put a sticker on the shrink wrap stating “Limited Fucked Up Edition” and stating the labels were reversed. There never was a second pressing, so every copy out there has the pressing error.

After that, they must have broken up and drifted off into obscurity as I never heard or read anything about them since. They were a 3 piece band: Paul on vocals/guitar, Michelle on bass, and Gus on drums. Their last names were not listed on the record so I have no clue what the members went on to do after S.I.T.F., if anything, nor what they may be doing today. If anyone from the band happens to stumble across this, please get in touch as I’d love to get some more information about the band.


  • Paul Schraft and Michelle Bonnani of Pine Brook NJ – word has it that they became nazis, formed a band called “the gentiles” who never recorded

  • Nazis?! Oh man, what a bummer. Thanks for the names though, maybe knowing their last names now I can track them down and get some more information on the band.

  • Sand in the Face were a Great! band they played in my friends backyard many years ago. Besides the demo there is also a live tape that they recorded in a radio station in N.J. I don’t have it but looking for it. Yes! They did form a band called “The Gentiles” after Sand in the Face but don’t know if this demo exists?

  • Any chance you have the SITF demo? And if you do, any chance you can make a copy of it for me? I’d greatly appreciate it.

  • Man oh man,I havent heard Sand In The Face in YEARS.Not surprised they went Nazi everybody else in NJ did as well.Suburban Uprise went from rapping about MLK to singing about “power”.
    Now do you have the Demented Foolz,or the COS demo’s

  • hey I went to college with Paul the singer, if he is reading this, email me. it’s christine from cincinnati

  • Really cool to come across this. I was in a band called The Abra Cadavers(’83-’88) from MD. Met SITF in AlbQ.,NM while on tour during the summer of ’87. What a weird show too. We played in a garage in an industrial park that was transformed into a “club”. I think Bill Stevenson from Descendents was at the party afterwards. SITF were a favorite of mine and I actually had the tape in the van tape deck. They introduced us to Jacko Monahan who helped us out(and 2 more bands to follow) a great deal.

  • The last time I did SITF was the time when, as they were setting up, the singer walked to the board and popped in a tape. I heard it from outside in the parking lot. I walked in the hall, said “whose is that?” (It was “Hail The New Dawn”. He piped up, said. “Mine. Like It?” I said “No. And it ain’t playing in my hall”- and- like a good little nazi, I pulled the tape. He kept shooting me nasty looks all night, but it was, after all, my venue… we’d had some skin problems that I’d just finally gotten cleared up by handing out some asses, and it was my hall, my shows, my politics and I physically fought to defend that. It was, after all, 1986. SITF nazis? I buy it.

  • I was the first bass player in SITF, which formed in 1980 when I was 15. Our first show was at the Montville Community center — with a local hard rock cover band opening for US (we got the gig first.) We recorded a demo at Mixolydian in Boonton (2 of the songs ended up on the Mastertape, VOl. 2 comp), where The Misfits’ “Walk Among Us” was recorded, and were just starting to play out (Showplace in Dover, Dirt Club in West Orange) when my family moved to Cincinnati, OH. The band replaced me with Pete Karlen, and, later Paul’s girlfriend, Michele Bonani. Paul sent me a test pressing of the SITF album when it came out, but I lost touch with him after that. Later on, a mutual friend did tell me that the group had “gone Nazi,” which didn’t surprise me as Paul had always been a little too into the whole bullshit Nazi-shock-value thing. In fact, even though we were friends (sort of) it caused a lot of arguments between us. I wonder if he ever ended up growing out of that stupidity…
    Anyway, I do still have the (embarassing)unreleased, pre-first LP demo. Maybe I’ll look into putting it out it someday…

  • Peter,

    Thanks for the info!!! Any chance you could make a copy fo the demo for the vault?

    Do you still have the test pressing?

  • Yeah, maybe. It’s not that long, but I’d like to see the demo get some kind of formal reissue. Still being a record collector — tho not so much a punk collector, these days — I’m also still a tactile dude, if you know what I mean. Any suggestions?
    I do still have the test pressing (which doesn’t vary from the sound of the LP, to my knowledge); never actually found a copy of the standard release.

  • Just came across this. I’m Paul’s (the singer, guitarist) brother. Anyway, this piece of music sounds even better now to me than it did in the mid 80’s. Sand in the Face broke up in the late 80’s and a new band The Gentiles were formed. Regardless on where you stand on issues, the demo they put out was quite good. Sounds like Sand in the Face. They played mostly halls and clubs that would have them but also disbanded around 1994. No word on the whereabouts of other Sand members these days. Paul is honestly and gainfully employed and leads a normal life in NJ. I remember Peter Wegele as a somewhat likeable outcast in high school. The original band with you and Munk were my favorite version.

  • Herbie!
    Very cool to hear from you. Glad Paul’s doing well (and hopefully you and your oldest, cafeteria table-dancing brother are, too). Always wondered if Paul and Michele had gotten married. Sounds like not…
    After I moved to Cincinnati, I went to Boston University for two years before ending up back in Ohio. In the mid/late ’80s I was a radio DJ and a promoter and did booking at a few different clubs. Dropped the Wegele part of my last name and moved to NYC in ’92, where I was the singer-guitarist in a band called the Chrome Cranks; did that for about six years. These days, I live upstate and work as a music journalist. Last I heard, Munk was married and living in Maine, where he was running some kind of shrimp/fish farming operation (seriously).
    Anyway, would be great to hook up with you and Paul again sometime.
    Peter Aaron

  • I also have the very first Sand In The Face demo which is a real killer. I received it from old time friends of the band Jeff, and John Faber. I would like to put these songs out on a Limited 7″ ep but would like to talk to one of the members of the band in order to do this. Any help would be appreciated. You can contact me at

  • Just received word today that original SITF drummer Mark “Munk” Lombardi passed away yesterday at the age of 45. He had been battling cancer for several months, after losing his mother to the disease years ago. Munk was one of my closest high school friends, and one of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the good fortune to know. He’ll be missed.

    • This sucks.

      I met Munk outside CBGB’s in the spring of 1983. I was 15, and he was one of the first people I met from a band we considered ‘major’ — i.e., we’d heard the Dirt Comp tracks all the time on WFMU, WKNJ, and other college stations, and were a bit amazed to be hanging out with someone we knew only from listening to the radio.

      He was nice and a bit shy, and seemed older than he was. That was the only time I ever met him. He is remembered.

  • I saw them play once, had heard their stuff on Pat Duncan’s WFMU show and dug them. Anyway, someone had a Skrewdriver shirt on and I figured that whatever direction they were heading in, I wanted no part of. I had the LP. Was a decent listen.

  • I was in high school in Jersey at the time, and they were one of the better bands on the scene. LOVED this album! One of my biggest regrets was not keeping this on vinyl. It really deserves a re-release; I’D sure as hell but five of ’em!


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