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Selections from The Punk Vault [Necros]

Necros – IQ32 7″ (1981 Touch and Go Records)

The Necros were a Midwest punk band that I believe started in OH and moved up to MI somewhere in their career. They were responsible for Touch and Go becoming a record label and they put out some of the best Midwest hardcore records in their day, and toured the country, befriending bands everywhere they went. Among those friends were the Dischord folks, who would co-release this particular single with Touch and Go. There were 3 pressings of this with 1000 made of each. The first pressing had green labels, the second pressing had tan labels and the third had white labels. They would also do a limited edition of 100 with special sleeves for a show at the Endless Summer Skatepark. These sleeves were hand numbered. One of these days I’ll post a picture of mine.

Among the people in the band, the two that would be the most well known are Barry Hennsler and Corey Rusk, and they’d end up hating each other. During their time together as a hardcore band, the Necros put out 3 7″s and one LP. It was after that when Corey left the band. Barry would carry on the Necros to do one more 7″, a second LP and a split LP with White Flag, but by this time, they were turning into a metal band and really were not very good. The band would call it quits after that.

Today Barry lives somewhere in Chicago. I wonder if he still has a huge record collection. After the Necros disbanded he formed Big Chief during the grunge era and put out a bunch of records. Corey Rusk still owns and runs Touch and Go Records which has become quite successful and put out tons of records to this day, none of them really being punk rock but they have put out a lot of really great indie rock records in the past decade or so and the occasional punk reissues like The Effigies and Negative Approach. I’m not sure what happened to Todd S or the other guy.

Sadly, due to all the infighting amongst band members, the Necros catalog remains out of print except for some shitty bootleg collections. You’d think they’d bury the hatchet just enough for a retrospective CD to come out. I mean c’mon guys, you were a piece of hardcore history and the people deserve to be able to hear this stuff, and you all could get some extra money out of it as well and better you get money for your work than some shifty bootleggers!


  • Great record, although I prefer the “Conquest for Death” LP. Touch and Go/Quarterstick has done some great reissues (Big Boys, Effigies, Naked Raygun, Negative Approach), I wish they would do one for the Necros. The bootlegs are so easy to find, I can’t imagine how much money these guys are missing out on.

    Todd Swalla played in the Laughing Hyenas for a while. He’s in some band now, but I forget their name. I think they play around Detroit. Andy Wendler runs some business, I believe. Check out I think a fan runs it but its got info on some of the members post-Necros activities.

  • Great band. One of the things about this band that has impressed me is how they can cram in so much high quality, hardcore punk rock music into a very short track. It’s awfully hard to get their music, though.

    I love this equally to all my other beloved bands (with the exception of Green Day’s first two albums, my favorite form of music of all time): 7 Seconds, Agent Orange, Anti-Flag, Bad Religion, Black Flag, Channel 3, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys, Descendants, Misfits, NOFX, Blink 182’s first two albums (Cheshire Cat and Dude Ranch), Green Day’s first two albums (1039-Smoothed Out Slappy Hour and Kerplunk, this is my favorite form of music ever), Pennywise, Pinhead Gunpowder, Sloppy Seconds, Ten Foot Pole, The Ramones, Turbo Negro, Korn and Strike Anywhere. And I’m still looking for more great bands. đŸ˜€

  • I gotta disagree with ya about the post-Corey Necros – I caught them at a show in Columbus, Ohio (I believe they opened for COC?) and they still rocked out. I personally had no problem with their slide toward a more metallic sound, as other bands were doing it with great success and wore it well. Barry stopped into the record store that I managed and really came off as a sincere guy. I mean, let’s face it – a LOT of “punk” bands of the 80s era were essentially metal bands with image problems, or bands that fit into either camp with their own devoted followers (Crumbsuckers, etc.)- I personally welcomed the hybrid at the time, as punk culture was speeding toward the corporate, big label repackaging that we see today…no problem there, though – I’m a hardcore capitalist!
    By the way, the Necros settled in that shithole known as Lodi…

  • This record is one of the all-time greatest punker records ever.
    For all it stood for,etc.Barry lives outsid eof Chicago somewhere,old,fat,and bitter.
    I used to talkto Andy about the Necros;Barry would never talk about it…weird.I would think he should be proud of being in one of the most unique and hard-working bands of that era,but something never sat right for him.
    I still listen to this quite often,just try not to think about what a DICK Barry really is.Too bad!

  • Well if it isn’t Jason the illiterate thief. If you want to see someone old, fat and bitter just take a look in the mirror bro.

  • Well if it isn’t Jason the illiterate thief. You’re one to talk about old, fat and bitter, have you looked in a mirror lately bro?

  • I pretty much dug all eras of the Necros career (never heard “Live or Else” though) — saw em a few times in KC & Lawrence from 83-86, and again in Columbus (touring w/ Danzig I think) at the Newport around 87 or 88 or so, and thought they always solidly delivered the goods; I enjoy the lion’s share of Tangled Up quite a bit to this day as well though I guess I get why some folks might not. I did a pretty crappy interview w/ then at least one of these times ( didn’t have anything prepared), where it seemed that they were looking ahead towards a bright future & all, but a deal with Restless (or Enigma) kinda had a way of killing bands it seems (or maybe the clock just ran out). Would love to see a legit reissue come together, as well as a bunch of live video stuff; (the “Why Be Something You’re Not” show is pretty good, and I know there are a few more out there), but seems like whatever bad blood got started 20 years ago or whatever is still lingering.

  • Hey why don’t you help yourself to big cup of Piss,buddy?
    Seems like you like to drink that stuff on tour.
    You’re a fucking egomaiacal dickhead with no friends.
    You always took yourself way too seriously.
    That’s too bad…sucks to be YOU doesn’t it?

    (it’s probably easier being Danny Bonaduce than it is to just look like him)

    You had a great band.Then you had one that was okay.

    You’re fucked…

  • Oh yeah,Barry old buddy…how could I forget this one?

    Remember that time your shitty grunge band came out to S.F. and played at Bottom of the Hill and when you guys got in the van to leave “it just didn’t quite work properly”?
    Well,that was me & Smelly Mustafa from Boom and the Legion of Doom welcoming you to the West Coast is all…

    (see if you can NOT double post next time,illiterate one…)

  • Actually Dirty Jase, you old mouth breathing minion you, I don’t recall that happening. You sure you had the right van? Obviously, you consider it to be one of the highlights of your life. If it makes you feel better about being a punker with tattooed hands that’s pushing 40, then by all means knock yourself out and savor that memory.

    Speaking of friends, it doesn’t surprise me that you’d end up hanging out with a retard like Smelly. What a fuckin’ brain trust you two comprise, Dirty and Smelly. Ha! There’s got to be a grand total of six teeth and three IQ points between the both of you.

    It’s heartwarming to see you ascend from being the most worthless roadie Big Chief ever employed to your current career choice as “pants folder.” That’s one heck of a leap in 15 years. No one would have predicted that you’d get that far. Keep toiling and sooner or later I might hire you to clean my pool. Well, probably not as I’m already familiar with your abysmal work ethic. After all, I only hire/fire people once.

  • You’re funny!

    Like your attempt at making decent music is.
    You can sit there at home and listen to yourself write all you want and listen to your shitty fucking music and somehow blow smoke up your own fat ass.Amazing how you can pull that big ‘ol gut over enough to do that.It’s also soemthing I wouldn’t want to see…

    Hock your punk shit on the internet;obviously you are (collector) SCUM and nothing more.


    Fifteen years later and YOU DON’T HAVE A CAREER while I have toured around the fucking US & Europe four times last year…

    Sit home and order some take out and bulk up (your gut AND your ego) some more.
    You’ve really made something of yourself (a complete asshole) in the rock world.

    Listen,I gotta go now.
    I have to go take a “Henssler” and I think we’re out of “Barry” paper…

  • Filthy Jit,

    Your lack of intellect is absolutely stunning. Can you even walk upright? Tell you what, if you can manage to string one coherent sentence together I’ll send you a sawbuck. On the miniscule chance that you successfully complete the task, I’d advise you to put that dinero in an account earmarked for laser tattoo removal. I’d also suggest that you cease huffing gas.

    Do you even know where you’re posting your ill-conceived missives? It’s on a blog discussing a record I made when I was 16. People are still interested in that shit over 20 years later. Believe me, no one is more surprised about it than I am. Please forward me the URL for anything remotely similar concerning even one thing you’ve EVER accomplished. We’ll continue this conversation over there.

    And humping gear for meth addicted speed metal bands does not constitute a career.

    This is the bottom line — when it comes to you and I, you’ll always be the one playing catchup.

  • Necros were one of my favorite bands ever!!!!! Saw them open for Samhain in los angeles in 84? Forget about this lame fool barry. Big Chief were a very rockin’ band as well. Saw Big Chief alot. I still listen to the “iq 32 / conquest for death Lp-Ep’s all the time!

  • I concur with Tim’s comments. Big Chief rocked mightily, and The Necros WERE one of the all-time greatest punk bands. I’d put them in the top 10 punk bands of all time, and I know what the hell I’m talking about…

  • So you mean that the man himself, Barry, is actually posting here? Wow. Amazing.

    Barry, I don’t know how available Big Chief music is, but I sure as hell can’t download it off of LimeWire. I suppose it never made it that far.

    I sure wish the Necros made more music. Instead they drove themselves into conflict and then called it quits. But I don’t really mind how they sort of changed into a semi-metal band, because I still think that they maintained their essential composure and form. Songs like Walking The Dog were very good. At least they never sold out to the mainstream media like Green Day did (although I still listen to the music they did before they sold out, which is MUCH better).

    I don’t mind how much a band changes, so long as they:

    1. Maintain their primary components as the band they started out as.
    2. Don’t sell out to become a part of mainstream media music.
    3. I despise it when punk bands suddenly come out with a lame album about ‘growing up’ or hopes and dreams and all that sort of tripe. Take Green Day’s “American Idiot” for example. They went from skillful innovators to conforming sellouts to pathetically conforming sellouts that turned into the equivalence of having Anti-Flag or Pennywise sell out, lose lots of brain cells and get drunk. They conform to brainwashing propaganda and skewed perspectives of what a good album is by overpaid asshole critics at places such as MSNBC, thus trying to sound eloquent but ending up sounding like a fool replicating Kindergarten philosophy in an extreme yet embarrassing manner. I spit on these sorts of albums.

    7 Seconds has changed a lot over their 25 years of hardcore punk rock music, and yet still fulfilled those 3 standards. Seriously, you should listen to the difference between albums like Old School and The Crew and their (I believe) most recent album, Scream Real Loud. Sure, in their recent albums they aren’t as aggressive, but they just sort of go at a slower pace. That and they sort of go a little bit outside of their repetivity. While their songs were great, had no strengths or weaknesses and flowed through excellently, and were in plentiful supply, all of which are things you don’t often see in any other music artist’s work, they were still a little repetitive. And they went outside a little bit with their songs. In the end, whether or not you like their newer work, remember: Younger-aged people are often more energetic and stressed and angry than that of older-aged people, and 7 Seconds have played for years, so you could imagine how they’ve sort of lost their fast, thrashing sort of pace. But they’re still great.

    I digress, however. Necros were a great band, and as Lexmark 7 pointed out, have the ability to cram in so much quality into short songs. Too bad their songs aren’t in very high supply, but I could have sworn that I once saw a song available done by the Necros known called “Andy’s Shit For Brunch”. Does this song exist?

    I don’t know enough to conclude whether or not this Barry here is a prick. But again, stress can be rather dominant at adolescent ages, and now that Barry must be probably 36, maybe his adolescent stress has cooled off, so you shouldn’t expect the same hold-a-grudge-against-the-world-and-get-pissed-off attitude he may have held long ago when he played his band.

    Just a personal question, Barry: Do you still listen to your music?

  • Yep, there is a song called “Andy’s Shit For Brunch” on the Conquest For Death LP. I’m in the minority, but I was never a huge fan of the Necros – I liked the early Big Chief records better. That said, you got to respect the path blazed by the band (even if you don’t like the music). Shit, I wrote once how I liked the Fix better (musically) than the Necros and Barry called me out on it and he was correct – The Necros were a vastly important band in American hardcore history. There is no denying it.

    Now let’s get all that T&G stuff of this reissued…

  • I quoth some famous words from 7 Seconds:

    Racism sucks! Racism sucks! Racism sucks! Racism sucks! Racism sucks! Racism sucks! RA. CISM. FUCKING. SUUUUCCCCKKKS!

  • I folded over 300 pairs of pants today. My whole body is fucking sore. That’s all I have to say about it.

    virus 13

    Don’t forget Smegma Journal & Motorbooty.

  • Great band. It’s also nice to know that these guys associated with The Meatmen. The Meatmen even wrote a song or two that mentioned The Necros.

    Sex Drive record is also pretty cool, but not as good as Conquest for Death. On the other hand, I’ve never understood how any Necros fan could choose Conquest for Death over IQ32. IQ32 is the shit. I guess if you’re a fan of dark grunge then Conquest is best.

    One of these days I may swallow the pride to try out their Live Or Else album, but something tells me I’ll be disappointed. Worse, Corey Rusk left the band after Conquest for Death, and I heard the band had the nerve to do a Pink Floyd cover. Has anyone here heard Live Or Else? How good is it?

  • Live or else and Tangled Up are absolute must haves.That afformentioned Pink Floyd cover fucking rules.However if your looking for IQ 32 you won’t find it on those albums, they are a little closer to what Barry would do a little latter in the Big Chief, the greatest rock band of the last 20 years.I love all of it so I’m an easy sell.
    Jimi Justin
    Holy Grail Studios

  • I just happened to stumble across the fact that “Tangled Up” and “Live or Else” has just been reissued on CD. Its on Rykodisc, so it shouldn’t be hard to find for anyone inclined to look. Now, if Touch and Go would just do a proper reissue of the early material…

  • my favorite necros memory: I had a band in cleveland in the early 80’s called starvation army. we played with the necros a couple of times. at one of the shows, some poor guy was slamming up front and got thrown on stage right into todd’s drumkit. he landed with enough force that he broke the tom mount on the drum kit and swalla’s two rack toms just fell to the floor. he (todd) was so fucking pissed that the whole band jumped on the guy and started pummeling him. poor guy- it probably wasn’t his fault (I mean I think he didn’t do it on purpose), but nonetheless, it was good for a couple of yuks at the time.

  • I would love to see a Necros reunion show? Rumor has it that Todd is still beating on the skins and bassist Ron Sakowski is better than ever now in The Skeemin’ No Goods. How ’bout it Barry and Andy?

  • I got that rykodisc re-issue and I’m pretty into it. I like both records included, but the live one just might be better. I don’t often care for live records, but the sound quality on this one is top notch.

    I’m going to get some Big Chief cds, I kind of miss funk mental, besides, the artwork on each of their releases is awesome.

  • the necros, negative approach, minor threat, the meatmen…these bands were all the rage. these bands paved new roads for up and coming musicians. the freezer theater will live on forever !!!
    long live midwest punk !!!

  • i’m tring to think of this canadian band that did a song or ep called “disintergration”

  • a staple band in the Detroit area. Remembered the 1st time I saw them play at bookies in 81 with the meat men. They blew me a way ran out and got the Sex Drive Ep. Hated to see them turn metal but I guess teen aggression wades with age. Remember some friends and I interview the band at are high school radio show. Barry and the band where great! Warren H.S.

  • Come on, their metal shit was perhaps their best material, other than Conquest for Death, which is an awesome hardcore record. IQ32 and Sex Drive? Piff. Lousy, sub-talented, boring midtempo repetitive lo-fi punk in the same bad vein as Bad Religion’s self-titled debut.

    The Necros were wise to accept metal as their saviour, as were DRI, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, TSOL, Circle Jerks, The Plasmatics, Crumbsuckers, Corrosion of Conformity, Reagan Youth and The Meatmen.

  • Cool thread,
    Does anybody know the full story on the “sex pistols” sleeve for the sex drive EP. Also, have any of the test pressings been accounted for? Thanks.

  • Why were the original sleeves trashed?? Here’s the straight poop from Dave Stimson:

    When I was doing sleeves for the Necros, I had wanted the song titles to be listed on the back, done sort of “Pistols” style (like on the “Never Mind the Bollocks” album. I was taking print classes at Lansing Community College, and they had a couple of machines to choose from so I picked one that could handle 11″x17″ sheets of paper. Needless to say, it didn’t work out. The print was uneven, and the black was not very black. So after about 25 or so copies I bagged that idea, redid the negatives, and printed the sleeves on a more reliable AB Dick machine( which only handles 8 1/2 x11 sheets), resulting in no song titles on back. Now a couple of those original sleeves got out and are in circulation, and the rest were sitting underneath my bed in my parents home in Michigan, until one day. My parents had decided to re-wallpaper the bedrooms, so around this time, those remaining sleeves got tossed. Bringing us up to date, last year I discovered that I had the original plate that those sleeves were made from. I took that plate to a local print shop here in Arlington, and had them print 100 copies on the same color paper. These copies look exactly ( and I mean exactly) like the originals, only much better, the black is nice and solid. I’ve been selling them for $20 , mostly to people who do have the original “Sex Drive.

  • Goods luck I have been looking for 10 years, I have located 3 but the owners will not sale them…I have offer 2K for them and they still will not sale.

  • What about the sex pistols sleeves made later with the original plates? Thanks again.

  • I remember you when you were 16 .

    You guys ( and that includes Brian Hyland, and Brian Mank) were the most hilarious people around.

    I find it quite humorous that everyone takes things so seriously nowadays. I might have to go back there and force everyone back together at GUN POINT.

    It is an absolute shame that you guys never really scratched the surface as far as revealing your true comical selves to the world.

    The fans don’t know what the missed.

  • I realize these posts are old, but I just saw them, and couldn’t let it go without saying that Barry Henssler is a scholar and a gentleman. The person leaving those very jealous postings is obviously deeply disturbed.


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