The Punk Vault

Selections from The Punk Vault [Political Justice?]

Political Justice? – Stating the Truths and Healing the Wounds 7″ (1985 Landmind Records)

I wrote this one up on 11/14/04 but set it to “draft” and never realized that I never published it! I correct that mistake now and the intent was to have this come out at the same time as all the other local punk. Not that there won’t be more local punk in the future, but the opening sentence below makes a lot more sense if you keep this in mind.

I figure I may as well blast through some other selections from the local punk scene from back in the day since I seem to have that theme going this past handful of entries.

At the same time as bands like Dead Fink and Happy Toons, over in Glen Ellyn, a batch of fellow punks put together a band of their own and were in theme, a lot more serious. Political Justice were a four piece, and featured a young Brian St. Clair on drums, and Wesley Kidd on guitar. Brian would later go on to play in the Thrill Kill Kult for a short time and he and Wes would also play in a later lineup of Rights of the Accused, and later were in a band called Triple Fast Action that garnered some success. Brian also did time in the very popular band, Local H.

They’d gig around the city, record a demo that didn’t get much circulation, then they put out this single and called it quits. The demo is on my “things to burn to cd” list, and they were also featured on the Immense Decay compilation that I released in 1987. After Political Justice called it a day, Wes quickly joined Rights of the Accused, at a time that they were still a punk band,  and played on their 7″ (to be an upcoming selection very soon). As you could guess by their name, the band was a political hardcore band. Had they stuck together longer and done a couple more records, they probably would have had a pretty good following, but alas they didn’t and are sadly mostly unknown in the larger world of punk.

Listen to  “One Moment of Empathy” from the 7″



  • Well, I’ll just come in from the side, and try to enter unobserved.

    I heard this single back in 1986. I’ll never forget: I was sitting at my buddy’s house in Hillside, and he put it on. I think he ordered it directly from Brian — Brian, you included a HS picture of yourself. I think you had a bit of the “Flock of Seagulls” thing going, and I don’t mean that as an insult! I’m not part of the other discussion. I know I had some fashion mistakes back then, too…

    Anyway, what I most remember about the 45 is being TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY by it. I loved it. I only heard it about 10 times in my life (we couldn’t get extra copies, and my buddy kept forgetting to copy it), but to this day, I can still remember the song.

    Great stuff. And for what it’s worth — I agree that punk’s dead. At least, the feeling of being a punk in Chicago in the mid-80s is dead. Call me a schmuck — but I loved seeing ROTA, I like the “Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles?” album, and I even snap my fingers to Scissor Sisters occasionally.

    But nothing will ever again feel like it did in 1986, with the great music coming out from Raygun, Big Black, Breaking Circus, Husker Du, Sonic Youth, etc. I wasn’t so much into West Coast punk, but it was good too, I guess.

    I’m rambling, aren’t I?

  • Hey, what about me? Where’s my 15 minutes’ fame?

    I went on to be in NO bands, but my politics are still the same. 😉 I never much wanted to be a rockstar anyway.


  • I recall performing with Brian St. Clair in Group of Individuals during the 1986 promotion of they Haymarket Riot commemorative single “World Civil War”. He was a face-melting drummer and a wonderful guy. Great, great time. I remember those shows fondly. Brian, best wishes….

  • I recall performing with Brian St. Clair as the rhythm section for Group of Individuals, during their 1986 promotion of the Haymarket Riot commemorative single “World Civil War”. Brian was a face-melting drummer and a hell of a nice guy to boot. Wonderful time. Hope all is well with Brian….massive talent.


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