The Punk Vault

Spontaneous Combustion Records

SS-001 Various Artists – Immense Decay Compilation tape

SS001Released 1987
90 Min. Cassette with booklet
Approximately 100 made
2x CDR released in 2002 in a numbered edition of 10 for people who worked on the zine
Variations (cassette): Some had hand made labels, most had pre-printed sticker label

This was a 90 minute cassette only compilation. It was compiled by Mike Vinikour, Ray Kolenko, and Warren Fischer. It came with a booklet that had a page from each band and the booklet cover was drawn by Chris Holmes. The bands designed their own pages with a few exceptions where we had to throw something together. The SS cat. number stood for Spontaneous Stuff, which was what the Spontaneous Combustion mail order was called for a short time. I sold most through mail-order and the rest in local record shops. Bob Fogarty hand-wrote the track listing for the inner sleeve and helped dub tons of copies and Anthony Stagg did the tape cover art. This was really a lot of fun to do and I had planned on doing another one. Perhaps someday I’ll do a sequel on a better format such as vinyl though thanks to countless crappy “tribute albums”, the compilation has become so devalued that no one seems to want them anymore, specifically stores.

The bands: Dead Silence, Group of Individuals, Amateur Gynecologists (later changed the name to A.G.s), Cycle Sine, Cancerous Growth, Ozzfish Experience, Intense Degree, Number Nine, Political Justice, The Exposed, Initial Reaction, Screeching Weasel, Denied Remarks, Crib Death, Hates, and Ism.


SCR-001 Big’n – Musket/Tight One 7″

SCR001 SCR001back Released 1993
900 black vinyl
100 blue/white marble vinyl with numbered insert
10 test pressings
All copies came with 2 stickers and a photo insert


I always wanted to put out records and a big tax refund in 1993 provided me with the funds to do so. Big’n were from Joliet, IL and played noisy indie rock much in the vein of your Amrep type bands. Todd had one of those aluminum guitars like the guy in Tar, and he is the brother of Al Johnson of Shorty/US Maple fame. This was the band’s third single, and had they played any shows after this was released, maybe I would have sold more of them. They claim to have sold 1,000 of their previous single on Ratfish Records, which was the basis for my pressing 1,000. I have a bunch left. I still love this record and even have a copy in my jukebox! The band would later put out a couple CD’s on Gasoline Boost Records. “Musket” appeared on the first one, but I think this version is better than the one they put on that album, even if it that one was recorded by Steve Albini. The cover was designed by Brian, the drummer, and it was assembled by me. It was printed by PJ Graphics. The record was mastered and pressed at United Record Pressing. The color vinyl edition was sold only through my mail order. I’d like to say that the friendship I had with these guys lasted but unfortunately it didn’t.

SCR-002   Big’n/Pencil – Split 7″


Released 1993
400 black vinyl
100 clear vinyl
3 test pressings
All copies came with a 2-sided lyric sheet
Tracks: Big’n – “Dirtfarmer”. Pencil – “Choice”


Even though sales were slow of the first record I did, I wanted to do another Big’n record because they were my friends at the time and I really liked the band. I also wanted to put out another band, hence the split release. Pencil were a band from Indiana that Big’n played with a few times. Originally this band named Corn was going to be on this, but for some reason or another it never happened. Having learned from the last release that 1000 records were a lot to have to unload, I opted for 500 this time. I still have a bunch left. The clear vinyl ones were only sold through the label mail-order. I went all out and did a 2-color glossy cover on this one. The Big’n side of the sleeve was designed by the band and myself, the Pencil side was done by the band. The cover was assembled by me and printed at PJ Graphics. I was at Daver’s place for the recording of “Dirtfarmer”, which remains my favorite Big’n song of all time. Brian and I almost came to blows that day before they recorded the song over a girl, and then Bill and I almost did too as he sided with Brian, then proceeded to almost fight me over another girl. It was a very volatile recording experience but the result was excellent. Unlike the band, my friendship with both girls remains. I still prefer this version of “Dirtfarmer” over the one Albini recorded for their first album. Fun fact: Carl Saff of Pencil is now a very skilled mastering engineer.


SCR – 003   JFA – Camp Out/Travels With Charlie

SCR003a SCR003cSCR003eSCR003b

SCR003d SCR004f
Released 1995
900 black vinyl with plain white sleeve (no ps)
100 green vinyl with numbered, hand screened picture sleeve.
4 test pressings with yellow hand screened sleeves
2 green vinyl with plain white sleeve (no ps)
This record came inside issue #17 of Spontaneous Combustion zine


To this day, putting out a record by JFA is one of the things I am most proud of. JFA was one of the first punk/hardcore bands I got into when I was a freshman in high school (when Valley of the Yakes came out) and to this day they remain one of my all-time favorites. Don and Brian are a couple of really nice guys and they were very easy to work with. I hope to do another record with them someday.  The green vinyl copies were sold only through the mail order. Kristin Holtz and I silk screened them in my basement. The plan was to have all the covers be red, but we ran out of ink before the end of the run. I had some florescent yellow ink and some dark blue ink so I mixed them up and the result were the greenish covers with the yellow streaks in them. I liked them even better than the red ones! I wish I made them all like that. Before mixing them, I tried just the yellow ink, but it was hard to see, so I scrapped them and used them just for the test pressings. The front cover art was supplied from the band and was artwork they used on stickers and a very limited skate deck, the back I threw together to have something back there. The screen printing technique I used was rather primitive and very DIY which I learned from Martin Atkins when I worked for him. The record was mastered at Metropolis and pressed at United Record Pressing.


SCR – 004   JFA/The Faction – Split 7″

SCR004a SCR-004b SCR004c SCR004d

Released April 2003
1st pressing – 500 copies:
100 on red vinyl (mail order edition)
100 on white vinyl with hand numbered labels (band edition)
300 on black vinyl
10 test pressings with special transparent sleeve over white cardstock
All copies come with a 2-sided lyric sheet and 3 stickers

2nd pressing – 504 copies:
102 on blue vinyl (mail order edition)
402 on mixed vinyl consisting of:
244 on gray vinyl, 140 lime vinyl, 18 translucent green vinyl

After taking a break from releasing records (and printed zines for that matter) for a number of years, the urge to release another record got the better of me and it was time to put out another one. I always wanted to do another record with JFA since they are one of my all time favorite bands and I really enjoyed doing the last one with them. I decided I wanted to do another split single because I could work with two bands at once, but I wanted to work with only old-school bands this time. Luckily meeting Gavin O’Brien from The Faction found me the perfect companion band to JFA for the record – two original skate punk bands! Both bands were up for it, and seemed happy to be doing a split with each other, so the process of putting everything together went smoothly. The record was mastered at Prairie Cat (formerly Metropolis). I asked them to do it at 45rpm, and thus laid out the label to reflect that, however due to the length, he did it at 33rpm so it would sound better, but didn’t bother to tell me!  I didn’t find out until the test pressings came in and at that point it was too late to change the label art as the labels were already printed. I printed little stickers that were affixed to the inner sleeve noting the error. The record was pressed at United Record Pressing (who had really improved the quality of their vinyl since I last used them). The covers and stickers were printed once again by PJ Graphics. I went all out on the packaging with a 2-color thick/glossy cover, a double sided lyric sheet, and 3 stickers. The white vinyl copies were hand numbered on the labels and were given to the bands so the only way to have gotten them was to purchase one at their shows. The red and blue vinyl editions were only available through the mail-order. For the test pressings I made special sleeves, each side of the sleeve art is a transparency that is laid over white cardstock for visibility sake, and on The Faction side the art is inverse.


SCR – 005   Government Issue – G.I.’s First Demo 7″

SCR005a SCR005b SCR005c SCR005d SCR005e SCR005f

Released May 2004
First pressing:
102 on yellow vinyl with G.I. 1″ pin(mail order edition)
402 on gray vinyl
10 numbered test pressings with special sleeves
All copies came with a lyric sheet and a S.C. sticker

Second pressing:
100 on pink vinyl with G.I. 1″ pin (mail order edition)
400 on black vinyl
All copies came with a lyric sheet and S.C. sticker

Third pressing:
80 on green vinyl with regular sleeve
20 on green vinyl with a handmade, numbered sleeve
All copies came with a lyric sheet

Fourth pressing:
Released 2007
200 on purple vinyl
All copies came with a lyric sheet

It is no secret that Government Issue is one of my all time favorite bands. I struck up a friendship with John Stabb after doing an interview with him for the defunct Spontaneous Combustion website (which will eventually get reposted on this site). I had met him once before, after a G.I. show in 1987 at Club Dreamerz when I interviewed J. Robbins and him for the printed version of the zine.  John had mentioned to me that there was this G.I. recording that they did before Legless Bull that he always wished got officially released. I told him if he dug up the tapes, I’d put it out. He agreed. It didn’t go as smoothly as that however, for the master tapes were lost. Luckily for us, Ian MacKaye had a first generation cassette copy of it that he’s had since Stabb gave it to him in 1980! Ian took it to Inner Ear and I foot the bill to have Don Zientara and him clean it up and transfer it for me. They did a stellar job on it, and it was money well spent! Ian generously donated his time in helping out with it, I only had to pay for the studio time. John hand-wrote the lyrics for me to scan for the lyric sheet, and he composed some liner notes for it. The photo credits for the sleeve and insert were missing from the release, which I remedied by affixing a sticker to the inside sleeves of the second pressing that had the proper credits. The first pressing of this sold out in about three weeks. This promptly led to a second pressing, again of 500 on new vinyl colors (pink and black). That sold out fairly quickly too and a third pressing of 100 on green vinyl was released to use up remaining sleeves. There weren’t enough sleeves left for the entire batch though which is why there is 20 handmade sleeves. In 2007, when John Stabb was experiencing some financial troubles I pressed up 200 more on purple vinyl and had more sleeves made and gave him a sizable chunk of the pressing to help him raise funds.

Much like the JFA/Faction split, this is another release that was a big treat, and an honor for me to release.
The vinyl was mastered by Richard Simpson out in Hollywood, CA. Richard is a great guy and his prices are amazing. Richard also mastered plenty of legendary punk records in the 1980s. The sleeves were done at Imprint, who on top of doing great work for a great price, are very friendly and easy to work with. As always, the vinyl was done at United Record pressing.


SCR – 006  The Cheifs – Blues 7″

SCR006a SCR006b SCR006c SCR006d

Released August 2004
102 on clear vinyl with Cheifs 1″ pin(mail order edition)
157 on opaque purple vinyl
85 on black vinyl w/white streaks
26 on pink vinyl
24 on gray marble vinyl
7 on translucent dark red marble
5 oddball mixed vinyl
10 numbered test pressings with special sleeves
2 un-numbered test pressings housed in a rejected sleeve
All copies come with a lyric sheet and S.C. sticker
Second pressing:
100 on blue vinyl, hand-numbered sleeve
25 on blue vinyl in rejected sleeve, hand numbered sleeve

To me, there is no more under-appreciated band from the early days of Los Angeles punk than The Cheifs. Poll a bunch of punks that aren’t record collectors and you will often get the response of “who?”. This single came out in 1980 with a mere 500 copies being pressed. It has since gone on to become an expensive collectors item.

While on one of my frequent visits to CA, I was over at Dr. Strange Records visiting with my pal, the good doc. He told me he was reissuing The Cheifs CD, much to my delight as I believe everyone needs to own it. I pitched to him the idea of doing a limited edition reissue on both our labels, a co-release that we would split the costs for. He was up for it. However, when I contacted him a week later he realized he was far too busy to tackle any more projects and instead put me in touch with Bob Glassley to discuss doing it myself on my own label. I found that to be a rather selfless act on the Doc’s part and I owe him a huge debt of thanks for doing that.

So I got in touch with Bob and we came to an agreement that I would press up a small amount of them, and make them just different enough to not be able to be passed off as original pressings. Where the original pressing had the spot color on the sleeve as red, this one is blue. The cover art is the same with the exception of on the back where the Playgems label was, now there is a Spontaneous Combustion logo. The record comes with a lyric sheet with tons of old band photos on it, and it comes with a SC sticker. There were originally 402 pressed and that was all there was going to be per my agreement with Bob. Those sold quickly and I had a bunch of leftover sleeves so Bob agreed to let me press up another batch to use them up (a few random copies I had saved are available in the shop). There will never be any more pressings of this. I did the first run as 100 on clear vinyl and 300 on “mixed vinyl” which resulted in a lot of cool color variations. The record was mastered by Richard Simpson, who mastered the original pressing of this 24 years ago (as of this writing). When I brought it in to have it done, his response was “I remember this band, I did this record way back”. The record was pressed at United Record Pressing and again I used Imprint for the covers. I had to get the covers redone as the first batch were way too dark so a different blue was used and the photos were fixed to lighten them up.


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