After the move to Toronto, in 1985 SCW released the compilation cassette tape “A Collection”. This consisted of greatest hits from the first two tapes and selected recordings from their live shows. We won’t post any audio here because it’s documented in previous posts.
Between 1985-1986 the members of SCW finished their studies at the University of Waterloo and headed to the big city. PnrH and dWM were the first to leave, followed later by Roba and Jeff-o. PhrH and dWM embarked on a series of side projects, and SCW played a few one-off gigs, but no new SCW material was recorded during this time. Jeff-o, PnrH and dWM ended up living in a house together in a seedy part of downtown Toronto, but practice/recording space was limited to a tiny section of the slug-infested basement. By this time SCW had sold off all their analog synths and drum machines and were starting to use ‘real’ instruments (drums, guitar, bass, sax etc.) but were also experimenting with some of the new digital technology that was becoming affordable.
In 1984 SCW managed to gain access to the video production facilities at the local cable station, courtesy of our friend and collaborator Michelle Geister (aka DJ Force MG). This resulted in a series of experimental videos created by PhrH and dWM. For more info on these videos check out the Sucking Chest Wound YouTube channel…
Sucking Chest Wound produced this video in 1985 to promote their first two cassette releases: Arbeit Macht Frei and Model 152 Blowgun. Unfortunately the video didn’t do much to boost sales, probably because it received zero airplay…
SCW’s second release on cassette came out in mid-1985 and was a mixture of new material and live recordings from the Sweet Children of the West show in April that year. The new material continued in the same techno-industrial post-punk style of the first cassette, with added horns in some tunes. This release marked the end of SCW’s use of analogue synths, and drum machines – all future work was done using either ‘real’ instruments played live or digital samplers, drum machines and effects.
“Model 152 Blow Gun” cassette tape cover – folded out – by PnrH
In the First Days…
Bass, tapes and drum machine…
On April 17 1985 SCW returned to the Mayfair Hotel in Kitchener, Canada for another performance. This time they performed upstairs at a club called Level 21. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear they performed as Sweet Children of the West; the name would be resurrected later on when they were banned from performing as Sucking Chest Wound. The focus of the show was on videos prepared beforehand and played back on video monitors located throughout the performance space, along with slides projected onto the stage. SCW performed largely behind screens, occasionally venturing out onto the stage to tweak knobs etc.
Here’s an edit of the performance
We produced these shirts for our final show in 1997. There’s still a limited number of mint condition shirts available. We lost the original artwork so there won’t be any more after these run out!
Available in two sizes, shipping included:
Large: for twinks, hipsters and girls
X-Large: for everyone else
Click on the PayPal button below to purchase. Be sure to specify L or XL
The first proper SCW performance occurred on November 30, 1984 at the Chandelier Room of the Mayfair Hotel in Kitchener, Canada. The show came about through a Fine Arts course that PnrH was taking at the University of Waterloo. The show was actually marked by his professor and applied towards his credit for the course!
Ticket for the show – by PnrH
The performers included all four members of SCW plus an additional four performers recruited for the show. SCW played in the background while the other four were up front using various mic-ed up domestic and industrial tools: Charles on vacuum cleaner/balloon, Jim on sewing machine, Claudio on power tools and John on heavy metal. Film projections and video were also part of the staging. All the performers wore masks cast from their faces with plaster bandages, similar to the ‘death masks’ dating back to the middle ages. The workers rose up against their slave masters but the power tools of the workers were no match for the media tools of their slave masters… Continue reading
By mid-1984 SCW had established a living, rehearsal and recording space at Willow St. in Waterloo, Ontario, and had access to the electronic music labs at the University of Waterloo. In August of that year they released their first cassette, entitled Arbeit Macht Frei.
“Arbeit Macht Frei” tape cover – folded out – by PnrH
The cassette was 90 minutes in length, with about 32 individual tunes. Here’s some highlights:
All you wanna do is kill yourself
All you wanna do is kill yourself
Why’re you trying to kill yourself?
Why aren’t you trying to…
SCW salutes their punk roots…