Porn Orchard: Savor Forbidden Fruit

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Not exactly brutal thrashing madness, Porn Orchard were an Athens, GA, hardcore band marching under the Black Flag banner, with great lyrics about social malfunctions, religion, and sex. This demo was a classic in small circles — and they spearheaded a Southern parade of unconventional metallic hardcore bands like Clockhammer and Waylaid. When I saw them at The Rat in Boston, singer Ted Hafer impressively shaved his head into a monk’s dome– a sure sign of a free thinker, especially for a non-monk.

I lucked out getting this demo from one of the six North Country punks* left behind after Hafer and guitarist Curtiss Pernice split Potsdam, NY for Georgia. I believe the two bonus tracks were recorded as a three-piece with drummer Sam Mixon after their bassist split the band a year later. They carried on as a trio for several years, and made a 7″, a mini-LP, and then the Urges & Angers LP. They signed to C/Z Records for the last one, which brought them within rubbing distance of the PacNorthwest grunge scene.

Pernice might have mellowed a little over the years, he’s been playing country rock with Vic Chestnutt and Lambchop for a while. Hafer is a pillar of Athens society, as he opened The Grit eathouse with his wife around the time of this demo, and after feeding half the slackers and touring bands in America, he’s published a cookbook. The flavor of Porn Orchard, though, remains a spite-tinged knuckle sandwich garnished with middle fingers.

Porn Orchard – “Hit the Right People Hard” demo 1986 +2 bonus tracks

* (One of those same six Potsdam punks runs an unofficial MySpace page with cuts from their vinyl releases, and a picture of your humble narrator at age 17.)

7 COMMENTS

  1. My sister was living in athens during this era. She gave this demo to me (I was about 14) and got a big group of north georgia kids into “punk.” This tape was lost about 15 years ago and I’ve had about 20 people bugging me to find it for that long. THANK YOU!!!!

  2. I was a P.O. fan from the beginning. Back then there wasn’t much in the way of heavy guitar punk in Athens, it seemed anyone interested in playing music was trying to follow REM’s coattails. The Plague and to a lesser extent the Kilkenny Kats achieved some local success. I had played in Problem Children, our claim to fame was opening for Neon Christ at an all ages show downtown, and then Crack w/ Graham (who went on to front $hackler), Joey Tatum, Deonna Mann and a handfull of drummers (Steven Cobb, Joel Suttles, Sam Vanilla) before ending up in Waylaid. My music career ended with Udder in the early 90’s. Ahhhhh….those were some good times.

  3. i grew up in neighboring oconee county and was one of the few skate punks in high school when porn orchard started. I remember this cool t-shirt and flyers/stickers they had made up with a priest fondling a female’s breast with a quote about something smelling like shit underneath. very shocking to a 15 yr old at the time. funny thing is some 20 yrs later my 6 yr old and ted hafer’s 6 year old are in the same class at school and playing soccer together! strange world.

  4. In response to darrell Says: The flyer that you are referring to had a drawing of a priest molesting a little girl(how prescient) as she asked, “Why does the world smell like shit?”. This was during the era when most Athens bands dressed and sounded like REM(the faces changed but the clothes stayed the same.) Porn Orchard was among the vanguard of bands that stomped the jingle-jangle clones into a bloody pulp. Porn Orchard, Eat America, Crack, BBQ Killers, Mercyland, and Christa McAuliffe & the Challengers were a blast. Though I was on LSD at the time as were most of the aforementioned bands and the audience members in attendance. Ahhhh!!! The bad old days! Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go catch my hand.

  5. Thanks for this. I saw this band in Myrtle Beach in 1987 and they were great. I have a copy of a copy of this tape. Been looking for a better option for a while.

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