Completely random find. As I was parsing through the various Commodores and Jim Reeves albums at the local antique mall, suddenly this black and white, somewhat DIY-press-looking thing popped out at me. It was literally between a Poco record and a Christmas compilation. What the hell?
So, of course I start looking it over, trying to find some information on it. It’s a split album, one side per band. Malachi Krunch and Sold On Murder. The Malachi Krunch side has some text that implies their EP is titled American Realities along with a picture of two people in hats, glasses, handkerchief masks and holding guns. Its kind of intimidating.
Flipping it over shows the artwork for Sold On Murder’s side. A longhorn skull with a bunch of symbols behind it and what appears to be an interpolated gas mask is staring back at me. Alright, it’s time to hear what this stuff is like.
Side one; Malachi Krunch.
It’s fast. Its loud. Its hardcore. Yep, that’s kinda what I was expecting here. This isn’t music for a Sunday morning brunch. This is Saturday night, punch a cop, piss in a gutter, debauchery straight outta Connecticut.
Now for what I’ve been able to find. Malachi Krunch was the first band of New Haven, Connecticut punk Jim Martin. Jim would go on to front the band Broken, and later Chem-Trails. As I page through the insert a bit and read some of the lyrics, its clear to me that this band’s message is right up my alley. Cutouts of “STOP THE WAR ON THE POOR” and “Resist Amerikkan Genocide AND Drug War” are plastered betwixt lyric sheets. Yes! Song topics range from Puerto Rican revolt due to lack of representation, resistance, homelessness, pollution, and and ode to Dan Quayle’s wife Marilyn.
Jim’s still fronting hardcore crust acts today and leads the group Chem-Trails. Here he is performing with them in 2018.
Further digging yielded this basement performance recording of Malachi Krunch and Seizure in 1989. That’s Jim there with the long hair and sideburns, a completely different image from his more well-known shaved head aesthetic. His look matched the picture of him in the insert. I wonder if the pic was taken at this show?
Now for side two. Sold On Murder is muuuuch more difficult to find information about. I found this interview with Kris Keyes, a frontman for the band Dive Bomber in Los Angeles. He talks about how he first started painting himself in the music world while working with a band called Sold On Murder in New Haven, Connecticut. This checks out, too, because in the liner notes it thanks Kris Keyes for help on “Open Mind/Mind Decay” and “An Insanity Plea”.
According to a comment on this news story about a murder victim in New Haven in 2008, one of the members of Sold On Murder was, in fact…murdered. John Evers Robinson played bass and sang vocals for Sold On Murder, but was killed before the album was released. This was confirmed after I started looking through the inserts that came with the record.
One side of the lyric sheet is a memorial to John that also includes some pictures of Dan Quayle and his contradiction quotes. The lyrics are wild, in the sense that topics range from eating the world, drinking blood, sex, anti-capitalism, mental illness, and police brutality. Rad.
Thanks for reading!
thanks for digging out our old record and writing about it. i was the bassist on this record for malachi krunch. i did the best i could without knowing how to play particularly well. it sure was a fun couple of years. john “rokked” robinson’s death was a crippling blow to the new haven community. as far as i know the crime has never been solved.
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Mr. Edelstein, I presume? Very cool to hear from you! Thank YOU for the record. Although I’m from another time and place, I can’t help but feel sadness for your loss. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been. Thank you so much for reaching out and giving a bit more info into what happened. 🤘🤙
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Thank you for writing this review. I came across this album in October last year and purchased it right before you published this article. John was a family member and he is dearly missed. We continue to investigate his unsolved murder. Mr. Edelstein, please let me know if we can be in touch with you. We still have John’s bass and I played his bass in a band at one time. We’d love to hear your stories.
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Hard to find information about this horrific act. Here is a blog that has a bunch of articles about John E. Robinson’s murder. https://unsolvednewhaven1990.blogspot.com/