Valley’s punk legacy still lingering

 

Over the years, the Cedar Valley has hosted a surprisingly large punk scene that has been thriving for over 40 years. Now thanks to social media it is easier than ever to find and experience that scene.

One of the first bands was Ziploc And The Incredible Sandwich Boys, which formed in the late ’70s. They did not play punk music but instead played and composed classic rock and roll. A big reason why they are important is because they are one of the first electric bands to play at Steb’s.

Steb’s was a bar on the Hill that played music from the underground scene. This bar was super important to the scene because of how many bands played there, but the bar was bulldozed in 2000.

In the early ’80s some bands with heavy reggae influence started to form. One of these bands was The Beverage Men, which was active from 1982 to around 1984. They had a lot of shows at Steb’s, and most of the bandmates loved the band Bad Brains. This band’s hardcore sound eventually made the band reform as one of the biggest punk bands in the Cedar Valley.

Drednex was active from 1984 to 1988 and was a lot more influenced by punk than before. They released two cassette tapes when they were active. The first one was called “Co-op,” which released in 1985 and had 12 songs. The last cassette was released in 1987 and called “No Class Project.” Many of the themes that Drednex had were political in nature and laced with irony.

Many punk bands including Drednex didn’t only play at Steb’s; they also played at Dean’s Parkade Lounge. This bar became well known for playing many great punk bands during it’s peak. However like Steb’s, it was closed down in the ’90s.

Drednex, however, is not considered the largest punk band in the Cedar Valley. That award goes to the band House of Large Sizes, which was formed in 1986 and broke up in 2003.

They were the most successful band in the scene with up to eight albums to their name. A good amount of their is music is made of heavy grooves, and one can still find multiple albums from this Cedar Falls band on Spotify.

According to CFHS graduate Donald Halbmaier, the Valley punk scene is still alive. After he was introduced to the scene in junior high and went to his first show in 2009, he has been involved ever since.

“There is a band called Megapunch, which borderlines punk and metal,” Halbmaier said. Megapunch is a mix of hardcore and stoner metal, which is quite the unique sound. They are also made up entirely of CFHS alumni.

According to Halbmaier, the scene is not dominated by one genre of music. From heavy metal to somber acoustic ballads, the scene is quite diverse. There is even a band called Shutup, which is an all ukulele band that he plays bass in. He said, “It’s really tested me as a bass player because you are expected to go up and play along with three chords.”

The punk scene has been around since the ’70s, and it is not dying down anytime soon. In fact, those who are interested in the scene and going to some concerts can like the “Cedar Valley DIY” Facebook page and ask a punk where a concert is.

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