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BIOHAZARD headlines fifth annual SLAMMIES at The Edge
Skull Photo gallery

L.U.N.G.S wins top award; Marilyn Manson, Smite win 3 each

Warner Bros. Records recording artists Biohazard headlined the fifth annual South Florida Slammie Awards on Sunday, June 23, 1996, at The Edge in downtown Fort Lauderdale, performing a flawless set to close the 6-hour concert. Joining Biohazard and Epitaph Records recording artists D.F.L. were South Florida bands Radiobaghdad, Subliminal Criminal, Brethren, Nonpoint and Level Nine.


Radiobaghdad Radiobaghdad (Pete Gross)
Opening bands Level Nine and Brethren played to an appreciative early audience. Miami-based Level Nine raged from the opening song with an aggressive blend of hardcore meets hip-hop, stirring up the early arrivals with a heavy sound and message. Miami's Brethren, who later won the award for New Band, kept the slam-pit moving with a powerful set of straight-edge hardcore. Nonpoint played an aggressive set of groove-oriented hardcore metal with a Latin flavor. The band is based in Fort Lauderdale but is originally from Puerto Rico.

The music of Subliminal Criminal went over the heads of most of the pit denizens, but the Miami trio turned in a well-played set of technical hardcore. Fort Lauderdale's Radiobaghdad, fresh off a month-long European tour in support of its debut album for Germany's Friendly Cow Records, turned up the speed a notch with a speedy set of no-frills punk. D.F.L. (Dead Fucking Last), touring in support of its Epitaph debut, Proud To Be (produced by Adrock of the Beastie Boys), continued the punk onslaught with a quick set before turning things over to the band most in the audience came to see.


Playing tunes from its new Mata Leao album (released Tuesday, June 25) as well as old favorites, Brooklyn's Biohazard finally awoke the lethargic crowd and got the entire floor of the cavernous Edge moving to its groove-filled hardcore tunes. Featuring former Helmet guitarist Rob Echeverria, who joins founding members Billy Graziadei (vocals, guitar), Evan Seinfeld (vocals, bass) and Danny Schuler (drums), the band sounded tighter than ever. Many of the new songs feature a stripped-down sound and attitude that takes the band back to their roots in New York City's legendary hardcore scene.


In a fitting conclusion to the Slammie Awards, several local artists joined Biohazard on stage to close the show. J.C. Dwyer of West Palm Beach's Paingod (recently signed to Century Media Records), played drums on the classic Wrong Side of the Tracks while members of Pavement Music recording artists L.U.N.G.S., who earlier won the Band of the Year (Grand Slammie) award, added backing vocals during the show's final song. L.U.N.G.S. vocalist Crime added the final touch with a dive into the crowd.


Hundreds of dollars in merchandise was given away between sets by MC Joe Catalano, who taunted and baited the sometimes unappreciative crowd. Sponsors donating CDs, cassettes, posters and other merchandise were: ABCD's Music, Blue Note Records, CD Source, Groove Records, Music Box, Music X-Change, Record Station, Sound Splash, Sugar Daddy's, Uncle Sam's Records, Yesterday and Today Records, Century Media Records, Epitaph Records, RED Distribution, Roadrunner Records and Concrete Marketing.

The awards segments were hosted by Kimba of WZTA-FM's Zeta Goes Local show. Presenters included Scott Mitchell (aka Daisy Berkowitz, recently departed Marilyn Manson guitarist), DJs from local radio stations and other local music personalities. Marilyn Manson won three awards (Vocalist, National Release for Smells Like Children and Single for Sweet Dreams) but was met with a chorus of boos throughout the night. It became a running joke, with many award presenters (such as the Manson-produced Jack Off Jill) commenting on the negative reaction.

(Marilyn Manson is not the first local band to be greeted with derision at the Slammies after reaching national success. In 1993, Saigon Kick became the brunt of a local backlash and even had its award skull smashed in the mosh pit. Ironically, that incident was instigated by Mr. Manson, who was presenting the award.)

Miami alternative band Smite (which won Local Release for its Wheelchair Etiquette CD as well as the Guitarist and Bassist awards) was also abused by the crowd, who obviously favored heavier artists in the Biohazard mold. L.U.N.G.S. (who also won the Drummer award), Load and especially Paingod received the biggest roars of approval. Open ballots were available in XS magazine, at The Edge and at many sponsoring locations plus other stores and shops throughout South Florida.

Between the awards and merchandise giveaways, DJs Frank Mendez (Nemesis), Glenn Richards (WVUM) and Bob Slade (WLRN) spun all local music.


On Friday, June 21, more than 200 people attended the second annual Slammie Pre-Party at Squeeze in downtown Fort Lauderdale and saw four of the area's more accessible punk/alternative bands. Eclectic Miami punk/alternative band Endo stole the show, which also featured Fort Lauderdale alternative band Basketcase, Broward industrial/alternative ensemble Nation of Fear and Broward pop-punk group The Johnsons.