CH3

Formed: Ceritos, South Los Angeles, California, USA

Band Bio / Discography / Lineups

Channel 3 - I've Got A Gun / After The Lights Go Out - UK CD 2007 (Captain Oi! - AHOY CD 293)  Tray 2

This quartet from Ceritos, LA, were often likened to The Clash, but comparisons to SLF are equally appropriate, with singer Mike Magrann swiftly establishing himself as a songwriter of deft, dexterous, personal and emotional songs. They were popular both in the US and in the UK, until they started doing stuff like, y'know, that wasn't standard-issue punk, thus alienating their fans and not winning enough new ones to make up for it.

FEAR OF LIVE

I've grown so fond of this weekend life, no responsibilities
I'm not ready for the real world, wake me up when I'm twenty-three

I've grown so fond of this weekend life, no responsibilities
I'm not ready for the real world, wake me up when I'm twenty-three

Eat mom's pills, drink dad's beer
Anything to forget my fear

Got no job, got no girl, got nothing at all
Sounds like a life of misery, still I'm having a ball

Eat mom's pills, drink dad's beer
Anything to forget my fear of life, of life

I live in my own little fantasy, I won't listen to you
You tell me to act more seriously, hey man, fuck you

Eat mom's pills, drink dad's beer
Anything to forget my fear

Eat mom's pills, drink dad's beer
Anything to forget my fear of life, of life

Their first demo, from 1981, ended up in the hands of Robbie Fields, enterprising director of Posh Boy, and he decided here was a band worthy of making a record. (They hadn't even played a proper gig at this point.) Before going into inevitable decline, they released two superb LPs and a handful of equally fine singles for the label, and toured America to support them, and even became popular in the UK thanks to a deal with No Future records. Their songs touched on political issues but CH3's main concerns were the trials and tribulations of daily life.

Their first two releases, the CH3 EP and Fear Of Life offer pretty basic four chord bashing in style more akin to D.O.A. than the first or second wave of British punk, with only the slightest of pop touches. The pace rarely slows down (and when it does the intensity actually increases), but the band's character and humour shine through. Magrann, is clearly a great singer.

In 1982 Fields negotiated a UK deal with No Future, which spawned three releases, two of which rode high in the UK indie charts. The I've Got A Gun LP draws on both 'CH3 EP' and ' Fear Of Life' for its material, and 'I've Got A Gun', when released as a single, struck a chord with the political sloganeering of UK punk but was musically far superior to just about anything the UK had to offer.

More polished and individualistic, After The Lights Go Out was even faster and more caustic, building on the foundations of the debut by adding melodies, harmonies and a heart, without losing a hint of punk adrenaline or guitar frenzy. One of the best American punk LPs of its time, in my opinion, this is virtually emo; the lyrics are clearly drawn on personal experiences of broken homes, alcoholism and self-doubt.

Channel 3 - Punk Lives Article Part 1Channel 3 - Punk Lives Article Part 2

ABOVE: Channel 3 - Punk Lives Article - Click on images to make them actually readable.

Following this LP, Jay Lansford (ex-Stepmothers) joined on bass and the group switched labels and released Airborne, a four-song EP that won them no new fans and alienated a lot of old ones.

By the time of Last Time I Drank they were down to a trio, and of the ten songs only one was a show-stopper number (the superb 'Indian Summer'). According to their own website, "Many fans refer to this as the definitive dawn of the "You guys Suck!" phase in the band's history." After this, there was nothing for the band to do but lay low and, when nobody was looking and nobody cared, issue an LP that they immediately disowned (Rejected), go quiet again, re-surface with a live effort five years after that (Live '94... How Do You Open The Damn Thing?), and quietly disband.

Amazingly, their reformation in 2002 - with Magrann and Gardner joined by a new rhythm section - was not a sad, last-gasp affair but showed a completely rejuvenated and reinvigorated band getting the credit they deserved with a blistering return-to-punk-roots LP (CH3).

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles / Albums

Channel 3 - CH3 12" EP Channel 3 - Fear Of Life Channel 3 - I've Got A Gun No Future 7" Channel 3 - I've Got A Gun No Future LP Channel 3 - After The Lights Go Out
CH3 (12", 1981) Fear Of Life
(LP, 1982)
I've Got A Gun
(7", 1982)
I've Got A Gun
(LP, 1982)
After The Lights Go Out (LP, 1983)
Channel 3 - I'll Take My Chances Channel 3 - Airborne Channel Three - Last Time I Drank...I Thought Of You    
I'll Take My Chances
(7", 1983)
Airborne (12", 1984) Last Time I Drank...I Thought Of You
(LP, 1985)
   

Extraneous Releases

Channel 3 - The Skinhead Years Channel 3 - Indian Summer / Separate Peace Channel 3 - I've Got A Gun / After The Lights Go Out Channel 3 - To Whom It May Concern: The 1981 Demos  
The Skinhead Years (CD, 1989) Indian Summer / Separate Peace
(7", 1991)
I've Got A Gun / After The Lights Go Out (CD, twofer, 1991) To Whom It May Concern: The 1981 Demos (LP+CD, 2009)  

Various Artists

Rodney On The Roq: Volume 2 US LP 1981 (Posh Boy): You Lie

The Future Looks Bright Ahead US Tape August 1981 (Posh Boy): Waiting In The Wings / Manzanar

Rodney On The Roq Vol. III US LP 1982 (Posh Boy): Separate Peace

American Youth Report US LP 1982 (Invasion): Catholic Boy

Where Is J.R. ? Germany Tape 1982 (Schrott): Mannequin / We Spot [sic]

Punk And Disorderly - Further Charges UK LP 1982 (Anagram): I've Got A Gun

Eastern Front US LP 1983 (Enigma/Eastern Front): Mannequin

Blood On The ROQ UK LP 1983 (Quiet): You Lie

Posh Hits Vol. 1 US LP 1983 (Posh Boy): You Make Me Feel Cheap

Something To Believe In US LP 1984 (Better Youth Organization): Indian Summer

There Is No Future (The History Of No Future) UK LP 1984 (No Future): I've Got A Gun

The Enigma Variations US 2xLP 1985 (Enigma): True West

Punk And Disorderly US CD 1987 (Posh Boy): I Got A Gun

The Future Looks Brighter US LP 1987 (Posh Boy): Waiting In The Wings / Manzanar

The Future Looks Brighter US CD 1987 (Posh Boy): Manzanar / Mannequin / I Got A Gun / Waiting In The Wings / Wet Spots

The Best Of Rodney On The ROQ US CD 1989 (Posh Boy): You Make Me Feel Cheap

Someone's Gonna Get Their Head To Believe In Something US CD 1992 (Better Youth Organization): Indian Summer

The Posh Boy Story (More Or Less) UK CD 1993 (Damaged Goods): I've Got A Gun / You Make Me Feel [sic]

No Future: The Singles Collection UK CD 1993 (Anagram): I've Got A Gun

Punk Anderson's Favourites Germany 2xCD 1995 (Starving Missile): Mannequin / Wet Spot

No Future: Punk Singles Collection Volume Two UK CD 1995 (Anagram): Manzanar / Mannequin

Redefining Scenes 2 - Sampler 2004 US CD 2004 (Finger): Just On You

Links

CHANNEL 3 - Official website

 

 

 

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