BOZO ROCK NOW!!!
The Trend formed in 1980 in Syracuse, New York — not exactly a mecca for young
punk rockers, but then again neither is Lodi, New Jersey or Daingerfield, Texas.
What separates the Trend from countless other early American bands is less about
blistering punk rock power chords and more about their creative knack for not repeating
the same old clichés. The fact that all their records were released while still
in high school gets them additional bonus points on my punk rock rating scale. In
the irrelevant-brushes-with-er-fame, one should note that 'Bobcat' Goldthwaite (yup,
Police Academy, Shakes The Clown) and Tom Kenny (voices on
Dilbert) were in an early formation of the
The Trend's first gig consisted of four originals and five Ramones covers. Many of
their gigs were in the wee hours of the morning among the tin-foiled walls of the
Insomniac club. They eventually made their way into the studio to record their 45
with the median band member age at a mere 16. In the grand DIY spirit of punk rock,
the band cut, folded, and glued the sleeves one by one (not a fond memory for anyone).
The Trend also made a habit of throwing out the 45s in promotional stunts and eventually
using them as Frisbees years later when the records simply occupied valuable closet
space. An early review of their debut 7in. described the guitar break in 'Band Aid'
as the 'most horrendous ever recorded locally.' Of course, the aforementioned guitar
break is the very thing that drew me to the record — the simple bravado on
putting the solo to vinyl score points with me (kind of like the first Germs 7 in.)
The B-side, 'Band Aid', is far superior to the A-side which is a little too poppy
for my taste. Side note: France's No Talents do a passable cover
of 'Band Aid' no doubt inspired by the song's appearance on Killed By Death #10.
Perhaps a year or so later, the band recorded an EP's worth of material that remains
unreleased (in keeping with the records-as-frisbees way of doing things, some master
tapes became streamers along local highways). In 1982 with the help of a local label,
Northside Records, the Trend recorded the Batman Live At Budokan LP. Marc
Patenaude, the guitarist and driving force behind the band, took over on vocals,
something avoided on the first 45 since his voice was still in the early teen squeaky
stages. In the end, it's the guitar and lyrics that make the record a classic of
teen punk rock. Subject matter includes brushing your teeth, shopping for toys,
divorce, and — of course — peer pressure. Musically, it's more polished
and skirts the punk/pop line throughout; it is, without a doubt, a classic of bubble
gum punk. As I said before, when you drop the needle on this one, you'll never confuse
it with another band — the Trend LP is unmistakable.
And to give further credit where credit is due, the packaging on the record is awesome
with its great cut-and-paste style and plenty busy to boot. The poster insert includes
a hilarious posed shot with band members looking no older than twelve. Like the 45,
the LP is dedicated to the pigmies of Madagascar and if you couldn't tell, the Trend
never took themselves too seriously. Anybody who gets their hands on the LP will also
discover that the track listings on the cover and label have nothing to do with what's
actually on the record; apparently some miscommunication with the pressing plant
is to be blamed. Citing personal experience, I'm taking the band's side on this one.
The Trend's tenure as a band would end tragically in August 1985 when J. Marc Patenaude,
the singer, guitarist, and songwriter, died in a car accident. As with Rhino 39's
Dave Dacron (killed in a car accident in 1980 at the age of 16), I can't help thinking
there was some more great material to come.
Special thanks to Monique for much help with Trend info.
— Ryan Richardson
Yes, those are Trend 45's adorning the band's practice space floor!
CONTACT: Break My Face