Candy Striper Death Orgy Revels In the "Final Assault"

Back in late 1991 or very early 1992, I left a long, rambling message on Eric Paone's answering machine telling him I wanted to start a fan club for his band Candy Striper Death Orgy.

My first real show had been the Clash of the Titans tour a few months earlier, but Candy Striper -- along with Homicide, another excellent thrash metal outfit from my hometown of Rochester, New Hampshire -- played the first "intimate" (read: dirty/ultra-violent/awesome) club show I ventured out to, terrified and enchanted, and the impact of seeing real live local leather-and-denim festooned working class dudes do the ol' chug n' gallop had a profound effect on me. Honestly, I felt like it pretty much instantly doubled the size of my world.  

So I called the number printed inside either the Start the War or God Bless Nuclear Warfare demo and, while I don't recall the precise details of my pitch, I am fairly certain it's gushing mix of young metalhead earnestness and enthusiasm could easily have come off as semi-psychotic. (Mostly because...uh, yeah, it was.) Still, Paone, being the stand-up dude he is, called me back a few days later. Obviously bemused, he thought the fan club idea was maybe kinda sorta nutty, but provided a list of shows within driving distance he thought I should hit up. And when I arrived at a handful of them looking like the nervous kid I basically was, he -- again, along with the dudes from Homicide -- made sure I felt welcome and kept me as safe as you could get from drunk bullies and marauding cops. (Which is to say, sometimes not very...)

The first time those guys asked me to tag along for a post-show pancake house pillaging I might as well have received an invite to the local heavy metal White House. 

Anyway, long story short, the first time I saw Nuclear Assault was directly thanks to Paone, and that experience opened the door for me to another universe of darker, heavier music, which -- not to sound overly dramatic -- changed how I approached everything in my young life.

Now, all of that said,by my lights Paone is by far the greatest Nuclear Assault evangelist currently residing on the planet, as his T-shirt collection and myriad band connections will no doubt attest:  CSDO are currently signed to Nuclear Assault drummer Glenn Evans' Sidipus Records, which recently re-released the band's Nitromethane EP. Paone organized the first Nuclear Assault reunion show back in '97. He played with band for a couple more of the ensuing gigs. And he keeps the Official Nuclear Assault Fan Club on Facebook stocked with a bounty cool, random pics and video.  

So as Nuclear Assault take their last bow this year with the "Final Assault" tour, who better to ask for a list of the legendary dark thrasher's best moments than Paone? (See also, Better Living, the Dan Lilker Way.)

"SURGERY"

This track brings me back to when I saw Nuke a few days before the Handle With Care album came out. The show was at the Living Room in Providence, RI with Sick Of It All. That was a brutal show!

"Radiation Sickness"

I've gotten up on stage and played this song with them many times. One of the performances ended being recorded for their Alive Again live CD from Jarod's in Attleboro, MA.

"Sign In Blood"

This one brings me back to the all day metal show my band Candy Striper Death Orgy played with them at the Escape Club in Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts, October 1991. Killer twelve hour long show! The crowd went totally nuts! Everybody was in the pit.

"Pounder"

The title track off this four song EP released last June shows Nuclear Assault can still crush! Totally old school.

"Emergency"

This was one of the highlights of the over the top show they played at the Paradise in Boston on the Handle With Care tour. Tons of stage diving. A lot of NUKE's equipment got ruined.

I could go on...

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