Fearless Iranians From Hell

Every bit as relevant today as they were 12 years ago!

Wait - that Osama Van Halen guy is Iranyish, right?

*special introductory paragraph!
*Fearless Iranians From Hell EP
*Die For Allah
*Holy War
*Foolish Americans

A long time ago when I was a child of 13 - an unlucky number, but a lucky year - I clearly remember that time in Mrs. LaPaglia's class - now THERE'S a mean teacher if the world has ever loved one - one time she said to this punker girl Kim, "If I wore as much makeup as you, my husband would THROW UP!" Another time she told a girl that she was "D-U-M-B Dumb!" A third time, I made this unbelievably hilarious joke in class (A fellow student asked "What was The Dirty Dozen?"; I cleverly retorted, "Oh, it's this great movie about this carton of eggs and that falls on the floor and gets all dirty.") and she held her thumb and forefinger close to each other and said, "Mark, your humor is about THIS BIG." I have a theory though - I bet you ANYTHING her husband couldn't keep a boner because his wife was such a worthless, bone-dry bitch, so she frustratedly took her anger on little kids with long, hard, wet sexual lives ahead of them.

So yes - one time in Mrs. LaPaglia's class, this metalhead girl Vinita (who is now some sort of hippie acupuncturist in Seattle, where she doubtless hangs out with members of Nirvana and the Stone Temple Pilots) was reeling off funny band names of what I THOUGHT were thrash bands she liked, but turned out to be just different funny band names she'd read somewhere - though I wasn't into that kind of music at the time (Led Zeppelin was as hard as my tastes got til I became an AC/DCer at 14, Ramoneser at 15 and hardcore punker at 16), I was fascinated by two band names in particular - Gaye Bykers On Acid and FEARLESS IRANIANS FROM HELL. As soon as I was old enough to drink alcohol and watch X-rated movies (16), I made it a point to purchase records by both bands.

Gaye Bykers On Acid turned out to not be thrash at all, but more of a modern psych band (Drill Your Own Hole is a fantastic album though - if you see it, get it!!!!). But Fearless Iranians From Hell? They CONFUSED me! I was into straightforward hardcore punk/crossover thrash -like THE Dead Kennedys, THE DRI and THE Black Flag. I was unprepared for the bizarre strangled ugliness of Holy War. Grew to love it, of course - but it took time! I'll explain why later. For now, I want to give a bit of background on the band. FIFH (as they became known after Disney's animated documentary of the band, The Secret of Fifh, hit theatres) were a Texas-based band featuring Iranian singer Amir Mamori, a drummer, a guitarist who did the voice of Anus Presley on the first Butthole Surfers EP, a bassist who once played with the Butthole Surfers and presumably this other guy (http://www.unclebuzz.com/fifh.html, though the page was down last time I looked, for some reason). They wore ski masks over their heads, played teeth-grittingly disturbing punk/metal/hardcore riffs and penned lyrics from the point of view of wild-eyed, hash-smoking Iranian terrorists. At the time, this really DID come across as threatening. I know it may seem hard to believe in 2002, what with the goofy band name and lyrics containing so many great jokes ("Forced down your throat - Like gaggin' on the dick of a goat!"), but you have to remember how creeped out America was by Iranians back then. To get a better feeling for it, imagine TODAY a bunch of dark-skinned people with scraggly beards and turbans recording under the name "Al- Queda Terrorist Cell." And writing songs about murdering Americans and flying airplanes into buildings. Granted, I don't know whether Amir would have addressed such an intense real-life horror as that in song (most of the FIFH lyrics are, as he explained on several occasions, a take-off on the general American attitude towards Iranians at that point in time), but the image of five ski mask-clad creeps calling themselves Fearless Iranians and releasing seemingly pro-terrorism songs like "Pushing Armageddon," "Kneel To No One" and "We Own The World" sure seemed a little. umm.. Morally ambiguous? In retrospect, their intent was clear but - --- AT THE TIME... At the time, they did a pretty great job of playing off of national fear. Good job, guys!

Reader Comments

Oooh, GAYE BIKERS ON ACID, I thought I was the only person who had Gaye Bikers On Acid, worse still, I thought I was the only person who actually LIKED them! Bought this, along with Yellos fanbloodytastic, "You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess" and The Lime Spiders, "Volatile" (What was I thinking) The story I heard, was, that they were roadies for some really cool band, maybe, Motorhead or something and they decided to record an album of their own, rough and greasy...but it's not, "Motorvate" "Call Me A Liar" "Zen Express" and my favourite "After Suck There's Blow" are quality songs and even, strangely, ahead of their time, (using what every roadie come rockstar wouldn't been seen dead without...THE WHISTLE) but man, was I pooh poohed, every time I played it! What happened to them? Did they turn into Monster Magnat? Are they now P.J Harveys backing band? Does anyone care?

Oh yeah, I have never heard of Fearless Iranians From Hell but a guy at my brothers work reckons that his neighbours, sister, for 5 bucks and a Cdr, will BURN some from the internet for me.

Robber Byker of Gaye Bykers On Acid
Hello Mr prindle

Re - what ever happened to G .B. O .A We disbanded in 91? Biog page for info We have web site at www.gayebykersonacid.com


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Fearless Iranians From Hell EP - Boner 1986.
Rating = 8

The FIFH's began their world of life with four songs equalling a total of 8 minutes long. One is fast, catchy and even FUN! ("We're the Fearless - Iranians - FROMHELL! We kick ass wherever we go - We smell!"). Then there's this catchy sped-up classic hard rocker clladllled "Blow Up The Embassy," whose sentiment is much angrier than its "We're Here to Rock You, Cincinnati!" riff. Oh! But there's another song on here too! "Iranian Klan." In America, we have the Ku Klux Klan, whose membership for the most part doesn't overlap with that of Mensa, but the band is suggesting in this angry midtempo up-and-down-and-up-and-down punk SONG rock that maybe there's something else - a better idea than trading your dog for a cat or buying your 12-year-old daughter a Harry Potter vibrator for Christmas (see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005NEBW/qid=1031181923/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/002-9720789-7228041?v=glance&s=toys&n=507846). The other song, "Land Of The Free," is played slowly. The drummer got more interesting LATER. So did the SINGER. So did the GUITARISTS. But if you're looking for a short, sweet midtempo punk rock EP, you can do no better than Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown by the Hellish Geraniums Of Fear.

Say, you know where I got this EP? Not at the STORE where you have to BUY crap, THAT"S for damn sure! Nope, I got it from the owner, proprietor and bookkeeper of Uncle Buzz Records. He has no connection to the band at all (*darts eyes nervously back and forth, wondering about the rustling and chitter-chatter emanating from the Venus Flytrap that "Uncle" Hasan "Buzz"-Al-Din sent "free with purchase"*), but one thing's for sure -- he was Born Turok! Let me describe two other records we sent me. Because that would have everything to do with a page of Fearless Iranians From Hell reviews.

(A) I Scream Social by Mission Giant, an awfully enjoyable collection of mostly-instrumental sonks made outta really old synthesizers and keyboards, electronic toys, trinkets, bippity-boops, dingy-dingy-dingys, optimus unidirectional dynamic microphones, hoopitydoos, audio technica limited edition 'st90's and zebra turntables.

Oh! And doodad thingamajigs!

Moods run the treadmill from happy kids music to robot melancholia to space-death malarkika, but one thing stays constant: The Inevitable Merging of Electronics And Melody. Many songs reek of Devo-style new wave stiffness. Many others bounce around like the demo song on a Casio sampling keyboard. And many, many others have provocative titles like "Music For Stephen Hawking To Whistle To" (if you're too young to be a Hawking fan, I should give you the background that Stephen Hawking is a genius who has a degenerative disease and can't speak, ASSHOLE), "No, I Don't Regret Any Nothings" (they used the double negative on purpose, MY DEAREST FRIEND WHOM I CHERISH) and "The End Of Genesis" (which obviously expresses discontent with Peter Gabriel's 1975 departure from the band, YOU STUPID ASSHOLE).

I'm gonna be perfectly honest with you here - even though honesty has never done anybody any good and generally plays no role in my life whatsoever: upon first listen of this CD, I was so "bored," I had a drill bit lodged into my head and halfway down my body. (BORED!!!! HA!!!! WHEEEEEEEEE!) But second listen, I'm all like YES! I get it now and I like it quite a bit. You know how Trans Am and bands like that think it's all "clever" and "ironic" to play old-style keyboards? Well, these guys play more of them. And if you've - HEY! WHY THE HELL DOES "GUNSHOT WOUND" START WITH THE INTRO TO "FORTUNATE SON," BUT PLAYED ALL FASTY????????

(B) Sugar Shock by Pink Filth. The most disgusting bubblegum fluff since the lowly 60s (terrible decade for music), from its faggoty pink cover to its gayfer drawing of a girl, guy and robot "rockin' out" to its bi-curious pink vinyl to its queer-as-folk sugarsweet girl/nasal 14-year-old boy dual vocals to its homersectional bouncyass stupid synth music to its takin' deliveries in the back door song titles like "Special Girl," "Dee-Licious," "Girl In The Saccharine Suit," "Pineapple Pinwheel," "Pink Plastic Playpen" and the album's finest track "I (Heart) Plastic Bags" with its unforgettable refrain, "'Cuz I like plastic bags/Always will and I always have - GET YOUR OWN!" The players go by their given birth names (Nick Velvet, Riff Rambo and Baby Jessica), the music claims to be a "wild combination of The Ohio Express, Josie & The Pussycats, and Devo" and the record is the follow-up to some pukingly titled release called Seventeen Bubblegum Smashes. Insiders tell me that this band was formed years ago as a reaction to angry grunge music, but this could totally be the year for them since Feral House put out a book declaring bubblegum music "subversive," "incredibly strange" and "Jim Goad." So don't blame me if your radio's all full of suckass - I'm at home listening to Pink Filth!

At www.teeniemovies.com.

Reader Comments


Many years ago, I had stolen from my record collection, the "Fearless Iranians From Hell" LP - it wasn't an EP as I recall, but had the 'Reagan is the Antichrist' track - & also "Wherever we go we smell" as mentioned is on the EP...

I wonder if anyone knows if there is a live torrent of the FIFH _anywhere_ as I would love to own this masterwork again, but cannot find it in the UK.

Kind regards to one & all - and keep on rockin' in the once-free world =]

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Die For Allah - Boner 1987.
Rating = 8

If Jello Biafra had been in the band, the title track would have been a spoken-word thing going "Die for Allah, Sucker! Sucker! Sucker!," but luckily that hardcore diva was too busy doing other things (jerking off all over pictures taken of himself with a dollar sign on his chest at the "Bammys") so Iran's worst were able to bring their own special brand of hardcore to our shores untainted. At only 19 minutes, this "LP" hardly counts as "L" by any standards, but who's to complain when the songs rock this hard. The guitarists do that high-speed "jicka jicka jicka" speed metal thing while drummer The Drummer blasts the cats through the wall with his rigid high-speed smackerro (especially in the amazing, tight-as-a-bumhool-that-you-sewed-up- while-its-owner-was-asleep "FIFH"). The band has a strangely idiosyncratic sound too - not as much as on Holy War, mind your P's and Q's, but something in the guitars sounds a little OFF. Like something is slightly out of tune on purpose, to sound more menacing. I'm not exactly sure how they got this effect (bending the strings slightly? Tuning two guitars slightly off each other and playing the same riffs? Putting a finger in the wrong place during chords?), but it gives the music a queasy, seasick feel that I just love. Again - this is more evident on Holy War, so perhaps I should have held off on discussing it until that review. Which reminds me - I was planning to review the new Heroine Sheiks CD tomorrow but while I'm on the computer here and all, I guess I'd might as well get started. Back in 1962, when The Cows played their first gig in Mi

These riffs are mostly basic metal/hardcore stuff but written supercatchy/angry, played supertight and featuring awesome slight derivations here and there, like the aforementioned jerky pounding drum-guitar-bass juggernaut of "FIFH." And yes, there are some awfully ugly riffs around ("Simple Life"? Are you SURE that's the chord sequence you intended to use?), but they are a perfect fit for the ugly image and lyrics that the band is aching to present. Actually, the lyrics on this one aren't terribly threatening because there are so many weak rhymes and obvious jokes going on ("Living in the USA, Everyone you meet is gay," "Cruisin' down the streets of Tehran in our new Turbo Trans Am".), but the music is mean and Amir's gruff, slightly hoarse Iranian shout is already in full-force ("Alice, I want you just for ME!" - awww, now THAT's a Full Force joke! Who here doesn't love a good Full Force joke? Let me know if you want to hear some great Gap Band humor).

A short album, but a really good one if you're into the basic fast loud tough distorted angry metal/core thingy. And HEY! You can get ALL of their LPs on ONE CD!!!!!!! If only one could say the same thing about the Eagles - it would be so much easier to throw all of their existing recordings into the ocean!

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* Holy War - Boner 1989. *
Rating = 10

This is the crackerjack sparkler - every riff is a killer, whether pulling from `70s Sabbath-style "funky but bleak" metal, surf skatercore or modern thrashcore (resulting in alternately Blissfully Kickass guitar runs like "Faction" and Brilliantly Stomach-Turning hooks like the chorus to "Dogsperm"), Every instrument - every drum beat, guitar note, bass bumple - is tied together in a tight-as-panties unified assault on the American people. The mix is underground, dirty and filled with buzzing Arab flies from the desert, the lyrics are even more pissed than before and the riffs - usually two or three to a song - are almost uniformly "the shim" (pardon the euphemism but this is, after all, a record review guide for toddlers). This is the one album where FIFH were definitely their OWN band; in other words, this isn't the kind of album you listen to and say, "Oh, they were influenced by X and Y and Z." Holy War, in addition to foiling all those comedians who would have loved to call it Holy Bore, Holy Snore or Holy Shit, is the kind of album you listen to, scratch your head and say, "Well - I recognize that music as thrash, but - thrash doesn't normally sound like THAT, does it?"

No! It doesn't! Thrash singers usually don't sound this gruff, bearded and righteously angry, thrash guitars usually don't sound so motorcycle-gangy pissed off yet bizarrely almost out-of-tune or something (as discussed above) and no, thrash drum lines aren't generally so well-written that you can focus on nothing BUT the drums and the album will still kick your ass. Check out the intro to "Faction," first track on the album - ESSENTIAL DRUM INTRO OF ALL-TIME. Would the song be the same without it? That's like asking if Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight" would be the same with all of the really shitty elements removed! And of course it wouldn't. It would be completely silent.

Lots of great lyrics on this one - check me on this - CHECK me - MICROPHONE CHECK Me, stereo MC! BOOOO-yah! WAAAAAAAASUUUUUUPPPP?

Sorry abut that - I'm trying to start a national trend of everybody saying "WAAAAAAASUUUUUUUUPPPP?". I also think it would be neat if people on the Internet started making parodies of that Mastercard "Priceless" ad campaign. But the lyrics!

"Blood starts boiling, heads start rolling, tears start falling, Allah's calling."
"You're making us missiles, we're gonna send `em back your way, we'll fuckin' kill your children and the best part is you'll have no say."
"A few more rounds of ammunition, Outta my way I'm a boy with ambition."
"Make our way to the U.S., nothing left to do. We fucked with all our neighbors, now we'll fuck with you."
"Life is so hard, why don't you just end it all? God gave up on you and so did I!"
"WE've taken from you what you had to offer, now take a bow, you're a lamb to slaughter - DOGSPERM!"
"Thanks for the missiles, the cake and the guns - the bible, the money, for all that you've done. Thanks Uncle Ollie, but now it's our turn. We kneel to no one and soon you will learn."

Sorry to give you so many quotes like that, but the lyrics on this one are so much better than the ones on the first one, and I wanted you to know! Did you NOT want to know? Well, fuck you!


So between the great set of riffs, the shouting Iranian at the mic and the surprisingly threatening lyrics, Holy War is just like Sgt. Peppers' but with a different cover.

Reader Comments

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagha)
I should thank this band for finally fillin' me in on the dogsperm thing. It's an iranian word that could be translated into "asshole", "jerk" or whatever. But since the word used in this word is the same that you use when you talk about eggs, I always asked my mother that dogs don't lay eggs! and she never replied, and now I know why. That is if it's not just something this guy decided should be translated to.

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Foolish Americans - Boner 1990.
Rating = 7

The comedown. I'm told that the band's chief inspiration - the feared Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - had passed away by this point, and the band knew that their shelf life was approaching cessation. (The band didn't really live on a shelf - It's just that clich s represent the absolute pinnacle that the English language has to offer, so I like to take the bull by the horns, give it the old college try and hopefully, at the end of the day, I'll be laughing all the way to the bank. If not, well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.) Some of the riffs are still so great, your body will physically react (for example, I'm fairly certain that NOBODY would be able to listen to the sideways-riffing punk title track without shaking their head up and down to the left, middle, right, middle - left, middle, right, middle!) - but the overall sound is a bit less experimental and some bum riffs DO make their way into the pudding catalog. (That reminded me of an anecdote - remind me to tell you about it when I'm done here). Specifically, "We Own The World" and "Crush" come across (at least to me) like pointlessly slow and unimaginative headbangers. There are certainly some excellent songs on here - "A Martyr In Every Home" and "Special Delivery" continue the `70s hard rock/hardcore punk aesthetic to exciting, catchy effect, for example - but after the exhilarating (dumb word, but I'm tired) Holy War, this return to a more simplified Die For Allah-style attack is a little disappointing. Try sitting through the final track (dramatically recited by an emotionless-sounding Amir in FARSI) without getting creeped out though. And if you DON'T get creeped out, just think about this: That's not Amir at all - it's the rotting corpse of John Walker Lindh! Come back to life as the Superhuman Embodiment of Evil to destroy mankind in wave after wave of bionuclear attacks!!!!

Oh hell, did I say "John Walker Lindh"? I of course meant Bob Lind, who had a hit with "Elusive Butterfly" in 1966.

Reader Comments

jmg242@aol.com (Jason)
There were few times in San Antonio's history where a perfect grouping of punk/hardcore bands actually had the underground crowds full attention . When Fearless and C.B.S. used to play The Oasis , it was a monsterously good night . They clung to the tail end of what could be described as punk's last gasps in San Anto . I can remember vividly the sweaty nights next to the stacks , bieng blasted with lyrics such as "burn the books , burn the books , pile 'em high , to the sky , past the clouds....TO THE GODS !!" . I will forever hold dear the shows that Fearless put on....the energy was unmatched . And , although i'd not been able to see Gaye Bykers on Acid perform live , I did get to sit with Mary Byker for some good convo before the Pigface show here in San Antonio back in 1990 . That man is one cool character......one of the few REAL open musicians , free from pretentiousness . That little conversation helped get me up on stage later that night to join in a spirit! ed rendition of Pigface's "Suck" . Adieu !

id have to say that there were many nights that fearless would send the correct message.I really miss the old days when CBS,FIFH,SND,cerebral distortion,marching plague,gloomy gus,etc. just made San Antonio a total scene to be involved in...damn,i am 32 and feel like that was about thirty years ago when i see this new"stuff" on the air..... shit, i am actually holding on to my past..... CO .. RIP...... punk fest SA...

i'm guessing your review of "foolish americans" by FIFH must have been way light years ago (along with a lot of the other dated reviews of older stuff) as i recently bought a copy (no easy task that, as my mail got stolen several times...resulted in several cd's lost to some person more criminal than i who most likely does not appreciate the cd's for the same reasons i do...that person only looking for more arm candy). nevertheless, after one vender actually losing it after he sold it thus needing to credit me, another vender sending at least 2 copies (the vender was dumb enough to assume responsibility for the "loss" in the first attempt) i finally got what i thought would be some well anticipated ear candy....not by a long shot!!!! total crap!

yes, always good to point out the criminal acts of those in power and manipulating people's lives with the simple flick of a wrist at the controls of an atari joystick...but other than that, musical quality/talent lame, lame, lame....too much attempt to blend punk and big hair 80's vanhalen-esque guitar shock-and-awe tricks. thank god no video was made (please don't tell me there actually was one, as i could only imagine a total david lee roth spandex pants gang of idiots slaying there axes in front of 13 year old boob-implanted bimbos! what hipocritical crap!

ulluv2h8h8@hotmail.com (Abuka Machis)
FIFH started as a joke band in San Antonio around 1983 or so. Originally it was local punk band Marching Plague donning ski masks backing up real life Iranian refugee Amir Mamori on vocals. If you wanna see some flyers from them and other S.A. Punk bands(Butthole Surfers) from this time go to www.sanantoniotexaspunk.com .

"Thanks for the missiles/The cake and the guns/The Bible, The money-for all that you've done/Thanks Uncle Ollie, but now it's our turn/We kneel to no one/and soon you will learn/Kneel to no one"

Praise Allah!

John Saldivar
Hi Mark,

You don't know me but i am from Corpus Christi, Texas and I read your page on FIFH. I am 35 now but I remember being 13 years old and going to their shows. In fact my pals and I all chat about it on Facebook occasionally. Good reading you stuff. I also remember Cerebral Distortion and Chronis Illness from SA and in fact I first saw Social Distortion in 89' 90' at the showcase when they firstreunited and C.B.S. opened up for them. I was the only kid there from C.C. and got a free shirt and sticker from Mike Ness and the late Dennis Dannell!

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