The title of this 30+ year old compilation record reads something like an answer to the hypothetical question, "What exactly is Buffalo known for anyway?" It's of course referencing the assassination of President William McKinely in 1901 at the Pan-American Expo in Buffalo. A macabre and daring immortilization to say the least, but We Killed McKinley would become an endearing scene artifact, and a representative time capsule of Western New York's subrosa talent circa the late '80s. Most local compilation discs (from this era and otherwise) seemed to place the emphasis on the "locality" quotient, seemingly tossing together a hodgepodge of bands from a few adjacent zip codes, with little regard to their merit as artists. McKinley struck me as an exception, given it's relative quality and breadth. The affair fittingly commences with the shoulda-been-huge Splatcats cutting a blitzkrieg punk rock rampage through the Temptation's "Get Ready," exemplifying their hometown's reputation for merging the traditional with the markedly unorthodox. Nullstadt and the late, creative Svengali Mark Freeland attach a sardonic edge to the era's fading synth-rock frivolities. The Ramrods, who I've brought up on these pages in years past, boogie down with "Heavy Shakin' Mamas," The Rain pours down with freewheeling abandon on the driving, riff-searing," and The Pinheads' (once championed by none other than Howard Stern) proto-grunge nugget "Get You Alone" imagines how Van Halen would've carried on had David Lee Roth not been put to pasture. There's deftly crafted acousti-pop from The Moment, and 1969's modest psych flirtations make "All I Wanted" all the more desirable. And perhaps the most significant act to ever emanate from the Queen City makes a pre-stardom appearance here too, though just to keep you guessing I'm not revealing them in the track list below. Enjoy.
01. The Splatcats - Get Ready
02. The Rain - Rumble Down
03. The Ramrods - Heavy Shakin' Mamas
04. Nullstadt - Jimmy
05. The Pinheads - Get You Alone
06. 1969 - All I Wanted
07. Mark Freeland - Girl Lessons
08. David Kane's Decay Of Western Civilization - Tommy 78
09. The Moment - In the Sun
10. Bob Dye - Dirty Blonde Blues
11. Peachy L'amour - Lucille
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