Toxic Shock Records

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Toxic Shock Records
Toxic Shock Records Logo.jpg
Founded1983 (1983)
FounderBill Sassenberger, Julianna Towns
Defunct1998 (1998)
GenrePunk rock, hardcore, post-hardcore
Country of originUnited States
LocationPomona, California
Tucson, Arizona

Toxic Shock Records was an American independent record label based first in Pomona, California, then in Tucson, Arizona. The label was spawned from the record store of the same name, by its founders Bill Sassenberger and Julianna Towns in 1983, when they released the first of the "Noise from Nowhere" series of 7" EP compilations. For the next decade they released singles, compilations and albums by many notable and influential bands of the hardcore, noise rock and post-hardcore scenes.


Bill Sassenberger opened his first Toxic Shock record store in Pomona, CA in 1980. He specialized in underground punk records from independent labels. He expanded to mail-order soon after by advertising in music magazines.[1][2] In 1983, he and wife Julianna Towns released Noise from Nowhere, a 7", 33rpm EP featuring four local underground punk bands: Kent State, Modern Industry, Manson Youth and their own band Moslem Birth (whose name was a parody of Christian Death).[3] Noise from Nowhere featured cover art by Pushead.[3] With this release, Toxic Shock Records was born.

Singles from Modern Industry, Peace Corpse (the renamed Moslem Birth),[3] and Seattle's Skin Yard followed, as well as albums by Italian punkers Raw Power, Corrosion of Conformity, and the Dayglo Abortions. In 1988 Bill and Julianna moved the label and the store to Tucson, AZ.[4] From Tucson, they released albums by Hickoids, Th' Inbred, Hullabaloo, House of Large Sizes, Sloppy Seconds and Treepeople.[5][6]

They also re-established the Noise from Nowhere' 7" EP as a series. Noise from Nowhere Vol. 2, released in 1989, featured cover songs performed by label bands Hullabaloo (Highway Star), Hickoids (Green Acres), House of Large Sizes (Half-Breed) and Sloppy Seconds (Candy Man).[7] Eight more Noise from Nowhere volumes would follow, featuring label bands as well as one-off recordings by other up-and-coming bands, including a rare single by Green Magnet School. Noise from Nowhere Vol. 10 was the last record released under the Toxic Shock imprint featuring, appropriately, four underground local Tucson bands.[8]

They released a few more CD's under a new name -- Westworld -- including the Decade of Disaster compilation chronicling the Toxic Shock years,[9] but soon reverted to a record store specializing in obscure, underground music, now renamed "Toxic Ranch Records."[2]

Noise from Nowhere series[edit]

Volume Year Bands
1 1983 Kent State, Modern Industry, Manson Youth, Moslem Birth
2 1989 Hullabaloo, Hickoids, House of Large Sizes, Sloppy Seconds
3 1989 Cattle, What Went Wrong
4 1989 G-Whiz, Lonely Trojans
5 1990 Green Magnet School, God's Acre
6 1991 House of Large Sizes, Treepeople
7 1991 Bhang Revival, Hullabaloo
8 1991 Rancid Hell Spawn, The Fells
9 1992 Mondo Guano, Slo*Deluxe
10 1992 Earl's Family Bombers, Zero Tolerance Task Force, Feast Upon Cactus Thorn, Opinion Zero




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