This video of Unnatural Axe at the Rat shows off Boston’s late-’70s punk rock glory days


A few weeks ago, Unnatural Axe, one of Boston’s first punk bands, played at the House of Blues, opening up for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones during the annual Hometown Throwdown. The theme of the 2015 Throwdown paid respects to the Rat, the long-gone Kenmore Square rock club (now the site of the upscale Hotel Commonwealth) and had a host of old school bands playing in front of the Rat’s old stage banner before the Bosstones recreated the Rat’s club frontage for their headlining set.

Now, thanks to the incredible files of Jan Crocker, who recently provided clips of the Cure at Allston’s Club Underground in 1980 and The Police at the Rat back in 1978, we get a look at Unnatural Axe in their natural setting: video of them playing “Rockit!” back in 1979 and 1980, with a majority of the footage coming from performances at the Rat. The video was originally edited for the Unnatural Axe DVD, You’ll Pay For This, but was just uploaded to Vimeo as stand-alone footage yesterday.

While the video shows the ferocity and unhinged energy of Unnatural Axe, it also shows the vibrancy of Boston’s punk scene from four decades ago.


Details from Cocker: “Unnatural Axe blast off with ‘Rockit’ recorded in and around Boston 1979-80. Majority of this was filmed at Kenmore Square’s festering sore, the Rat. Additional footage was picked up from a show at Boston Film and Video Foundation (BFVF). Filming was done by Jan Crocker and Ben Bergery with students from the MIT Film/Video Section. Rockit was edited by Crocker for the Unnatural Axe DVD ‘You’ll Pay For This’ a collection of Axe’s shows from around Boston’s late night punk scene… it also includes interviews, photos, and additional drek from the band. You can see more Unnatural Axe videos, additonal Boston bands, and order the “You’ll Pay For This” DVD here:

Watch the Unnatural Axe video below, and the trailer for the You’ll Pay For This DVD.


Unnatural Axe "ROCKIT" from Jan Crocker on Vimeo.