"INFANT MORTALITY RATE began its existence in the autumn of 1985. We consisted of Joe Sinelli (guitar), Cam Floyd (bass), Dave Dern (vocals) and Josh Mancell (drums). We were all about 15 years old and our mission was to play some noisy and offensive hardcore.

I believe it was the first ‘real’ band for all of us. Our collective musical influences were something along the lines of GBH, DRI and Negative Approach. We rehearsed in my bedroom above the garage at my Mom’s house on E. Stadium Blvd. I think we were counting on the traffic to muffle our noise but according to the neighbors (15 feet away), it was still very loud. Dave’s humanitarian lyrics to ‘Mass Murderers’, ‘Sex Gods’ and ‘Ann Arbortion’ were broadcast with maximum volume.

After about 6 months of rehearsing once or twice a week, we played our first show with Rodent Kontrol and Damien on April 12th , 1986 at the Half-Ass. The next two years were spent playing clubs and house parties in Ann Arbor and its surrounding areas including Grand Rapids, Detroit, Rankin (!), Mt. Pleasant (where Dave got arrested) and Plymouth (also where Dave got arrested).

My favorite show was at the Zal Gaz Grotto Club. Somehow, two high school girls convinced the elderly Masons who ran the hall that a punk show was a good idea. The other bands on the bill were Guilty Bystanders, Slow Death, Das Damen (pre-SST) and the State (which included JB on bass and Craig Claunch on second guitar). I have no recollection of our set but I do remember Tim from Slow Death wearing swastika covered army fatigues and swinging a giant American flag around and knocking down the chandelier. The real standout moment, however, was when Das Damen convinced the girls who put on the show to give them ALL the door money. When the other bands found out a short while later, a couple of carloads of local punks chased after them. I was not involved but the story goes that they chased them on to the freeway and lost track of them somewhere in Ohio. A dozen or so years later my then current band was playing a show in Los Angeles with the then current band of Das Damen’s lead singer (who still looks exactly like David St. Hubbins from Spinal Tap). I cornered him near the bathroom to do a little repo man on him. I recounted the story to him and he sort of smirked and said he didn’t remember anything like that ever happening. They probably snorted and shot up the $200 before they even got across the Ohio border.

Our last show was the Comstock festival in June, 1988. By then, we had matured considerably playing the lovely ballad ‘Drink Beer, Break Shit’ and the poetic yet poignant ‘Bloody Knuckles’. Even as Dave’s already menacing persona became more and more disturbingly fascist, we all managed to get along with each other and play some noisy and offensive hardcore.

Mission accomplished"
--- Josh Mancell


ann arbortion - graveyard - head - jack 'n' jill - mass murderers - sex gods - smear the queer - spit in your face - you're all cunts - halt to the chief - full of shit - fear and danger - satan

BELOW are flyers from IMR gigs. Click on each image for a larger image