Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Crucifix was an American hardcore punk band from Berkeley, California, active from 1980 to 1984. They were among the most popular acts of the San Francisco punk scene of the early 1980s[citation needed]. Crucifix was founded and fronted by Cambodian-born singer Sothira Pheng, whose family had fled the country when the Khmer Rouge seized power.

Origin Berkeley, California, United States
Genres Hardcore punk, anarcho-punk, d-beat
Years active 1980 (1980)–1984 (1984)
Labels Corpus Christi
Associated acts Subsidize Mess
Past members
  • Sothira Pheng
  • Jimmy Crucifix
  • Bryce Kanights
  • Matt Borruso
  • Christopher Douglas
  • Drew Bernstein
  • Jake Smith

They were distinct among American underground bands for their strong D-beat musical characteristics and anarchist content. The band's debut 1983 full-length album "Dehumanization" on Corpus Christi Records, an offshoot of Crass Records, is often considered to be a cornerstone of political punk.[citation needed]



Crucifix was preceded by the short-lived band Subsidize Mess, featuring Jane Weems on Drums, Sothira on bass, Matt Borusso on guitar, and Christopher Douglas on vocals.

Crucifix was founded in 1980 and fronted by Cambodian-born singer Sothira Pheng, whose family had fled the country when the brutal Khmer Rouge seized power. The band's self-titled EP debuted on Universal Records of Berkeley in '81 and was followed by the "nineteen eighty-four" single on the band's own Freak Records in 1982. This consisted of Sothira Pheng Vocals, Matt Borruso Bass - Chris Douglas Drums & Jimmy Crucifix Guitar. The band's debut full-length "Dehumanization" on Corpus Christi Records (an offshoot of Crass Records) showcased their extremely fast and overdriven sound and is widely considered to be their definitive work and a cornerstone of political punk. Jake Smith played guitar on this LP. Later Drew Bernstein (founder of Lip Service clothing) formerly of America's Hardcore replaced Smith on guitar. The band split up after a lengthy tour of US/Canada/Europe on July 13, 1984. A posthumous compilation album of singles and live tracks entitled "Exhibit A" was released on Kustomized Records in 1997. When Corpus Christi folded the album "Dehumanization" was later reissued by Southern Records.

Matt Borruso and Christopher Douglas later reemerged in Loudspeaker, a New York–based noise rock group. The band included guitarist Kurt Wolf (of Pussy Galore), bassist Jens Jürgensen (of Boss Hog) and later bassist Charles Hanson (of The Normals and Chrome Cranks). Christopher Douglas was later replaced by Martin Köb (Circle X, Dustdevils, Drunk Tank, Walldrug) on drums. They released several recordings between 1990 and 1996.

Sothira Pheng (bass and vocals) and Jimmy Crucifix (guitar) now play with Proudflesh, a San Francisco-based "Hard Punk Rock 'n' Roll" band with drummer Erik Lannon (Mordred/The Bay City Rollers). Proudflesh released their first album in March 2006 on Wired Gnome Records. Jimmy Crucifix also plays guitar in FANG.

Vocal samples from "Annihilation", the opening track of the Dehumanization LP, were used by Orbital on the song "Choice". "Annihilation" was recorded in 2004 by A Perfect Circle for their third LP, eMOTIVe; Sepultura also covered it as a bonus track on the album Nation (2001).


  • Sothira Pheng (Vocals)
  • Jimmy Crucifix (Guitar)
  • Bryce Kanights (Bass on Self-titled EP)
  • Matt Borruso (Bass)
  • Christopher Douglas (Drums)
  • Drew Bernstein (Guitar)
  • Jake Smith (Guitar)



External linksEdit