Thursday, May 31, 2007

ARTICLES OF FAITH - give thanks (CD) Bitzcore #01678 1992




Just to complete the previous posting: the first LP rerelease on Bitzcore (originally by Reflex in 1984) with a slightly redone cover layout. Again with songs which are not on any other record or even on one of the Alternative Tentacles compilations! Those two songs are also from the "wait" recording session and are nice; especially "angry man" which has a dub feeling in it.
The album itself is way more diversified or let's even call it experimental than the previous stuff. Many tempo changes, lead guitar solos (but not annoying) and the production by Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü make this a very interesting record and for me it also doesn't lack power like many others stated. The calm parts in "hollow eyes" are just beautiful, really predate the later Chicago indie guitar rock!

By the way: if you like the calmer second LP, make sure you check out Jones Very.

ARTICLES OF FAITH - give thanks (CD) Bitzcore #01678 1992

1. give thanks
2. in your suit
3. I objectify
4. acceptance
5. Chicago
6. everyman for himself
7. five o'clock
8. hollow eyes
9. in this jungle
10. American dreams
11. prison
12. angry man
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis, mirror 1, mirror 2]

Links:
Review @ Flex!
Articles Of Faith Homepage
Articles Of Faith @ VicBondi.com

Lyrics to this record

ARTICLES OF FAITH - core (CD) Bitzcore #01664 1991




I was digitalizing some CDs for my MP3 player the last few days stumbling over some things which might be nice for the blog.
There is nothing what has not been written about Articles Of Faith so I am going to spare you this part, the only thing I am going to tell you: you need this compilation by Bitzcore! It features complete remixed versions of all songs by Articles Of Faith before their first LP (including the first two 7"s, songs from the "wait" e.p. sessions and the compilation/ demo tracks) and although I love the sound from the original records, these versions blow! Many tracks (mainly the tape compilation stuff) here are not on the so called discography CDs/LPs on Alternative Tentacles (!!!), among them my favourite Articles Of Faith track of all time: Articles Of Faith. It was a recording featured - together with 4 songs from the same session - on the "charred remains" tape compilation in 1981/1982 on Version Sound. The original version lacked a bit of power, but the remixed one just kicks ass! Listen to the bass run and then the vocal staccato by Bondi: Brilliant! I read that they left this one off the compilations on Alternative Tentacles since it wouldn't do the band justice today (bullshit!).

Nice liner notes by Vic Bondi and 3 more tracks on the CD compared to the vinyl version of this record. Leech now, downloading freaks!

Someone at Kill From The Heart with the same opinion:

"Core includes the first two Articles of Faith EPs, a bunch of compilation tracks, and a few unreleased songs. Although their later records were also good, nothing can touch their early stuff. Anger and emotion, amazingly great music, and intelligent lyrics. The songs on this collection were either remixed or remastered from the originals, and since this record was my first exposure to AOF, I tend to prefer listening to these versions than those on the actual 7"s (the sound seems fuller, which might not be the best thing for a lot of hardcore bands, but definitely works for AOF). This is one of the handful of records I would consider essential.
-CHRIS"

ARTICLES OF FAITH - core (CD) Bitzcore #01664 1991

1. I've Got Mine
2. Buried Alive
3. Sin and Redemption
4. My Father's Dreams
5. Articles of Faith
6. By My Rules
7. What We Want is Free
8. Born To Be
9. Wait
10. Buy This War
11. Streetfight
12. Ghost In the House
13. Everyday
14. Bad Attitude
15. Dependence
16. False Security
17. Up Against a Wall
18. Poison In My Sweat
19. Belfast
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis, mirror 1, mirror 2]


Links:
Review @ Flex!
Articles Of Faith homepage

DISFLEISH - hear nothing see nothing say nothing new (7'') Roedel Records #13 circa 1997


(cover)


(misprinted cover)

A few days ago someone demanded a band that takes crust punk for a ride by using its sound, aesthetics and lyrics and then unmasking the merciless boredom of crust as known it today. Disfleisch - who said Swabians couldn't be funny - is the only band that comes to my mind who ever tried to do so! Their only 7" was released on the beautiful Rödel Records label featuring three cover songs - partly with different lyrics - of the nordic Dis-clones Dischange & Dissober and three tracks on their own. All the lyrics attack hang-up attitudes within crust etc.: outlook, lyrics, stealing riffs, unimaginative band names...

Although being a huge fan of the sound and many bands (old and new), I consider crust one of the most redundant styles ever followed by zombies with fascist dress codes (Did you ever wonder why crusties haven't got tools in their tool belt?).

It's 2007 not 1982!

Review from an old Profane Existence fanzine:

"DISFLEISCH Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing New 7"
I'm aware that I'm probably the only one at PE that holds this view, but as far as I'm concerned it would be best to dig a big hole and throw about 98% of all the Dis-bands in it. Needless to say, I'm extremely pleased that others in the DIY scene are beginning to hold similar views. While Active Minds set the standard with their recent Dis is getting Pathetic 7", this new German bands have made it their goal to give a good kick in the nuts to the international Dis conspiracy. Features hilarious lyrics lampooning the mindless sloganeering and meaningless pose that goes with doing a Dis band in the 90ies. Songs like Disease of Punk, War is Unsightly, God Bless Dis Way really bring the message home. My favorite line is: Rob Discharge of some riffs, play them a bit faster - It's gonna be a hit! The real surprise is that all of this is carried by some pretty damn powerful Hardcore Punk, certainly better than most of these Dis clowns out there, played very tight and in-your-face. (Y@hoo)
Rödel Rec / Keule Sternkicker / Allmendeweg 89 / 13509 Berlin / Germany"


DISFLEISH - hear nothing see nothing say nothing new (7'') Roedel Records #13 circa 1997

side a:
1. god bless dis way
2. punk's not dead yet (agony lasts)
3. going under
4. dis-dur

side b:
1. after-beer farts
2. war is unsightly
3. disease of punk
4. dis-moll
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]

Monday, May 21, 2007

VA - degress of... malice (7'') Stationeight Records #02 1995



I thought about posting all Rye Coalition stuff that is not available anymore (or not that easy available; some other stuff - split 7", demo (an earlier rip is already floating around at Soulseek) etc. - will follow) starting with this compilation on Stationeight Records, featuring them, Impetus Inter, Animal Farm and As Good As Dead. Here is an interview with Rye Coalition in which Dave mentions the 7" (but forgot its name and the other bands on it). Animal Farm was a typical compilation band back then, nothing exciting... a bit like hectic Black Flag, Econochrist etc.. I remember As Good As Dead being better on their regular records, for example the split 7" with Armatron (featuring As Good As Dead members and had a record on GSL) is quite nice. Impetus Inter's track is one of the last they recorded before they changed their name to L Vado (and Lux Vanitas; I will buy their 7" next week and tell you about it); nothing new but quite solid in the vein of their previous stuff.
Rye Coalition are definitely the winner here.

VA - degress of... malice (7'') Stationeight Records #02 1995


side a:
Rye Coalition
1. ceremony for a fat lip
Animal Farm
2. another day

side b:
Impetus Inter
1. don't care much about places
As Good As Dead
2. shackled
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]

V/A - for want of... (Double 7") X-Mist #50 circa 1996



Update:

As stated in the comments before: Alex was so nice to provide a cover scan of a limited version of the compilation! Thanks!:



This one of the last releases by X-Mist – together with Steakknife and Hell No – in a more conservative hardcore/punk context ( I would consider Guyana Punchline or Eniac conservative too, but that’ s different story – the voice from the off1 might even say: “reactionary”) and it’s an enjoyable one. If you see the track list, you might think: a who’s who of the era. Some tracks are even exclusive here: so enjoy. Solar Bomb Kit – used to be called Scud before and they were a provoking band (have a nice 7” too) – are pre-Trend by the way. The Baby Harp Seal song was recorded while being on tour, I think. Some distinguished bands existed in the UK back then: Schema, Baby Harp Seal, Spy Vs Spy, Fabric, Dead Wrong, Tribute, Understand etc.
I consider Kurt being the best band here, often dispatched as Germany’s Shotmaker, but this fails their abilities (they also disprove the most popular public opinion within the culture industry that nasty people do good music and polite people don’t).

V/A – for want of… (Double-7”) X-Mist #50 circa 1996

side a:
Christie Front Drive
1. After the Parade

side b:
In/Humanity
1. The ins and outs of haste of flesh
Baby Harp Seal
2. fully transistorised

side c:
Torches To Rome
1. Torches to Rome
Solar Bomb Kit
2. Wicked I Shift

side d:
In/Humanity
1. Rocket Park
Kurt
2. Franklin (kleiner Ladenbesitzer)
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]


Links:
X-Mist


1 The off is located in Switzerland, fool.

OGG files.



I am getting several mails concerning the OGG files.

If anyone has playback problems, check the Vorbis homepage for everything you need to get it running on all of your systems (Mac OSx, Linux, Windoof or even IBM OS/2 (those were the best of times!)).

Vorbis.com

Even iTunes is running them afterwards, so you can synchronize your iPod, Sansa or Hongkong copy with it. A powerful and nice alternative to all the common media players is MediaMonkey by the way. It combines everything you need (ripping, tagging, converting, organizing, playing nearly all files etc.) in one easy program. It has a nice Amazon based tagging option for adding the album cover art and additional informations:

MediaMonkey

I tried several players over all the years combining them with additional tools (ExactAudioCopy, Foobar2000 etc.) and I think this is the best I had until now. If you have portable MP3 players: MediaMonkey will convert every playable file on fly while sychronizing with your player.


Why OGG files?

I do not have an own server or web space and I want to keep it this way (due to the costs), but until now all free file host services still offer not enough space for one file being lossless. It would be fine with me if I could offer all the stuff in lossless files like APE or FLAC although it's sad that still only a few nerdarios care about this issue.
OGG files offer the better sound than MP3s while having the same file size (or even a bit less). One may argue that it makes no sense for Assück or Indian Summer if they are offered as MP3 or OGG files, but that's not the point here.
And: OGG is open source - license- and patent-free (MP3 isn't!).

Why are the OGG files not tagged?

I am a lazy bastard. Do it on your own (Foobar2000, MediaMonkey etc.).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

REFUSE TO FALL - grey (MCD) Abridged Records #08 1997



This is the second Abridged Records posting (more to come). Refuse To Fall reunited once for a Shelter gig and also recorded tracks they just played live before. This are definitely their most melodic and - some of them - best songs. The MCD does not capture the feeling of their 1991/ 1992 stuff since this was six years later with people changing but luckily with improved music skills. I am still vexed by the bad guitar solos (like in the second song of the "stalemate sessions" 7").

"Fuck rock, fuck cigarettes and and fuck the high door price".

REFUSE TO FALL - grey (MCD) Abridged Records #08 1997

1. 236 (intro)
2. grey
3. faith healer
4. in or out
5. self-contained
6. 236 (outro)
7. pleasure (live version)
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]


Here's a video from 1991:



Links:
The MCD at Abridged Records

V/A - No Exit, No Return (7") Upstate Records #01 1991



Quite unkown record by the Syracuse label that also did the Framework "justice coming" 7" (catalogue number 03) together with Conquer The World Records.
Process Of Elimination are very "New York hardcore", but too rudimental to be remembered. Dead Image had a 7" on New Direction Records and I sold it being pretty vacant.
The Refuse To Fall track is very much in the vein of their first 7" on Equal Vision and Encounter's song suffers a bit from the thin production and the pressing quality. Now you know why this is quite unkown... ha ha ha...

V/A - No Exit, No Return (7") Upstate Records #01 1991


side a:
Process Of Elimination
1. fight back
Dead Image
2. winter

side b:
Refuse To Fall
1. count me out
Encounter
2.disillusioned
no artist
3. outro
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]

REFUSE TO FALL - stalemate sessions (7") Drive Records #03 1994



This was released about 2 years after Refuse To Fall disbanded and includes two songs from a previous unreleased recording session. Less mosh, more rock and in the end I think it's boring; the first song has its moments but couldn't catch the drive of the first 7". The cover with the fallen man uncovering the logo on the bottom side is somewhat too pathetic; comical.

That's about it.

REFUSE TO FALL - stalemate sessions (7") Drive Records #03 1994


side a:
1. stalemate

side b:
1. pleasure
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]

REFUSE TO FALL - soulfire (7") Equal Vision Records #02 1991



Speaking of "emo mosh" and having an Abridged Records posting before I thought it's about time to post the Refuse Of Fall stuff I have. They were somehow discovered by Ray Cappo when he was still involved with Equal Vision Records and existed for about three years (break up after a US tour with Shelter and 108 and being disillusioned with the hardcore scene). Them being less preachy than the other two bands I like them a bit more among the Krishna "hardcore" bands that were popping up everywhere.
This record had more power when I first got it - listening to it over and over again; had the same status like the second Shelter album or all the 108 stuff concerning my listening habits. the first song totally reminds me of something but I do not get it (Outspoken? I am getting old...). Somehow or other enjoyable to listen to those tunes again. Lyrics are very in the Krishna vein, spiritual but not preachy. Some members of Refuse To Fall join the Dischord band Bluetip (with former Swiz and Krishna influenced Worlds Collide members) later.

If you want a debate about Krishna within hardcore and punk check out Confrontation #05, a fanzine mainly done by the Abolition/Stack singer. This issue dealt seriously with the Krishna movement without all the affected fuss which was the main issue when those discussions were led back then.

To spare me the talking, here's a quite nice story/interview with Damon Allen from an e-zine called Space City Rock:

"not done yet: damon allen grows up. words between by jeremy hart

Damon Allen Damon Allen's been around. He started out back in the late '80s as the singer for influential Houston straightedge band Refuse To Fall, whose members went on to form a half-dozen similarly influential bands, in turn, hardcore and otherwise: guitarist Arnett went on to I End Result; bassist Danny formed Scarred For Life (now known as Will to Live); Bill, the drummer, ended up in Austin, playing with ska guys The Bowler Boys; and Damon himself joined with guitarist Gilbert to start Blueprint, and later moved on to Celindine and then to his most recent band, That Gospel Sound.
Despite the years, though, Damon's probably best known for his Refuse To Fall days ("When [That Gospel Sound] go[es] on tour, I'm gonna put 'ex-Refuse To Fall' on all the flyers, so people'll come to the shows," he says, with a smile).
In the years since Refuse To Fall started, Damon's had a lot of growing up to do. Now he's got a full-time job, a wife, and a much more complex musical project to spend his time on, and he's learned the hard way that you can't keep doing things the way you did as a kid. Don't take that to mean, though, that Damon's stuck on memories of his former band -- he's the last person to want to keep that particular ghost alive. Instead he's moved on, keeping his eyes open all the while, and watching Houston's music scene change and grow.
Damon Allen So, it's not too surprising that when we get together at Mientje's to talk, it's the state of the scene as a whole that comes up first. Damon starts out talking about a recent article in The Houston Press, where Gram and Killian of local favorites The Drapes talked about not needing to support everybody.
"I just wish they'd be a little bit more considerate of other people," he says, "and not be so self-centered all the time. You can't just expect to have this grip on the whole scene and analyze everything and put everybody else down." He shakes his head.
"I've been through that whole not really wanting other bands to play, or wanting other bands to get ahead of where we are, y'know, if I didn't think they were good, with the whole straightedge thing. That was all about 'we're this, and they're that.' And you can't do that; it'll never work out."
We talk about how important it is for Houston musicians to stick together, the non-fanbase in this town being what it is. He points to ZZ Top, King's X, and Helstar(?!) as the only bands from Houston who've ever made it big in the music world at large, and wonders if Houston's scene will ever "explode" nationally, or if that time's already passed us by.
"I feel like, when I was in Refuse To Fall, starting over again, I feel like it's that era but ten years later, because it's so hard for me to get shows now, 'cause I don't know anybody anymore, and 'cause I don't have friends that play in a lot of bands that I used to get shows with. I feel like it's the same thing. People would ask us for shows, 'cause we had our pick, of like the Axiom or wherever we'd play," he remembers.


Damon Allen I tell him that somebody else I'd talked to referred to him as "the Ray Cappo of the west of the Mississippi," to which he just laughs. "No, I know Ray, and I'm nothing like Ray," he answers. When I press for details on Refuse To Fall, he recounts a bit of the band's history, from his joining the band at 16 after seeing Youth Of Today at the Axiom. He's not straightedge these days, but doesn't regret adopting the philosophy in his youth at all.
"I'm glad I was at that time," he says, "because I think that's the time where if you don't have...some people just need a little more to keep them on the right path, or whatever, and not fuck up real bad. 'Cause a lot of people in their teens are looking for themselves, trying to find certain things -- they go through a lot of crap, and a lot of hard times." I put forward the idea that you need some kind of group to support you, something to belong to, and he nods in agreement.
"Big time. Maybe it was like a...not a 'club,' or whatever you want to call it -- I don't know what you'd want to call it, but it's like, it helped, and it was supporting, and just having that was fun, more than anything. We had so much fun. We didn't have the problems that most bands had during that time, with people being into drugs, or people being into whatever, breaking up. That's why we stuck together so long.
"We didn't do anything, we didn't have any activities besides the band. We didn't go party -- y'know, when you're a teenager, that's a big thing, to party and drink, because 'we're not supposed to do that, but we want to do that,' y'know? We didn't want to do that, so we had all this extra time...why not play music, y'know? It made it so easy. And we were just like, 'this is fun; it's what we like to do.' And we were just true with ourselves. That's the basic thing -- I think that's why it went somewhere. It wasn't the fact that we knew anybody, because we didn't know anybody!" As the rain starts to come down harder, we pause for a moment to move our chairs under cover.
"We were really into it, with all of our hearts. And that's what I try to do that with every band I have."
Rain starts leaking on us through the overhanging tarp, so we adjourn inside Mientje's and resume our conversation in whispers. About Refuse To Fall and the straightedge scene, Damon says, "it taught me a lot about music. 'Cause we played in New Jersey; it was the biggest crowd we'd ever played to, huge. It was the Gardens...? A big huge place. Like the Unicorn [a now-defunct Houston club that was basically a hollowed-out supermarket], but totally packed. And we had this video, and it was just like...playing places like that, y'know, if you want to be around those people that're pretty popular, it teaches you a lot.
"You wish you could experience that with every band you play in, y'know. But it definitely taught me that you just have to be patient with things, and if you're really into it with all your heart, you can make things happen."
He talks about how much easier it was to tour back then, working at Kroger and quitting every time they wanted to hit the road, and says that that made the success of Refuse To Fall possible; with the responsibilities that come up later, you can't necessarily tour like that, and that lessens your chances. "If they want to make it so big, they're gonna have to do the same thing," he says, referring back to The Drapes article for a moment. "The label reps aren't going to come to you -- you're going to have to go to them, and play there, and that's what we did."
We get sidetracked talking about the Refuse To Fall CD that local labels Abridged and 76.2% put out last year. The album, simply entitled Refuse To Fall, was a "reunion" of sorts for the band; they got back together and finally re-recorded old songs that they'd played back in their heyday (however, the album also features a live track, "Pleasure," from an old show at local club the Vatican).
Refuse To Fall were together for six years, a surprisingly long time for a Houston band. In the end, the reason they called it quits had a lot to do with disillusionment with what they saw going on around them in the scene.
"I think it all kind of fell apart when it was just like Equal Vision [Records], with the whole Krishna thing, because we got to know those guys so much better, and just found out that it wasn't what it was all cracked up to be." He says he still likes a lot of the Krishna philosophy, and thinks that it has a lot to offer, but that it didn't help the band, especially once the backlash against "Krishnacore" started within the straightedge scene. For himself, he says that "it was a lot more than just being in a band and trying to be a 'Krishna band' and playing. I was looking for something religious, y'know, and I didn't really get into Christianity, so that had something to offer.
"It's just like anything -- I mean, I wasn't born knowing about Christianity; it's been taught to me. It's the same thing with Krishna, where people think 'they're being brainwashed!', or it's just because Ray Cappo...yeah, it could be, but no," he demurs, and points out that the majority of people who are into it aren't musicians at all, but are instead doctors or lawyers, so-called "respectable" people.
When I ask about his view of the current straightedge scene, Damon admits ignorance of a lot of what's out there, but says that he's skeptical. "It's just like before," he says, "I mean, there were people who were into it for the image, and there were people who were really into it. And just by sitting down and talking for like thirty minutes, you can figure out who's really into it and who's not."
He also says he doesn't like a lot of the more "metal" straightedge that's out now, and that Refuse To Fall never really fell into the same category as a lot of the ultra-heavy New York/New Jersey straightedge bands, but took a more melodic route.
"That's the thing that I think appealed to a lot of people. You'd be surprised how people on the East Coast when we toured out there liked it because it wasn't the 'heavy thing.' And it wasn't the 'mellow thing,' too -- it wasn't like we were doing any 'thing'; we were just kind of ourselves, doing our own thing. And it appealed to a lot of people, 'cause we weren't your typical straightedge band. A lot of people didn't even think we were straightedge -- we'd play and they were like 'what kind of stuff are you guys?'"
I mention that I'd heard a while back about a Refuse To Fall reunion, and Damon chuckles and shakes his head. "It's just...it's over. And people want to keep bringing it back because it was the popular thing, and people want to relive the glory days. It won't happen, because for one thing, everybody's not into it; it was so much of an emotional outlet, and you can't recreate that, y'know. We played with Shelter when they came through a few years back, and that was kind of a 'let's just do it' kind of thing, but we were into it -- we were just kind of like 'yeah, this's cool.' It was alright, but it wasn't like the old days, y'know. If it has no value for you, how can you expect to output that? It's real visible, especially to people who've seen you before. So I started thinking, 'y'know, this is just a facade; it's a total'...I don't know. It just didn't seem to work well."
After Refuse To Fall's breakup, everybody went their separate ways. Damon picked up a guitar for the first time, and he and ex-RTF guitarist Gilbert joined together to form Blueprint, partly out of a newfound love for a lot of different, non-straightedge music that he'd never been exposed to previously.
"I could kick myself for not going to shows that I heard about a long time ago, just because it wasn't the thing that I was into, y'know? Now, I look back and think of all the bands and things I could've seen, and things I could've heard so long ago, that've influenced me now... I missed out on a lot, but y'know, now that I've realized it, the generation after me missed out on all the stuff we did, too, that I had a chance to see."
He goes on to talk about the ways in which different styles of music evolve, and how it's pretty much impossible to not be influenced by something -- even The Beatles ripped off Chuck Berry, he points out.
"A lot of people go 'I don't like them because they're not completely original.' Okay, well, you don't need to go to shows if you want originality. Originality would be actually not listening to music -- that'd be pretty original..."
That Gospel Sound, in contrast with Refuse To Fall's mass acceptance in the straightedge scene at the time, has been an uphill battle for Damon and his bandmates. In the short time they've been together (just over a year, which is a lifetime for Houston bands), they've gone through a total of five bassists (the most recent, Dyn@mutt alum Chad Shaw, quit to play with The Cinders), their practice space was burglarized a few months back, and both Damon and guitarist Zeke (who quit the band not long after) have gotten married, which obviously makes things a bit more complicated for the band as a whole. All the while, their odd style of indie-rock, quiet, instrumental soundscapes (a far cry from RTF's melodic quasi-hardcore), has received only grudging recognition in Houston.
"A lot of people don't understand, 'cause a lot of what we're doing is slower, like 'sad' type of music, quiet and other things," Damon says, his voice barely audible over the coffee machine down the hall. "People don't want to go out and be sad -- they wanna go out and be happy. People don't understand that our music is happy, but in a different way, y'know? They just take it for face value, and we won't probably ever get ever as many people as Refuse To Fall did, 'cause there's not that adrenaline going."
I point out that it probably has to do with categorization problems -- straightedge is an easy reference point; if you're into it and somebody says "hey, let's go to a straightedge show," chances are that if you can, you will. That Gospel Sound, though, aren't that easy to classify; they're kind of rock-ish, but more "spaghetti Western"-ish, almost.
"Yeah, we were kind of trying to go for that sort of thing. It's funny...my perfect thing wouldn't be this alternative band that gets played on the Buzz or anything. What I really want to do is make music for movies -- just like soundtrack stuff as the background, something so different, so instrumental.
"What I focused on with Refuse To Fall and all other bands..." he continues, "I've been singing for so long, and I want to get more into the music. And I know that I'm not like this great guitar player; I can't play that type of music and have enough ideas to where I can just put it into things, and I want to start doing other things, just having other avenues to go down, beyond just playing clubs and playing shows and stuff like that. I wouldn't mind doing that."
When I suggest that maybe that's a better route than the traditional "play-shows-sell-tapes-and-tour" method, he tells me that he'd like to do that, as well, but with no illusions about their chances. "It's just, y'know, I'm not gonna try with all my heart to get picked up by a label, because I know that it just might not happen.
"It's like, I've been disillusioned, just being here so long. I've tried so many different things; maybe they weren't...maybe they just didn't have what it took to get picked up. That could be the ultimate reality, and I'm not saying they were great bands; it's just, y'know, if there's a way to make things work out to where I can play music and get paid for it, that would be better. That would be a good thing."
Following along those lines, I ask if That Gospel Sound has any plans to put anything out. "If we can ever get a lineup together and actually stay together for a while!" Damon says, laughing. END"

REFUSE TO FALL - soulfire (7") Equal Vision Records #02 1991

side a:
1. temporary eye
2. when the well runs dry

side b:
1. soulfire
2. salvation
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]


Links:
Krishnacore
Krishnacore blog
Flex! entry
Equal Vision Records (like most of the labels nowadays they do not have detailed informations about their discography, history etc. - kinda a pity)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

V/A - Horizon Records Hardcore Compilation (7") Horizon Records #01 1991



After listening to Drift Again I though that this might fit in here, even though it's a fair compilation (it achieves high prices now at Ebay.com, but that's Ebay). The early Lifetime track is a new recorded version of a song from their demo tape and it's also featured on their first full length "background" on New Age Records; still has some straight edge hardcore feeling in it compared to the Sticks And Stones influenced sound they did later. The Ressurection song is also released otherwise; it's a pity that their stuff had such a shitty production, the album is great but really lacks power, but I loved it anyway: Rob Fish's straight edge lyrics in combination with the dodgy chugga chugga sound. The Flagman (members of Crud Is A Cult, Mouthpiece and later Ink & Dagger) track - otherwise unreleased I think - is a bit more boy scout hardcore styled than their later great stuff, sounds like Turning Point etc. I mainly kept this one due to Encounter (a favourite band of mine). A friend wants to put out a Encounter discography for years now, including the unreleased EP and the demo etc., but I think it will never see the light of day, since Redemption Records wants to do a compilation CD with their early 7"s etc.

V/A - Horizon Records Hardcore Compilation (7") Horizon Records #01 1991

side a:
Encounter
1. solitude
Flagman
2. tomorrow

side b:
Ressurection
1. melting awy
Lifetime
2. alive
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]

DRIFT AGAIN - 1992 shirt


(front print)


(back print)

This was done by Network Sound/ New Age Records one year after the 7" came out. I cannot remember the compilations Drift Again were on besides the New Age Records 7"; if you do: tell me - and I post them...

The front print looks like some cheezy early techno label stuff ("does anyone know where the rave is?").

Members of Drift Again were not only in Freewill/ Stone Telling, Against The Wall and Pushed Aside before but also in Outspoken, Kill The Messenger, March (great LP!) or even Ignite (at least at the beginning) later.

DRIFT AGAIN - "forever starts today" shirt


(front print)


(back print)

I think this was Drift Again's first shirt design (who was drunk while doing the back print?). Holy moly, the beginning of the 9oies - the heydays of the emo mosh, I was really into all those bands who combined the second wave of slower but melodic youth crew bands and of course Verbal Assault with mosh; for all you may say: only straight edge bands have this sound: early Split Lip, Framework (huge!), Remain (totally forgotten!), early Network Sound, New Age, Doghouse etc.
Currently listening to their 7" again, funny how effective two riffs in one song were to me.
Before I forget it: Mike Hartsfield from Freewill/ Stone Telling, Outspoken, Strife and so forth was in Drift Again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

SPLIT LIP - "I seek life but cannot find it's face" shirt


(front print)


(back print)


I can remember the faces of the straight edge kids who were excited about Chamberlain on their European tour them being called Split Lip afore and the incontestable heroes of Doghouse records and even a whole new wave of bands: some guy with long hair and cowboy boots entered the stage. Me being toughened from the change in appearance of Uniform Choice or all New York straight edge heroes I wasn't bemused.

Back to Split Lip, who had really nice shirt designs back then. Here is one example, I sold another one in khaki which had the print above the tailbone (and I want it back!). Native speakers: isn't "it's" wrong? Wouldn't be so bad since I know people who have tattoos which say "straihgt edge" or for example "strenhgt", but it's funny.

I am still looking for both of their demo tapes!!! Maybe someone wants to contribute them to the blog (same goes for pictures of other shirt designs by Split Lip). And: I lost the booklet of the Split Lip digipack CD version of "Fate's got a driver"! If anyone will be so nice to do some scans for me I would post and uploading anything you demand from me! Thanks!

Funny side note: some Split Lip members filled in for impeded members of Hardball for their shows since Split Lip have been friends with them since the beginning. I think that was when Clearsight were still around?

Links:
Wikipedia entry
Split Lip's "For The Love of the Wounded" @ Doghouse
Chamberlain

Google hit.

Who ever entered "jutta bunker friedrichshafen punk" at Google.de: you are my hero! Contact me for nobel prize or whatever.


(home sweet home)

JONES VERY - words and days (LP) Hawker #9441 1989



While all the Reagan era hardcore cult followers or let's say crybabies1 were still moaning about the end of Articles Of Faith, others already enjoyed the acoustic album on Wishing Well Records and of course later: Jones Very.
There is a nice story about how the name Hawker Records came into existence: the guy who started the label had this ultra brutal New York street accent and he wanted to name his label "Hardcore Records", but when he was talking on the phone everyone caught "Hawker" and not "Hardcore"; quite nice anecdote - also included here (I don't know if there's an English version of the book).
Anyway the label - a subdivision of Roadrunner - was blamed for bad business tactics, which also led into the demise of bands (Wrecking Crew). Vic Bondi states that he never saw royalties for this record. All Hawker records have a poor appearance, mostly no lyric sheets, black and white printing but - especially the European pressings - promotional sheets which left me embarrassed for the writer. Some of the Hawker records also sound shitty (Token Entry), but that's not the case with this beautiful record (which looks shitty... ha ha ha).

Jones Very's first album still has some Articles Of Faith moments but is way more diverse, melodic and sophisticated (I should concentrate on grammar instead of foreign words) and it's a pity that it's not available anymore (pops up at Ebay sometimes or as CD version at Amazon.com), maybe one of the reasons it's overlooked? Same goes for the LP and EP on Jade Tree, whose release miens led to the end of Jones Very. I know people who just know Alloy concerning the Articles Of Faith/ Bondi context but never heard of Jones Very!

After ripping and listening to it several times again: I am really in love with it! Quite a consequent development after the last Articles Of Faith album; a lot of late Hüsker Dü and Mission Of Burma influences. The calmer songs really anticipate a style that will become famous for Sub Pop, Chicago bands, Caulfield etc..

The lyrics are mainly political, not that finger pointing more in a lyrical way (maybe someone has seen the "American Hardcore" movie, which was a frightening freak show and left the impression to me that Vic Bondi and Mike Watt were the only more or less self-reflecting people, although I wouldn't be consistent with Bondi's conceivabilities of left-wing politics). The first song also points at the Reagan era hardcore nostalgists and American leftists who stilled fueled their anger and views from political circumstances which existed half a decade before:

"past the nuclear age
the American century lasted barley a decade
things fall apart and thing fade away
past nostalgic hate
looking back on a new generation of waiters
in hell they watch heaven on television
it's yesterday in the western world"

Vic Bondi ("I was playing hardcore before you were born") has definitely one of the best voices in the history of hardcore and punk. All produced by Lou Giordano - which is obvious.

Important side note: Jeff Goddard, who was also in Apology and Grin, was later in Karate and the Lune!

Update:

Here is a short description by Jeff Goddard:

"Recorded at the original Fort Apache South on Norfolk St. in Roxbury by Lou Giordano, this often overlooked debut was way ahead of it's time. The tiny tracking room with brick walls and piles of gear provided a very live sound also found on The Pixes "Come on Pilgrim" and Uncle Tupelo's "No Depression. Despite the chorus effect on the bass, i am particularly proud of this record. Apparently Ryan Adams also likes "Words and Days"."


JONES VERY - words and days (LP) Hawker #9441 1989

side a:
1. yesterday in the western world
2. ash and dust
3. words and days
4. letting go in time
5. desperation bends
6. jesus... I

side b:
1. rest, you know too well
2. granted
3. cut
4. ray
5. red sky dry

[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]


Links:
Vic Bondi
Vic Bondi's blog
Jones Very @ Jade Tree
Flex! entry


1 for me: nostalgia is still connoted negative (although this blog might not fit into this mindset?!)

Monday, May 14, 2007

THE MEN OF HELL aka ZORN - the return of the gods (LP) Maximum Voice Production #666 1998



I will post one of the simple black and white posters that got Zorn blacklisted and banned from clubs later, before: their last sign of life. And it blew me away.
They already changed their name and just the vinyl etching states: "The Men Of Hell aka Zorn". 6 killer tracks in about 26 minutes and the best they have done - driven and mean.

All the people who shit talked about Zorn them being metal heads etc. since their beginning got their possibility to set themselves up now. Brilliant!

Nice full colour Marvel cover and the inside is printed in black:



This was also released on CD and one of the last things Maximum Voice did; there were some stories about the label being a rip off (the vinyl etchings for the Maximum Voice releases already stated "rip off #[..]" as catalogue numbers before, maybe as a reaction towards the accusations), which is funny since I can remember some mailorder lists by the owner who blamed other distributions etc. for not paying him etc.. But I am not into this shit, although a band I really love was affected. Within the world of hardcore and punk you'll find the same business tactics like everywhere.

Shake your manes!!!!

THE MEN OF HELL aka ZORN - the return of the gods (LP) Maximum Voice Production #666 1998

side a:
1. welcome to violence
2. pure fuckin' madness
3. man of hell
4. the god of emptiness

side b:
1. the hatemachine
2. morphin
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]

ZORN - ... denn alle Lust will Ewigkeit (LP) Maximum Voice Production #07 1996



This record was a shock to the hardcore and emo crowd, but I loved it and I still do. That's what happens when hardcore punk "kids" grew up with Amebix, early Black Metal, Winter, Candlemass, The Obsessed, Neurosis or Carnage and try to create something on their own. And Zorn's attempt is light-years away from all those metalcore bands who repeat the same Slayer (US, Belgium...) or Bolt Thrower (Germany) riff over and over again. I really wish that Zorn would be a band that is named for a definition of metalcore but you can't always want to have one's cake and eat it.

Some vocal/ singing parts here remind me of Ulver and the lyrics are really, really metal including all the - intended - pathos.

The artwork also reflects the love for sado-masochism of the owner of Maximum Voice Production, but I do not know if it was his wish or a coincidence.

Funny sidenote: "Im Nirgendwo" was covered by the German vegan straight edge semi-legend Megatonin.

ZORN - ... denn alle Lust will Ewigkeit (LP) Maximum Voice Production #07 1996

side a:
1. Zeremonie des Abschieds
2. Magma
3. Hinter der Sonne
4. Erebos II
5. Dornen

side b:
1. Im Nirgendwo
2. VII
3. Durch Schmerz, in Stein
4. Die tödliche Sünde
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]

ZORN/ ZELOT - split (7") Spring Records #?? 1995



I try to keep it in the chronological order - sorry Pat! - and so here is Zorn's split with Zelot. These are the only Zelot recordings I know besides the Plot compilation track. "Fuck the haters!" might be one thing Zorn thought after the reactions they got. The thankslist is one of the best in the 90ies - together with Failure Face: "Tiefste Verachtung für Euch alle!" (= "Our deepest contempt to all of you!").
Their tracks got more and more "Doom-y" and better concerning musicianship. I really love the bass guitar runs here.
Zelot have a really bad production which is sad since they are doing the typical kraut thing: combining chugga chugga/ mosh with Bremer Schule and early Ebullition; could be compared to Groundwork for example but with - sadly - less power.

Quite easy to find in your record collection.

ZORN/ ZELOT - split (7") Spring Reords #?? 1995

side a:
Zorn
1. brandmal
2. stumm
3. gekreuzigt

side b:
Zelot
1. smoke like a man
2. riccardo
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]

Sunday, May 13, 2007

FEEDING THE FIRE - "price of progress" shirt



(front print)



(back print)



(sleeve print)

This is an early three-sided Feeding The Fire shirt with a motive concerning animal testings and lyrics from "price of progress" (later compiled on the "hope springs eternal" CD on Mad Mob). I really wished that I could have seen them in their early days, when the 7" on Rew Wax - the label by the Man Lifting Banner dudes - came out and the played the Man Lifting Banner influence Red Edge style. They got slower later, especially the "crusade" MCD on March Through is very 90ies. The members are later in Bloodsport and Born From Pain.
I am confused concerning their discography; I saw a 7" in the early 90ies in lists but it wasn't "no submission"!!! Their early tracks are dated around 1992 but I just know the 7", split 7", CD, MCD and the compilation tracks ("Realization", "Anti-Racist"...). Can anyone tell me something about earlier releases (7", demo...)?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

INDIAN SUMMER - discography (LP) Adagio 830 #20 2006

Okay, kids: the crazy Ebay shopping can stop now. You can get the vinyl version of the Indian Summer discography now from Robert and Stefan from Bis Aufs Messer! It has a nice foldout cover a bit like the Comadre LP rerelease Robert did before and comes with three inlets and a little poster. And all songs have been remastered.

It looks like this:



Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sunday, May 06, 2007

TODAY IS THE DAY - "in the eyes of god" shirt



(front print)



(back print)

Original shirt printed by Relapse for the album back then; love everything by them, from the early AmpRep stuff to new.

Links:
Homepage

DEEP WOUND - shirt



(front print)

Done by the label we love to hate in 1997, when they did a MCD version of the 7", demo and compilation tracks, all redone - remastered or computer compressor, I am not sure. This version was later on some of these cheezy compilation discs compiling other boots or not boots (?) . I am also disappointed by the recent discography LP which has no inlet/ lyric sheet etc. A cobbler should stick to his last anyway, so I pull out the 7" when I meet the need to listen to one of the best Boston hardcore records ever.
I've been told that all those shirts - Heresy, Siege, F.U.'s, Battery, Citizens Arrest, Warzone, Deep Wound, Straight Ahead, Void, Youth Of Today etc. - by this particular label achieve high prices at Ebay.com, which is funny since they had those as give-aways when ordering.

Links:
Deep Wound at KFTH
Deep Wound discography

Saturday, May 05, 2007

DISCHARGE - "never again" bootleg shirt



(front print)

Must-have for every punk household. This is a bootleg, the original had "never again" edgewise. Early stuff blows, but all the clones are intolerable. For some moments and some bands especially while the huge crust revival in the early 90ies I thought some things are exciting but today there are still people and bands doing the same thing over and over again, all with an ultra-fascist dress code and deadlocked in every aspect (lyrics, sound etc.)1. There was a nice coffin nail brought out be Keule Sternkicker from Rödel Records back then: the Disfleisch 7", which I am going to post soon (I think the Dawnbreed drummer was involved, or?).

Links:
Fansite

1 the worldwide Dis-conspiracy!

INFEST - "mankind" bootleg shirt



(front print)

Here's one bootleg shirt among thousands by the best band blablablabla in the world. This was done in Germany by some "fastcore" heroes in 1993 .

I first heard Infest on a mix tape from a friend of mine with other California bands among them were Chorus, No For An Answer, Visual Discrimination, Bl'ast!, Carry Nation etc. first and Infest was on the b side of the tape. It changed everything. Like the first time when your head hits the asphalt while skateboarding and you get the feeling you deserve it. And your elbows suppurate for weeks but you don't care because you just think of the moment when your head is dashing against the street over and over again.

Links:
Fansite

ANDREW THOMAS COMPANY & MEDIUM - "drug free youth" shirt



(front pocket print)



(back print)


Here's another Andrew Thomas Company/ Medium shirt. Nice classic like Battery's "drug free youth" design by Lost And Found. I think this is one of the last designs I own today - together with "straight edge means I have no friends". I just realized that I gave the others - Sega/Atari rip off, Stormtrooper etc. - to a friend and I sold some at Ebay (for example the windbreaker). So if anyone wants to contribute other designs by them: Please write me!

SURFACE - "d.e.a.d." shirt



(front print)



(back print)


Original Surface shirt mainly sold on their M.A.D. X-mas tour together with Disrespect, Deviate and Backfire! (the best and worst of euro metal core on one evening). Ringer shirts were quite famous back then, or?
They were a good live band and while their first 7" on March Through was quite Unbroken-ish, their albums on Mad Mob were very much H8000 and Morning Again like, but could never capture their live qualities. Their singer had one of the best quiffs1 ever and I think was also in a Krishnacore project called Dharma.

Members of Surface were in Drift, Deadsoil and Copykill later (still are).


1 part of a Ruhrpott uniform back then.

HITLER - the best day in her life (7") Rex Rotari #03 1996



For all the political correct ones: Hitler again - the band of course. As I told you a short lived side project with Ambush members in the footsteps of bluegrass, old delta blues and even some neo folk. They took themselves and what others were thinking not too serious and I still prefer this version to the shady grey area of neo folk and its listeners who try to hide their bad education and absence of a sex life behind Nietzsche and Marinetti quotes.
The cover is a winner. For sure.

HITLER - the best day in her life (7") Rex Rotari #03 1996

side a:
1. on the farm
2. just for some month

side b:
1. abraxas
2. maroc & scary childrenbooks
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]

Friday, May 04, 2007

BOY WONDER - selftitled (7'') Abridged Records #02 1994 & patch & bonus



Here is the second release by Abridged Records, the label that brought us Blueprint, Refuse To Fall, Jimmy Eat World (their split 7" with Blueprint is still available from Revelation), Badger (later The Tie That Binds) and also distributed Germany's Smith & Nephew Empire stuff - label of an Upset member - with releases from German bands like Upset, Cerulean (later Pilots In Paris with a nice CD on Abridged), Azure or even the second Cursive record on vinyl.

I really loved it when it came out since they had independent and dodgy sound, lost a bit power to me over the years but it's still exciting. I love bass guitars sounding like a vacuum cleaner - serious! The second song has some Shotmaker-like moments them jamming with Albini.

They disbanded too soon like so many Texas bands do.

BOY WONDER - selftitled (7'') Abridged Records #02 1994

side a:
1. sap

side b:
1. coal
[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]


Here is a patch by Boy Wonder - some of them were included in the 7":




The complete recording session for the 7" (the had a recording session before this one, but I never had the chance to listen to those songs; maybe for a demo tape?), some songs were released on a compilation with other Texas, mainly Austin, based bands called "Seek Sound Shelter" released by Dotzit Records in 1996 (among the other bands were Gut, Glorium1, Gomez and Johnboy):

BOY WONDER - complete 7" recording session 1994

1. 290
2. account
3. untitled
4. coal
5. sap
6. untitled
[OGG Vorbis, 192k, password: antithesis]


And here are the tracks from the split 12" with Gut - I think this was available on CD too:



BOY WONDER - tracks from the split 12" with GUT - Dotzit Records #?? 1994

side a:
Boy Wonder
1. take a number
2. fall
3. communion
4. virus
5. rot
6. seven fold

side b:
Gut
1. donkey kong long leg
2. baboon
3. spiffy cricket
4. yellow stool pigeon
5. disco cow
[OGG Vorbis, 192k, password: antithesis]





(Boy Wonder live)


Links:
The only of the many versions of the Abridged homepage that still exists

1 their early stuff is nice, a lot of new wave and post punk combined with Dinosaur Jr and Chicago bands. Their homepage is a detailed documentation of the band's work (why do other homepages don't look like theirs?).