Saturday, September 5, 2009
Pressure Release - 1987-1989 Discography
Yet more great hardcore from the late '80s? Damn, it seems never-ending. This is a collection of just about every Pressure Release song recorded between 1987 and 1989, and i think it's a great document showing the progression of the band's sound through the years. From their 1987 demo and 1988 sessions when the band played raw, fast, pissed off hardcore in the style of their NY/CT contemporaries like Our Gang, True Colors and Wide Awake, to the more brooding and complex songs on their one and only 7" in 1989. And much like Collapse, Burn, Beyond and several other hardcore bands from the late '80s/early '90s, they called it quits just as things were getting interesting. So here you go. 29 tracks all cleaned up and brought back to life. Enjoy.
Pressure Release: 1987-1989 Collection
Doug Byrnes - vocals
Tom Kuntz - guitar
Sam Haffy - guitar
Alex Napeck - bass
Tae Park - drums
Sam left the band early on, and shortly after the recording of their "Prison of My Own" 7", Doug was replaced on vocals by Ben Smith.
The demo was recorded at the Music Box in NYC between Dec. 19-20 of 1987. Six tracks (if you count the intro) of raw, fast, blown-out hardcore with a weird reverb effect on the vocals that only adds to it's charm.
The tracks from the New Breed compilation tape (released in '89), the rehearsal tracks, and the tracks from the "X Marks the Spot" comp 7" (Smorgasbord Records) were all recorded at Don Fury Studios in 1988. The "X Marks the Spot" 7", which also featured tracks by Wide Awake and Up Front, was re-issued on CD in 1995 by Striving For Togetherness Records as part of a collection of out of print 7" releases. The various 1988 sessions are my personal favorite Pressure Release recordings.
The "Prison of My Own" 7" was originally released on New Age Records in 1989. This is the band's darkest and most experimental recordings, complete with synthesizers and layered guitar work. The band cites BL'AST! and Void as big influences during the recording of this record, and you can definitely pick up on that vibe. The 7" was originally recorded with Doug Byrnes on vocals, but when he was replaced by Ben Smith shortly after, Ben went in and re-recorded the vocals. Then (thankfully), in a pressing mix-up, the record was pressed with Doug's vocal track. Both versions of the 7" are in this collection. Both sound great but I prefer the Doug version.
Closing out the collection is a live set. I have no info on this set other than it was recorded in 1988. 2 of the tracks were left off due to various problems. The first track which was just so horribly recorded i couldn't bring myself to post it, and the song Brotherhood which was cut in half. If anyone has any info on this set, or any further Pressure Release info in general, please leave a comment.
I cleaned up all these recordings as best as possible, removing any tape hiss, and boosting levels so all the songs are roughly at the same volume. The demo and Don Fury tracks are still a bit rough sounding, but that's pretty much how they were recorded.
Thanks to all the fine folks over at Livewire for the help.
For some great Pressure Release stories, interviews, pictures etc., go to the Double Cross webzine and use the search function. Tons of great stuff.