Friday, February 5, 2010

Born Without A Face - 1984-1986 Discography

Born Without A Face were a great diverse hardcore band from Grand Rapids, Michigan. They covered it all, from fast and chaotic hardcore, to doomy dirges, to more psychotic and darker sounds. They had an element of metal in their sound at times, but never enough to put them into crossover territory. The band took obvious influences from Corrosion of Conformity, Discharge, Black Flag, The Fix, Black Sabbath, and the early '80s hardcore scene in general, and melded it all into their own powerful sound. They had a lot of great demo material, but unfortunately only released two 7"s, keeping the band relatively obscure. I think a full length would have put this band over the top, and they would have been held in the same regard as their more well-known contemporaries.

Punks Before Profits Records was supposed to release a discography LP entitled "This Is The Hate", but the project got scrapped about a year and a half ago. So here you go, the band's discography (as i know it to be), in great sound quality. Thanks to Geeheeb and Cooch for the music. Enjoy!

Born Without A Face: 1984-1986

Here's a quick rundown:

First up is the band's debut 7", Unbecoming, which was recorded in 1985 and self-released in 1986. A lyric sheet was included, which you can check out here. This is a monster of a record, and my personal fave. Next is the band's follow-up 7", Worship, which was also self-released in 1986. They end this ep with a pulverizing and ominous cover of Heartbreak Hotel (originally recorded by Elvis Presley in 1956), which has to be heard to be believed. After that is Hostages, an exclusive track to the excellent compilation LP, There's A Method To Our Madness, originally released on Phantom Records (Alaska) in 1986 and repressed on We Bite Records (Germany) in 1987. Cover art by RK Sloane, who passed away on October 20, 2006. Born Without A Face contributed 2 tracks to this comp, but the other track, Maelstrom, was released on the Unbecoming 7". Ending the collection are the bands demos. Freakshow (1985) and Psych! (1984). Both fantastic from beginning to end, but i'll say Seven Steps To Hell stands out as my favorite song.

Many of the band's demo tracks appeared on various compilations, mostly tape comps. Here's some that i know of:

"Hideous Freaks Search For Happiness" tape (BCT 1984)
tracks: Only Human / Slum Feeder / Not A Love Song / Another American Success Story

"Numb Tongue No Taste" tape (Empty Records 1984)
tracks: Trash Is Truth / Seven Steps To Hell

"Save The Dead" tape (KML Records 1986)
tracks: Feed Your Head / Next Big Thing

"Godsmell" 2 tape comp (Empty Records 1988)
track: Not A Love Song

"War Between the States: South" comp LP (TPOS 1989)
tracks: Sloth / Seven Steps To Hell / Stubborn Beast Flesh

There's not much info to be found on this band online. Mark Dancey (founding member) went on to play guitar for Big Chief with Barry Henssler of The Necros.

The members of Born Without A Face (during the first 7") were: Mark Dancey, Robert Eastway, Dan Ross and Eric. I'm not sure who played what instrument, as it's not mentioned on the ep.
According to an interview, the band had 3 constant members but went through a dozen drummers. You can check out the interview here.

In 1991, the majority of Born Without A Face formed a band called 36D (which i have yet to hear). This was the lineup:
Robert Eastway - vocals
Dan Ross - guitar
Mank Dancey - bass
Ed Alterman - drums
additional personel: Barry Henssler and Phil Durr

If anyone has any more info on this great band, please leave a comment.


  1. And once again You're delivering the goods...
    Thanks a lot !

  2. Excellent post. Great band with a unique sound. Still hope that the discography gets released 'cos I would definitely buy a copy.

  3. yo stormy you gave us an awesome straight ahead collection and an awesome outburst all we need is a breakdown collection!!!!!

  4. What Punks before Profit did not know was that plans for the LP was already in the works with another label with mastering from the original studio tapes. Ryan @ PBP was doing this without proper permission from the band and using the old cassettes from back in the day. The vinyl did not get scrapped. It should be out in about 4-5 months. It'll be a dbl lp with Freakshow and the 2x7's + a bonus track.

    I can post more details when it's out if anyone is interested.



  5. Brings back sweet memories...

    I have combed the interwebs lookin' for mp3's of Ann Arbor's "Bats" they just kind of fell off the map and I don't know of anyone who has tapes from back in the day...If you find 'em you can have my firstborn...


  6. Brian, thanks for the info. I'm glad the LP is still in the works, i'm looking forward to having this material in mastered form. Hopefully you'll think about doing a complete discography CD in the future. I think the Psych! demo is great stuff.

    Let me know if you want this link removed as i don't want to interfere with sales in any way. Personally i don't think it would hurt, and maybe even expose more people to the band who would then hopefully buy the LP. But that's you're call.

    Kevin, i've never heard of Bats, but if i come across it i'll post it in this comments section.

    Anonymous, i don't think a Breakdown collection is possible as the 87 demo is still in print, and that's pretty much the meat and potatoes of that band's material. Still, i may put up some live stuff in the future.


  7. Kevin, you can get the Bats demo here:


  8. Hi Vin, I'll keep you posted on the vinyl. I would love to do complete discography but I'm not certain how the band would feel about that. I'm a fan of the Psych! cassette, too. One step at a time I guess. Thanks for offering to take the post down. I'm not concerned with it. I've been known to download from blogs myself and I think sharing this rare music is great - Just like in the old tape trading days. If it's something I really like I always buy the record/cd if it's still available. The lp is going to be very limited and I'm guessing selling it won't be a problem. Our plan as of now: Edition of 300 pressed on 210 gram vinyl gatefold cover with new art from M.Dancey. We're also planning to do a poster and it'll come with a CD. CD not to be sold separately. Should have a website up before the vinyl is completed so purchases can be made directly. Will post more details when I have them.. Thanks for letting me get this information out there. Without a current operational website this is very helpful.

    Talk with you soon - Brian

  9. it's awesome to hear this stuff cleaned up, and it's awesome to hear that it will get a proper re-release too.

  10. Brian, thanks for letting me keep the post up, it took a while to clean all those tracks and i'd hate to think i wasted my time. I really appreciate it. I'm excited about the LP and poster/CD. I'm guessing the CD will be the same as the LP? Hopefully, as i've been without a turntable for a while now (a friend of mine has been ripping my vinyl for me for the blog). Keep me posted, and glad i could be of help as far as getting your info out there.


  11. Yes, the CD will have the same tracks as the vinyl. Talk with you soon.


  12. - i played drums on 1/2 of the unbecoming ep
    and the song 'hostages'. who is putting out
    the double lp?

  13. Thanx a bunch stormy!!

    just dl'd that bats demo you are the mf man!!


  14. Sargent Cherry records is putting it out.. This will be their first release. More info to come..

  15. Whoo hooo!!! My awesome Dad was a drummer for Born without a Face. Their fourth one, which I believe was their last.

    He was the drummer on their sick tracks, undertow, crawl, teeth machine, and heartbreak hotel.

    Thanks for your support everybody, I'm happy you all enjoy this insanity as I do

    Love you Daddy!!!

  16. i just found the Worship 7 inch in small record store in Madison WI. it came with an original Lyric sheet, xerox gig poster for a gig in '86, a personal note on the back of a film festival poster from Mark (bass), 2 stickers, another personal note from Mark stating that the band was "finished" and yet another note from mark writing about the scene back in the day. it was an amazing find. price? $3.99

  17. Excellent!!!

    I live in Seattle now and tried hard to get the 7'' singles from one of the J^2K^2 guys before I moved, but alas I couldn't get in front of him before I relocated. I actually formed a band here in Seattle and we began touring from Vancouver, BC, Canada to Los Angeles. One of the promoters at a club in San Francisco turned out to be Boom from the Detroit band Boom and the Legion of Doom. We stayed up late one night talking at length about Born Without a Face. I found some tracks on various blogs but it will be nice to get a complete set of everything.

    This band was great, amazing that they came out of a city like Grand Rapids. There were so many good bands there for a good long time.

    Anyone know where I can get the recordings for a West Michigan band called Vice Grip?

  18. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post!!!!

    i bought the first 7" back in '86 in my hometown of pensacola, fl. a few copies ended up in a local record store because vik kaos of maggot sandwich spread a few around town (he ran KML records and put 2 tracks on the "save the dead" cassette).

    later, after big chief and mark dancey made it "big", mark mentioned in a big chief interview (circa'92 or so), that he was in this band... i had friends who were obsessive big chief fans and tried to get that record from me... no chance. it sounds as good today as it did 24 years ago.

    speaking of big chief, i asked mark about the records when i saw them in '92 or so... he was shocked that i knew about them ^_^

    if you don't mind, i'd like to repost this over at my own blog, full credits where credits are due.

  19. Anthony, feel free to use this, or anything else from this blog, on your own blog. The more the music gets around, the better. Glad you like it as much as i do.

    Buy Viagra (haha), i agree 100%.


  20. Hi Vin, Just wanted to post an update on the BWOAF vinyl. The vinyl lps are finally pressed. They sound fantastic. This is a 2xlp lp set which includes 'Freakshow' tape & compiles the 2x7"s +bonus song 'Hostages' - all music direct from the master tapes. Right now we are just waiting on the packaging and a few other things to be completed. No release date yet. Fingers crossed for mid-summer.


  21. Any word on if the vinyl got released?

  22. Vinyl not released yet. We're waiting on the packaging and a few other details. Probably 3-6 months away from being done. Will post website/pre-order info before hand. I don't expect to sell to distributors so it probably will not show up in stores. I'll be selling mostly through the website or local to Detroit.

  23. It's now October, is the other "packaging" FINALLY ready?

  24. My estimations seem to be a little too optimistic. I'll post a message when it's readiness is tangible.

    1. Just wondering if this will be released. Got a few friends here in Detroit who can't find any BWOAF original vinyl, so a discography would be a very suitable replacement.

  25. Hi all, We're a few weeks away from having copies ready for consumption. I'll have them in a few store locally in Detroit and also the website will be up within that time frame as well.

    More updates to come. Thanks for your patience on this one!

    Sargent Cherry Records

  26. Hi. I see this is out now. How does one go about getting wholesale copies?

  27. So the vinyl is out now, and its only a meager $85 at the local store.


  28. Consider this the deluxe edition with no other editions to come.

    The $85 gets you:

    Born Without A Face Sound Recordings 1984-1986 consists of 23 tracks spread out over two 12-inch LPs on 210-gram vinyl, each in its own hand-silkscreened sleeve enclosed in a handmade 19" x 13" magnetic closure box.
    The first LP collects all the tracks from the magnificent Freakshow self-released cassette and puts them on one record, restored and re-mastered from the original studio tapes. Until now, Freakshow has never been available on vinyl or CD. Original copies of the cassette are by now over 26 years old.

    The second LP collects songs that were originally released on the two 7" EPs, plus one additional track (“Hostages”) that was originally released on the There's a Method to Our Madness compilation. The tracks on this LP are also from the original studio master tapes. Please note that there were two tracks on the Unbecoming 7" EP that were taken from the Freakshow sessions. These two tracks are only on the Freakshow vinyl, not on the second LP.
    Also included in this set is a 22-track CD (vinyl includes one bonus track) of the music, three original 11” X 17” screen-printed release posters, and a sticker.

    The magnetic-closure portfolio itself is handmade with archival materials, with a screen-printed black-on-black bookcloth cover and white-on-black inner graphics and information. Designed and manufactured by the band, the Born Without A Face Sound Recordings package is being issued in a limited edition of just 300 copies.

  29. No, you can keep it up. Thanks for asking.

  30. Thanks for seem to be the king of obscure greatness. On that note, I present a challenge. Back in the early '90's I picked up a cassette tape by a band called 'Hate...And Proud!' I listened to it so often the tape broke, and I have never seen or heard of it since. While searching for it, I found out it was a side project of some guys from Fear Factory... ie. ' In the early 90's, Dino and Burton took part in a much forgotten side project during their death metal days called Hated... And Proud! which was a punk rock band in the vein of groups such as Bad Religion.' So, the challenge is, do you think you can find it? Thanks a lot.
    Kole in Prague.

  31. So...exactly how does the sound quality from this collection differ from the released product? Just curious.