Thursday, December 24, 2009

Straight Ahead collection revised

File revised on Dec. 12, 2009 for far superior sound quality on all the studio tracks. Trust me, it's worth the download.

I figured i'd finally put together a collection of all the best sounding Straight Ahead recordings i could find. First off is the entire 12 song demo. 9 of these 12 songs were released on the End the Warzone compilation 7" on One Step Ahead Records in 1986, alongside some other great bands (Larm, Pillsbury Hardcore and Attitude Adjustment). The entire demo included here sounds great and has a nice loud, full sound, and is by far my favorite material by this band. Fast and chaotic, short but memorable songs. Just perfect, no bullshit hardcore. Also included is a nice sounding rip of the classic Breakaway 12" ep released in 1987 on I Risk Records (and bootlegged countless times since), and a set recorded live at CBGB in March of '87. Of all the live sets i've heard by this band, this is my favorite. Good sound quality, great performance, and they play just about every song they ever wrote, including 3 unreleased songs, Knockdown, The More Important and Take Control. There's also a couple of songs from the NYC Mayhem days (actually, most Straight Ahead songs are just modified NYC Mayhem tracks), and Amount to Nothing is a re-working of Nothing Song. To top it off there's a cover of Agnostic Front's "Friend or Foe" with Vinny Stigma singing along on stage. Ending the collection is an interview with the band recorded live on WNYU's Crucial Chaos. Enjoy.

Straight Ahead Collection

Tommy Carroll - vocals

Craig Setari - bass
Rob Echeverria - guitar
Armand Majidi - drums

According to various sources, Tommy Carroll played drums on the Straight Ahead demo (credited as XXX), and Armand played on the Breakaway 12". I've also seen Gordon Ancis (NYC Mayhem) credited for playing guitar for Straight Ahead. Maybe the demo?

Besides NYC Mayhem, members of Straight Ahead also played in Youth of Today, Sick Of It All, Rest In Pieces and Agnostic Front. Probably many more as well.

Supposedly there is a session recorded live at Don Fury studios from 5/20/87 with the unreleased songs. For reasons i'll never understand, it seems nobody is allowed to hear it, as it's under "lock & key".

There are many other recordings of live Straight Ahead shows. The ones i know of are: CBGB 3/16/86 (first show), Albany 6/22/86 (i have 3 songs from this one, it sounds ok, but the bass is very overpowering), CBGB 7/20/86 (there's video of this show as well), CBGB 3/21/87 (possibly the set i posted although mine was labeled 3/1/87), CBGB 5/3/87 (last show). If anyone has any decent quality rips of these shows, please get in touch. I'd love to make a second collection.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No For An Answer - 1988-1994

The late '80s straight edge scene in Orange County, CA had it's share of great bands. Insted and Uniform Choice come to mind as being at the forefront. But No For An Answer, fronted by the always outspoken Dan O'Mahoney, were my personal favorite. They seemed to be on another level. This is a collection of most of the band's released material, aside from the "You Laugh" ep, which is still available through Revelation Records. Great live versions of all the songs from that 7" are scattered throughout this collection, so all the songs the band wrote are in here. Sound quality is excellent. Thanks to Mark Anthony, Claude, Graig and anyone else who helped with the music. Enjoy.

No For An Answer collection

A Though Crusade LP

Dan O'Mahoney - vocals
Gavin Oglesby - guitar
Sterling Wilson - bass
Chris Bratton - drums

NFAA's full-length was a huge step up from the band's debut 7", both musically and lyrically. "A Thought Crusade" was recorded at Spot Recordings 8/88 through 10/88 and originally released on Hawker Records later that year. It was re-released in 1996 on CD with the Carry Nation "Face the Nation" ep as bonus tracks. Carry Nation was a Dan O'Mahoney and Gavin Oglesby side project band, who's only ep was originally released in 1989 on Workshed Records. All versions of "A Thought Crusade" and the CD re-issue with Carry Nation are long out of print.

Free For All comp LP
This classic comp was a 4-way split (Token Entry, Wrecking Crew, Rest in Pieces and NFAA) all recorded live at CBGB on April 9, 1989. Released on Hawker Records in 1989.

The Icemen Cometh comp 7"
This comp featured Pushed Aside, Hard Stance, Slapshot and NFAA, all recorded live at the Whiskey in Hollywood on May 17, 1989. It was released on Nemesis Records in 1990. Great live version of an unreleased song called Man Against Man. The recording here was taken from the CD version.

Open Your Eyes Vol. 1 comp tape
This was the first in a series of cassette compilations released by Open Your Eyes fanzine out of Seattle. Vol. 1 (released in '89) was a collection of various demo and live tracks from lots of great bands, including Unit Pride, Breakaway, Brotherhood, Insted, Our Gang and Trip 6 just to name a few. Vol. 2 (my favorite of the 2) had tracks from Infest and Turning Point (among many others), and a full live Antidote set recorded at CBGB tacked onto the end. The 3 live No For An Answer tracks from this tape are a bit rough sounding compared to the rest of the collection, but i cleaned them up as best as possible. The live version of "Just Say No" kills.

Live in Treviso, Italy
Recorded on Feb. 11, 1994. Easily the best sounding No For An Answer live set i've ever heard. The sound is amazing, and the set-list and performance is just perfect. Some classic Dan O'Mahoney stage banter as usual throughout this set, and at times pretty amusing because of the language barrier.

"Somebody tell him in Italian... it was a stagedive... there are infinitely more important things in this world... and he's making an ass of himself. And he's pissing me off."

Great stuff. Plus the usual (and always intelligent) ranting about child abuse, police brutality etc.

Aside from what's in this collection, the band also released the "You Laugh" ep in 1988 on Revelation Records (Rev 06) and appeared on a few other comps (still in print). There was also a studio bootleg of the band's demo for the "You Laugh" ep called "Last Warning", released in 1993 on We Laugh Records. 500 made, and includes an unreleased a cappella type song labeled "We Are the World".

You Laugh ep (1988) lineup:
Dan O'Mahoney - vocals
Gavin Oglesby - guitar
John Mastropaolo - bass
Casey Jones - drums

After NFAA broke up, Dan formed 411, and later Speak 714.
Other members of the band have played in various hardcore bands, including Inside Out, Unity, Justice League and Ignite.

Dan O'Mahoney on No For An Answer:

NFAA was supposed to be mid paced and somewhat melodic like mid-model GI or Stalag 13, Dag Nasty even... whoops!

When Youth off Today came through opening up for 7 Seconds (in '86 I believe) everything changed. They were so aggressive, so bent on networking with everyone they met, knowing those guys made you immediately a part of something. I remember Ray getting my number from Billy and calling me at home even though we'd never met simply because we shared so many friends. We talked for an hour and worked together and sometimes in opposition to each other but always as friends for many years to follow. In those early days the group identity had not yet become quite so codified. By '87/'88 NFAA was making waves of its own and already starting to resist several facets of the youth crew movement. If you look at the lyrics to the "A Thought Crusade" record this resistance is pretty clear.

Check out the full interview (in 7 parts) right here, on Double Cross.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Update 11/26/09: DFPS

Blog to check out: Dave K's Digital Fanzine Preservation Society (DFPS) blog. An archive of scanned hardcore zines spanning the early '80s into the '00s. The site has been up for a very short amount of time and already Dave Koenig and company has amassed well over 30 zines, including issues of In Effect, Boiling Point, Even the Score, Urban Decay, and of course every issue of Dave K and Brett Beach's classic Hardware zine. Plus much more. As if that wasn't enough, there's a the "History of Hardware Omnibus". Dave K:

This PDF has my history of Hardware Fanzine, Brett's intro, all the flyers were made and handed out to advertise the 'zine and interviews conducted by others with us. This pretty much lays out what Brett and I accomplished with Hardware.
And the icing on the cake. A free download of Dave's
unfinished book "New York Hardcore 1986-1993: A Time We Will Remember". Just over 200 pages in PDF format. If you're reading this post right now, chances are this is a book you'll be interested in. I can't wait to sink my teeth into this one myself. NYC during the late '80s and early '90s was an amazing time for hardcore.

So take a trip down memory lane. If you're an old timer like myself, you'll find this blog to be a goldmine. Stop by, download some zines you lost, sold, or traded 15+ years ago, and leave a comment letting Dave know his hard work is appreciated. It literally takes 10 seconds to say "great job, keep up the good work" or whatever. I'd say this is one of the most important hardcore related blogs kicking right now, and hopefully it lives on for a while.

The DFPS blog is always looking for help. If you can contribute in any way by contributing or scanning old zines etc., i'm sure that would help a great deal. Check the blog for more info on how to help out.

And spread the word. If you have a blog, link DFPS. Tell people about it, put it on messa
ge boards... whatever.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Altercation - 1987 (the revised collection)

I posted an Altercation collection back in April, but after recently listening to it, i decided it was about time to revise as much of it as i could. Basically i was able to clean up the bare essentials: the 1987 demo, the 3 unreleased rehearsal tracks, and the CBGB set. Unfortunately the WNYU set and interview were beyond repair, but the band only wrote 10 tracks, and most of them are already here twice. I'd say this is all you really need, but if you want to check out the radio recordings, the old Altercation post is still on the blog. I think the demo came out great. The first track is still a bit rough, but after that all the tracks sound really clean, and each instrument clearly audible. Since this is my favorite NYHC demo, it's great to finally hear it like this, as opposed to the muddy wall of noise i've been listening to for years. Two of the three rehearsal tracks, "Liberty or Death" and "A New Tomorrow", also came out really well. "Getting Away With Murder"... not so much. The CBGB set came out pretty good, considering the source i had to work with was a blown-out mess under a thick blanket of tape hiss. Bottom line... this is as good as it gets. Which is a shame really. If ever a NYHC band needed a legit discography, this would be it.

So here you go. 18 tracks of fucking Altercation. Best quality you'll find. Thanks again to Patrick Lindenhof (great guy) for his help (even though i didn't use his version of the demo).

Altercation: 1987 (the revised collection)

Crazy Jay Skin - vocals
Rude Paul Crude - guitar
Myles Reiff - guitar
Eddie Cohen - bass
Andy Guida - drums

The Altercation demo was recorded at Don Fury Studios in 1987.

Andy Guida on the Altercation demo:

I remember bits and pieces of recording the demo at Don Fury's but nothing worth nothing. Vague memories of listening back to each take and sitting in the tiny shit ass drum booth he had. We tried to record a second demo at some studio in Brooklyn but I think Eddie didn't show up and I don't know what happened to the tapes.

I think the songs are great, the lyrics are pretty stupid but we were kids. Actually Paul's girlfriend at the time wrote the lyrics. I think we played really well for a bunch of kids. I still listen to it for enjoyment once in a while. We were so short lived but we got to leave a mark. We were lucky. I still meet new people who tell me that they really like that demo. There was a time when I was embarrassed by the band but I am grateful now that I was a part of it.

Excerpts taken from Double Cross. You can read the entire interview here.

The three rehearsal tracks were recorded at the Grid Box Studio in Brooklyn on April 3, 1987. There were actually 3 rehearsal sessions recorded, the other two recorded on March 4 and March 21, both rehearsals of demo tracks. The final session (included here) was a 3-song rehearsal of the songs that didn't make it to the demo. "A New Tomorrow" and "Getting Away With Murder" also appear on the CBGB set, but "Liberty or Death" is exclusive to this session. Info by Chris Minicucci. You can read more on the Grid Box sessions here.

Andy Guida on the beginning of Altercation and the Grid Box days:

I went to high school with Myles, who played rhythm guitar in Altercation. He and I were trying to start a band. We had some songs and we practiced in my parents' basement. He knew Eddie, who played bass in the band, from the hardcore scene. Eddie knew Jay (vocals) and Paul (lead guitar) and the three of them were trying to put a band together. We were all kids from Brooklyn so we got together at a studio that was called Gridrock (Grid Box), in Brooklyn. I still remember sitting in McDonald's after one of our rehearsals trying to come up with a name. I was looking through the newspaper and I came across the word "altercation." It seemed a sufficiently angry word which fit our collective mindset. We were a study in varying degrees of teenage anger and frustration. Some of us started or got into a lot of fights and did a lot of drugs. Altercation rehearsals were a cloud of pot smoke. Amazing we remembered our songs because we smoked a shit load of pot. How were we so stoned and still so angry? Amazing.

Excerpts taken from the always great Double Cross.
According to Andy, Altercation only played 4 shows, 2 at CBGB and 2 at The Pyramid. The live set in this collection was recorded at CBGB on June 7, 1987, with Sheer Terror and some metal bands. The other CBGB show (4/5/87) was a double record release party for Warzone and Youth of Today, also on the bill was Side by Side. Apparently a great sounding soundboard tape of this exists. If anyone has it, please get in touch. Thanks to Chris for the info.

Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Moondog, Rival Schools) on Altercation:

Altercation were so amazing that they scared me. They were so good but so evil and fucked up. There was a second there when I thought the dark side just might win. Altercation were fucking awesome Brooklyn skinhead metal... it was the first time I ever heard metal techniques in hardcore, like a proper guitar squeal. Biohazard probably capitalized on their spirit, but say what you will about them, I think that Altercation was about a million times better.

You can read the entire interview with Rival Schools (Walter and Sammy) here.

Altercation's last show was at the Pyramid with Death Before Dishonor. Shortly after that show, Jay and Paul left Altercation to join Warzone and Altercation broke up. Mark Ryan, vocalist of Death Before Dishonor (now called Supertouch), was so impressed with Andy's drumming at the Pyramid show, that he asked him to join Supertouch.

The break-up of Altercation came too soon, as (according to Sammy Siegler of Side By Side, Youth Of Today, Judge, Project X, Gorilla Biscuits...) there was talk of Schism releasing an Altercation album shortly before they broke up. That ranks up there with the Krakdown/NY Hoods split LP as a record that would have destroyed most anything else at the time. Oh well, i'm just glad we have the demo. It's timeless.

Sammy Siegler on Altercation:

I think Altercation were the best unsung band from back then.

I agree.

Some notes of interest:

Eddie Cohen also played in Sick Of It All and Leeway.

Myles Reiff went on to do some great things in the entertainment business. Including co-writing The Road to Graceland, a trilogy of animated prequels to the Warner Bros. release, 3000 Miles to Graceland, starring Kevin Costner and Christian Slater. From there he went on to do work for Universal , Lions Gate Films, A&E, the History Channel, FX and Bravo. You can read his IMDB bio here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Clenched Fist (NYC) - 1987 Demos and live

Clenched Fist were a great, but short-lived hardcore band with members in NYC and North Jersey. Kind of a NY hardcore supergroup with members that were in (and would go on to be in) Mental Abuse, Breakdown, Born Against, Life's Blood, Citizens Arrest, Jersey Fresh and Outgroup. This is a collection of the band's 1987 demo, and 6 songs recorded live at CBGB. Great sound quality. Thanks to Chris Fist for the info, and for letting me put this collection on my blog. Enjoy!

Clenched Fist: 1987

Demo lineup:

Perry Pelonero - vocals
Chris Fist - guitar
Neil Burke - bass
Dave Jones - drums

The band formed in '86, and before Perry joined, the infamous Sid Sludge of Mental Abuse was on vocals. Apparently there are rehearsal recordings that exist with Sid on the mic. Maybe one day they'll surface. After Dave Jones left the band, Daryl Kahan and Todd Waladkewics both filled in on drums for a while.

I discovered Clenched Fist back in '87 on Pat Duncan's radio show on WFMU. The songs "Eagle Eyes" and "At the Beach" were on Pat's playlist most Thursdays (which i taped every week religiously). It was only a couple years ago that i was able to get a copy of the entire demo, and the live set. This stuff sounds just as good as it did over 20 years ago.

The demo was recorded in New Jersey in '87. The song "Inner Strength" would later be the template for the song "Eulogy" by Born Against, which was released on a 2-song 7" (the other song being a cover of X's "Riding With Mary") on Vermiform Records in 1990. It came with issue #37 of Sam McPheeter's zine "Dear Jesus". The last track on the Clenched Fist demo, "Get Away" was originally an Outgroup (pre-Mental Abuse) song. Mental Abuse would also play this song live on occasion, and it's probably been covered by bands countless times. It's a NJHC classic.

The live set was recorded at CBGB on July 5th, 1987, with Tommy Prong working the board. Also on the bill was Dag Nasty and Suburban Uprise. The first track, titled "Mud Party", was the music to another old Outgroup song called "I Hate Japs", with the lyrics altered to be less offensive. The original Outgroup version was barely 30 seconds long. The rest of the set is basically all the songs from the demo.

CF also played shows with Youth of Today, Sheer Terror, Dag Nasty, Token Entry, and many other great NYHC bands.

Perry Pelonero was in Krieg Kopf (for about 2 weeks). Dave Jones was in Mental Abuse, Outgroup, and most notably played drums on Agnostic Front's classic "Victim in Pain" album. Chris Fist was in Breakdown, Mental Abuse and Life's Blood. Neil Burke was in Life's Blood and Born Against. Daryl Kahan was in Citizens Arrest, Born Against, True Colors and many death metal, black metal and powerviolence bands. Todd played in Jersey Fresh. Sid Sludge played in Mental Abuse and Outgroup (and i'm still not sure if he actually passed away).

Members of Clenched Fist have recently reformed, and Chris Fist is in the process of writing material for a new ep. It's going to kick ass so keep your eyes peeled.

You can check out the Clenched Fist Myspace page here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Up Front - 1987-1989 Rarities

Up Front were (and still are), a great straight edge hardcore band founded in NY. This is a collection of rare material recorded between 1987 and 1989. Raw and fast hardcore punk in the vein of bands of the time like Pressure Release, Unit Pride, Wide Awake, Our Gang etc. Thanks to David Michaels (once again) for helping with the music, and Jeff Terranova and Jon Field for helping with info, and for letting me post this collection. Enjoy.

Up Front: 1987-1989 Rarities

Demo (1987)

Steve Keeley - vocals
Jon Field - guitar
Jeff Terranova - bass
Dan Pettit - drums

The band's first demo was recorded in April of 1987 (only about 2 months after the band had been together), and was recorded in Jeff's parents basement by Mitch Mitchell on an 8-track recorder. This demo is a personal favorite of mine. It's the band at their most raw and abrasive. Certainly not the tightest of recordings, but for me that only adds to it's charm. Many of these songs were later re-recorded for the band's first LP, "Spirit", released in 1988 on Chris Daily's Smorgasbord Records (now run by Jeff Terranova), and the track "One Step Ahead" was recorded for the 1987 comp ep "X Marks the Spot", also released on Smorgasbord (and also featured tracks by Wide Awake and Pressure Release). The three Up Front tracks on this comp, "Something To Strive For", "One Step Ahead" and "Live and Let Live" were the band's first officially released material.

As to not cause any confusion in thinking some of the demo tracks were labeled wrong (as i did the first time i heard it), the track "Up Front" was later renamed "Our Best", and the track "Growing Stronger" was later renamed "Up Front".

Time Gone By (live 1987)

This unreleased song was taken from an early show at The Anthrax in 1987. It's a much more straight forward punk song (and pretty catchy too) than any other Up Front song that i've heard from that time period. I like this track a lot.

Jeff Terranova on "Time Gone By":

Time Gone By was an Up Front song that we used to play live... When we recorded the OG demo tape, we actually recorded like 11 songs and multiple versions of a few songs, which have never been heard by anyone. There was a time that I was contemplating releasing a "Demos" CD because the band recorded other demos over the years... one in 1991 and 1996.

Hopefully an Up Front "Demos" CD gets released one day, as i'd love to hear the studio version of this song.

Live on WNYU (1988)

Steve Keeley - vocals
Jon Field - guitar
Jeff Terranova - bass
Jim Eaton - drums

In December of 1987, Dan Pettit was replaced on drums by Jim Eaton. The band played on WNYU's Crucial Chaos show 3 times. July of 1988 with Steve on vocals (posted here), June of 1989 with Roger on vocals, and one more set years later with Jeff on vocals. Five of the eleven tracks from the '88 WNYU set were released as the "Doin' It Live on WNYU" ep, released on New Direction Records in 1996.

Rehearsals (1989)

Roger Lambert - vocals
Jon Field - guitar
Jeff Terranova - bass
Jim Eaton - drums

In December of '88 (a few months after the recording of the "Spirit" LP), Steve left the band. He was replaced on vocals by Roger Lambert in January of '89. These 14 rehearsal tracks were pulled from a session that was closer to 20 tracks, but since some of the tracks were different takes of the same song, and other tracks suffered from awful sound, i chose these 14. It's a great session consisting mostly of "Spirit" material. Roger does a perfect job putting his vocals to these classics. Soon after these rehearsals, Jim Eaton left the band and was replaced by former Enuf drummer Ari Katz.

I made it a point not to clean the tracks in this collection as much as the last few collections i've posted. I was able to get rid of the tape hiss and surface noise, but made sure to keep the raw, rough sound of the recordings. I think that's how these songs should be heard.

Up Front released a bunch of great records after "Spirit", went through some more lineup changes, break-ups and reformations, and are currently back together and playing shows.

If you're new to Up Front, i'd recommend checking out "Spirit" first, then "Daybreak" and "Movement" (my personal faves). From there you can make your way though the 7"s, which are all conveniently collected on the "Five By Seven" CD available from Smorgasbord Records.

For an extensive history of this band, plus discography, pics, current info etc, check out the band's official site here, and the band's Myspace here.

You can check out Jon Field's amazing collection of live hardcore footage (that he's digitized from his own personal collection) here. Lots of stuff by Up Front, Unit Pride, Pressure Release, Supertouch, Judge... you get the picture.

And lastly, don't forget to check out Jeff's "Anti-Emo Empire" radio show, which i'll plug even though i like emo. Ha.

Monday, October 19, 2009

American Standard - 1987-1992 Demos and more

American Standard were a great punk rock band from New Jersey. They were kinda grouped into the NYHC scene (the song "Away" even appeared on the "Sunday Matinee: The Best of NY Hardcore" comp LP released on Another Planet Records in 1994), although the band's sound was pretty far removed from the NYHC scene. They took influences from the DC scene, and the emo sound that evolved from Rites of Spring, gave it a bit of a harder rock edge, added some pop hooks, and created some unique and catchy music. This is a collection of material recorded prior to their amazing first album "Wonderland". Thanks to Jon Shiver, Jeremy Dean and Scott Bilbrey for the music. Enjoy.

American Standard: 1987-1988

William "Bill" Dolan - vocals

Matt Dolan - guitar
Scott Bilbrey - bass
Jay "J" Colangelo - drums

The "Thank You" demo (tracks 1-5) was recorded at Inner Ear Studio in Arlington, VA sometime in early 1988. These are my favorite versions of these 5 songs, and the sound quality is excellent. Versions of these tracks appear on other demos posted here, and all 5 were re-recorded for the "Wonderland" LP in 1989.

Tracks 6-9 are rough mixes of the Wonderland sessions recorded at Chung King in 1988. The opening track "Grin" is the only track exclusive to this session, as "It Comes Around" and "Building Blocks" are on the "Thank You" demo, and "Without Asking Why" is on the 1987 demo. Still, these are great renditions of these tracks, and definitely worth hearing. I cleaned up these tracks as best as possible.

Next up (tracks 10-16) is a great set recorded live on Pat Duncan's s
how on WFMU in East Orange NJ (at the time, the WFMU studio has since moved to Jersey City, NJ). This version of the set is strictly the music. I cut out all the in-between song banter because while de-hissing the set made the music sound much better, it made any talking between tracks sound much worse. You're not missing much though, the band introduces a few of the songs and makes one show announcement. The music sounds much better than any of the other copies you'll find, and that's all that counts. To me anyway.
Tracks 17-21 were the band's very first recordings, known as the "Paul Noser Demos". Some great exclusive tracks on this demo like "Blind Leading Blind", "Shadows" and "Love and Trust".

Scott Bilbrey on the "Paul Noser Demos":

Paul Noser was a friend and musical mentor of the band (and amazing musician) who had a small studio in his basement in suburban NJ, not far from where we lived and formed as a band. This was recorded in early 1987. Just some context, Matt and J were 16 years old -- juniors in high school. We were still finding our way musically and as a band, so go easy! :)

We played all of these songs in our real early shows (1987) but by mid-1988 the only one that survived was Away -- which we played pretty much to the end.

This is actually a rough mix of the demo, so there are a couple glitches (vocals fade in on Shadows; a clown horn that Bill was goofing with can be heard on Away -- was supposed to be edited out).

Blind Leading Blind was the first song we ever wrote.

I know we played Shadows at our first CBGB's gig in January 1988 (with Swiz) but I don't know if we played it much beyond that.

Away made it onto Wonderland -- this is the first recorded version.

This version of Where'd They Go is pretty much how we played it live, unlike the other version from the first Inner Ear Demos, which was a bit experimental. We played it live only a few times.

To read the full story behind the demos, check out the comments section of this post.
Also check the comments section for the original upload of the "Paul Noser Demos" (before i cleaned them).

Last in the collection are 4 demo tracks recorded at Inner Ear Studios in 1987. The quality varies from track to track, but considering these tracks were buried under so much tape hiss, i think they came out really well. The original '87 demo had 5 tracks. I didn't include the song "Thank You" due to horrible sound quality that was beyond repair. But that song is already in this collection twice, so no harm. Thanks to Scott Bilbrey for the info on all these recordings.

Matt Dolan on American Standard:

Washington DC. That was where our biggest influences were- the DC scene. Dag Nasty, Fugazi, bands like that. We were really inspired by that because it wasn't as 'aggro' as the New York scene was. There starting to call bands Emo-core now, and they were calling them Em
o-core back in '95.

You can read the entire interview with the band here.

And check out the American Standard page on the Maggadee Records site for lots of great band pics.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Tribute to Skip Candelori

This is a tribute to Frank "Skip" Candelori, the vocalist for Turning Point who died unexpectedly on June 19, 2002. I've compiled a collection of bands Skip was in from 1986-2000. Included are both Pointless (pre-Turning Point) demos, 3 Turning Point demo tracks, the Godspeed "Swimmer's Ear" ep, and the Memorial Day demo. All great sound quality. All great music. Thanks to Patrick Lindenhof for helping clean up the sound on the Pointless demos (they came out great). Also thanks to David Michaels and Jeremy for the music. Enjoy!

A Tribute to Skip Candelori


"Confusion" demo (1986) lineup
Skip Candelori - vocals / bass
Jay Laughlin - drums
Ed - guitar

"One Force" demo (1987) lineup
Lee - vocals
Skip Candelori - bass
Jay Laughlin - drums
Ed - guitar

Pointless started in 1986, as Skip and Jay were just getting into hardcore and wanted to start a band of their own. For a bunch of kids who were just learning their instruments, Poi
ntless put out 2 demos worth of some great memorable hardcore. The first demo "Confusion" (with Skip on vocals) is raw, stripped down, angry hardcore with a healthy dose of an early '80s punk sound (bands like 7 Seconds and Circle Jerks come to mind). The song "Confusion" has a bit of a darker edge, and sounds like it wouldn't be out of place on some '80s LA punk compilation. The "One Force" demo, my favorite of the two, is pure youthful energy. The first track "Staying A Youth" is just your classic hardcore punk song, with great riffs and a catchy singalong chorus. The kind of stuff that gets stuck in your head for days. On this demo, Skip just handles the bass duties, and the band's friend Lee steps in for the vocals. He does a killer job.

Jay Laughlin on Pointless:

Skip and I started talking about doing something, since we were both getting into punk and hardcore more and more. So I said "let's start a band!" I taught him how to play bass and then I taught this dude Ed to play guitar, and figured I would play drums. At first we would just goof around and play the intro to "We Gotta Know" or whatever. But we kept playing and this would end up being the band Pointless. The guy I took drum lessons from had a set up in his house to record, so we would go there to do stuff.

We were young, but we were playing out. Our f
irst real show was at Club Pizazz in Philly sometime in 1987 with Government Issue. It sounds like it should have been a cool show, except the same night at City Gardens was DRI and GBH, so there weren't many people at Pizazz. But it was still cool, even if it wasn't so packed. Overall though, Pointless didn't play too much, I guess kinda due to a mix of things.
We did two Pointless demos. The first one is with Skip singing, the second is with Lee singing. Skip could play bass and sing, but not at the same time. We never played with him singing though, his first time singing in a band on stage was Turning Point.
Turning Point
Skip Candelori - vocals
Jay Laughlin - guitar
Nick Greif - bass
Steve Crudello - guitar
Ken Flavell - drums

I did a Turning Point post a while back, so i won't be redundant and ramble about how great they are again. I posted 3 tracks from the 1988 demo. The source of these 3 tracks is from a cassette given to my bud Jeremy from Skip and Jay when Jeremy sent for a Pointless demo and asked to do an interview. The 3 tracks from the (at the time) not yet released '88 demo sound much fuller and heavier than any Turning Point demos i've ever heard, including the ones on the discography CD on Jade Tree Records. I'd love to get a copy of the entire demo with this sound. Thanks to Jeremy for sending me these tracks. I was blown away when i heard them.

Jay Laughlin on Turning Point:
By 1987 we were totally into hardcore, like full on. We met the guys from Failsafe by them playing with Pointless. We just got friendly through playing, so we knew their drummer Ken, who lived in Tabernacle. From dabbling with guitar more and more, I decided that's what I wanted to play. So me and Skip talked to Ken about doing something. And we also had met Nick through a friend of a friend, he lived in Vincentown and played bass. We all had the same ideas and focus, and we were all on the same page. We decided to get together and do a band - which was Turning Point.

For the entire interview, and lots of other great interviews with members of Turning Point (and shitloads of other bands), check out the fantastic Double Cross online blog-zine.
Skip Candelori - vocals
Jay Laughlin - bass
Dave Grubb - guitar
Sean Byrnre - drums

After the demise of Turning Point in 1992, Skip and Jay started the short-lived Godspeed. Listening to later-Turning Point, the music they played in Godspeed was the logical next step. The "Swimmer's Ear" ep, released on Temperance Records in 1993, was more in the vein of the early '90s "emo" scene, and much more indie rock (for lack of a better term) oriented than the hardcore they played years prior. At times it's similar to what bands like American Standard were doing early on, and at other times it has a kind of Native Nod or Greyhouse vibe. Whatever the case, it's a great ep. I only wished they would have kept it going a while longer.
Memorial Day
Skip Candelori - vocals
Steve Crudello - guitar
Nick Fantazzi - guitar
Anthony Montemurro - bass
Brandon Wallace - drums

Another short-lived project with Skip on vocals, and joined this time by ex-Turning Point 2nd guitarist Steve Crudello. Memorial Day only released one demo during their existence in 1999/2000. It's similar to what Godspeed were doing, but a bit more noisy and experimental in the guitar dept. Think Dinosaur Jr. meets Jets To Brazil. I'm not too good with comparisons, just check it out for yourself, it's an excellent demo, and my favorite Skip-related project after Turning Point.

Since 2000, members of Turning Point have continued to play music in countless bands. In 2002, Jay Laughlin, Dave Grubb, Sean Byrne and others (in a band called Lenola) released a a 2xCD called "Sharks and Flames" which they dedicated to Skip.


Note of interest: Both Pointless demos are missing one track each. There was a song on the "Confusion" demo called "Cardboard Box", which i left out because of the awful sound quality. It breaks apart in various spots and sounds like it was recorded under water. Also, the last track on the "One Force" demo is missing. It was labeled as "Untitled", and the mp3 i had cuts off after only 20 seconds. If anyone has these missing tracks, please get in touch.

The Pointless photo was taken from the Double Cross blog. Head over there to check out other pics of Pointless, Turning Point, and related bands.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In Your Face - 1988-1993 Discography

Hardcore punk from Long Island. This is everything the band recorded between 1988-1993. Enjoy.

In Your Face discography

1988 demo lineup
Marc - vocals
Eric - guitar
Joe - guitar
Mike - bass
Johnny - drums

The 1988 demo is my favorite In Your Face material. The music has a bit of a crossover feel to it, and juvenile lyrics as you can see from the song titles. Don't write this off because of Faggot Stomp (a song the band has since apologized about), it's a great demo.

1989 "Grub" lineup
Marc - vocals
Joe - guitar
Dave - bass
Ernie - drums / guitar

The "Grub" 7", released on Common Cause Records in 1989, has a more mature sound, although the lyrics are still a bit on the silly side. The music here is much different than the demo. At their best moments they sound like a mix of 411, Angry Samoans and Token Entry. Great ep, with artwork by drummer Ernie Parada, who also played in Token Entry as well as other notable NYHC bands. The song "My Turn" is a classic.

The first comp track, a great cover of Devo's "Gates of Steel", was originally released on the compilation 7" "Seeing With New Eyes" on Scooby-Doo Records in 1990. I'm not sure where the other comp track is from, if anyone knows, please leave a comment.

Up next is the unreleased "Henpecked" 7", recorded sometime in the early '90s. This ep sees the band changing sounds yet again. This one has much more of a pop-punk feel. Very Screeching Weasel influenced, even going so far as to cover Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now".

After that it's back to the early lineup for the live at WNYU set. This set has Timmy Chunks of Token Entry filling in for Marc on vocals, and Mike, the bass player for Ludichrist, filling in for Joe on guitar. The sound quality is a bit rough on these recordings, but it's listenable (and gets better as it goes along), and it's a great set. Energy and antics, that sums this set up.

Closing up the collection are 2 live songs recorded at CBGB sometime in 1988.

Thanks to Mark Anthony for the music and the artwork. I included the covers he sent me below.

Neos - 1980-1983 Discography

One of my favorite '80s Canadian hardcore bands, alongside Negative Gain (which i already posted), Genetic Control and Nunfuckers (both of which i plan on posting in the future). Neos were just pure youthful energy. Absolute chaos put to vinyl. This is a collection of the band's 2 7"s, both released in 1982, an unreleased studio track from '83, and the "Fight With Donald" 7", recorded in '83 and released in '97. 43 essential tracks of frantic hardcore from one of the pioneers. The first 26 tracks were all ripped from the long out of print CD released on Break Even Records in 1997, so the sound is excellent. "Fight With Donald" is a vinyl rip i found online. I fixed it up as best as possible, but it's still pretty rough sounding compared to the rest of the collection.

Supreme Echo Records is planning on releasing a discography LP which will include remastered versions of all the material here, plus unreleased '82 demos, 7" outtakes, rehearsal tracks, live soundboard tracks and songs from an unreleased LP from 1983. For more info check out the band's Myspace page here
. Until that happens, you can enjoy this:

Neos: 1980-1983

Steve Bailey - vocals / guitar
Kev Smith - bass / vocals / drums
Mario Kasapi - drums

Hassibah Gets The Martian Brain Squeeze 7" (Alandhiscar Records 1982)
Recorded at Hole In The Wall Studios, Victoria on Sept. 18, 1982. Engineered by Scott Henderson on 3 tracks. No overdubs, except vocals on tracks 4 & 9. Mastered as a combined effort of Hole In The Wall and Subteranean Studios by Scott Henderson and Bob Wright on Oct. 3, 1982. Pressed at IRC, Vancouver, in Dec. 1982.

The Hassibah Gets The Martian Brain Squeeze 7" was repressed in 1983 on Ratcage Records in NYC. For some odd reason, many of the song titles were changed on the repress. For instance the first song "Destruct" is labeled as "Racetrack". The recordings are the same though.

End All Discrimination 7" (Alandhiscar Records 1982)
Recorded with Subterranean Studios Mobil Unit. Rhythm tracks done in 25 minutes in Steve's basement on Sept. 11, 1981. Vocals done at the Vancouver St. House, in the living room on Dec. 22, 1981. Mastered Jan. '82. Pressed at IRC, Vancouver, Jan.-Feb. of 1982.

All recording info taken from original first pressings of records.

The song "Sleeve" was supposedly the only song recorded during the sessions for an LP the band was working on in 1983. It was released on both the Fight With Donald 7" and the CD on Break Even Records. Of course i included the CD version.
Fight With Donald 7" (Schizophrenic/Break Even Records 1997)
All material recorded live in 1983, except for the song "Sleeve", which was recorded at Hole In The Wall Studios, and "Fight With Donald" recorded in 1980.

Neos were on a few comps, although none of the comp tracks were exclusive. They had a few songs on the Raw War tape, Grevious Musical Harm tape, and Beating The Meat LP, all released on Xcentric Records between 1983-1984.

After the Neos broke up in late '83, Steve and Kev continued as Harvest of Seaweed for roughly one year, releasing various cassettes. Members also went on to Sludge Confrontations, Mexican Power Authority
and Showbiz Giants.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Negative Gain - 1985-1986 Discography

Killer thrash hardcore from Toronto, Ontario. Fast and aggressive but with a dark edge at times. Classic stuff that was unfortunately never re-issued or released on CD. This collection compiles the band's 1986 "Back From the Dead" LP on Pusmort Records, and the band's self-released demo tape from 1985. Excellent quality on both recordings, and i boosted the demo to match the volume of the LP. Sounds great. Enjoy.

Negative Gain: 1985-1986

Peter Warner - vocals

Grant C. Slavin - guitar
Steve Currie - bass
Andrew Mosely - drums

Band History (by Grant Slavin):
Negative Gain was founded in Toronto, Ontario by Peter Warner who wrote all of the lyrics and provided rehearsal space in his basement. Filling out the lineup was Grant C. Slavin on guitar, Steve Currie on bass, and Andrew Mosely on drums. All members were in their mid-teens at the time. Their influences included Minor Threat, Millions of Dead Cops, the Misfits, and the Dead Kennedys, as well as local TO bands Direct Action and Sudden Impact.
Negative Gain got their first break in '83 when we were asked by local Toronto promoter Jill Heath to open for Jodie Fosters Army at the city's legendary punk club The Turning Point. After the show Pete and Grant went skateboarding with JFA. The evening was documented in a subsequent issue of Thrasher as JFA's guitarist Don Pendelton was writing a column for the rag documenting their tour. Other memorable Negative Gain gigs around this time include warming up for bands like the Circle Jerks, Gang Green, the Descendents and 7 Seconds. The young thrash band soon went from listening to their favorite bands' records on a daily basis to hanging out with them backstage and stealing their beer rider!
More help from Jill Heath came when the promoter sent Negative Gain's 1985 demo tape, Attack of the Killer Bears, to Pushead for review. Pushead evidently like the tape so much that he offered to release a full-length LP for the band. Negative Gain recorded their album in Oakville, Ontario in about five hours on a Saturday afternoon, as studio time was limited to what the young band could afford to spend on the recording. The session was produced by Brian Taylor of the Toronto band Youth Youth Youth.
Sadly, Pete Warner committed suicide not too long after the recording was completed, and never lived to see its release. His last gig with the band was with Toronto's Bunchofuckingoofs. Negative Gain continued on as a three-piece for about two more years, before splitting in the late 1980s.

Info taken from the Kill From the Heart site. Go here for more info and lyrics to the "Back From
the Dead" LP.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rancor - Promo collection for upcoming discography

This is a promo collection for the upcoming Rancor discography, to be released in 2010 on Youngblood Records.

Rancor played fast hardcore punk in the spirit of other early Younglood bands like Life's Halt, Rain on the Parade, Tear it Up etc. This has the riffs and energy of the late '80s "youth crew" sound, with plenty of sing along choruses and positive lyrics, but this is no carbon copy band, or "retro" by any means. Far from it. The songs sound fresh. And they rip.

I was stoked when i found out i'd be working with the label that released "We Sold Our Souls For Hardcore", one of my favorite records of the late '90s. And here we are 10 years later, and Youngblood is still putting out records by some of my favorite current hardcore bands like Iron Age, Mind Eraser, and Police and Thieves. Who said punk is dead? Oh yeah, that Bluth guy.

So here you go. A collection of Rancor's earliest material. The demo and first ep, all ripped directly from the master tapes for excellent sound quality. Thanks to Sean Youngblood for his enthusiasm with this project, and for turning me on to a great band. This stuff will all be re-mastered soon (with plenty more music), so here's your chance to get these early songs in their original pre-mix versions. Enjoy! I sure did.

Rancor: 1995-1996 Collection

In antici
pation of the upcoming Rancor reunion at this year's Youngblood Records Showcase we wanted to work with one of our favorite blogs to bring you some out-of-print Rancor material. Hell, all of Rancor's material is long out-of-print but we are in the process of compiling and mastering their full discography which is due out in 2010.
This collection couples the "I Won't Take Part" Demo and "Flip The Switch" EP. The tracks are taken straight from the masters but are in un-mastered form. Despite the tracks being un-mastered, they are clean rips that sound pretty great.
Hailing from Allentown, Rancor's "Flip The Switch" EP was our first release so we will always be grateful to them. They were some of the funnest guys you could ever know and their live shows were intense. Andy (the singer) was especially nuts on and off the stage and he always had a prank up his sleeve.
Listening to these tracks takes me back to 1997 when hardcore on the East Coast was really popping with bands like Floorpunch, Ten Yard Fight, Hands Tied, Fastbreak, 97a, Atari, Rain On The Parade & Rancor playing out every weekend. It was exciting to be working with a band that we were 100% stoked on and the trips up to Allentown to hang out, plan records, work on layouts, etc. were some of the most fun we've had doing the label.
Thanks for checking it out. Enjoy.

— Sean O'Donnell
Youngblood Records

I Won't Take Part Demo
Recorded 1995

Jamie Heim - guitar
Andy Frobase - vocals
Mexically Mike Madrigale - bass
Chris Kayes - drums
Flip The Switch ep / The Time Is Now Comp Session
Recorded 1996

Jamie Heim - guitar
Andy Frobase - vocals
Ryan Buenaflor - bass
Chris Kayes - drums
Never Hold Back ep
Recorded 1997

Memories Of Tomorrow Compilation LP/CD
Recorded 1998

Jamie Heim - guitar
Andy Frobase - vocals
Greg Tomszack - bass
Chris Kayes - drums
"I Won't Take Part" Demo (1995)
"Flip The Switch" 7", Youngblood Records, YB-1 (1997)
"Time Is Now" 7" Compilation, Tension Building Records (1997)
"Never Hold Back" 7", Youngblood Records, YB-3 (1998)
"Memories Of Tomorrow" Compilation LP/CD, Youngblood Records, YB-6 (2000)
The Youngblood 2009 Showcase is Saturday, October 10th in Harrisburg, PA. More information can be found at the Youngblood Records website, and Myspace page. You can also check out the Rancor Myspace page here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Under Pressure - 1988 Discography

More late '80s hardcore from New York. Under Pressure had a heavy sound in the vein of bands like Outburst, Breakdown, Raw Deal etc, with a bit of a patriotic slant in the lyric department. So here you go, more short-lived "New Breed" NYHC brought back to like. This collection compiles both the bands demos and a rehearsal session, all recorded in 1988. Thanks to Mauricio for all his time in helping me put this together. Enjoy.

Under Pressure 1988 Collection

Mauricio Vega on Under Pressure:

Under Pressure started out started as an oi hardcore band, sometime in the early part of 1987. The band was originally from Staten Island, NY. I was the only member that lived in Queens, NY. In April of 1988, Under Pressure released an 8-song demo titled “Vicious Bite”.

With the line-up of:
Mauricio Vega – Vocals
AmeriKen – Guitar
Dom Viola – Bass
VinSkin Conti – Drums
By the end of the summer of ‘88, Under Pressure started to go thru line up changes. At one point, Eric (Guitar player from the first “In Your Face” demo) played guitar for few gigs. After trying out numerous musicians, the new Under Pressure line-up was set.
Mauricio Vega – Vocals
Louie Negron – Guitar
Jimmy Lean – Bass
Scott Goettelmann – Drums
This new line-up was from Hicksville, Long Island NY. The band went from being from Staten Island, to Long Island. Looking back, I did a hell of a lot of traveling just to rehearse, LOL.
This was the line-up that recorded the song “Supremist” for New Breed Compilation. But by the end of 1988, Louie Negron left the band and Garret Snied took over on Guitar.
In December of 1988, Under Pressure released a 9-song demo titled “Vengeance”.
The line-up of:
Mauricio Vega – Vocals
Garret Snied – Guitar
Jimmy Lean – Bass
Scott Goettelmann – Drums
I’ve noticed on a few blogs that they claim to have the Vengeance demo, but they do not. What they have is a rehearsal session that we recorded with Louie Negron on Guitar. We used that recorded rehearsal tape mainly for seeking a new guitarist, and for booking gigs.
I have no idea how they got those recordings but, they do not have the real Vengeance demo. You will be the first to have the real Vengeance demo.
The new Under Pressure line-up had a much more heavier sound than the original line up. By the summer of 1989, Under Pressure decided to change their name to “Vicious Bite”.
Vicious Bite released, “Till Death Do You Part” (Taken from the Vengeance Demo) for the Chop-Chop Compilation on Skene Records. By the end of the summer of 1989, bassist Jimmy Lean, was diagnosed with cancer and left the band (RIP Jimmy). Since I wrote a lot of the music, I decided to play bass, and Tommy “Thunder” Goettelmann became the new vocalist.
The final Line-up was:
Tommy “Thunder” Goettelmann – Vocals
Garret Snied – Guitar
Mauricio Vega – Bass
Scott Goettelmann – Drums
Vicious Bite played a few shows with this line-up, and played a live set at the WNYU Spermicide radio show. But by the end of 1989, Vicious Bite broke up. Their last show was at The Anthrax in Connecticut sometime in the fall of 1989.
Since then, I’ve been playing bass in a band called the “Accidental Tribe” under the name Moe Cash.
Recently, I’ve been talking to my former Under Pressure band members about doing a reunion show, and possibly, re-recording all our old songs. Unfortunately, there is a band from Canada called Under Pressure, which has absolutely no relation to the NYHC band Under Pressure. So if we do re-unite, it will be under the name Vicious Bite.

—Mauricio Vega

As usual, i restored the files a best as possible. The Vicious Bite demo was especially a challenge, as the songs were buried under a layer of tape hiss. I'm pretty happy with the end results.

I've been listening to these songs for the past week and it's all great stuff, but the rehearsal session is probably my favorite recordings. That could be due to the fact that the New Breed track, and the rehearsal (which i always thought was the Vengeance demo) was my exposure to this band. Such a great sound on those rehearsals though, it actually could have been a demo, or even made a great ep.

If anyone has the Vicious Bite live WNYU set, or any other Under Pressure rarities, please g
et in touch.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Burn Discography

The live set was recorded at CBGB on 10/14/90. The first track starts off a bit rough, but it gets better, and is most likely the best sounding Burn set you'll ever come across. This exact set was bootlegged on CD and labeled as "Live in NYC 1991". Not only did the bootlegger get the year wrong, but most of the song titles were wrong as well (most just seemed to be made up). Also, a lot of the stage banter was cut out and their were a few tracks that were poorly separated (the end of a song would be at the start the next song etc). So here's the set in it's entirety. Correct date, correct titles and correctly separated. Not to mention the quality is better. I've also included two unreleased studio tracks. On And On and Onlooker were taken from a 1990 rehearsal, most likely at Don Fury Studios during the 7" sessions, but i'm not 100% sure of that. The rehearsals were basically several takes of these 2 songs, and one or two other songs. I picked what i thought were the best sounding, and best performed versions of the 2 unreleased tracks, and cleaned them up as best as possible, removing all tape hiss and boosting the sound. I think they came out great. Thanks to Brett Beach and Graham Hooper for helping out with the music, and Chadski, Adam, Daily and the rest of the Livewire crew for helping out with the info. Enjoy.


Burn were incredible. After the demise of great bands like Collapse and Absolution, Burn took NYHC into the '90s in a powerful and progressive way. They could have paved the way for an incredible scene, instead, they turned out to be one of the last true great NYHC bands. Don't get me wrong, their were still great hardcore bands that followed throughout the '90s, but as far as the traditional NYHC sound goes, for me Burn was the swan song.

Chaka Malik - vocals
Gavin Van Vlack - guitar
Alex Napack - bass
Alan Cage - drums
John Kricksiun (who played for Collapse, Life's Blood and Absolution) played drums on the 2 comp tracks.

The Burn s/t 7" was recorded May-June of 1990 at Don Fury Studios and released in 1990 on Revelation Records.

The Last Great Sea was recorded in 1992 at Don Fury Studios and made the rounds throughout the '90s as a demo. It was finally released in 2002 by Revelation. Three killer tracks.

The Forever comp 7" was released in 1990 on Irate Records and also featured tracks by Turning Point, Born Against, Rorschach and Citizens Arrest. The best 7" compilation of the '90s? To me it is.

The Rebuilding comp 7" was released in 1990 on Temperance Records and also featured tracks by Turning Point, Gorilla Biscuits and No Escape. Temperance re-released it in 1996 on CD with the Turning Point/No Escape split 7" and the Burn song from the Forever comp as bonus tracks.

Burn started in '88 and broke up in '94. Chaka formed Orange 9mm, Gavin (Absolution, NY Hoods, Side By Side) joined Pry and Die 116, and Alan Cage (Beyond) joined Quicksand. Prior to Burn, Alex Napack played in Pressure Release, and Chaka helped Freddy Alva put out the infamous New Breed tape.

The band reformed in 2001 with the addition of guitarist Vic DiCara (Inside Out) and bassist Manny Carrero (Glassjaw) and released the "Cleanse" ep (2001 Equal Vision Records), which i h
ave yet to hear.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ringworm - 1990-2003

'90s metallic hardcore is a genre i'm not too familiar with, or really have any interest in, but Ringworm are in a league of their own. From Cleveland, Ohio, the band started as Force of Habit (with only one known recording under that name), then changed their name to Ringworm and self-released the completely powerful and vicious 1991 demo. The band went on hiatus after the demo and didn't record anything again until 1999. 8 years later and the "Madness of War" demo sounds like it picks up right where they left off. They've been putting out records ever since, and are still active today.

This is a collection of demos, split eps (all out of print), cover songs, live tracks, alternate mixes of some tracks from their first full length, and the only known Force of Habit track recorded in 1990. 27 tracks spanning 1990-2003, all excellent sound quality, and all tracks mastered to be at the same volume. I put this one together for myself, but it came out so good i decided to share it here. Enjoy!

Ringworm 1991-2003 Anthology

1991 demo lineup:

James Bulloch (Human Furnace) - vocals
Frank Novinec - guitar
Chris Pellow - bass
Kenny Carpenter - drums

The original demo was recorded on August 5, 1991 at Mars Studio in Cleveland, Ohio and released as a 7" in 1995 on Blood Book Records. All music written by Frank Novinec and all lyrics by the Human Furnace. These tracks were later re-recorded for the band's first LP entitled "The Promise" released on Incision Records in 1993. The demo recordings are far superior in my opinion, and the version in this collection is devoid of the samples before each track. The 1991 demo is by far my favorite Ringworm recording, and i never seem to get tired of it.

The band went through many lineup changes throughout the years, and i'm not sure what the lineup was in '99 when they returned with the "Madness of War" demo. Three crushing songs, 2 of which were re-recorded for the band's split 7" with Cold As Life released on Stillborn Records in 2001.

The split cd ep with Godbelow, known as "Hollowed Soul" was released on Surface Records in 2000. One new track, a crushing re-recording of Necropolis (from 1991), and a cover of Killing Time's "Brightside".

The split 7" with Terror was recorded on May of 2003 at Spider Studios and released on July 15, 2003 on Deathwish Inc. Records. Both tracks were re-recorded for the third full-length "Justice Replaced by Revenge" released Oct. 18 on Victory Records.

The Circle Jerks and Angry Samoans covers threw me for a loop when i first heard them because of the clean guitar sound and clean vocals. They stay true to the originals, and there's really no way you can even tell it's Ringworm unless told. These tracks were recorded in 1991, and "I Just Want Some Skank" was released on the 1991 compilation "Dark Empire Strikes Back: Cleveland Compilation" released on Dark Empire Records. I'm not sure if the other tracks were released on any compilations, i got all 3 of them from the "Flatline" CD put out by Lost & Found Records in 2005.

The live tracks were recorded at Peabody's in June of '94. I'm pretty sure this is the original lineup with the exception of Chris Dora on drums. Such a vicious rendition of Urine. These tracks were also taken from the "Flatline" CD, as were the next batch of songs, the alternate mixes of various tracks from "The Promise".

The last track is the only known Force of Habit (pre-Ringworm) song, taken from the "Voice of Thousands" comp released on Conversion Records in 1990.

If anyone has any further info on lineups during certain recordings (or just any further info in general), please leave a comment.
Current members:
Human Furnace - vocals
Matt Sorg - guitar
John Comprix - guitar
Chris Dora - drums
Mike Lare - bass / vocals
Former Members:
Matt Devries - guitar
Frank "3-Gun" Novinec - guitar
Danny Zink - drums
Chris Pellow - bass
Bblaze Tishko - guitar / bass
John Lock Jaw - bass
Chris Smith - guitar
Kenny Carpenter - drums
Bob Zieger - drums
Aaron Ramirez - bass
Aaron Dallison - guitar
Steve Rochourst - bass
Ben Hhallowell - bass

If you like this stuff, be sure to check out the Holyghost 1999 demo, which is available on CD from Deathwish Inc. Records with 2 bonus tracks. Human Furnace on vocals.

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

Original line-up

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.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Turning Point - Demos & Live on WNYU 1988-1991

One of New Jersey's finest. Here's the entire 10 track 1988 demo , and a great sounding set recorded live on WNYU in 1991. Enjoy.

Turning Point: Demos and Live

The demo was recorded July-August of 1988 at Bill Cribbin Studios in NJ. This is by far my favorite Turning Point recordings. Many of these songs were later re-recorded for the band's first s/t 7" on Hi-Impact Records released December of '88. Great record, but i'll take the demos any day. Eight of these ten tracks were released on the Turning Point discography released on Jade Tree Records in 2000, which i highly recommend purchasing.

The live set was recorded on WNYU's Crucial Chaos show on February 7, 1991. Fourteen tracks, spanning the band's output from '88-'91, including a few unreleased tracks. I cleaned up this set as best as possible, fixing any sound problems, removing tape hiss, boosting the sound, and editing the tracks to make it sound as "professional" as i could. I think it came out excellent. The band played an incredible set which deserves to be heard this way. I prefer many of these versions to the official releases, especially the LP tracks, as the raw production and added energy put these recordings over the top. Classic stuff, check it out.

Skip Candelori - vocals
Jay Laughlin - guitar
Nick Greif - bass
Ken Flavell - drums

Steve Crudello played 2nd guitar on the band's s/t 7" and the track "Insecurity" from the Forever comp 7" (1990 Irate Records). He also played live with the band between 1988-1990.


Turning Point Demo Cassette
Recorded July-August 1988 at Bill Cribbin Studios, NJ

"Turning Point" 7" (Hi-Impact Records)
Recorded December 3, 1988 at Audio Plus, NJ

"Forever" Compilation 7" (Irate Records)
Recorded Spring 1989 at Why Me?, NJ

"Words to Live By, Words to Die For" Compilation 7" (New Age Records)
Recorded Fall 1989 at Bill Cribbin Studios, NJ

"Rebuilding" Compilation 7" (Temperance Records)
Recorded August 1990 at Why Me?, NJ

"It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn" LP (New Age Records)
Recorded January 12, 13, 15 1990 at Why Me?, NJ

Turning Point/No Escape Split 7" (Temperance Records)
Recorded February 1991 at Why Me?, NJ

Discography info taken from the Jade Tree website.