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.