Friday, May 6, 2011

Freewill - 1988

Sorry for the delay. I'm finding myself with much less time for this blog since my work hours changed (and having another kid), but i intend to keep it alive, and have lots of great music on the way. In the works - Jersey Fresh, Mecht Mensch discography, revised Absolution and Warzone collections, and a huge goth punk/deathrock post. Until then..

Freewill were a melodic punk band from California who recorded some excellent music in 1988.

Their legacy is a 7 song demo (cleaned up for this post), and 10 tracks recorded for an LP on Wishingwell Records titled "Sun Return" which was unfortunately never released. Besides some test presses which are out there, this LP was released as the "Almost Again" CD in 1995 by the notorious Lost & Found Records out of Germany.

Describing the music here is a tough one. The songs have a certain charm to them that i just love. It's punk. It's hardcore. But they have a pop, almost emo vibe that makes them unique. Maybe a lo-fi, minimalist Dag Nasty meets Descendents? Most of these tracks wouldn't sound out of place on those old Shredder "The World's In Shreds" comps from the late '80s. There's really no description that will do the band justice, just check it out. Enjoy:

Freewill discography

Scott Gravois - vocals

Paul Cranston - guitar
Charlie Trujillo - drums

Mike Hartsfield - bass
Kevin Necessary - bass

The CD on Lost & Found is a mess. Besides the mixed up and incomplete track list, the CD has
Kevin Necessary credited to playing bass, although i can't find anything else online to confirm he played on any recordings (the demo maybe?). The CD also mistakenly credits Mike Hartsfield as Mark Hartsfield. Mike also played in Outspoken, Strife, Enswell, Solitude, Against the Wall and several other bands. He founded New Age Records in 1988 and co-founded Network Sound Records in the early '90s with Outspoken bandmate Dennis Remsing. You can check out an interviews with Mike Hartsfield here and here. As far as other Freewill members playing in other bands, i have no info.

Shortly after recording for the unreleased LP, Freewill changed their name to Stone Telling and re-recorded 9 of their songs for an album on Network Sound Records, released in 1994 on both LP and CD.

According to the album notes: Recorded in November 1988 at Pendragon Studios in Hermosa Beach, California. Additional recording in August 1990 at EP Productions in Huntington Beach, California.

I've never heard the Stone Telling re-recordings, and really have no desire to.

I've heard rumors of a second unreleased Freewill LP, but have never came across any solid proof. If anyone has any further info on the band, please comment.