Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Linus - "Caffeine For the Heart"

Back in mid-1998, my childhood friend Sean Barker and I had reconnected after a few years of not being in touch at all. Our mutual friend Frank had told me that Sean was also into hardcore and, like myself at the time, was straight edge. After hanging out a few times and thoroughly checking out each others record collections, we started attending shows together. Lots of these shows were in nearby New Jersey, and anyone who knows anything at all about 1990s hardcore knows that NJ had quite the scene at the time. Anyway, it was 1998 and the internet was brand spanking new to me. Probably the MOST INTRIGUING, ADDICTIVE THING to me was the America Online (also known as AOL, for all you young cats) Hardcore Punk Chat room, where hc kids from all across the country would converge to discuss music, shows, etc. Needless to say, I spent way too much time visiting said forum. By doing so, this eventually resulted in meeting some of these like minded people and moshing it up together at shows. Two of these kids were Rich, the drummer from Linus, and his younger brother Paul / Pauly. Both were exceptionally nice guys.

These 7 songs were originally released as a demo cassette called "my heart bleeds tears but i don't cry", and that tape had a slightly different song order. The demo eventually was properly re-released on cd (complete with a misspelling of "caffeine" and inconsistent capitalization on the face of the disc) by local hardcore label Now Or Never Records, who you may remember put out two early Dillinger Escape Plan records. The songs were recorded in July 1998 at Upstart Studios in Hoboken, NJ. I think I only saw them play two or three times (once at Middlesex County College with about 9 other bands, one The Judas Factor and Indecision and one other time with, I believe, Floorpunch) and they always killed it. Linus had a sound that always reminded me of the Michigan band Empathy and also somewhat of the first Lifetime 7", but with screamier vocals. There are plenty of chunky guitars throughout these jams, but they didn't shy away from quieter stuff, too. Solid emo / hardcore with more emphasis on the latter than the former. Lastly, I remember Pauly telling me once that the singer Matt listened to only two things, and nothing else: indie rock and Chokehold.  Enjoy!

*Disclaimer - I'm relatively terrible with technology, so hopefully the below link works. It probably wont though, because I have basically no idea what I'm doing.*


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