Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Exploder 7"

Sometime in 1999, my buddy Sean and I were digging through records at Doylestown, Pennsylvania's fantastic Siren Records when he stumbled upon this Richmond bands LP, "This Sound Stars Right Now". He took a chance and bought it (probably because it was on white vinyl and came out on Baltimore's excellent Reptilian Records) and when we listened to it at our cute friend "Grody Jodi"s apartment (Sean's eye candy at the time), we were absolutely floored. The Exploder are probably the best emo band you aren't listening to. Equal parts chaotic, spastic and catchy hardcore punk that was just heavy enough and, perhaps most notably, was energetic as fuck.

The 7" presented here is their earliest output and, most likely, is way better than anything the last three bands you were in ever did. Recorded in March of 1997 and released by Virginia indie Jackpot Records, it serves as a great introduction to what the band would eventually accomplish less than a year later. After this ep and before the aforementioned full length, The Exploder did a split 12" with North Carolina's Griver, who similarly delivered up some seriously good late 90s emo/hardcore. This, of course, was a period of time before the words "emo" and "screamo" were associated with shitty corporate mall metal, dudes with pink hair who also wore eyeliner, and other things that had absolutely nothing in common with the true spirit of do-it-yourself emotional hardcore punk, man.

Unfortunately, the last two releases by The Exploder were nowhere near as good as their first four phenomenal records. It was like the dudes in the band stopped taking their adderall and started listening to Mineral (who ruled) or The Promise Ring (who didn't). The abrasive edge just wasn't there anymore; instead it was replaced with a heaping helping of melody and not-very-goodiness that just didn't hit me in the face anymore. These final  records included a six song ep titled "West End Kids Crusade" from 2000, and a split 7" with Cross My Heart from late 2000 or early 2001. Dim Mak Records, which used to be operated by the well known DJ Steve Aoki, put out the WEKC record, in case that would matter to you.

Wrapping this post up, it would be wise of you to seek out everything by this band if you listen to Frodus, Four Hundred Years, Midiron Blast Shaft or even pre-Victory Records era Grade. You can start with this seven inch and thank me later. Big ups to Jaybie for making sure this record wound up in my hands many moons ago.

-good intentions-

1) Escrow
2) Burnt Black
3) Greek Lightning

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