Thursday, May 14, 2015

Shoulder 7"

Shoulder was a severely under-appreciated (both then and now) four piece from Ontario, Canada. They played a brand of melodic hardcore with sung vocals and with what many people would consider to be "emo" leanings, similar to a lot of stuff that was coming from the mid-western part of the United States around that time. I'm pretty sure these two songs make up the last released output from Shoulder, but I can't remember if the split 7" with Morning Again on Moo Cow came out before or after this ep. "Body" is probably my favorite Shoulder song, although "Flower Drum Song" from the above-mentioned split gives it a serious run for it's money.

This was a split released between Conquer The World and Shoulder's guitarist's label, Rhythm Of Sickness. The songs included here were recorded at Signal To Noise in Toronto with Rob Sanzo, who recorded buttloads of awesome bands you should probably be listening to, including Grade and New Day Rising. I'm pretty sure wacky French Canadian prog-metal heroes Voivod recorded some stuff here, as well.

The 7" presented here came out in 1996 and is quite good, so that's probably all you need to know. I never got to see these dudes play, and I can't recall hearing about them coming through my area because I would not have missed them*. Still can't believe it's been +/- 20 years since all of these ridiculously awesome records were released. The time really seems to fly once you start getting older.

CTW-017 / ROS-02

-I will bend until I'm broken-

1) Kindling
2) Body

* This may or may not actually be true. I remember missing Farside and Nomeansno shows here in Philadelphia because I'd made the decision to not miss work instead of going to see said bands. Apparently there was a point in my life when waiting tables took precedence over hardcore, and I'm an asshole. My friend Sean still reminds me of this fact every so often, and there was a Nomeansno reference there too, did you catch it?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Standpoint 7"

This 7" is comprised of three awesome melodic hardcore songs with amazing female vocals, courtesy of Standpoint, who hailed from the Jersey Shore. My first experience with this band was seeing them play in 1995 in Princeton, NJ with Mouthpiece at the Arts Council, which was an awesome place to see bands play. They had released a demo at this point, which I still have never heard, and this ep was still in the process of being released. The record gives us an excellent combination of chugga-chugga hardcore and, as noted earlier, beautiful vocals. I remember Standpoint getting compared to Ashes left and right, and while this contrast may be somewhat accurate, it wasn't entirely so. It was a good place to get an idea of what Standpoint was bringing to the table, though, even though I always thought they were better than Ashes.

Standpoint went on to release a full length on Smorgasbord Records in 1996, which also ruled. They appeared on a few compilation cd's as well, and that was that. I remember reading in an interview with the band that Reilly (the vocalist) and Steve (the drummer) were dating, so I'm not sure if that came into play as to why the band broke up. Regardless, both this 7" and the Whatever full length were great, so check it out if you dig female-fronted hardcore with less emphasis on "hard" and more on "emotion". This is my favorite out of the two releases.

This 7" was the first release from New Jersey's Spiritfall Records, yet another great 90s d.i.y. label. Also, peep my sweet Standpoint long sleeve...there's a robot on the back! Yes, that's the band's name below the fabulous artwork. No, it's not for sale.

-making my insides quiver watching you just shiver in front of me-

1) Blindsided
2) At A Loss For Words
3) Plant The Seeds

Fadeaway cd

Here is the self-titled release by Buffalo's Fadeaway, whose lineup included past and future members of Despair, Envy, Slugfest, Snapcase, and Terror. It was released on Conquer The World Records in 1994, and features more examples of the label's signature shitty artwork. What the fuck is going on with the front cover of this disc, Mike Warden, is that an asteroid? Is that figure on the lyric sheet supposed to be a zombie, perhaps a mummy? Whatever, man.

Regardless, here are six songs of mid-90s *new school* hardcore for you. In my opinion, this stuff isn't anywhere near as good as Slugfest, Despair or the 'case when they were at their peak, but probably worth a listen if you are/were into any of those bands. Recorded at Border City Recording, the same place where Cannibal Corpse's "Hammer Smashed Face" and Baphomet's "The Dead Shall Inherit" were put to tape, for anyone else who listens to old school death metal.

This record is CTW#006.


1) Endless
2) Drift
3) Scar
4) Graven Image
5 Shame
6) Before My Eyes

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Day Of Suffering - "The Eternal Jihad"

This North Carolinian vegan straight edge band got it's start under the name Falling Down, who released a 3 song 7" Life Before Machine on Savannah, Georgia's Even The Score Records (see picture below) in mid-1995. Then something profound happened: they changed the name of their band to reference Morbid Angel, added guitarist Rob Townsend, probably started to take themselves a bit more seriously, and got really, really fucking good. The Eternal Jihad was released on Kurt Schroeder's Catalyst Records (or was it XcatalystX?) in 1997 and, quite frankly the scene just wasn't ready for this album. These dudes really liked death metal, and they didn't hide this fact at all. This to me was pretty great because quality osdm is still one of my favorite things ever.

 Equal parts old school death metal riffage ala Grotesque, Gutted or Schizophrenia-era Sepultura, and 90s vegan-edge politics (even though they take a decidedly anti-abortion social stance, we won't hold that against them), the band's only full length absolutely smokes from start to finish. Seriously, there's a lot of headbanging to be had here. Although they didn't sound anything like them, they shared a similar unapologetic attitude to fellow 90s veganXedge stalwarts Chokehold. I always recommended this to hardcore kids who wanted to dip their toes in good metal without actually stepping into the pool, or metal kids who wanted to test the waters of 90s hardcore. Recorded in *gasp* Syracuse, NY, this is Catalyst Records #06. Great Shit.

-life begins to flourish in renewal-

1) The Eternal Jihad
2) Shades Of Red
3) Elegy
4) Engulfed In Darkness
5) Condemned To Fire
6) Visualize Industrial Collapse
7) Pawn
8) The Rising Of The Tide