Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ocean of Mercy 7"

Here is the lone record from an early 90s NYHC band that didn't exactly fit the mold when compared to other bands from the same era who called the same city home. It was released in 1992 as a cooperative effort between Oasis Records, which I'm almost positive I've never seen another record from, and Doghouse Records, which everyone should already be familiar with. The music is pseudo-youth crew-ish, very bass-forward, and fucking awesome. Gus Peña (aka Gus Straight Edge) was the frontman for Ocean of Mercy; his voice kinda reminds me of a toned down Martin Sorrondeguy, and the music is pretty melodic for the style, while retaining a good deal of that New York Hardcore "toughness" you probably would expect. I'd also say this band was a wee bit heavier than many other NYHC bands. This record certainly qualifies as something I'd consider to be (highly doesn't really sound fitting here..notably, maybe??) sought after, for two reasons: 1) for being an early Doghouse release, at a time when they were releasing hc records and not, well, you presumably already know where I'm going with this sentence. I'm not knocking Dirk Hemsath or his label by any measure at all. At some point in the late nineties, the label just changed quite a bit and he focused on releasing other types of bands, bands that found themselves dwelling outside of the typical "hardcore punk" category...I digress. Oh shit, I completely forgot to finish the fucking point I was originally trying to make... the second reason being the fact that this is the only O.o.M. release that I know of, barring a compilation or two, because this was, after all, the early 90's hardcore scene.

The players on this 7" included Gus Peña (Discipline), Franklin Rhi (Shelter, 25 Ta Life, Crown of Thornz, etc.) and Harry Minas (25 Ta Life), who is playing a sweet pair of Paiste Rude 14" hi-hats in the picture of him. Additionally, check out Gus's even sweeter Discipline pants on the back cover. They also spelled Dirk Hemsath's name incorrectly on their thanks list, which is hilarious. The kind folks in Ocean of Mercy also included the month each song was written in, as well as the time of each track, in case you were making a copy of this on a cassette and were unsure if you could fit this 7" on your tape.

These three songs were recorded in August 1991 at SD50 with A.J. Novello and Noah Adams at the helm, and were mixed at the infamous Don Fury Studios. Kids who listen to This World Rejected, Bold, Flagman, Transcend, Endpoint and/or Majority of One should peep this. I'd be willing to bet a few home brews that some fans of Turning Point and probably early New Age Rec's band Drift Again would be thankful if they checked this out, too.

Oasis #1 (the matrix area of the vinyl is inscribed OA 444) / Doghouse #??? - 1992.

1) Every Second
2) That Which Is Not
3) You Left Me

 - vessel to vessel becomes dust to dust -