Thursday, March 31, 2016

Samuel 7"

This seven inch is the second of the three records from Pennsylvania's Samuel, who in 1995 relocated south to the Washington D.C. area. The band was comprised of former members of Manhandle, Junction and Wind Of Change. They played energetic, pretty straight forward rocking jams and were fronted by Vanessa Downing, who also sang in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania's pride and joy Junction. Junction featured Gregg Foreman, before he started the pretty well known Delta 72, as well as Jay Demko, who has played in tons of bands over the years, including Morgantown, West Virginia's Lincoln (who probably need zero introduction to most readers of this blog). Eric Astor, who ran the notable Art Monk Construction label, was Samuel's drummer.

I've always felt that Samuel (as well as Junction) was a criminally underrated band from the earlier half of the 1990's. If their records were never released by one of the members of the band, I could easily see them getting picked up by someone like Doghouse or Initial. Downing's lyrics were of the introspective variety, and could stand strongly on their own as pieces of prose. Samuel's work was always recorded by their friend Fred Weaver, who currently runs Apocalypse the Apocalypse in rural central Pennsylvania, not too far from State College.

This record still frequents my turntable, and it will probably continue to do so until I cease breathing. It was recorded in Fred Weaver's attic in May of 1995, and was a split release from Ohio's City of Romance and A.M.C. Good shit.

1) Empty And Then Some
2) Our Baby Outlaw

- no one recognizes a stranger -

Intent - "Empty" 7"

Intent was a four-piece hardcore band from Austin, Texas which was active during the very late eighties and early nineties. The Redemption Records version of this e.p. (presented here) is a repress of their first and only 7", which was originally released by Iowa's Punchline Records in 1991.

They played somewhat chunky, mid-paced hardcore that would mostly appeal to people who enjoy what bands like Billingsgate or Encounter had to offer, and this is a good thing. Intent reminds me somewhat of Up Front, but their style was more "new school" sounding compared to the aforementioned band's definitively youth crew style (you know, before the term "new school hardcore" was really even a thing). Intent's vocalist, Mike Acevedo, also actually sang a whole lot less than Up Front's Steve Keeley did, another notable difference between the two bands.

The production values of the recording here is pretty par for the course; meaning it isn't necessarily bad nor is it exceptional. To my ears, both the vocals and snare drum seem to have a similar amount of reverb added to them, which is more-than-slightly noticeable, but not quite nearing bothersome territory, thankfully. The guitar sound during the first part of "Substance" (:38 - 1:14) has always reminded me of Tony Iommi's guitar tone in some of his interludes during some Black Sabbath jams. You'll probably think I'm crazy for saying that but it's certainly something that struck me whenever I've listened to this record, including the first time I heard it, which was fucking forever ago.

I've always wondered why the vocalist was wearing a University of Georgia t-shirt in the pics on the insert (Gooooooooooooooooo Dawgs! Sic 'Em! Woof Woof Woof Woof!) and not, say, a Texas Longhorns shirt. It's CLEARLY not a big deal or anything, and I'm obviously not the guys wardrobe assistant, live in Austin, shouldn't you be reppin' the Longhorns? This observation is probably only noticeable to me because I spent six years living in Athens, which is home to the mighty UGA Bulldogs. What's more, they even mention legendary Philadelphia Flyers winger Tim Kerr in their thanks list! This is probably due to the fact that he was fucking awesome.

In addition to this record, Intent had previously released a demo cassette as well as the Drift 12" which came out in '92 and was brought forth to the world by Drive Records. Both "Empty" and "Drift" are worth checking out if you dig the melodic hardcore that the early nineties was pretty famous for producing. Fans of bands like Chicago's Billingsgate, S.L.C.'s Insight and California's Inner Strength should take note of Intent.

These songs were recorded in early October 1990 at Studio D in Austin, Texas by "D" Davis
and Josh Payne.

Etchings in the vinyl run out groove:
Side 1: "Punch 1 & Dorky Stupid Boners"
Side 2: "Punch 1 & Make It Sound Slaytanic"

Redemption Records Number 1.

1) Regeneration
2) Substance
3) Empty
4) Once And For All

- here -

* I also included a picture of a damn fine Saison I brewed whilst I was on hiatus from making posts to this blog. It, much like Tim Kerr, was quite wonderful.