Saturday, April 23, 2016

Autumn - "Wire Hangers" 7"

Autumn was a pretty interesting straight edge band from the Morrisville / Yardley, Pennsylvania area (where I grew up) which was active between 1994 and 1996, if my memory serves me correctly. The first thing you would probably notice upon hearing Autumn for the first time was the extremely unique and melodic vocal delivery of Exton, Pennsylvania resident George Chamberlain, who previously to Autumn sang for Forethought and eventually wound up playing guitar and singing in The Passenger Train Proposal a few years down the road. The music on this ep was/is mid-tempo and groove-laden, and in my estimation was the primary reason why they were as popular and landed on as many shows as they did. Sweater vest-wearing emo kids liked 'em, vegan edge kids dug 'em, and folks who were into more traditional hardcore bands like XCornerstoneX were into them as well. Basically, everyone was able to find something to appreciate in their sound, that is once they were able to get past the previously mentioned vocals. I remember a specific review of this 7" in either HearttaCk, Second Nature or No Labels fanzine, where the reviewer essentially stated that the band sounded too much like Foreigner, and that was the end of the review. It's actually a somewhat accurate portrayal of Chamberlain's style, I guess. Very, very, sung. But yo, the music was more memorable than your average chunky hardcore band that chugged along without being overly conspicuous with the level of "mosh".

This is the first proper release by Autumn and it followed their demo tape. I went to high school in Fairless Hills with the drummer Matt's younger brother Brad, and he became aware of the fact that I was one of probably four kids in our grade who was into hardcore after we ran into each other at a Shelter show at City Gardens. One day he asked me if I was interested in buying a copy of the Autumn demo cassette, I politely declined, citing the fact that I would want to hear it first before committing to fork over a couple of dollars for the tape. Brad found this response extremely funny (it clearly was), and continued to give me shit while we proceeded to smoke a cigarette in the school bathroom.  The moral of the story here is that I'm an idiot and regret this terrible decision to this day, well over twenty years later, Life, man.

These songs were recorded at the then-extremely prolific Why Me? Studios, in Gibbsboro, NJ by Joe Deluca sometime in 1995, and the recording quality is quite good. This seven inch was a split release from Northumberland County, Pennsylvania's very own Seven One Seven Records and Nevermore Records out of Trenton. A bit of history: these four songs were originally supposed to be part of a nine song cd released by Iain Hursey and Valparasio, Indiana's Stability Records which, in true nineties hardcore fashion, never came out. Thankfully Travis and Joe at 717 were there to step in, along with help from Joe Kuzemka & Nevermore, and put this record out properly. More importantly, the band photo on the back cover was taken at the infamous Blue Fountain Diner on business Route 1 in Langhorne, a place where I spent many an evening back in high school with friends stoned out of my goddamn gord drinking coffee, eating omelettes, talking about girls but not actually talking to any, et cetera.

I have two different versions of "Wire Hangers": the original pressing is on marbled grey vinyl, is #21 / 150 and has a pretty basic albeit nice layout w/ some pro-printed covers. The other version comes on black wax in a manila envelope-type cover with completely different artwork, has a photocopied, hand cut lyric sheet, a helpful PETA flyer informing you on how you can help prevent animal suffering in your life, and is #145 / 300. Looks like these records were pressed via Tennessee's United Record Pressing, but the vinyl records themselves feel a good bit heavier than what I'm used to from that specific manufacturer. I have included photos of both 7"s for you because I trust you enjoy reading & looking at all of this shit, and also because I am awesome. Check it out if you like Outspoken, Walleye, Option, (early) Franklin or fellow Bucks County natives Introspect, a band that I have posted about previously.

1) My Eternity
2) Every Day I Live
3) The Nameless
4) Wrong

- 19067 represent -

Friday, April 22, 2016

Ananda - "Habeus Corpus" LP

Ananda was a semi-metallic five-piece hardcore band active throughout the the mid 1990's, and broke up soon after the arrival of the 21st century. They called the picturesque Île-de-France region of central France home. The dudes who played in Ananda also did time in notable French luminaries such as Finger Print, L'Invention De Morel and Jasemine, among others. This, their first full length effort, is nowhere near as fast, heavy or "evil" sounding, if you will, as their second, and more grind influenced venture "Profane", which is a record I did not originally care for, but have found a bit more appreciation for as the years continue to creep along. The later Ananda stuff may have had a more technically proficient aspect to it, but the vocals were more in line with Coalesce (see: gruff) than what they originally started (via original vocalist Chrys Grall or Queen Latfah as she is credited here on "Habeus Corpus"). The deeper, male vox was the biggest hurdle for me to overcome when I originally heard the later record years ago, and I guess it is what it is. They certainly make the whole band sound heavier, if nothing else. I definitely prefer the harsher and more varied female vocals on this stuff.

Here, Ananda plays a more emo style similar to fellow country-folk Anomie. For some weird reason, I'd say it's a bit reminiscent of the weirdo German band Sog, who almost nobody remembers, which means I should probably do a post about at some point. The music is aggressive, yet beautiful when it needs to be. It has plenty of quieter guitar parts which are contrasted by loudly played drums, and overall has tons of rad rocking parts throughout the whole record. The recording is crisp and all of the instruments are well articulated. the booklet has lyrics in both French and English, as well as some brief personal writings. "Habeus Corpus" is a pretty solid example of 90's French hardcore, a scene I feel pretty confident about informing you is more than well worth your time. Hopefully you are already familiar with some of its output, but in case you aren't, this album is as good a place to start as any.

The lyric booklet was pretty difficult to photograph without running the risk of damaging the pamphlet itself, and doing this was obviously something I wanted to avoid. My apologies, but you only get a few shots of that, instead of pics of the entire thing. These songs were recorded sometime in 1997, and this thing was released by Brian Roettinger under the Unfortunate For the Fortunate label, before he did operated the excellent Hand Held Heart (The Red Scare, Song Of Zarathustra, Volume 11, etc.) and played in This Machine Kills.


1) R.A.S.
2) Conscience et Inscousciance
3) Mourier de Froid
4) Fill Up
5) Atchatcha aka Tolerance
6) Doutes
7) Ecueil
8) Difference
9) Un Soir

- Voila -