Monday, June 01, 2009

Classic Comps vol. 3- New York City Hardcore: The Way It Is


When I was first getting into hardcore, I was big into the early Revelation Records bands. This was of course a time before high speed modems, and the Rev back catalog was still mostly in print and easy to get. Also around that time (1997) was the resurgence in youth crew styled hardcore. There's actually a lot of diversity among these bands despite all being from NYC, there's a lot of different sounds represented. This record is still in print through RevHQ, and I highly recommend it.
A while REV back did "final" pressings of a lot of their classic old records in a move to phase out vinyl. Bad move guys, especially since you haven't released a good record since the first Nerve Agents LP.

1. Bold - Wise Up
I always thought Bold was a lame Youth of Today rip off, though the Crippled Youth 7" has its youthful sprit. This song is ok, probably one of their better songs, but the playing isn't very tight and the drumming is real boring. Bold recently got back together, but why?

2. Nausea - Fallout Of Our Being
This is definitely the most out of place song on this comp, but Nausea fits in the same time frame of all these bands, but I would assume didn't share many shows. I was never a huge Nausea fan either, as they seemed to take more from Crass than Discharge in their crusty hardcore sound. This song is pretty good though, and like I said it's real different from the other bands.

3. Warzone - As One
4. Warzone - Escape From Your Society

Oh man, classic Warzone stuff here. I always loved "Don't Forget the Struggle...," and these tracks were recorded right before that LP I assume. The version of "As One" on here is actually better than the LP version in my opinion. "Escape from Your Society" has a classic goofy intro that I wish bands still did. Nothing can top the goofy into to "intro/Bust" though. Both songs are top shelf Warzone at their peak.

5. Gorilla Biscuits - Better Than You
6. Gorilla Biscuits - Forgotten

I would be lying if I said Gorilla Biscuits didn't have a huge impact on me, I'd also be lying if I said I still thought they were a great band. They were by far the most melodic band in that scene, but still retained a bit of the NYHC sound. "Better than You" is a pretty terrible song. I remember older versions of this on GB demo bootlegs, and it sucked then too. "Forgotten" was I guess a new song at this time, and would later be better recorded for the "Start Today" LP. I'd still prefer anything off the first 7"

7. Trip 6 - Back With A Vengeance
Shit, I literally know nothing about Trip 6, but this song fucking rips. The guitar tone is raw as shit, and the chorus is simple and catchy. In re-listening to this comp to write this, I was re-blown away. Fuck, great song.

8. Breakdown - Sick People
I'll be honest and say I really don't like Breakdown that much, but this song is fucking great. I remember seeing a band cover this last year on tour, and it was definitely the highlight of that show. This is just a fucking angry punch holes in the walls kinda song.

9. Youth Of Today - Together
10. Youth Of Today - Understand

Youth of Today's another band that was real important to me, however these songs are real awful. The bass is real prominent in the mix, and the tone is annoying. "Understand" would later be re-recorded way better on the classic "We're Not In This Alone" LP. These songs just aren't nearly as tight as they need to be, good band regardless.

11. Sick Of It All - Politics
12. Sick Of It All - Pete's Sake

I love Sick of It All's first 7", but not really anything after that. Luckily these 2 songs are from around that same time. "Pete's Sake" was re-recorded for that 7" but "Politics" is exclusive to this. Like Warzone, SOIA peaked early but the songs on here are a great representation of the band at their peak.

13. Krakdown - Ignorance
Krakdown's not a band I'm that familiar with either, and this song's ok. The vocal pacing is a little awkward and choppy, but it's got a decent mosh part. I don't know if this was an earlier song, but if the playing was tighter, I'd probably like it more.

14. Side By Side - Dead Serious
15. Side By Side - Time Is Now

Wasn't a big Side By Side fan, but I loved their later band Alone in a Crowd. "Dead Serious" is the better of the 2 songs here. Decent balance of catchy sing along parts, mosh and fast parts. "Time is Now" starts out kinda cool, then ends on a slower pace and uses way too much whammy bar dive bombs.

16. Youth Defense League - Blue Pride
Not a big fan of YDL since I'm not a working class skinhead, but as far as those types of bands go. Mid paced British inspired punk with a definite sing along for the chorus. I'm not gonna get into my opinions on the whole "working class skin" thing, but this song's pretty mediocre.

17. Supertouch - Searchin' For The Light
I always thought this song was cool, despite being named after a Bad Brains song, and not sounding much like them. The song's kinda slow, but it's interesting enough to pull it off well. There's more parts to the structure of this song than most hardcore songs, and even has a sing-a-long chorus. It's a real good way to end the comp since it's the longest and slowest song on here. I remember ordering stuff from REV a long time ago and getting a tape of Supertouch's LP for free in my box, and thinking it sucked big time though.

1 comment:

Keith McX said...

Pretty good comp. I used to think it was the end all of NYHC till I heard Were The Wild Things Are and later on, the New Breed comp. Dude, Krackdown rules, OK? ha.