Freewill – S/T

MKD12_400wIt’s funny how closely drawn I am to the music that inspired me as a teen. How the mere mention of a re-issue or pressing I listened to in my high school or college days can almost immediately bring excitement and anticipation. Not to mention  a flood of memories, otherwise hidden deeply in my subconscious.

And while I can’t exactly pinpoint my early obsession with hoarding demos through purchase, trade or any other means necessary. I can still attest to my craving to hear a band’s earliest, perhaps most raw recordings. Press any demo on to a perfectly round slab of vinyl and you’ve got me. Hook, line and sinker.

The lesser known Freewill sounded like and played alongside the likes of Uniform Choice, Insted, No For An Answer and other like-minded, like sounding melodic California Hardcore acts. ‘And while they were signed to Wishingwell Records. The label folded before any of the bands material could be properly released. ‘Nothing Lasts’, my personal favorite brings to mine Justice League‘s ‘One More Time’ and a later, perhaps more cathartic Chain of Strength.

Being that these were the bands first recordings. I really wasn’t expecting anything more than a young band proud to wear their influences on their sleeves.. Yet, like many of these unearthed recordings from acts that followed a certain course, trend or sound. These songs really don’t hold up all that well. A nice time piece that otherwise might have been forgotten. Worth looking in to if your a fan of this era and the bands mentioned. For me personally, a casual listen was more than suffice. This version was released by Mankind Records. Comes on blue vinyl and is limited to 300 copies. JD

Available Here


Done Dying – We Dream Or We Die….

wsr013After two stellar and well received 7 inches. Done Dying return with the debut full length “We Dream or we Die.” Featuring outspoken singer/author Dan O’Mahoney (No For An Answer, 411, Speak 714), Mike Hartsfield (Outspoken, Freewill), Chris Lohman (Backspot) and Kevin Painter (Speak 714). Done Dying establishes itself quickly as much more than a collection of Hardcore all stars looking to relive old glories on the dance floor or cash in on past accomplishments.

Their debut full length deserves high praise. Sounding somewhat like a cross between the power of Cro-mag’s “Age of Quarrrel” and the melodic strengths of Ignite’s “Call on My Brothers”. This is a record that clicks on all gears. Each of the eleven songs here sound vital. While “We Dream of we Die” brings each one together to form a cohesive statement of purpose. “Hear to Stay. Built to Last.”  This very easily might be my favorite HXC album in years. While it reminds me of everything that made me fall in love with Hardcore in the 80’s. It more than satisfies my need for a reason to appreciate the music that is still being released in the present. A+ J.D.

Available Here