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

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Sticker Shock; Crippled Youth / BOLD

By now I should be used to my neighbor and good friend stopping by with a little gift or surprise every now and again. What initially started as an invite to lunch for a few freelancers in the building a little over a year ago, quickly burgeoned into a friendship that has continued to flourish as my first year here has come and gone. So when he knocked on my door moments after we returned from a weekend trip. I can’t say I was a bit surprised. When he brought his hand out of his back pocket to reveal a Crippled Youth sticker. 3-0001It’s easy to say, I was grasping for the words to express why I was taken back almost thirty years ago when I first purchased my Crippled Youth “Join the Fight” 7′ inch and accompanying sticker at the legendary Some Records. While by no means were Crippled Youth one of my favorite HXC bands. They played one of the first Hardcore matinees I ever attended. Soon after, perhaps due to the urging of friend and Youth of Today frontman Ray Cappo. They would change their name to BOLD and go on to release one full length “Speak Out” and a self titled 7″ on Revelation Records. As I mentioned before Crippled Youth / BOLD were never personal favorites. However, being that “Join the Fight” was one of my earlier Hardcore records and more important, how I lost it when a close friend who had borrowed my copy just weeks before when he unexpectedly went to prison for a vicious murder. It remains ever-present in my mind as part of my history. Seeing that sticker for the first time in more than twenty-five years jogged a lot of memories both good and bad. Being that it came from someone who has become such a good friend brought a sense of closure. Amazing how often people with shared common interests and histories can be found just down the hall . Thanks Kevin. J.D.

Closely Related

Undertow – Everything

ind65Undertow were a Seattle Straightedge band who released a number of 7′ EP’s (Including splits with Resolution and Struggle.) and a sole LP in the early 90’s and 2,000’s. Their overall sound reflected that of many of the bands Hardcore bands of the time as well as the ones on the rosters of the label who released this material. (Indecision Records) Undertow became very influential in the Seattle Hardcore scene at a time when Grunge had captured the attention of millions. The bands sound was a heavy mix of Metallic Hardcore with dark rhythms. TheirThe 2XLP comes in a gatefold cover that opens up to some excellent live photos of the band. There is also an inlet sporting lyrics to each and every song. An interesting side note worth mention is while this is advertised to feature colored vinyl. Only one of the two LP’s features the color blue. With the other being on the traditional black color. (Black is a color, right?) A possible mistake that gave this collection an oddball quality. As for the music, this was, like many metal core bands of the era, unappealing to me. Please note before buying that this does not feature a download card. J.D.

Available Here