Parade Brigade #3 The Reviews

Issue three would be the end of Parade Brigade Fanzine and, as promised in issue two, we mostly only reviewed records that were sent to us. Boy were some of these records awful! John and I handle most of the reviews with only the Carry On and Esteem records getting both of us. Issue four would have had a Carry On interview that I think John actually did…? Our friend Ryan, who did a lot of grunt work with me getting this issue thrown together as quickly as it was, jumped in to do a few reviews as well.

200 North/Esteem
Split CD
Eulogy Records

Two more crappy bands that sound a lot like Atari. Slightly melodic hardcore with the appropriate octaves. This is the kind of crap that will sound like The Promise Ring once they “progress” on their second or third record. Boring. BW

200 North kicks it off with some impassioned posi-core. Excellent pissed off vocals, cool bass breaks, and non-stop intensity make this a winner. Esteem takes their best shot at the same style of hardcore, but with less success. The melodic guitar fills seem out of context here. Annoying vocals do not help either. 200 North gets the nod. John

Carry On
Roll With The Punches
Teamwork Records

Wow. That’s all I can say. This is hardcore the way it’s meant to be played…with the emphasis on the word “hard.” California’s answer to Right Brigade perhaps? A superior attention to detail puts this one over the top; solid drumming, excellent backups, amazing mosh breaks, and some rad pick slides. The first song on side B is so fucking incredible. So many times when I do record reviews, I sit there bored, just waiting for the record to end. When the first song on side B came on I totally lost it and started moshing up my bedroom. Seriously, this song contains one of the most amazing mosh parts I’ve heard in recent memory! Do yourself a favor and pick this up! John

This is alright I guess. I’ll be more into this band when they tour in the summer I think. Right Brigade would definitely have a good case in a mosh part copyright infringement case. BW

Demo 2000

When this was sent to me in the mail I took one look at the name and thought “oh God, another posi band.” Making it even worse, Champion has members of Trial, one of Parade Brigade Fanzine’s least favorite bands. By far, this is nothing like either of those generalizations. After a long, pretty moshy, intro, they bust into fast, melodic, hardcore not unlike Turning Point, Fastbreak, and Reach The Sky. They sound pretty fresh though. If this band had been around in 1997, I think they would have been huge. We will see what happens nowadays…

Down In Flames/Gatecrashers
Split 7″
Broken Glass Records

We’ve got skulls on the cover! Way to be original, guys! Now that I’ve got that out of the way…Down In Flames are pretty damn awesome. They keep it fast and to the point. Check out the great chorus on the band’s theme song: The one thing I had has been taken away / Now I wish I was dead / I guess I know what it is to go down in flames. Gatecrashers hail from the same school of fast and furious hardcore, but I detect a little more spite on their side of the split. If you check out the lyric sheet it’s obvious that these Pennsylvanians are fed up with so called youth crew kids and their varsity lettering. Not only do The Gatecrashers attack their enemies lyrically, they even do a sarcastic tribute to “Break Down The Walls” at the beginning of one song! This will definitely have people talking. John

Earth Crisis
Last Of The Sane
Victory Records

After receiving this in the mail from Victory (editor’s note in 2014: Boy were they gluttons for punishment. No matter how bad we shit on their bands, Victory just kept sending us records to review), I tossed it onto my bed to look at later on. But then something funny happened. I glanced over and on the track listing saw “Holiday In Cambodia,” and “City to City.” What the fuck? This is a compilation CD of Earth Crisis destroying those songs plus some others like Misfits, etc. There are also some demo songs, blah, blah, blah. The only positive I can think of this is that maybe someone will check out DYS or Dead Kennedys. It was also nice in the press release to be reminded by a member of Papa Roach that “Earth Crisis=Hardcore” I think he may have failed a few math classes. BW

Far From Breaking

The first thing that jumps out at me about this demo is the lack of a slick, modern, hardcore layout. I am sick of getting demos that look like they were passed out by Atlantic Records. After a pretty good intro the music on here keeps the pace going very well. Pretty melodic posi core in the vein of Atari and Chain Of Strength. This is better than most of the stuff in this genre I have heard recently. It is a pretty standard by the numbers demo, but done very well. This definitely has the potential to be a good seven inch. I also like the lack of Revelation Records #1-10 cover song at the end, something that way too many bands have been doing lately. BW

Forever & A Day
The Art Of Creation
Eulogy Records

Oh God, gross college rock. This could be the soundtrack for multiple keggers country wide if the right “target audience” is found. Why do people like this crap? BW

Kind Of Like Splitting
One Hundred Dollar Room
OHEV Records

Well, this CD starts out with a few acoustic numbers that sound like a really bad attempt at what Ida is doing. Then they turn on the amps and its Weezer/Jimmy Eat World snore fest yet again. I don’t even know what to say about records like this. BW

Late Night Revenge
Solo On A Saturday Night

Generic, immature, posi-core that could have used a few more months of fine tuning before a record. Weak mosh parts and horribly produced back ups make this not that cool. Reminds me of a lot of bands that open shows at Casino Skate Park. BW

One Word
Self Titled
Let It Burn Records

This came from Europe and has the “old school” sound down pat. Too bad it is the 1995 version of “old school” that sounds like Strife. I mean, come on, fucking Strife. That’s just bad. At least this doesn’t have some shitty power ballad at the end. BW

The Purpose
Art As A Weapon
Underestimated Records

Although this only really has two songs I had not heard before, The Purpose have come back again with another great record. We Are The Third World has been a live standard for a while and is by far the best song on here. Think mid-eighties harDCore ala Rites Of Spring and Soulside. Very highly recommended. BW

Reach The Sky
Friends, Lies, And The End Of The World
Victory Records

I think many people can agree that the Reach The Sky demo was great. However I only played this record once and decided it definitely wasn’t for me. Think poppy hardcore in the vein of newer Ignite. The musical talent still holds, but still a far cry from the demo. Ryan DeControl

Redwood Records
A Collection
Redwood Records

Skip. Skip. Skip. Eject. BW

Shark Attack

Half of Rain On The Parade come back at you with this great demo. Total 82 style hardcore with hard mosh and a Last Rights sounding Oi style song. This is the kind of band I could really get into, good mosh parts, good vocals, and cut to the point songs. Throw in covers of Foreign Job Lot and Friend Or Foe and you have a really good demo. Good hardcore bands don’t come by much so go get this! BW

Few & Far Between
Victory Records

Like other Shutdown material I’ve heard, this fails to leave a lasting impression. There are a few good songs on here, but the rest are too generic. The Raybeez sound bite at the end is a nice touch. More of the same from these Brooklyn kids, which should please fans, but doesn’t do a whole lot for me. John

Tear It Up
Self Titled
Havoc Records

7″ on Havoc Records from one of New Jersey’s premier purveyors of fast hardcore. Eight songs on this 7″ should give you a good idea of what to expect. Unlike many hardcore bands, these guys aren’t afraid to show a punk edge especially on Through Being Cute, a great indictment of Saves The Day. Don’t expect any second rate poetry or cheesy slogans either. The lyrics are uncompromising and sometimes self loathing, but always have something to say. A very good 7″ from a band that does “tear it up.” John

Full Collapse
Victory Records

The one thing I have always kind of respected Victory for was their avoidance of the emo rock plague. Well that is over now because here we have Thursday, some band from New Jersey (I must be living under a rock?). Thursday sound like The Get Up Kids with those really fucking annoying background screams ala Grade. Toss this one in your SUV’s CD player and go pick up some girls at The Warped Tour. BW

True Blue
The Ice
Crucial Response Records

This is hardcore done right, reminding me at times of Best Wishes era Cro-Mags or Leeway with hard mosh parts and speedy thrash parts. The vocals have a definite European flavour to them, reminding me of Johnny Rotten for some reason. Pick this up and check them out when they come over to the states. BW

Twelve Tribes
Eulogy Records

Here comes this week’s shocker: I enjoy this record. The emo-metal/noise genre has never been my cup of tea, but I do appreciate the occasional stand out. Twelve Tribes sticks out from the run of the mill practitioners of this style. Make no mistake, this is very metal and all over the place, ranging from slower gloomy riffs to crazy chaotic bursts with lots of double bass. What I do find particularly satisfying and unique is the integral use of melody in these five songs. Although it’s not the usual haphazard attempt at juxtaposing melody and chaos, as the two are seemingly intertwined. This record is not lacking flaws, however. Twelve Tribes makes the common error of stringing together too many different parts in oner song, which does not add up to a cohesive whole. The artwork is God awful and the lyrics are overly dramatic and inundated with lousy metaphors. Nevertheless, these are mere flaws in the execution that can be fixed in time. If you are a fan of this style, this record should be near the top of your list. John

Various Artists
Life On Another Planet
Another Planet Records

A greatest hits compilation of sorts for Another Planet Records. Includes tracks from Leeway, Cro-Mags, Murphy’s Law, War Zone, Skarhead, Crown Of Thornz, and others. If you’re like me, and you have most of these tracks, this compilation is still absolutely essential. The CD contains CD-Rom footage of Leeway’s Kingpin video and the Cro-Mags We Gotta Know video! Bloodclot does a clip into the crowd at the end! Own it or pose. John