Parade Brigade Fanzine #2: The Reviews

All three “staff members” did reviews for issue two. BW=Bill Wend, John=John Piorkowski, Ferret=Justin Bragg

I got a ton of shit in the weeks before that In My Eyes record came out. I got it in the mail, listened a few times, and posted one morning on the Rev Board that I did not like it. I said it reminded me of Better Than A Thousand and was kind of shitty. I went to class and came back to this huge thread about what a fag/loser/pussy I was. LOL. Oh noes, I didn’t like your precious friend’s band and their boring melodic hardcore!

Starting this issue, we began only reviewing records that were sent or given to us for the most part. You can see all three of us trying, for better or worse, to expand our musical horizons.

As We Once Were

This definitely reminds me of something, but I can’t think of it now. It’s definitely something I would have liked like three years ago. Typical youth crew style hardcore nothing that actually moves me. There is absolutely nothing that makes them remotely different, not even distinguishable vocals. I’ll give them cred for the Unit Pride cover, plus they have a band together, a feat I never accomplished. Ferret (Editor’s Note: Uh, what about Black Marker 88!?!)

Energetic posi core that does not attempt to vary the formula. Besides the overall blandness of the product, a lack of cohesion weakens these four songs, and that could be the missing ingredient. Big props for the Unit Pride cover, however. John

Really good for kids. They get major props from all of us for the Unit Pride cover. Bring it down here we’ll mosh it up. BW

New Songs Tape
Revelation Records

This is two new songs from Elliot’s forthcoming album False Cathedrals on Revelation. As an Elliot fan I’d have to say I am looking forward to this record. Track one opens with a drum loop, which is something these indie/emo bands seem to really dig. Track two sounds like it came straight out of the soundtrack to Dawson’s Creek. BW

A Thin Line Fading

Yet another local band that definitely has its moments, but overall just lacks a few things that makes it a winner. These songs remind me a lot of the Fastbreak “Where It Lies” seven inch. I hear a bit of an influence from Turning Point. I was very impressed by them live, but this demo just lacks overall. I wouldn’t count them out quite yet. BW

A Thin Line Fading
Advance Tape

Well, this is an immediate improvement: The intro completely rips off the Citizens Arrest intro! But then the songs start up and it is the same old poppy Fastbreak stuff…sometimes even poppier. Yuck! BW

It All Comes Down To This
Equal Vision Records

Just looking at this record makes me angry. Not only are the images of the Vietnam War unwarranted, they are overblown and insulting; but the music isn’t half bad. Bane plays an inventive style of modern hardcore that has definite kick boxing appeal without the stupidity. They even try their hand at a few emotional acoustic numbers. While they emotion of these songs is tangible, the lyrics set a new standard for vagueness. For example, “would you believe that the last time these skinned knees healed it no longer amazed me?” It’s difficult to figure out what they’re talking about ant any given moment; at least the music is perfectly lucid. John

I have a hard time reviewing Bane records. Live, I think Bane is really on. They just can’t seem to get it together on vinyl. This just comes off as very bland, while their live performance makes their songs sound so awesome. BW

By A Thread
Last Of The Daydreams
Revelation Records

The name of this band had me jumbled, I expected something very different. They are very rocking and have the gift of writing infectious rhythm patterns. What amazed me was the use of demaced dynamics. One moment of soft, dreamy melody turns into a fulmination of extreme emotion. I can’t explain their sound with a comparison. Maybe Sensefield meets Sunny Day Real Estate minus the Christian lyrics. I think I’m bipolar now; maybe my therapist can explain this better. Ferret

Fall Silent
Self Titled
Genet Records

Why do people send us this crap? BW

The Bend Before The Break
Revelation Records

I don’t really know what band to compare this to but it is pretty emo. Each song to me at least sounds pretty different from the last, in some ways reminding me of Jimmy Eat World or Sunny Day Real Estate. The variety makes for a good listen although I don’t know if I would be into them live. A minor complaint is that the layout is a bit too slick. BW

Groundbreaking Ceremony
Revelation Records

Himsa throws everything at you, including the kitchen sink. For all the changes, and all the noise, this record is incredibly tedious. John

In My Eyes
Nothing To Hide
Revelation Records

I know I will get kicked out of the scene for saying this, but this record blows. There is nothing exciting about it at all; the Better Than A Thousand soundalike crap just bores the shit out of me. I mean, I can see why people like it, and that is fine, but it just isn’t my thing. I guess I am gay or something. BW

In My Eyes takes a brilliant step forward with this album. The tremendous enthusiasm shown on their 1997 demo still shines through; the only difference is the song writing. Diverse song structures keep things interesting without diminishing the raw energy that has always set the band apart. Fans will not be disappointed and I’m sure this record will attract an even greater audience. Twelve songs, including a Faith cover, which might prove to be In My Eyes’ strongest statement yet. John

Nerve Agents
Days Of The White Owl
Revelation Records

I had received many warnings to stay clear of this record, but I have to say it is pretty good. A bit more punk sounding than their first record, but I think this is decent. BW

When Twenty Summers Pass
Victory Records

Well, it is amusing to see Ray back with his Krishna band. I guess 1988 isn’t hip any more. This record sounds like Blink 182. Seriously, one of the songs sounds like No Doubt. This is scary, but it is even scarier that this shit is accepted as hardcore. BW

Seven Inches
Please Drive Faster b/w Circus Of The Stars
Polyvinyl Records

Melodic, passionate and pretty mellow stuff. Kind of up tempo and has a nice continuous flow with the occasional syncopation. Comparable to Promise Ring but not as slow and maybe less eccentric. These guys were one of the best. Ferret

Cave In
Creative Eclipses
Hydrahead Records

Not at all what I expected; this is pretty weak. Until Your Heart Stops was amazing, this is fucking weird. Where’s the metal? Some songs sound like Pink Floyd, acoustic type stuff. They cover Failure, so that’s a plus. Maybe they were trying to show off their music talent, like I show off my vocabulary of musical terminology. This record is just soft; I hope they aren’t moving in this direction. Ferret

Good Clean Fun
Shopping For A Crew
Phyte Records

The Good Clean Fun joke is really starting to get old. While bands like Grudge and Crucial Youth have remained funny over the years, this is just getting dumb. The 7 Seconds cover is horrible too; you can’t do it without Kevin. BW

Keepin It Rad
Backfire Records

Oh boy, their name rules but the music is lackluster. I was hoping for some killer skate rock. That’s not the case here. Comparable to maybe Floorpunch or Ten Yard Fight. A third rate version of course. This band seems to lack energy and power, pretty generic. I’ll give them credit for effort. Ferret

Kill Your Idols/Full Speed Ahead
Hell Bent Records

Two of my favorite current bands come together with local label Hell Bent Records to put out this record. Kill Your Idols start off with two new songs with the first being pretty good but the second lacking a bit. The highlight here is a right on cover of “Step On It” by Slapshot. Not their best material. Full Speed Ahead come out with a rousing number with a long, moshy, intro. The song clocks in at just over two minutes, making it perfect for a Tony Hawk session. Full Speed Ahead follow that up with a Big Boys cover and you get a great side B to a kick ass split. BW

Kill Your Idols sets it off with a rousing number called “Hardcore Circa 1999.” The second song is bland, but I really dig that guitar solo. The grand finale is a fine rendition of “Step On It.” The Full Speed Ahead side begins with some strange music that belongs on a Neurosis record, but seems out of place here. The rest of this side is a blur that includes a Big Boys cover. The highlight of this side is the production, which is much better than their 7″. When I first heard this was going to drop my expectations were high, yet this disc does not reflect either band’s best work. However, this should not prevent you from checking this out, since Kill Your Idols and Full Speed Ahead are worthy of the attention. By the way, did I mention this is Joe Oz’s label? This is an ambitious first release and Hell Bent is representing the shore to the fullest. John

Kiss It Goodbye
Revelation Records

This is a posthumous release that shows marked progression from the She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not LP. Kiss It Goodbye’s trademark pummeling intensity has been modified to incorporate a sludgy groove. Heads will probably go ape shit over this, but I think it’s kind of boring. John

As if Kiss It Goodbye could have gotten better they have. It really sucks they broke up, but I think Tim Singer will rebound well as he always has consistently done. This is a definite example of s good progression hardcore can go on. BW

Speak 714
The Scum Also Rises
Revelation Records

Speak 714 return with four new ones that take a different direction than their album. While “Knee Deep In Guilt” took on a very Ignite/Uniform Choice approach, this record still has a bit of that sound to it, but I think 411 is more of an influence. Overall this is one of the better records to hit my room lately. BW

Standing Order
This Day’s End
DropJaw Records

This is yet anther local hardcore band that I think could be really good but end up falling into mediocrity. There are some parts of this record that really rock, reminding me a bit of Fastbreak. But the rest of the record is marred by horrible breakdowns and even worse lyrics. Kids will really dig this record though I think. The second side is much better than the first. BW

Tears Of Frustration
Last Of The Few
State Of Mind Records

I really liked their demo and after seeing them live I picked up this seven inch. Late eighties style hardcore ala Cro-Mags and Straight Ahead. Big working class and pro America message here about changing things for the better and having pride in what you do which is cool because it isn’t over the top. Bonus points for the line “hardcore is as American as it gets.” BW