Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Trapped In Life - What Have I Done? demo

In the mid to late '90s the French hardcore scene had a number of great hardcore bands that played a tough NYHC style. I already wrote about A Way Of Life from Rennes, but I could've easily written about a number of other bands. So expect more French hardcore on this blog!

This time I'm writing about Trapped In Life from Paris. They got together in 1996 and together with Drowning they presented the harder and tougher side of Paris hardcore. In 1997 they did the 'What Have I Done?' demo. Singer Julien's dark, self-loathing lyrics and the hard metallic hardcore were right up my alley. Their real strength was on the stage though, I've seen some great TIL shows in Belgium and the Netherlands.

After the demo Trapped In Life released the 'Inside Shadows' MCD on R.P.P. (which features a re-recording of 'Neglect' from the demo), the 'Blood & Gold' MCD on Final Beatdown and the '12 Icons' CD on Good Life. Members of Trapped In Life went on to bands such as We Animals! and Mass Hysteria.

EDIT, August 8 2009: Thanxxx to the person commenting that something had gone wrong with the mp3's and that I had upped only part of the demo and then some random music. I re-ripped the demo and re-upped it immediately. I'm terribly sorry I didn't notice this straight away!

Here's the video for 'C-16: Blood & Gold' from their 'Blood & Gold' MCD.

Trapped In Life - What Have I Done? demo

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dissolve - Demo '93

The first time I heard Dissolve was their self-titled 7" on Endless Fight Records. After loving the Catharsis 7" and the Over The Edge II compilation released on the label, I figured I'd be into whatever the label would release. So I picked up the 7" blindly, and loved it right from the start. It is one awesome 7"! You can check it out over at Coregasm, which also has a nice write-up on the band. EMS's description is pretty good: "The music had weird elements, influences, and time signatures not unlike Deadguy / Kiss It Goodbye mixed with some Bloodlet and at times they even remind me of a more metallic Econochrist for some weird reason... but the vocal delivery was totally different than those bands." A truly unique band. Their releases were, and still are, pretty hard to come by, I eventually managed to score a copy of the Dismantle CD, but that was it until a few years ago.

A few years ago I managed to get this Dissolve demo. It's their second demo from 1993, but as it turns out this is the 1997 re-release. I don't know who did this re-release, the band or someone else, but either way, they did an awkward job on this one. The demo-tape itself is a professionally printed red tape. However, the cover is badly xeroxed and does not match the quality of the tape at all. Which makes me think there were good covers printed/made but somehow more tapes were printed or something along those lines. There are a couple of instances with half a second of some other (pop?) recording on the tape, I'm not sure if they were also part of the original 1993 demo. Either way, I left them in the rips, they're at the ends of Avalanche and Nomad. ither way, if anybody has a good cover, and possibly lyrics or such, do let me know! I'm also game for the original demo and their first demo, Rebirth Of Thought, or the self-released Graverobber EP. You catch my drift.

Anyways, this is one awesome demo! 7 Songs, a combined length of almost half an hour, and it's all quality stuff! Seriously, this band could've been huge... no, should have been huge. Do yourself a favor and download the demo. And while you're at it, even though most of their stuff is hard to come by, their 2000 CD, Caveman Of The Future, was recently, finally!, released on Trip Machine Laboratories. So do yourself a favor and get it!

Dissolve - Demo '93
Dissolve myspace

Length Of Time - We Choose The Violent Way demo

Another band from Belgium that's not from the H8000 area. They do exist! Length Of Time from Brussels started out in 1997 as a side-project of guitarist Kirby Michel of hardcore/metal band Deviate, who enlisted (ex-)members of fellow Brussels hardcore bands Backstabbers and Out For Blood. Soon after they started they recorded this demo. Their ferocious live-shows quickly made them a crowd-favorite, and not long after the demo was released they signed with Good Life Recordings. They ended up releasing 3 albums and a mini-CD between 1998 and 2003. While I was really into this band at shows, I never quite got into their recordings the same way though.

While this demo doesn't have the greatest sound and the drums have a really bad 'thump' in some spots (it was recorded during rehearsals), it has got some memorable riffs and breakdowns and songs such as 'Revenge For' are classic. A few of these songs were re-recorded for LOT's debut-album 'Approach To The New World'. If you want to buy their albums, the Good Life Recordings webstore is a good place to start.

Members currently play in a number of bands including Arkangel, Angel Crew and Kaos Beat Control.

Length Of Time - We Choose The Violent Way demo
Length Of Time myspace

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kindred, live in Dongen, May 10th 1997

Belgium has had, and still does, a long list of great bands. From Congress to Rise & Fall to Blindfold to True Colors to Amenra to Liar to Out For Blood etc... But for me, the one band that is at the top of the list is Kindred. I've seen them a few dozen times, listened to their 'File 01' full-length and split with Culture countless times, and played a few shows with them. Awesome band, both on record and on stage.

This live-set is taken from the first ever show of my old band Disdain, in Dongen, The Netherlands and it was organized by the bassist of Reveal. The line-up was Disdain, Reveal and Kindred. Boiling Point from Germany was supposed to headline but one of the members had broken his arm while skateboarding earlier that day or the day before. Either way, there was no replacement. We sucked big time but Reveal and Kindred killed it as always. Good times, we couldn't've asked for better bands to do our first show with, as both bands were friends and we'd seen them loads of times before the show, and since.

I ripped the set as a single mp3, here's the setlist:
  1. Intro
  2. Forecast
  3. Retribution
  4. Bible
  5. Apathy
  6. Concept
  7. Blank
  8. Mirror
  9. Blood
  10. Existence
  11. Controlled
  12. Disembodied
Kindred live-set
Kindred myspace

Monday, February 2, 2009

Only Living Witness - self-titled 7"

If you've studied the thanks-lists of Boston hardcore bands from the '90s, you will have seen this band and/or its frontman, Jonah Jenkins, mentioned more than once. Alongside bands like Sam Black Church and Tree, they had their roots firmly planted in the hardcore scene, but weren't afraid to branch out and incorporate influences from metal and such. There's a small biography on their myspace with former bands and current bands etcetera, see link below, so I won't repeat it all. This 7" from 1991 was this band's first 'proper' release, on a tiny label called Look Again Records. So tiny even, that the only reference to Look Again Records on my copy of the 7" is the number in the matrix, which says 'LA 001'. Then again, my copy doesn't have an insert, so who knows...

Talking about the matrix... The matrix on side A reads 'slug - escape is unfilling' and 'but it warms the willing' on side B, which is a line from their song 'Slug' which can be found on both their 'Prone Mortal Form' demo and album of the same name. Their finest hour, to me, came with the release of said 'Prone Mortal Form' album. It is an incredible album which I cannot recommend enough. It creates a unique mix of hardcore and metal and Jonah's vocals are great. Their second album, 'Innocents', didn't do too much for me, but it is still miles ahead of most of what was released at the time. I seem to be alone in my opinion tho as pretty much everybody else who's into this band seems to prefer 'Innocents'. Oh well, what can ya do?!

I've seen this band a bunch of times on their 2 European tours, the first with the Cro-Mags in '93 and the second time with Leeway a couple of years later. I can think of worse bands to tour with! And neither time they disappointed. They played a one-off European reunion show in my hometown last year but it was way too expensive for me (€45 pre-sale, which is just under $60 as I am typing this), also since I didn't care too much about the other bands. Oh well...

If you like what you're hearing, either here or on their myspace, do yourself a favor and get their records! Century Media released a double CD with their albums, the 'Prone Mortal Form' demo, their 2nd 7" called 'Freaklaw' and some unreleased tracks, which you can get here for dirt cheap. Or if you prefer vinyl, Dutch label Reflections Records re-released both albums as a beautiful limited gatefold doube-LP, which you can get here.

Only Living Witness self-titled 7"
Only Living Witness myspace