Saturday, April 19, 2008

Seven Years War - Ranks Of The Common People (1995?)



While in college at a little school in Burlington, VT I was introduced to one of the smallest and coolest hardcore scenes known to the genre. Moo Cow records was the flagship label and, looking back, it seems they were actually quite influential in their own right. They released records from Grey Before My Eyes, Dive, Disembodied and they also released Burlingtons own take on Ebullition records, Seven Years War. The extremely political Seven Years War released only a smattering of things, this full length being one of them. Previously they released the John Brown 7" with the amazing song Convenience of Ignorance (which was later covered by the punk band Heckle which was formed by an early member of Seven Years War.)

Seven Years War sounded like Groundwork covering Chokehold. (Or maybe Chokehold covering Groundwork.) So what that means to you is jagged and/or chaotic sections of furious ultra political hardcore backed with maniacally heavy breakdowns of a similar ultra political nature. Simply put, the descriptions dont do too much justice, because the War had their own sound of sorts. While on one hand they tended toward basic metal, on the other was a math-rock powerhouse blanketed within the harsh folds of hardcore ideology. It was always fun to see them play because the music intrinsically had power that made you want to move, but it was hard to actually get a groove going, and then they drop would a ton of bricks on your head and the whole dance floor would erupt, like, "Finally!!! I can windmill to this!!!" Lol!

But it was a sight to see. When they pulled out the whistle and screamer Jonathon Hughes was blowing that thing like his head was going to explode, man. I wish I could convey some experiences to video. Just hook a cable up to the ole noggin and download memories. And they were skinny, well read college kids from UVM just hamming it up all serious. I unfortunately dont have the lyrics anymore as I relinquished my hold on many of my CD cases as they were super cumbersome after years of moving, but needless to say there is nothing funny about any of the lyrics and they, like so many other, thought they could change the world. Themes of anti-imperialism and natives rights run rampant and riffs galore will make you a firm believer that you too can change the world with a whistle and a guitar.

My bet to you, wonderful readers, best readers on the net, is if you like the description above, if you like Groundwork, Chokehold, or early Ebullition records releases, then you will eat this shit up and smile while you chew. Chances are Hibakusha will make you want to mosh in your living room, Caged will make you jump up and down, Native Crown will make you want to go say sorry to Native Americans and Nrubaidem will make you froth at the mouth.

PS. Moo Cow Records still exists and they have releases coming out this year. Go pay them a visit.

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

7 years war was amazing! One of the guitarists had these active pickups in his guitar so whenever it was time for back up vocals he'd just scream into them instead of using a mic. It came out all heavy and distorted and God awful! Ha! Its funny you mention Ebullition, cause at the time that this album was coming out there was talk of them doing some sort of release on the label.
Sean M.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Samhain said...

Vocally his very much reminds me of Henry Rollins, especially S.O.A. era.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, thanks for the nice comments regarding Groundwork. It's an honor to be compared to and/or mentioned alongside bands like Chokehold, 7 Years War, and the Ebullition set. I actually still have the 7YW records, and the cd, in my collection...and they do indeed, rock! Great band, criminally overlooked.

Keep up the good work on this blog!
Peace,
Brendan

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anthony J said...

DUDE! 7 YEARS WAR! HOLY SH*T I HAVEN'T HEARD THIS IN AGES! HELLA GUILTY PLEASURE! THANK YOU!!!

9:37 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

@ Samhain, yeah, i can kinda see what you mean. its less of a scream and more of a snarl.

@ Brendan, awesome that you wrote. Groundwork is still a favorite of mine. Absinthe was also a favorite. I used to have the John Brown 7" but its long since missing. If you ever want to share any stories with us I am sure people here would be stoked.
Thanks again for writing!

@ anthony j, youre welcome man. I was looking for this for a long time, and getting more and more convinced that it was lost, but I moved last week and found it along with a Spawn cd from New Age Records. That Spawn cd wasnt as good as I remembered, but the 7YW has been in daily rotation since then. And now I have strong urge to pull out Groundwork. ^_^

11:44 AM  
Blogger mr.A said...

I don't know if it is a recommendation, but even mr.A likes this.

And they remind me of this awesome band from Boston Pittbull, i know from my hardcore days...

1:18 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

mr a's approval is backed by blend77. A has great taste.

im glad you liked it, dude!

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this brings back some st. mike's memories, i've been looking for my copy of this everywhere to no avail. thanks dude!

-brendan

9:34 PM  
Blogger mr.A said...

HeHeHeHe... In a few weeks i shall put up some Pittbull and Cro-Mags on my little blog.

And if everything works out some Cro-Mags bootlegs. But that is when my friend can rip them from EP.
(..i dont have a record player anymore so, shame on my, i Know!)

10:58 AM  
Anonymous jaysin said...

If anyone can upload some DIVE that would be awesome! They were a totally under appreciated band. I have the 7"s in my basement, but no way of listening to them.

Groundwork, man I think they played here in Mpls a couple of times. I remember once for sure. Still a great record. Absinthe was totally under rated as well. That 10" is also in the basement.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, thanks to all of you who have left such nice comments regarding Groundwork...and now Absinthe as well. It's very gratifying to know that the music I was involved in creating still resonates with people so many years later.

For those interested:

Groundwork (an interview with me) will be featured in an upcoming book on 90's Hardcore. The kid who is doing it, Brina Peterson, is great, and it should be a great read. Look for his Myspace - the book is called Burning Fight.

Also, my label, Protagonist, will doing and Absinthe discography cd later this year. It will include remastered versions of the 10" and 7" as well as 1 or 2 unreleased tracks, a live set from Gilman St, and probably some video.

I can post more info on both of those projects later on if you guys are truly interested.

Peace - Brendan

2:07 AM  
Blogger papstar said...

umm ya..you can definitely count me as truly interested.

3:48 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

yep, im am truly interested. Brendan, thanks a lot for coming around and bringing us the good news. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes this all worth it. I want people to connect again and find that common thread that made something so small, like mid 90's hardcore, so powerful.

If small groups of people begin banding together over this stuff then a real sense of community can begin to flourish eventually.

11:48 AM  
Blogger sweet baby jaysus said...

awww tim yr making me get all sentimental. people are going to start calling you "emo"

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha...yeah, it's sentimental, but definitely true. I love re-connecting with people around the topic of mid 90's hardcore...it was an amazing and influential time in my life, and I love to share that with others.

For information on my label, including upcoming info on the ABSINTHE Discography CD, check here:
http://www.myspace.com/protagonistmusic

For info on the 90's Hardcore book by Brian Peterson, definitely check this out:
http://www.myspace.com/90shardcore

A nice kid from Phoenix made a Groundwork tribute Myspace page too, which is kinda cool. Be "our friend" if you want:
http://www.myspace.com/groundworkaz

Ok guys, more later.
- Brendan

3:05 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

awesome stuff! I added all of em up on myspace. Thanks for the links.

As a side note, after your first message I was in the mood to hear some Groundwork, so I threw it on the iPod. As I was walking to the subway I began to think about the sample at the very beginning of Prayer for the Dead and wondering where it came from. Concurrently I had begun reading 1984 again, and right before I left the house I was reading the very beginning about him starting his diary.

As soon as the song began I thought to ask you, but it was never necessary. "As I sit here in the corner of my room, out of view of the telescreen...."

It was incredible synchronicity. I practically jumped out of my seat. That turned out to be a very good day and I ate vegan Cajun Soul Chicken for lunch and told my friend the story and walked around Soho for the afternoon loving life.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Ricardo said...

I`m happy to know taht Brendan have a label and more to know he`s goona to edit the discography of Absinthe. Maybe I never listen the 10" if is not for this blog. It`s good to know that Blend77 likes Groundwork.

Brendan I hope you tell us more of those years with Groundwork or Absinthe.

Thank you very much for upload the disc of Seven Years Wars, I very like it.

All the best!

1:57 PM  
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, web design , web design , web design , web design , web design , web design , web design , 天狼星廣告設計 , 天狼星廣告設計 , 天狼星廣告設計 , 天狼星廣告設計 , 天狼星廣告設計 , 天狼星廣告設計 , 天狼星廣告設計 , 天狼星廣告設計 , 天狼星廣告設計 , 平面設計 , 平面設計 , 平面設計 , 平面設計 , 平面設計 , 平面設計 , 平面設計 , 平面設計 , 平面設計 , CIS設計 , CIS設計 , CIS設計 , CIS設計 , CIS設計 , CIS設計 , CIS設計 , CIS設計 , CIS設計 , 虛擬主機 , 虛擬主機 , 虛擬主機 , 虛擬主機 , 虛擬主機 , 虛擬主機 , 虛擬主機 , 虛擬主機 , 虛擬主機 , 廣告設計 , 廣告設計 , 廣告設計 , 廣告設計 , 廣告設計 , 廣告設計 , 廣告設計 , 廣告設計 , 廣告設計 , seo , seo , seo , seo , seo , seo , seo , seo , seo , 網站優化 , 網站優化 , 網站優化 , 網站優化 , 網站優化 , 網站優化 , 網站優化 , 網站優化 , 網站優化 , 網站排名優化 , 網站排名優化 , 網站排名優化 , 網站排名優化 , 網站排名優化 , 網站排名優化 , 網站排名優化 , 網站排名優化 , 網站排名優化 , 關鍵字行銷 , 關鍵字行銷 , 關鍵字行銷 , 關鍵字行銷 , 關鍵字行銷 , 關鍵字行銷 , 關鍵字行銷 , 關鍵字行銷 , 關鍵字行銷

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude. this band was freakin' awesome. it's 2010 and i still listen to both their lp and 7" on a weekly basis.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those interested in tidbits of info, Seven Years War singer Jonathan lives in Portland, Oregon now and was in a bunch of bands after this one, in Portland and Salt Lake City, mostly playing bass I think. Last band was Forced March, super political as well. Most current one is called Raw Nerves. Portland heavy political hardcore stuff. Cool bands.

1:04 AM  

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