Into Another - s/t (1991)
It may or may not be a surprise that Into Another is one of my most favorite bands. I believe we covered my love for Metal in middle school and how it led me down a path which leaves me here now, sitting in front of this computer, talking about why this or that mean this or that.
My intro to Into Another came at a time when my hardcore education came from ordering everything off the Revelation Records mail order list. Of course Sick of It All already owned my head and it wasnt long after that when I was able to obtain copies of Start Today and Break Down the Walls. So it goes, picture me, young and goofy, sitting on the floor of my bedroom thinking of how best to waste whatever meager pay I earned from the Royal Bookstore, circling just about everything in the catalog that I didnt own already (except for some reason the Slipknot 7" and the Warzone stuff). I ordered Supertouch, Bold, Chain of Strength, the self titled GB, Youth of Today's Disengage EP, and this (Not all at once, mind you). I was unfamiliar with Underdog despite knowing of them, but I knew the name Ritchie Birkenhead from the liner notes to Break Down the Walls, and I knew Drew Thomas as the drummer for Bold. So naturally, despite the strange description, I thought it would be hardcore.
Hardcore this is not. I am not even sure I have the touchstones to bring up when talking about this kind of music. It is clearly metal. And even though I enjoyed my share of Poison and the Crüe and Bon Jovi I cant veritably say that this has any relation to that. I cant even compare this to the heavier metal that I grew to love. In fact, the only touchstone I can think of is remembering my first impression of Overlord and thinking that it sounded like an early Ozzy Osbourne song. Aside from some love for Mr. Crowley and the opening bars of Crazy Train I can take or leave a good portion of his catalog (It's a different story with Black Sabbath. They ruled at what they did). Somehow, some way, this was everything that my 15 yr old brain wanted to hear.
Peter Moses had some of the best guitar style ever. His picture in the booklet was amazing. He looked like Steven Tyler circa Dream On, but he was wailing these awesome guitar lines that were at once glammy, sludgy, dark and brooding. Into Another were an anomaly and the best thing that couldve happened at the time. Not long after I ended up buying Ignaurus and Creepy Eepy and realized that these guys had mad skills. Tony Bono in particular sticks out to me often as his bass playing was amazing. And of course, Ritchie has pipes that can only be compared to the range of Axl Rose or Robert Plant. Dude can bust some notes. Thats all im sayin.
The Castlevania like guitar leads in While I Die, the hokey as hell lyrics in Dare Me (complete with an "Unh!") the sick bass lines in Splinters and the awesome breakdown in As It Were... I could wax poetic about every little nuance in every little song. The only thing that could do this justice is for you to relieve yourself of all pretense and listen. Loudly.