Friday, August 01, 2008

Unionsuit - Demo (1996)

Okay, this may or may not mean anything to anyone, but this demo kicked my ass back in 96. My friend Brendan from college was and is from Massachusettes, so at the time I thought anyone from Mass was automatically in some club where every cool hardcore band from the state was automatically made known to you at an early age so you could reap the beneifts of face melting hardcore (Converge, Overcast, Dive anyone?!). Hydra Head records was just getting under way in these days and had nothing of the exorbitantly priced, yet astoundingly beautiful gatefold 2xLP released with foil printed artwork and lazer that shoot out the sides and vinyl that shimmers 50 different colors under normal light. These were the days of cut and folded sleeves and the early days of Aaron Turner.

So Brendan arrived to school in Vermont, fully formed with hardcore glory and a cassette of this here Unionsuit demo. (Also the Petitioning the Empty Sky 7" which was the reintroduction of Converge in my life. Converge MK II, we shall call it, wherein Converge slaughters the mighty Slayer on the alter of Metal and claims the crown as their own with vicious blends of death metal riffage and hardcore breakdowns. But that is not the point) No! Unionsuit is the order of the day. Just as it was back then, I frothed over the idea of anything cacaphonous with shredded, hectic vocal stylings, not unlike the milieu of San Diegos finest.

I was really into this demo, though I never copied it. Fast forward to now. 10 years later I get a hankering to hear Unionsuit. Especially knowing the Aaron Turner went on to form the mighty Isis. Now memory is faulty, especially after living in Vermont for two years, but I swore that Unionsuit was nothing like Isis. I searched for confirmation. Discordant guitars and dual screams pierced my hopeful dreams as I searched out this infamous tape in MP3 form. Infamous only because, not only could I barely find mention of it, but it seems that Mr. Turner himself is "embarrassed" by the mere existence of this tape. Maybe this is because Mr. McClard gave it a mediocre review in HeartattaCk. Maybe its just because his ultimate goal was to become the king of sludginess and then give it up for a taste of the post-rock crown. These things I will never know. What I do know is that my search continued until I found the Unionsuit 7" on Second Nature Recordings. This was a start.

Right off the bat, it was clear I was treading in the proper waters. DC-ish guitars with Converge-ish breakdowns and an overall metal/emo hybrid were apparent. But it wasnt as good as I remember them being. I chalk this up to it not being the demo, which mine ears were seething to hear. A year after this discovery and still no luck, until... a guy, by the name Endverse, says "Yo, Homie! I got dat shit!" and I can only respond with skepticism. Could it be true? Does he really have the mp3s of this extremely elusive cassette?

You already know the answer, dont you?

ps. Its not "as good" as I remember, but its definitely pretty cool. Check what I am pretty sure is guest vocals by Jacob Bannon on the 4th track. Nice. Spread this tape around, someone send it to Aaron Turner and tell him not to be afraid. And know this: I made the cover art. The original cover art was much cooler. If anyone has OG artwork please send it over.


Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

hey blend, this is quite off-topic but I hope you'll forgive me:) People keep bugging me for June of 44 over on my blog - though of course they have every expectation of it from my own, um, mission statement. Anyway, I just bought their In The Fishtank EP today (both on mp3 from eMusic and secondhand on vinyl). Just checking do you have it... I have the earlier albums and etc. from you already, but this is apparently their last recording and it's pretty cool. I'm wondering what I should do with it - blogwise, that is, on top of just listening to it like a normal person. It's a T&G release under secundment from the original (Dutch) label - so I can up it, but it might not stay around for very long.


of course, as we know, hardcore comes in many forms...

cheers, gabba

4:41 PM  
Blogger rybunal said...

damn!!! thank you! i had this at one point. hand made cover and a maxell (or tdk) tape. awesome. my old one got wet and ruined. this is great.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Off topic request, does anyone have Farside - The Monroe Doctrine they could up? I've been looking for it at record stores all over Chicago and can't find it to save my life. I totally figured it would be a $1.99 cd for sure.

8:02 PM  
Blogger luciferyellow said...

I don't have Monroe doctrine, but if it helps save your life, it's a $7 CD through Amazon (incl.$3 shipping).

9:03 PM  
Blogger enlinea said...

HereĀ“s Farside

If anyone have anything of Fin Fang Foom and challenger will be highly appreciatted

9:08 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

enlinea -

thanks for the farside record. i checked out the blog attached to it and i was surprised and psyched to see you posted about the harms way 7". that thing is so good. the new one is even better.

9:46 PM  
Blogger enlinea said...

it isnt my blog, i just got it couple days ago, and had the link in my browser cache, is a great blog

10:16 PM  
Blogger luciferyellow said...

Fin Fang Foom, they're good:

10:20 PM  
Blogger luciferyellow said...

P.S.: Blend, something ON topic. Unionsuit are pretty good. I will never really become a fan of that raspy screamo singing style, but the music rocks hard.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i probably still have that tape in my parents' basement. most of my collection of demos ended up there. maybe someday i can pay the rent selling that and the isis demo as a package deal. ha!

western massachusetts in the early-late 90's was a pretty awesome "right place, right time" kind of deal as far as hardcore went. i got spoiled early.

that is all.

ps: you should post the 7" if you have a copy of it, i remember enjoying it much more than the demo.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Quietist said...

this is off-topic, but i just wanted to say i really believe in what you're doing with this blog. i find it so heartening to see how blogs like these have given people who have truly put their hearts into music to share and enjoy things together. when its a real passion for those involved and people don't start getting greedy, it really becomes a community.

i'm done soapboxing.
keep it going.

1:43 AM  
Blogger I REFUSE said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:46 AM  
Blogger I REFUSE said...

I can't wait to check this out.

Also, the way you described converge is pure genius

1:47 AM  
Blogger sweet baby jaysus said...

this is off topic, but i think rabbits are awesome

12:23 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

since we're on the topic of rabbits...

I knew a rabbit once, for a short time... went by the name Rabbi T.

A religious sort, but wholly spiritual in his approach.

Thanks for all the awesome comments, and thanks for all the funny ones ^_^

Hope you guys like the Unionsuit stuff. I'll toss up the 7". You know, I have a unionsuit. Red one, with a butt flap. It's true.

7:11 PM  
Blogger enlinea said...

luciferyellow - thanks a lot.

Unionsuit is very sweet. Blend you're doing a great job.

BTW any idea where papstar is?

10:31 PM  
Blogger sweet baby jaysus said...

good f'n question we became super compatible on and now he's nowhere to be found.
searching for danny papstar.
we need our bobby fischer of obscurities!

1:48 AM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

hey blend, you got an answer for my June of 44 question (have you heard the In The Fishtank EP?).

also, have people here heard the news about Hoover and Bluetip playing the UK, Spain?

from Dischord here:

more on my blog (Hardcore for Nerds). ha!

8:32 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

hey Gabba, sorry, things get hectic sometimes, and I only have a few minutes to respond.

Firstly, post up that June of 44. I personally dont like it as much as Tropics or 4 Great Points, but its interesting. I say post it, do a write up, if the link gets cancelled then no biggie, you still got a great write-up about it for people to read and get interested in the release...

As for Hoover and Bluetip, this is new I have not figured out how to handle. I wanted to make a post about it, but since as of now its only happening across the water, I dont know what to say. But damned if they only play over seas and not in the US. They have to play DC at least. I will travel, on foot, to go see them.... I will show up with a giant beard and shoeless feet, reeking of patchouli but happy to go see one of my favorite bands...

Where in the world is D.Paps? I know he's around. I can smell the souvlaki... hahah!!! sorry man.. had too...

9:56 AM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

that's cool man. I like that June of '44 EP but it's only really a jam session, albeit as you say an interesting one. I probably will post it up sometime since I have the vinyl.

that's some commitment for Hoover there. London's reasonably far away for me, but short enough for a pilgrimage!

1:03 PM  
Blogger papstar said...

I'm gone?

2:30 PM  
Blogger enlinea said...

oh yeah,papstar could you please reup challenger - give people what they want in lethal doses ?

Gabba - the june of 44 ep is good but i prefer their earlier stuff. BTW you do some awesome writing in your blog, you should be doing shcolar/phd papers. I love the hoover series, technically your blog made me appreciate them more

3:55 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

enlinea - thanks for that, really. though I already do 'scholarly' writing as an undergraduate, writing the blog is often a way to escape from the confines of wordcounts, the lack of expressive language, that an academic essay usually ends up with. On the other hand, I like writing of any kind, and the enthusiasm/dedication for both comes from the same source.

I'd love to do a PhD on Hoover, but at the moment it would have to be on politics - and I don't just mean scene politics, but something like, I dunno, underground culture in post-materialist, Clinton-era and beyond America. Or something!

4:09 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

also, do you mean "technically your blog made me appreciate them more" in the workings of the music? 'Cos honestly, I'm always conscious of not knowing enough about how music is played - only how it's listened to, and then not even - to really describe how four guys in a band (or whatever) produce such an amazing sound.

maybe Blend can contribute something on that point, when he has time. All I know is that I'm ony qualified to talk about the feelings of music, not the technical stuff. It doesn't stop me trying, of course!

4:14 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

finally, I'd just like to point out that papstar's comment a few above is a masterpiece of Zen. In fact, I'm pretty sure he just achieved enlightenment in that moment...

4:15 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Pappa Star, achieving Zen on Zen Face Punch. That is a wonderful highlight to this page.

I see you kickin around on When you disappear I will post up a milk carton style post. "Have you seen this Papstar?" Until then, enjoy that newfound enlightenment.

Gabba, thanks for assuming that I have any sense of technical accomplishment. Even as a once in a while guitar player I am always astounded at how a lot of those DC bands pull off that style. I, like you, am only humbled and awed at the music set forth by those band and can only, at best, respond in a very simple, reactionary fashion.

Hope everyone is well...

4:29 PM  
Blogger management said...

Gameface, anyone?

12:25 AM  
Blogger xtimmyx said...

i cant believe you have this.
i had a couple songs on a mix tape someone made me a long time ago. but i don't ahve a tape player anymore!
thanks for posting this!

12:54 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Also looking for:

Gameface - Three to get ready.

anyone have this? thanks in advance!

4:46 PM  
Blogger enlinea said...

i only found gameface - every last time

7:39 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

thanks enlinea! I remember Gameface. They were way too poppy for me at the time. I had an album or two of theirs a ways back...

10:50 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

thanks for posting that gameface record. It's funny cause rise against blatantly ripped off the beginning of the fourth song on it.

4:20 PM  
Blogger xtimmyx said...

don't have 'three to get ready' but i did just upload 'cupcakes'.
here it is...

8:10 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

thanks for upping 'cupcakes!'

3:54 PM  
Blogger **Roads to Ruin** said...

Thanks for the trip down nostalgia lane. I was 19 when we recorded this demo. Good times and some not so good times but fun none the less

4:38 PM  

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