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.