Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cornerstone - Beating the Masses (1995)

Okay, back to music for punching faces...

haha! In case you didnt know, I dont support actual face punching. Unless its consensual, of course. Frankly it hurts to punch someone face, so go for the gut if you feel the need to throw a punch. Now kickboxing, that is something I can get behind. Especially when its the Connecticut Crucial Kickbox as played by youth crew revivalists Cornerstone.

Cornerstone, or xCORNERSTONEx, as they were lovingly labeled, were a straight edge hardcore band from, yep, you guessed it, Connecticut. They played a great rendition of thrashy old school hardcore that wouldnt have been out of place in NYC in 1985. I am no youth crew fanatic. I am happy to stick with what I know when it comes to that scene, and that tends towards stuff released in the hey day of that style, but Cornerstone were somewhere near omnipresent in the CT hardcore scene. Being that I spent a decent amount of time at the Tune Inn in lovely New Haven I was able to see these guys open for a number of bands.

The first thing that struck me about these guys was that besides the singer, who liked wearing Champion sweatshirts ala Gorilla Biscuits, all the band members were younger than me. I was 17 at the time, so the band members mustve been around 14. Nonetheless, they played an infectious variety of hardcore that my ears were keen to. Like other youth crew style bands in the 90's, people slagged them for ripping the styles of so many bands the late 80's...even though those 80's bands were ripping the Cro Mags and Agnostic Front, somehow people miss the point that nothing is original... its only the conviction with which you play that sets you apart from all the other copycats. With that said, the key to Cornerstone's success, in my eyes, was that their songs were very short. A style like youth crew doesnt need to be much more than a minute long... 2 minutes tops or I am getting bored. So this 9 song, 14 minute recording benefits greatly from that aesthetic.

Add to all of this an awesome and crucial cover by Ernie from Token Entry / Black Train Jack and you have a great reminder of what makes hardcore great. At least in terms of aesthetics. When it comes to values I am happy to say that Cornerstone is also what you expect. Positivity, unity and sticking it to the man, the haters and the fakers. The lyrics are sung (screamed) in an intelligible way so you can be guaranteed to know all the lyrics while you kickbox with your friends.

Members went on to form Fastbreak around the same time as Cornerstone and they were pretty decent and I am sure many of you have heard of them by now.


I promised a post about the term "Punk". As cliche as it is, I still intend to do this. I got much busier this weekend than I had thought and work is picking up these days, so if you dont see me making many new posts, you can be rest assured that I havent given up, just tending to other business.

Hope everyone is good.

Tim / blend77


Blogger luciferyellow said...

I like the pictures that come up on LastFM when I listen to Cornerstone. They don't dress like your typical youth-crew revival band, that's for sure; plus they look older than 15... And yeah, no surprise, they sound exactly like Fastbreak.
And while I agree that conviction and passion for your music are a premium, if you play a BOLD or Chain of Strength (or whatever) song it still is a BOLD song, no matter with how much conviction and energy you play it. Maybe I am just old and bitter... Having that said, Cornerstone (and Fastbreak) are actually pretty good revivalists.

3:48 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

I think Fastbreak was all of this band minus the singer.

and yeah, i guess that comment was a bit of a generalization... ^_^

yeah! the pics are hilarious.. obviously for the pop band Cornerstone...

4:12 PM  
Anonymous jaysin said...

I don't think these guys ever really got a shot outside of the east coast, though I don't think they really merit it either. Especially when they came out the same time as Floorpunch, Ensign, Ten Yard Fight, Fastbreak, 97a, and a whole slew of revival youth crew bands that were generally a lot better or at least got the press.

And you wouldnt be kickboxing to this music. Maybe some floor punchin' and some stage dives, but the kick boxing is reserved for more metalic hc. ; )

4:40 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

jaysin, it was really a reference to one of their song titles, but yeah, I feel what youre saying... I personally liked them because I saw them a few times before I ever heard of Ten Yard Fight and Ensign and Fastbreak. I only recently heard of 97a and Floorpunch was the only one of those I knew of at the time.

Personally I only like the 4 song Ensign ep that they first released. Fastbreak was the Cornerstone instrumental section without Toby singing.

I guess what I am getting at is that this was a particular place and time for me, and if it didnt have the historical context I would probably feel the same as you do.

4:51 PM  
Blogger papstar said...

The 12" from WCSL.....anyone check out the .nfo file that came with it? It's a scene rip, and it wasn't nuked, so I'm kinda confident that is all there is. I definitely could be wrong though. the only reason it's labeled as an LP is because the scene mandates it when its a rip of a 12". Doesn't someone actually have the physical copy of this...cough...Tim...cough. Check it out, lemme know!

8:19 PM  
Blogger papstar said...

well, there myspace confirms it...its just those 4 songs on the 12" ep.
from myspace...
The ...Who Calls So Loud EP from Protagonist Music is out this month! /You can purchase it through the same avenues as the Double 10"+cd
1. Hey, I'm Outside
2. M'ed Palms
3. Resonant Grain Silo
4. Lark Vs. Rascal

you can also go here

I guess they shouldn't call this an LP, but like I said, thats just the way its labeled because of the record kinda cheezy with just the 4 songs though.

8:33 PM  
Blogger xtimmyx said...

yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhh! thanks for reppin' the Connecticutioners!

10:57 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

here is what I missed Paps.

"PRE-ORDERS are now available for the new …WHO CALLS SO LOUD 12”EP, but only for a short time. This is all new material from this amazing band featuring ex-members of Funeral Diner. Cover artwork beautifully rendered by the ever-present Daniel Danger, and limited colored vinyl."

EP... but yeah, 12" tend to get called an LP... hmmm. Well, I need to give these songs another listen tomorrow. Wish it were 4 songs proper.

11:35 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

oh... new Brainworms is finished being recorded... out later this year / early next year.

11:36 PM  
Blogger papstar said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:03 AM  
Blogger papstar said...

btw Tim, Off Minor did do a split with came out this year and was limited to a measly 300 copies..they each took 150 with them on their respective Australian tours. There isn't a chance in hell of getting one of these things probably, aside from ebay maybe.


Here it is in all its 2 minute mp3 glory.

Split - Ampere/Off Minor Australian Tour 7"

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude, gorilla biscuits hoodies are awesome. mine is faded, smelly and old and i've been wearing it all week.

HIGH HOPE!111254353467

12:16 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

I changed my mind. Lark vs. Rascal is an amazing song. The second interlude is nice. First one is still pure nonsense. M'ed Palms they played live and it was awesome. Glad to have this. Should arrive in the mail today.

Man! Lark vs. Rascal is a great song!

11:05 AM  
Anonymous jaysin said...

I completely understand there are plenty of bands I like that really just define a time and place (earthmover, grade, charles bronson, 25talife, raid) and don't really stand the test of time or were that good at the time either.

I have been lovin on some Disembodied and Harvest right now. For some reason enjoying the old home town heroes as well as Coalesce. Man those were some good bands. But also can't stop listening to Kid Dynamite while biking with the dog.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous jaysin said...

"I don't think these guys ever really got a shot outside of the east coast, though I don't think they really merit it either. Especially when they came out the same time as Floorpunch, Ensign, Ten Yard Fight, Fastbreak, 97a, and a whole slew of revival youth crew bands that were generally a lot better or at least got the press."

cornerstone predates all of those bands by at least a year, and some of them by much longer than that. they were pretty much the only ct. band that wasn't doing the chug-chug tough guy deal. i own a sweet videocassette of them playing downstairs pearl st. in '95 (with hatebreed, doughnuts and snapcase), cornerstone's set is ridiculously good. man, i hate being that guy who knows too much... i'll stop now.

that is all.

3:36 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

brendan, i always appreciate your knowledge and acceptance of all things i think are awesome.

when are you coming down to NYC? Monarch is playing in October...

jaysin, see, you admit the 25 ta life. thing.. i think we can rest easy knowing that we all have our personal nostalgias. ^_^

Disembodied did rule though. Have you heard that they are going to play some shows int he future? possibly with Unbroken. i am unsure of how i feel about the Unbroken thing...

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fingers crossed, i'll be in your fine city for at least one, hopefully both, of the hold steady/drive by truckers shows in november.

also, i think it's undertow and not unbroken that's rumored to be playing that disembodied reunion deal. either way, i just saw carcass on friday, and that pretty much trumps any other band that will reunite this year.

that is all.

12:32 AM  
Blogger xtimmyx said...

this is off topic, but not off topic but off topic none the less.
anyone have any Fastbreak they want to share?

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Kuro said...


thanx for sharing this



2:19 AM  
Blogger Stijn said...

Wow, thx for the Cornerstone album, it's been a while since I last heard this!
You got a nice blog here, I'll be checking this regularly.
Grtz from Belgium

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool to see this.

Yeah, like someone mentioned above, Cornerstone predated FP, TYF, FB. Most of those bands would even tell you that they started their bands because of CS.

Someone needs to post the demo.

4:00 PM  
Blogger breadman said...

the only other band who was really playing this style of hardcore at the time was mouthpiece.
I'd say xcornerstonex pre date all the revival bands by at least a year maybe even 2 years.
I mean fastbreak, halfmast, plagued with rage and those early third party bands predate ensign and floorpunch by at least a year too.
i love cornerstone. wear the shirt often and have a sticker on the back of my bass.

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found my copy of "the truth hurts". It's been a long time since I've listened to it.

4:44 PM  

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