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.