Thursday, February 18, 2010

A tribute

Sick of it All - Blood, Sweat and No Tears (1989)

I grew up in Westchester Co, NY... not far from the city or NJ. I mention this as a setting for how a young Tim first heard hardcore and how it consumed him and spit him back out as the awesome individual he is today. (^_~)

Because of my geographic location I was privy to some good radio stations, most notably, WNYU and the king of all radio stations in the tri-state area in those days (1990) WSOU Seton Hall's Pirate Radio. At a young age of 12-13 I thought two things in this situation; A) That metal ruled and there wasnt enough on the radio and B) that Pirate Radio must mean it was just like that movie Pump Up The Volume where Christian Slater takes over the air waves and plays music that no one ever hears on the radio.

Well, 'A' was true, but 'B', well, I just wish it were true, but nonetheless, WSOU played metal and more metal. Overkill, Morbid Angel, Carcass, Slayer, Iron Maiden graced mine ears as well as a slew of bands I had never heard of before.

Here I should digress and explain that at the age of 13 (or was it 12) I still had to hit the hay on the early side of the evening and the radio shows I liked were often on at midnight and beyond (adding the mystique that it was truly and illegal pirate radio run by a bunch of metal heads..) So often, I would toss a cassette into the deck and hit record and go to sleep wondering what I'd hear the next day on the bus ride to school.

One fantastic day, two songs flowed into my aural receptors that changed my world. Blue Blood by Biohazard and Injustice System by Sick of It All. My friend Fooch and I were in love with these two songs, bookended on either side by metal bands. The DJ called it hardcore, which I hadnt really heard of yet. I didnt even really listen to punk. Just metal. So it was a whole new sound to me, both metallic, but harder and meaner and more to the point. I felt like I was in that fight or flight sort of mode when this stuff played and I loved the feeling. It made me skate better too!!

So, Fooch and I made it a point to search out these bands. He and I went to some crappy mall music store and he found a cassette of Biohazards first album, and I found Blood, Sweat and No Tears on tape and we jetted to go home and jam these fuckers.

it was immense. The cover of Blood, Sweat blew me away. It looked so fierce and so hard that it gave me a lump in my throat. I could never picture myself surviving such a scene, and yet, I still dreamed about being there.

With a good sense of what a mosh pit was, thanks to the cover, Fooch and I preceded to trash his room, moshing everything in sight. Then we went out and skated for hours before coming back to jam some more hardcore.

Since then, nothing else mattered but skating and finding more hardcore. Thrasher magazine was concurrently entering our lives and we began paying attention to the music section. "whos this band 7 seconds? where can we find that?!" "whats Youth of Today?! that looks sick!" and my favorite, "Gorilla Biscuits?? What a stupid name!!!"

A steady stream of Hardcore and Punk began to flow through our ears. Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, 7 Seconds, Bad Brains... the world was new and bright. Eventually we were even able to procure some Youth of Today and even some Gorilla Biscuits, who consequently turned out to be my favorite of the bunch, and eventually birthed Quicksand who took me even further down the road of awesome music. But that is another story, for another AOTM.

For now, I'd like to finish this by saying that I dont aim to make any new fans of SOIA. I assume youve all heard it and made your decisions on how you feel about them. They are still around and still releasing albums and even though I havent really cared about them since Just Look Around, it still rules that they are continuing down a road they started well over 20 yrs ago.

For me, this is the entry point to a world Ive never left. The world of hardcore, it's ideas and values are things that made me who I am today.

What was yr first intro to hardcore? Where were you? How old? How did you hear it? This I'd like to hear as well as yr thoughts on this album.

I turned 33 a few weeks ago and was recently thinking about how I've been into hardcore for 20 yrs now... so this is my tribute.