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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother put In My Eyes on a mix for me one summer between the beach boys and cyndi lauper. Having no idea of hardcore let alone Minor Threat and the DC scene led me crawling back to my brother for any other CDs he had.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I had gotten into some hard rock and metal through a friend's older brother - mostly AC/DC. I discovered Led Zepplin through my Dad's record collection, then got into thrash on my own, buying tapes of metallica and megadeth. The same friend and his older brother then got my into the Dead Kennedys, Ramones and Buzzcocks. I was totally hooked and about 13. I was living in Singapore at the time and discovered the local music scene. I went to a show I discovered through BigO (sort of a local spin)- there were almost never shows in Singapore then so I was insanely lucky - and met a ton of cool kids and moshed and stagedived all day. I showed up at home with a black eye and a new love. The kids I met made me tapes and I got into Gorilla Biscuits, YOT SOIA and a heap of other bands. I'm 33 as well and while I'm not a scene kid anymore and my love of HC has ebbed and flowed it's still the vast majority of what I listen to and those years as a hardcore kid made me who I am today.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's up Tim,
I got into HC and punk during the early '90s. I grew up in Westchester as well, and early on, despite being so close to NYC, I didn't have any reference points as far as punk and hardcore go. At the time I was really insanely into metal, and also stuff like Nirvana and the Pixies. When I was around fifteen or so, a dude named Eric moved to my town from Buffalo, NY. He and his older brother had a strong connection to the Buffalo HC scene, and they introduced me and a few of my friends to NYHC, and to all the stuff coming out on Revelation, Victory, and New Age, among others. SOIA was one of my favorites from the start, and this album in particular. Its just so fucking raw and amazing! Thanks for the reminder :).
Sean M.

ps: happy 33!

1:38 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

thanks Sean!!! awesome stories so far!

I neglected to mention that at the time I got into hardcore I was also into Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, Nirvana and espcially the Pixies and Sonic Youth. In a way, they could be gateways, but they also still resonate more with my indie rock tastes, even though both have long standing, albeit indirect, punk heritage.

2:03 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

to the first comment. Anthony P. from In My Eyes visits here on occasion. Not in a while, since I havent done much, but I bet he would enjoy that one of his bands was responsible for getting someone into hardcore.

2:04 PM  
Blogger luciferyellow said...

Oh, you're double dippin' he?! ;-)
"And BTW, top of tha' mornin' to ya"

2:35 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

ya know.. i hadnt done anything for the blog in so long, and that was the first thing i was happy writing in forever, and it also seemed ultra relevant to the page, so yeah, double dipped, hard. ^_^

once i finished i was like "this really should go on my blog" heh!

3:28 PM  
Blogger luciferyellow said...

Oh, I'm just pulling your leg. I agree it's very relevant to your blog and I would think that you should (already have) get some good responses to the questions that you posed (and those can often be as good as the post itself - no offense). Have a good weekend!

3:33 PM  
Anonymous dnew said...

I was already into Fugazi, Quicksand and Rage Against the Machine when you gave me a tape in Computer Science class. It had Green Day on one side and Start Today on the other. I don't think I listened to more than half of one Green Day song, but Gorilla Biscuits changed my life.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Saucy said...

the PureVolume boards introduced me to hardcore, as well as a lot of other awesome music which I might not have discovered otherwise, and incidentally led me to ZAFP. Discovering Blink-182 around 8th grade was a big turning point for me musically, but the idea of being a punk gradually began to seem like the coolest thing ever, so I moved towards Rancid, The Offspring, the Sex Pistols, etc. Thanks to the internet I started to get into the classics of early punk/hardcore like Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, etc. I started frequenting the PV boards and learned about all kinds of punk, hardcore, emo, screamo, math rock, post-rock, etc. and my tastes just kept expanding from there. This was how I found everything from Gorilla Biscuits to Slint to Charlie Parker. For more details on my musical evolution, see here:

John/saucy/formerly shadowcaster187

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the early 90s I started listening to SIX FEET DEEP and StrongArmn but sTill I digged Heavy Metal until my best friend introduce me to the Indie Hardcore Scene, then a Dude from work like 3 years a go gave me a CDR with the whole discography of Black Flag, Misfits, Dead Kennedys, Anti Flag so I started reading about those bands and the way they see life and bro that changed my life till today, Is awsome how PunK, Hardcore culture is so related to books and arts overall. Bless Jeremy FROM DR//Welcome back

7:48 AM  
Blogger BlondeonBland said...

heady stuff, blend
glad to see a new post from you
i'm writing a piece for one of my school's publications on how to become a music journalist. You're one of my favorite bloggers, and if you could have any input, I'd be honored.

if you're interested, send anything and everything to

1:40 PM  
Anonymous tony p. said...

This blog saved me life...

10:17 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

tony p, thanks!! those are inspiring words to hear!!

thanks to John, Dan, Jermey, Sven, Brian (i'll email you soon)... You guys rock!

i got a new one coming up soon.

4:47 PM  
Blogger world's greatest DAD said...

put this album on a cassette w/ as much of the Revelation Records "NYC Hardcore: the way it is" comp on there that will fit (just make sure you get "Sick People" by Breakdown on there, and probably also "Buggin out" by Warzone). then listen to that cassette every single day. Bang: you've just gone back in time and become me, c. 9th grade.

3:26 PM  
Blogger chrisapproach said...

concerning soia:

my first hc cd's i ordered back in the day at emp (a bigger metal mailorder) were the "one voice" album from agnostic front and the "blood sweat and no tears" album from soia.i still own the soia cd.

i'm turning 34 this it's been a while for me in this hc/punk thing.

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took a long road through rock before stumbling upon my love of hardcore and screamo. Used to be a hip hop kid.. then the lyrics became even more retarded. Then I discovered Nirvana. Yeah, I know, overrated possibly, but I loved them.. and they helped ease me into rock. I started listening to a lot of poppy shit, then I discovered Alexisonfire and Killswitch Engage (I cite "Hey, It's Your Funeral Mama" video as the day I turned into a hardcore kid, sort of) I discovered that screaming as a means of vocals is fucking awesome. So I started listening to a lot of metalcore. Which was nice, but I was utterly disappointed with each passing album I would download (Lamb of God, Bury Your Dead, etc.) .. Funny enough, it was mathcore stuff which really drew me into the hardcore side of rock. I really love Protest the Hero and The Dillinger Escape Plan, so we went to see PTH, where the first bands weren't even metal (early days of PTH lol), but yeah. I honestly don't remember what specific band turned me onto screamo, but I know I love the guitar work of some, and that I can never, ever go back to metalcore now.. =D

Also, I saw Creeper and The Expectorated Sequence on Saturday night at this bomb small studio apartment show. If you haven't heard them, I suggest you find some of their shit. The Expectorated Sequence (they are from Quebec) are just awesome. What a show.

10:27 PM  
Blogger METRO/SEA said...

Anyone have the record by Never Surrender? It was Porcell's project after Shelter.

6:28 PM  
Blogger convertido said...

A little late on this one but, I was about 13 when I first heard punk/hc. I had an older sister and she spent the previous year with our grandparents in Florida. She dated a guy there into punk and came home with a few good tapes and ideas. I was listening to Iron Maiden, AC/DC, and whatever metal was popular during the early to mid '80s until I heard the Dead Kennedys. After the song "I Kill Children", I was not only freaked out but I loved what I was hearing. I cannot put into words exactly but I fit. To this day I cannot remember a moment where I felt more at ease or at home than when I first got into punk/hc. All the bands I heard from her or when on to discover as a result take me back to that moment when everything just turned.

4:25 PM  
Blogger R. Sonoff said...

Great blog, just stumbled upon it. Keep it up.


1 minutes songs are the only kind of song :)

R. Sonoff

2:30 AM  
Blogger Aaris said...

You need to bring the mixes back!

Check out the one that Ryan Patterson of Coliseum did for me on Louisville, Kentucky:

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Best Electronic Cigarettes said...

love the way you have presented the post with us.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous HHH said...

I discovered hardcore through a Sick Of It All / Black Flag cassette that someone in my class gave me. I think I was 15 or 16.

Some time after I saw SOIA live in my town (I remember that show cause I went there completely alone). The whole thing changed my life for ever.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous maize said...

such a good record.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I was introduced to hardcore by my girlfriend about a year ago.. so I'm pretty far behind. I don't listen to hc that often.. but sometimes when I'm just feeling pissed off at people around me and the way society is it just feels so right to put on some embrace or gorilla biscuits.. there's something about the raw 90's sound thats so.. fuck.. it just gets me so hyped to jump around and go skate. Its the sickest thing, shredding the neighborhood with 'money' or 'things we say' just racing through my head. I really liked your post because it just.. i dunno, it makes me wish I'd got into hardcore when I was around 13/14 rather than 19, but fuck it, shows are so awesome to go. I've only been to a few but the feeling of pure energy I get from a show is incomparable with anything else.. haha.

10:00 AM  
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