Tuesday, January 19, 2016

NYHC Top 50 7"s Of All (My) Time - Part Two: 31-40

40. Beastie Boys - Polly Wog Stew                                                             
Label: Rat Cage                                
Year: 1982
Whatever happened to these dudes (and lady)? One great 7” of raging hardcore and then, poof, gone. Never to be heard from again. Probably got jobs working on Wall Street…investment analysts or some shit.
Notoriously named Beastie Boys as a nod to their idols the Bad Brains, and on the heels of being included in the ‘New York Thrash’ compilation, the Beastie Boys did what the Bad Brains did and holed up in 171-A Studios (where Bad Brains recorded The ROIR Sessions and their own self-titled lp) to record their proper debut. Eight songs of slashing, sneering hardcore that owes as much to Germs as it does Bad Brains. No matter what ever became of this band, at least they left this legacy of buzzing rampage...most bands can't say that.
Michael Diamond (Mike D) – Beastie Boys, Dead Fucking Last, Big Fat Love, Puzzled Panthers, The Latch Brothers, ABA All Stars
John Berry – Beastie Boys, Big Fat Love
Kate Schellenbach – Beastie Boys, Luscious Jackson, Ladies Who Lunch, Hagatha
Adam Yauch (MCA) – Beastie Boys


39. Madball - Ball Of Destruction                                                        
Label: In-Effect                                 
Year: 1989

Who would have thought that Agnostic Front as fronted by Roger Miret’s (then 12) younger brother would have endured to be one of the biggest NYHC exports of all time? I think that like most people I bought this 7” as a novelty, albeit a very well executed and exciting six minute novelty. But turns out, joke’s on me. Madball continues on today as a moshing steamroller. Not my thing these days. Or even really in my thing in 1992 (this lady needs more than a chugging mosh to get her dander up, thank you very much). Everything after this record started veering away from the straight ahead ripping and more into mid-tempo mosh with segues into unfortunate hip hop appropriation (not outright, but…you know what I mean) and tough guy posturing. Sort of lost the course if you asked me. But you probably shouldn't ask me, cause this band is huge...so, I'm not the best barometer.
This 7” though was a bridge between the classic first wave of NYHC, the thrashy attack of someone like Antidote, and the second wave as personified by Youth Of Today, or a band of that time. It worked really well, and to this day it stands up as a solid-as-a-rock example of no frills, put your head down and go, styled hardcore. Approved. Even if you can't trust my taste.
Freddy Cricien – Madball, Hazen Street
Will Shepler – Agnostic Front, Madball
Roger Miret – Agnostic Front, Madball, Lady Luck, Roger Miret & The Disasters, The Alligators
Vincent Cappucchio (Vinnie Stigma) – Agnostic Front, Madball

38. Maximum Penalty - Demo                                                                             
Label: Astor                                      
Year: 1995
Another demo that was later released as a 7”, so it luckily meets my strict standards and quality control as to what is and is not allowed in this count down. Glory be!
Here’s a band that I first heard on the absolutely crucial ‘New York Hardcore – Where The Wild Things Are’ compilation (sort of the bizarro world version of the Revelation Records ‘New York City Hardcore: The Way It Is’ compilation), and then, nothing. Couldn’t find out any further info on them at all (stupid pre-internet!). It was a bummer. It wouldn’t be until years later that they surfaced with their first proper release, and by then I think a lot of people were sort of, “huh?”. It wasn't what most people (named 'Me') were looking to hear.
The songs on this 7” were recorded in 1988 and released on cassette in 1989 (the cassette had 5 extra songs including the ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ tracks), and then for whatever reason the band idled for six years until someone had the bright idea to take (presumably) their favorite four songs from the demo and press it up as an ep. Quickly followed by a few records, but records that lack the energy and muscle that this one has. At the time the demo was originally recorded they were in league with Breakdown, Outburst, Raw Deal, and the like. Heavy company. No joking around. Good shit.
Mildred Martinez – Maximum Penalty
Brian Goche – Maximum Penalty
Joseph Affe – Maximum Penalty, M.O.D., Harley’s War
Mark Libetti – Maximum Penalty
Jim Williams – Maximum Penalty, Sarcasm, Nausea
37. Bad Trip - Positively Bad                                                                
Label: Bell Bottom 
Year: 1989                          
From the vein of bands that made their debut on the ‘New Breed’ cassette compilation issued in 1989, Bad Trip flew under my radar until seeing them play a show in my hometown in 1990. The way they combined the curveballs of Absolution or Eye For Eye, with catchy Gorilla Biscuits singalong hardcore was a sure fire way to my heart. Their show left a big impression on me. And my guess is it left a big impression on folks coming up in New York, as I see them (and SFA) as the cornerstones to the group of bands that came around on Wreck-Age Records a few years later. Bad Trip could have fit in just as easily on a CBGB matinee bill as they could on an ABC No Rio fund raiser. There’s got to be some influence on Quicksand and Burn to be found…not to mention some inspiration on Bad Trip from Supertouch. A lot of the sounds go back and forth, and ultimately it wasn’t that huge a scene, but I’d be curious to hear how much overlap there was from the guys who were in those bands.
Cover art by future wolrd famous artist Jordan Isip.
Erik Matheu – Bad Trip, Errortype: 11
Luke Montgomery – Bad Trip
Brendan White – Bad Trip
Marcos Siega – Bad Trip
36. Agnostic Front - United Blood                                                                  
Label: self released    
Year: 1983                      
Is it even controversial at this point in history to make the statement that Agnostic Front really didn’t start firing on all cylinders until “Victim In Pain”? Do other people not think that?
Like, yeah, this record rips in a very raw and visceral way. But, do you ever bust it out in lieu of ‘Cause For Alarm’ or ‘Victim” or ‘Liberty & Justice For…’? Agnostic Front are the rare hardcore band who actually work better in the context of an lp than an ep.
All that being said though, it’s fucking AF, and legally you cannot have a NYHC countdown without them on it (enforceable by DMS). It’s the law. Plus “Discriminate Me” is an all-time righteous jam. This record does what you need it to do.
Adam Moochie – Agnostic Front
Roger Miret – Agnostic Front, Madball, Lady Luck, Roger Miret & The Disasters, The Alligators
Vincent Cappucchio (Vinnie Stigma) – Agnostic Front, Madball
Raymond Barbieri (Raybeez) – Warzone, Agnostic Front
35. Nihilistics - Nihilistics                                                                                       
Label: Visionary 
Year: 1982                               
Can’t think of a better way to describe this record than with the bands own name. Nihilistic. Dirty. Raw. Frantic. Electric. Hell, the song “No Friends” sets a template that powerviolence bands would find and riff on ten years later! There are hints of corrosive grind, and proto-crossover roar, but for all the vomit and bile it boils down to fast and loose first wave hardcore that hits all the right spots and relishes in sheer overdriven volume. Under reported but overwhelming.
Michael Nicolosi – Nihilistics
Troy – Nihilistics
Chris T. – Nihilistics
Ron Rancid - Nihilistics
34. Outburst - Miles To Go                                                                   
Label: Blackout! 
Year: 1989                               
Not unlike the previously mentioned Maximum Penalty, Outburst were a band who went for a gut punch of bulldozer guitar and a see-saw of blazing speed and mid temp stomp. For a guy who grew up far removed from New York, or any large metropolis really, it was the sound of Outburst (and those like them) that painted a picture of what that the city must have been like at that time. It was dark and gritty, and a little menacing. A little scary. You heard the stories about the violent shows, and this must certainly have been the kind of band whipping the crowd into a frenzy. No unity or youth crew here, just contemptuous and mean. Life sucks, fuck it, go hard.
Brian Donahue – Outburst
Jay Rufino – Outburst, Show Of Force
George D’errico – Outburst, Show Of Force
Joe Songco – Outburst
Mike Welles – Outburst, Joe Coffee
33. Heart Attack - God Is Dead                                                                   
Label: Damaged Goods 
Year: 1981                   
One foot in English punk the other in the nascent hardcore sound, Heart Attack were a quick blast of youthful energy that came and went in a flash of light leaving behind two 12” eps and this, their debut 7”. Three songs that fly by in breathless five minute fury.
You wouldn’t guess that at the time of this recording these guys were 13 fucking years old! What were you doing at 13? Were you renouncing your family’s faith and declaring that “god is dead”? Were you slashing out whirling dins of blasting scree? Fucking hardcore, man.
Jesse Malin – Heart Attack, D Generation, Jesse Malin And The St. Marks Social, The Finger
John Frawley – Heart Attack
Javier Madariaga – Reagan Youth, Heart Attack, Requiem In White
32. Cause For Alarm - Cause For Alarm                                                            
Label: self released   
Year: 1983                       
More of the initial wave of NYHC here, the A7/Thompkins Square era. You can hear how New York was amplifying the Washington D.C hardcore sound and in doing so ostensibly trying to outdo the Boston bands like SSD who were filtering into town to play shows on their home turf. Fast and loud, with no frills. Period. It’s basically the epitome of what hardcore is built upon; you don’t fuck around with intros and outros, you ride one chord into the ground, and do your best to blast the crowd through the back wall.
Alex Kinon – Cause For Alarm, Agnostic Front
Keith Burkhardt – Cause For Alarm
Rob Kabula – Cause For Alarm, Agnostic Front, Against The Grain, Loved And Hated
Rob Krekus – Cause For Alarm
31. Alone In A Crowd - Alone In A Crowd                                                           
Label: Flux                                        
Year: 1989
They played one show, they released one record, and that was that. Dunzo.
But this one record is fucking ferocious. It took the heavy bludgeon of Uppercut and Collapse and Maximum Penalty and wove in some of the Youth Crew-isms of Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of Today. So, sort of Judge, basically. Except more aggro. So, not exactly Judge, then. Savage.
“When Tigers Fight” has got to be one of the strangest songs ever put to tape. I mean, you gotta wonder what it must have been like to be a fly on the wall when that song was worked out in the practice space. This almost doomy (by hardcore standards) lurching riff that is narrating by a wildly specific tale of street fighting. So weird, yet so awesome. Couldn’t get away with something like that one today, you’d be laughed off stage, but in 1988 it seemed perfectly acceptable. Shit was weird, and weird is the best.
Love this record.
Jules Masse – Alone In A Crowd, Side By Side
Carl Porcaro (Carlooch) – Killing Time, Breakdown, Raw Deal, Alone In A Crowd, Kings Destroy, Electric Frankenstein, The Arch Rivals
Rob Sefcik – Uppercut, Alone In A Crowd, Electric Frankenstein, Begotten, Kings Destroy, Mind’s Eye
Lars Weiss – Alone In A Crowd, Judge, Uppercut, Giving Tree, Get Involved!
Howie Wallen – Alone In A Crowd

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