Excessive Force - "Those Who Were" (In Your Blood; Life Sentence Records)
The web (and dorko 90's nostalgists) have spilled enough ink over this song's opening couplet ("you said you'd always be true/but you're a weak motherfucker and you never had it in you") but I'd still like to call attention to the profound poetry of one of Salty City's finest exports. Having just finished an agonizing tour of duty behind the Zion curtain, I tend to give Salt Lake City a hard time about their hardcore (historically: lotta sizzle, very little steak IMO) and Excessive Force (or Xcessive Force, which is a way better moniker) is no exception. I'm hesitant to call this record "good" though I do enjoy listening to it a fair amount at the gym, when I'm pipe-bombing a McDonalds or other such ventures. "Those Who Were" features a drum sound that fluctuates between "Ball-peen hammer on a lead pipe" and "soggy noodle on wet cardboard" but those vocals sound legitimately unhinged and when you're 16 and SUPER into straight edge, it probably sounded like god speaking directly to you. I'm also a geek for all the weird guitar stuff they tried to pull off (check "In Your Blood," the track) and some of the off-kilter batshit riffing that made it into this song. Tempo changes galore, gang vox and yadda yadda. Definitely worth checking out for historical purposes, but if you're only tentatively interested in 90's monster-core, you're probably going to struggle making it through this entire album. Wise choice to put this as the leadoff track though.
Next Step Up - "Sweet Leaf" (Fall from Grace, Gain Ground)
A Cover that falls into the "so bad I can't stop listening to it" category. Don't mistake me, the riffs are spot on, but the vocals really don't do justice to the almighty Sab. I get it. Covers are supposed to inject something new into the song, so this is cool as a novelty, it just kind of feels like a throwaway on the end of the album. Fav Next Step Up track is their contribution ("L.A. Story") to the East Coast Assault comp. vol 1. Because you asked. Also, this doesn't have any solos on it. Just lettin you know.
There are, to my knowledge, three versions of this song and like any good Dad, I love them all equally and for different reasons (but will also admit that I like the one on the Triple B comp just a TEENY bit more than all the others). What's more to be said about Power Trip? Remember back in the Armaggedon Blues era when they couldn't GET rid of all their 7"s? Times have changed. I did a Drug Dogs interview with Riley that will probably end up on the internet someday. We talked about baseball and Monster Magnet.
What's special about this particular version of the song is that it's crappy cassette quality and features new falsetto/screech vocals (seemingly done by Udo Dirkschneider) and an added melodic chanting bit at the end (gregorian chant style). Awesome. Pure awesome. Everything this band does is awesome. For once, the internet was right about something! (No youtube vid for this one. Sorry bunky.) Also, I'd like to point out that this mixtape has added band names like Candy Randy and the Gay Boys, Woo Ric Woo Flair Woo and Heavy Metal Eric into my iTunes library. Thanx guys.
Fit for Abuse - "Prefabricated" (Mindless Violence, Crust)
Criminally underrated beantown 'core, fast and punky a'la Negative Approach and The FU's, created in a time of JNCOs, Open E notes and vegan apologetics. Absolutely essential. No question. This one's a minute long and features a phat and phunky beat. Get this 7". Get everything they did or pose forever.
Our Gang - "Out of Hand" (Uprising Demo)
Late 80's NYHC that was always on my periphery (due to a smattering of awesome logos and demo covers) but I never really checked out until mid-college when I discovered Blogged and Quartered. The songs from the Uprising demos appeared other places, but sound-quality wise, these are the best. "Out of Hand" features an awesome riff and a "skank it up!" mosh call. Perfect ingredients for a rippin lil' tune.