Friday, June 27, 2008
At the time of their existence, Left Hand Path played an important role in Chicago Hardcore. Falling somewhere in between more metallic bands like The Killer and the more stripped down punk/hc bands like The Repos and Punch in the Face, they blended hard late 80's/early 90's NYHC with 80's thrash before that style fell back into favor. Like many of the bands I've grown to love or continued to love over the years, there was a distinct progression in Left Hand Path's evolution from being a straight-forward hardcore band, into something much more representative of who they are as people. The Wreckage is the culmination of their unique personalities and musical interests - everything from Dan's straight-forward lyrics that are occasionally grammatically incorrect (i.e. "a little bit older, a little more colder") to the fast Slayer inspired riffs and the bits and pieces of New York groove.
Unfortunately, they broke up before their time, but I'd rather see a band go out on top than soldier on releasing their own version of How We Rock well after the horse has been beaten to death.
Left Hand Path - The Wreckage
Buy the 7"
Thursday, June 5, 2008
In the early 2000's few bands were as influential in hardcore as American Nightmare. As such, they had their fair share of imitators, but for the most part most bands simply took cues from them lyrically, musically or from their imagery. One of those bands was Treason from the Bay Area. To me, Treason was always a pretty elusive band. For a minute, they were getting hyped all over the internet based on a a mid-tempo 30 second song called "Halfway in the Red" complete with a sound clip from a particularly questionable moment in the movie Kids. Then, they vanished before I had a chance to even get the demo and little more was mentioned of them for years to come. Fast forward five years to when I traded a Chamberlain/Old Pike 2x7" just so I could hear the demo of this band I heard 30 seconds of a few times. Shortly after I acquired it and found it still held up fairly well, I asked my buddy Matt Wilson about them. As a Bay Area core dude, I figured he would be the man to ask and as it turns out, he was able to tell me that two of the guys went on to be in Lights Out.
Musically, Treason often remind me of a San Diego, Gravity Records style band mixed with parts of the frequently overlooked and equally short lived Sworn In. I think this demo may have even been released before the Sworn In record, but I still get a similar vibe from both bands. All 10 songs are short, intense bursts of fast, messy, distorted hardcore laid against decent, often melodramatic lyrics about loneliness, desperation, sex, love and hopelessness. The lyrics are the only thing that tends to remind me of AN because around that time, every band seemed to try and step up their lyrical palate beyond typical hardcore fare. Anyone into dark, early 2000's hardcore should check this demo out. The more I listen to it, the more I'm bummed they didn't get to release a proper record before they called it a day.
Treason - Demo