Friday, August 13, 2010

ONE 4 ONE: Seven Year Cicada

As many of my faithful readers know, I'm quite the fan of discography posts. In this case, however, we are going to focus on a specific album from the band One 4 One. Primarily playing between the years 1994 and 2000, One 4 One established themselves as one of New Jersey's most reputable hardcore bands. Playing their first show (with Bulldoze) six days after forming, the band released their first demo in the summer of 1994, followed shortly after by the I Won't Lose 7" in 1995 on RPP Productions out of Belgium. Rick Ta Life at Back Ta Basics Records would release their debut full length entitled In Search Of in 1996 followed with an EP out on Time Served Records in 1998. The album we will be speaking of today, however, is the Seven Year Cicada which was released on Triple Crown Records in 1999.

While I'm definitely into all of the material released by this band, this final full length is the only album which I feel is worth posting to this blog for the sake of it's originality. For whatever reason, the band publicly disses their own work on this album, going as far as saying that they are considering mass hypnosis in order to cover up the remnants of this album. After a bit of CD layout research I managed to put together the fact that the entire line-up had moved on by the time of the release of this disc. Only the vocalist remained for this final recording and I'm sure some sort of strange feelings are tied in with this disc.

All of that being said ... this album is nearly perfect. While I will admit that the intro to the album is a bit dramatic and possibly overdone, the fact is entirely irrelevant as soon as the first track kicks in. The title track, Seven Year Cicada, literally is one of the most powerful songs I've ever heard put to tape. The opening riff is beyond words, in my opinion, and I fail to find anything worthy of comparing it to. The only thing I can possibly say is that it has a strong Arkangel feel to it while completely blowing away the previously mentioned band. Keep in mind this is coming from one of Arkangel's biggest fans of all time (yeah, I even kinda like Hope You Die By Overdose).

One 4 One seamlessly transitions into the next track which somehow manages to sound like a cross between Walls Of Jericho's debut LP combined with Every Time I Die's Burial Plot Bidding War EP. Don't ask how or why this comes to mind or is even remotely possible ... but these guys somehow managed to pull it off a few years before either of the bands I just compared them to did it. Dare I even say that Keith Buckley from ETID got his entire vocal stylings from this CD ... who knows? Crazier things have happened in the world of hardcore.

The album layout actually fucks up at this point (a true staple of this era in CD layouts) and starts giving out wrong song titles. Whatever you want to call track 4 (it's actually called Fire Walk With Me) ... it is every bit as punishing as anything Converge wrote in the 90s. Bringing to mind certain tracks from the When Forever Comes Crashing album ... this track somehow manages to knock-off Slayer in a completely 90s metalcore sounding way. This is the kind of music that I live for.

While the album was never released on vinyl, the songs that WOULD serve as the B-side are still great songs but are placed where they are for a reason. While the track What Went Wrong is one of my personal favorites, it is an older compilation track that was simply spiced up a bit for this full length. The band jumps right back into their own uniqueness however with the track When The Walls Were Closing In that opens up with a bit of an homage to the NJHC scene that produced them via an opening rap bit that would make even Ant Money proud. Tomorrow's Dawn (track 7) opens up with the infamous "When there's no more room in hell..." line from Dawn Of The Dead ... that is all that needs to be said about this track.

There's literally not enough I could say about this album to sum up my feelings on it. I'm completely dumb-founded every time I listen to it in the sense that this formerly bland NJHC group somehow managed to pull together these songs which would essentially serve as precursors to what would be the styles in which many of the biggest names in hardcore and metal today would eventually get their starts from.

Once again ... the opening riff to this album (and the entire song structure) ... holy fuck.

I'll let you know if I ever get a hold of these guys and ask what the hell they have against this album. I would also kill to know what all of the musicians who were brought in for this album went on to do musically after the dissolution of One 4 One.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

JIHAD: Old Testament

Jihad was from Kalamazoo, Michigan. They were around from 1994-1997 and released quite a few legendary 7"s alongside a monumental split LP. The music is hard to describe in any word other than "intense". There weren't really any bands playing this style prior to Jihad and there most certainly hasn't been any bands since Jihad to play anything remotely similar. Unless, of course, you count the bands that the members went on to form after the dissolution of Jihad. Even in the cases of Quixote and Sealucky, the bands took on a lighter indie rock direction and failed to incorporate the intensity found on Jihad's recordings.

The band released a discography CD of sorts in 1996 called Old Testament on the bassist's label, Makoto Records. It included the God's Forsaken People 7", the split 7" with In Ourselves, the split 12" with Ottawa, most of their comp tracks and a live recording of their set from Cleveland Fest 1995 (which fucking rules).

The Old Testament compilation CD was released simultaneously alongside a 7" of new material entitled "New Testament". This would prove to be the final recording before the band dissolved in 1997 right before they were scheduled to play the infamous Pittsburgh Fest of the same year which featured performances from Four Hundred Years, Puritan, Braid, Quixote, Judas Iscariot, and the infamous Rent America set with the worm temper tantrum.

As stated previously, the "discography" disc only included MOST of their compilation tracks. The one track it didn't include for whatever reason or another was the Longbow Project compilation 12" put out on Longbow Records (a close acquaintance of Makoto Records). I took the initiative to include a vinyl rip of this track as a special Path To Misery Blog bonus track to the Old Testament discography CD. I also chose to include scans of the God's Forsaken People 7" layout because it's just that cool. You can download all of this HERE.

Here is some live footage provided by the legendary YouTube poster "threepennie" ...

Man, this blog rules

I don't know what it is about this blog ... perhaps it's the intelligence and maturity that shines through the broken English ... but it just rules. There's no Mp3s here ... just some alternative insight on some old hardcore folktales.

Blogging A Dead Horse