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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

FRAGMENT: Discography


How the fuck did it take me this long to post about Fragment?!?! How awesome was Pin Drop Records graphic design team!!?!!?

Here is most of what I know about Fragment: they were from MA and brought the fucking mosh in the late 90s/early 2000s. Considering that is about the extent of my knowledge on these guys, I'm going to do some copy/paste work from the LastFM page which is surprisingly overly thorough for some reason.

"Fragment (aka Outright, aka Fragment Metal) was formed under the name Outright in Upton, Massachusetts in the spring of 1996 by Steve Provost (vocals), Jason Johnson (guitar), Jay Fox (guitar), Al Bigelow (drums) and Mark Wood (bass). The band started playing local shows after 3 weeks. Their early sound was in the vein of hardcore giants Strife and Earth Crisis, but later evolved into the metalcore sound of local favorites such as Overcast. They were often associated with the straightedge music scene (all of the members were at that time), but they didn’t bill themselves as such. After a few months they decided to change their name to Fragment after finding another hardcore band named Outright. (Ironically, there are more bands named Fragment then Outright.)

Their first published work was a 4-song demo tape that they distributed for free. It was “published” by a made-up record label named Evil Bloom Records, a tongue-in-cheek reference to a friend of the band. They also published a track on a 7” record titled Nothing Left To Chance for the label Home Fire Records.

In 1997 there was a schism in the band over personal issues and the band was declared as dead. However, Provost and Johnson decided to carry on the project and recruited Chris Bloom (bass) and Jeff Wheeler (drums). (The remaining members would go on to form several other successful projects, most notably Fortydaysrain.) The new lineup quickly dropped most of the original material and started working on new songs with a more technical metal sound. They later recruited Jim Felix as a second guitarist, and began making plans to record a full-length CD. That CD, Angels Never Came, was released in 1998 on Pindrop Records. The new lineup continued to play the Worcester, Boston and Providence areas regularly with bands such as Blood Has Been Shed, The Year of Our Lord, Diecast, Bane, Barrit, etc. They also went on several East-coast tours. In 2000, they went back into the studio to record their second and final album, Answers, which was originally published by Pindrop Records but later re-published by Voice of Life Records in Germany.

In the years following the release of their first CD, the line up went through several more changes. Jim Felix, Jay Johnson and Chris Bloom all left the band at one time or another to pursue other interests, though Jim and Jay would return before the band finally broke up. Chris Bloom was replaced by Chris Hill. Other members included Allan Arakelian and Jeff Wiersma, and some shorter-lived members.

The band’s last climax came in the form of a 1-month European tour in early 2001 in support of the Voice of Life deal. They broke-up for good a few months after returning home."

I suppose I don't really have much to add to this. I definitely hear a strong Birthright connection on the earlier material. I'd really like to hear or own a copy of the demo cassette. I'm adding the Nothing Left To Chance 7" to my list of vinyl to rip as soon as my record player gets back from the shop (shit is taking forever). I suppose a notable contribution are the guest vocals by Howard Jones on the first track of the Answers CD. Both albums had sick ass intros ... enough said.

I've been strangely obsessed with Fragment since I randomly bought the CD at the local record shop for $1 back in 2000 ... but not only due to the music contained on the disc. The one thing the article I stole failed to mention is that on their debut album, Fragment allowed a friend's band called Infuse to put a "guest song" on the end of the album. I have literally never seen this done before or after by any band. I think it really, really personifies the ethos of the 90s DIY hardcore scene. When I first picked up this disc in 2000, I was still familiarizing myself with how the world of hardcore worked in comparison to METAL. This act of generosity shown towards what was presumably a local friends' band was something I had never even conceptualized. I still to this day want to do something similar ... I actually just forgot I wanted to do this whenever I put out the Path To Misery CD. Maybe next time.

To sum up this post, I'm going to type out the writing contained underneath the disc in the Answers layout. Worded simply as only a 90s hardcore band could ... for some reason, this speech just strikes a chord with me.

"Our music is our personal message, meant to express our own angst, problems and passions in life. We express it openly in case anyone else should happen to hear what we have to say and can latch onto it in any way or form.

Sometimes it's not in the lyrics that you can find something familiar in, but in the shape of the music, the power and the energy of it, the way it makes you smile, yell, run, scream, think, dream, vent or whatever.

Music is universal, no matter where you go, music sounds like music, it unites anyone who is intelligent enough to hear it. We write our music for this. This music is us, there is nothing fake in it."

NOTE: I left the punctuation and grammar as is.

Infuse is kinda sick ... I'd shit a brick if anyone somehow came up with some info or Mp3s of this band.

DOWNLOAD - Angels Never Came
DOWNLOAD - Answers

10 comments:

KimmoPT said...

I played in a local band called FRAGMENT as well :)

heavymetalcassettes said...

Loved this band. Al was great cat.

Joey said...

DIGGIN' THESE ALBUMS SUCH A GREAT BAND

Jeffrey Reidy said...

The drummer of Infuse was Chris Johnson, Jay's brother. I know them both pretty well, especially Chris.

Mr. Johnson said...

Jay Johnson here - A buddy I play online games with linked me this post. Such a small hardcore world we live in. I have a bunch of Infuse CDs and a euro only 10" rotting in my attic. Shoot me a mail, and I'll happily mail them to you. Rock! :) jfragment AT gmail com

Chris Bloom said...

Hey man, Jay just sent me the link to your post. I wrote the Last.fm biography which is why it's so concise. And, I wrote the liner note you quote too. :) A couple years after Fragment split Jay, Jeff and I formed another band named Velocity Engine along with Bill from Pindrop/Holdstrong. It was more of a pop-punk project but the ethos behind the music was the same. You can get most of the recorded stuff at http://www.last.fm/music/Velocity+Engine, and there are some unrecorded tunes from the bands latter years out there on the Internets somewhere.

Anyway, it's always great hearing that people liked the old Fragment work. We had a great time with the band. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. I can think of one person that might have access to the old demo tape, and there was a split that the band did with another local band back before I was in the band. If I can dig any tracks up, I'll let you know.

Chris Bloom said...

Our drummer, Jeff, had an copy of the old Outright demo that he ripped a few years ago. Here you go: http://www.mediafire.com/?tnp0fp36209f0g0

AJ said...

Very cool ... thanks for that demo link.

charlanne said...

Wow!! Hey there, especially Jay and Chris, this is Anne who did an interview with you while you stayed in Leisnig, the home of VoiceOfLife records and where you have also played a show. Yesterday I recognized a Flyer on the Converge-facebook site, an old one where they have played a show with a band called Fragment (don't know if YOU have been this) but however, I remembered you and the good old times and started to google and found this here. Great to know you are still alive basicly and hope you are fine.
Cheers form over the pond -
Anne

raviisangry said...

any chance the outright demo could get a re up?