I finally have received my turntable back from the shop that some of you were gracious enough to donate to fix. Simultaneously, I finally took the time to get my scanner working again. I'm celebrating in a big way with another post that is sure to be exclusive to the Path To Misery blog.
I had caught wind of Hinckley from several message board postings on the Catalyst Records forum. Apparently they were a band that predated my favorite bands of all time: Racetraitor and killtheslavemaster. I was told they had only ever released a few songs and that it was pointless to ever search out the 7". Four years of searching later, I pulled it out of Jerry's Records right here in Pittsburgh for $3. I literally drove 90 mph on the way home to listen to this as soon as possible; I had waited long enough.
This is a self-released 7" that appears to be the only offering this band gave to the world. Well, technically this was released on Renier Records; but it has all of the beautiful qualities of a self-released 7". This "big-hole" 7" comes wrapped in a screen-printed, presumably-stolen manila folder and accompanied alongside a presumably-stolen 16 page booket. In theory, each 7" could have cost as little as 25 cents a piece to manufacture. Imagine that.
As if the layout did not speak for itself, the band made a specific point to explain the outlook and ethics of the band in very plain language throughout the lyrics and writings contained within the massive booklet. The very first page of the layout gives a taste of what is enclosed within the confines of the package.
"Hinckley is just a band. We're just people. This record is simply a way we've found to talk to a whole bunch of people at once; a very inexpensive and effective method of mass communication. Hopefully you feel as involved in this conversation as we do. At this point in our lives, this is what we're feeling. We're not asking you to like it or agree with it, we've simply made it available for you to experience. This project is for all of us."
I was obviously hooked before I even laid the 7" on the turntable (yes, I was reading the booklet while driving home at 90 mph). The excitement was building to a point to where I would have potentially broken my record player had the 7" not lived up to my expectations. Luckily for my turntable, this recording exceeded any and all expectations I could have had for it.
It's only 8 seconds of feedback before the first track, On The Hill, explodes with an intensity that you can honestly feel through the recording. The other songs are not far off with the feeling they convey. While there isn't much to say for the song arrangements or the riffing techniques or anything along those lines, the sheer intensity of these 6 tracks that average a minute and a half in duration is immeasurable. I'm really not exaggerating when I say that I have never experienced a feeling that this 7" portrays. I don't even mind never having the opportunity to see this band live as this recording seems to offer the same feeling I would receive in a live atmosphere.
I never wanted to upload the music in itself for this release. While I obviously ALWAYS prefer to have a booklet in hand while listening to a recording, I felt as though it was especially essential to include scans of the booklet with this offering. The lyrics are obviously impossible to decipher on their own (or even WITH a lyric sheet), so the writings in the booklet are quite necessary to understand what exactly the band was aiming for with this release.
The 16 page booklet includes 2 pages of pictures and 1 of lyrics while the rest are filled to the brim with writings. There are explanations for the lyrics by the band members, thoughts from close associates of the band (who would later go on to form killtheslavemaster and Racetraitor along with members of Hinckley) and even anonymous writings touching on issues of nationalism, classism, sexism, homophobia, consumerism and the other problems that have apparently been plaguing the hardcore scene since before this release was even conceptualized.
I'm not going to comment on the writings inside the booklet because they speak quite well for themselves. All I can say is that this was the perfect timing for me to come across this 7" with the current feelings I have towards the community at large.
"I am not a member of the band whose record you bought; nor am I an essential member of the scene you are part of. I hope you can still hold interest in my writings" - Isaac