Thursday, January 9, 2014

KRUTCH: Discography

I was recently requested to post a Krutch discography. I could have sworn I already had done so but apparently I was mistaken. So here it is ... the long-overdue Krutch post.

There's a lot I could say about this band but in summary, they have essentially built the eastern PA hardcore scene from the ground up, Krutch will always be synonymous with the term PAHC.

Here is a bio that I found on some random Geocities or Tripod site that is somehow still up. I'll throw in some notes at the end.

"KRUTCH, the undisputed kings of Pennsylvania hardcore, got started in late ´89 the original members being Karl, Sal, Richie, Cheez, & Below. Sal would eventually join the U.S. Navy, leaving the remaining four to maintain Krutch. This original line-up never seriously recorded (other than a demo in 1989 which is unfortunately not included in this upload) and it wasn’t until late ´93 that their first demo Stand Strong, Stand Alone was complete.

In 1995 Krutch´s second demo "Wheeruat" would be released, although it had only three songs it was received very well in the hardcore scene, this release showcased the true-to-life lyrics over Krutch´s trademark sound of low tuning and intense drum work. With this line-up around ´96 they released their split 7” with Surrounded on Back Ta Basics Rec. This was B.T.B.’ 2nd release and made both, the band and label, household names. Krutch’s next release Brotherhood - Sisterhood mcd would be on the European label R.P.P. It included their second demo and their two songs off their split 7”. Soon after Krutch released another split 7” on the french label Inner Rage Records and with the French band Stormcore. By this time, Krutch collaborated with Rick Healey of 25 Ta Life and Pepi Rodreguiz of Livin Proof to start the side project Comin Correct, with whom they have toured in Europe, Japan and of course the U.S.

Krutch continued and stayed busy with playing where ever they could in the U.S. but mainly East Coast and Midwest. They played tons of shows with Madball, Biohazard, Life of Agony, Kreator, Downset, Dog Eat Dog etc. in the legendary clubs like ´The Rat` in Boston, ´CBGB’s` in NYC, and ´The Pipeline` in wonderful Newark N.J. But on a regular basis the line-up would be with the likes of 25 Ta Life, Fury Of V, V.O.D. or Bulldoze.

Around ´97 Krutch released their debut full-length album Now the Tables Turn on the underground B.T.B. label. The band was not fully satisfied with the recording, but nevertheless the CD was highly acclaimed worldwide. Then one of the founding members Cheez would call the quits. Krutch being no stranger to line-up changes quickly recruited Simon from a local punk-hardcore band called Feeble. With this line-up they toured Europe playing in major clubs as well as squats. They played Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, and France.

After the European tour Krutch released another split 7” The Few The Deep with Simon´s defunct band Feeble. Soon Simon had a kid, then the singer Karl had a kid, so Krutch took long time-off to record a full-length entitled I'll See You In Hell. Richie joined Mushmouth just to keep playing during the break.

Now, on the brink of the new millenium, Krutch is ready for the crushin comeback and claim their place on the top of the whole hardcore game. They just released the 2nd album Our Thing - the Mafia Years 89-99 (on Cartel Records). This 12-song cd contains brand-new material and all their hard-to-find tracks re-mastered. Produced by HoyaRoc of Madball. Krutch European tour in Spring 2000."

The previously mentioned album is actually mostly a collection of the material spoken of in this bio. Our Thing: The Mafia Years contains one song from the 89 demo, none of the 93 demo, the entire 95 demo, their contributions to the splits with Surrounded, Feeble and Stormcore (thanks to me adding on the one track from the Stormcore split which was not included on the actual disc), their cover of As One from the Raybeez Tribute, one track from the Now The Tables Turn album and two new songs which would also be re-recorded for the follow-up full length, I'll See You In Hell (BFL & W.O.T.).

I'll See You In Hell was a full length album released in 2000 on Back Ta Basics which would feature the band starting to progress into the realm of acoustic numbers at almost every other track. While a solid offering in it's own right, I was always moreso impressed with their 5 tracks from the No Retreat split CD that was released almost simultaneously. This could potentially just be nostalgia considering No Retreat was by far my favorite band at the time, but these five Krutch tracks hit hard, fast and simple as opposed to the full length that takes place over the course of 18 tracks!

Noteworthy mention: I actually was listening to this No Retreat/Krutch split so often that one of the Krutch riffs accidentally ended up in one of the songs I had written for my band at the time, Down To None. I knew the riff was too good/wigger-ish for anything I had written on my own and was, in turn, super self-conscious about the track. Well, the day before we played it out for the first time in front of all the BFL guys it hit me where the riff came from. I thought for sure we would be fed to the pigs after the show and begged my band to re-learn the song but they weren't having it. Luckily my 15 year old perception of hardcore reality was a bit skewed and no one seemed to notice/care. If memory serves me correctly it may have been the riff that set the pit off for the night. Go figure.

Another possibility as to why the split with No Retreat stuck out to me as being more vital than the I'll See You In Hell full length was the gradual addition of Mad Joe Black into the vocal position. While I had been quite a fan of the original vocalist Karl, there's just something that sticks about Jothum's vocals which is hard to explain yet can be largely attributed to the current success of Wisdom In Chains; the band that essentially rose from the ashes of Krutch after their dissolution in 2002/2003.

By the time their next full length was ready for release, Mad Joe had unofficially (or maybe officially) seemed to become a second vocalist for the band. Whatever It Takes would be released on I Scream Records out of Belgium and quickly became my new favorite album from the band. It would be not long after the release of this album that the band would go on what would end up being a last hurrah of shows in America which were mostly shows with the then-newly reformed Integrity & One Life Crew ... which also featured a stop at the three-car-garage venue I was running at the time called The Planet Of The Apes. Having the PAHC Legends in my hometown of Natrona Heights, PA was quite the validation in my 16 year old eyes.

Not long after, the band seemed to fade out of the public eye and seemingly made way for their two fast-rising side projects by the names of Boxcutter and Wisdom In Chains. While the first Boxcutter EP was initially intended to be released AS Krutch, the creation of the new super-group came out of necessity in order to avoid label contractual issues. This band would later go on to take more of a rap element and would become a project of wig-bop dreams.  Wisdom In Chains was almost simultaneously being put together by a backing band from Belgium who recruited Mad Joe for his already-legendary vocal talents. With their debut almost actually being an international endeavor, this project would soon find itself becoming a seemingly continuation of the eastern PA legends of Krutch.

All-in-all Krutch stands as the pioneers of the PAHC scene whos members still, to this day, continue to keep the ball rolling in their part of the state. Whether it be through labels, venues, bands or simply supporting the scene in general ... Krutch's main legacy will serve as being the backbone of PAHC. And somehow ... despite having some of the absolute worst album layouts and recording qualities known to man ... I always find myself reaching for some Krutch discs when I feel like reliving the glory days of PAHC.

PS - If anyone has the full 1989 Demo to share ... that would be awesome.


Joshua said...

Please could you re-up the Stand Strong demo? Mediafire won't let me download. Thanks!

dmz_nmc said...

Thanks for posting this, been looking for that "stand strong" demo download for ages!
Cool to know that they have a '89 demo too, must keep my eyes peeled for that one!