[Originally published: Issue #1, circa 1987]
7 SECONDS "Praise" EP

As Kevin Seconds moves his band to a more mainstream style, his songwriting talents and lyrical style mature greatly. Heavily influenced by U2, many would consider this a sell-out. But I feel it is a natural progression for a band like 7 SECONDS. It has a definite post-punk feeling which comes across successfully. A definite improvement over "New Wind", in which all the songs seem to be detached from each other. But I'm warning you: "The Crew" has grown up. (POSITIVE FORCE) [MICKEY]

Straight-edge thrash? Whatever it is, it's great! 16 incredible tracks played with ferocious intensity. "Grey world", "Johnny", "Warfear" and the title track are among the best songs (although every song on this LP is good). Since this album, I heard that the band has separated, and some members have formed CONDEMNED ATTITUDE while the others continue A.A. with a slightly different lineup. [TONY]
THE BRIGADE "Come Together" EP

Two older songs, "War for Peace" and "The Struggle Within" are chopped up and irritatingly remixed. The second side is b.s. dance music. What a shame -- these guys have put out some decent stuff, and it's all come down to this. [MICKEY]
DRI "Crossover" LP

Everybody is wondering "Did they go metal?" Well, there are only I2 songs (instead of the usual 20+) and must of them run around the three minute mark (not since "Argument Then War"). But their sound really hasn't changed that much. They still crank it up pretty fast, just now there is more music to each song. "Decisions" and "Five Year Plan" are by far the best tracks. A good album though not as good as the classic 'Dealing With It". D.R.I won't lose much of its followig IF their old fans aren't put off by the "metal" packaging. [TONY]
DEAD KENNEDYS "Bedtime for Democracy" LP

What's this? A DK album that I like? Impossible, and yet it happened. Yes, that's right, "'Bedtime for Democracy" is a GREAT album. Mickey used to give me tapes of their old stuff and I never could get into it, but now they are slightly "thrashier" and this album rips! "One Way Ticket to Pluto", "Cesspools in Eden" and "Chickenshit Conformist" are among the better tracks (of a whopping 21)! Being basically a metal-monger, it takes a good hardcore band to tickle my fancy (among other things) and the DKs have hit it with their new album. [TONY]
DOGGY STYLE "The Last Laugh" EP

This is the much-awaited DOGGY ROCK, with ex-D.S. members Brad and Lou, teamed up with ex-DESCENDENT Doug Carrion and ex-MINOR THREAT guitarist Brian Baker. With such a strong lineup, I expected much more. But it's a rap record. That's not so bad in itself, but it's the fact that such talented musicians shouldn't be wasting their time on such trendy stuff. Thank God, Brian Baker quit and went back to DAG NASTY, where he can show his true abilities. Now the question remains: Will the rest of these truly talented dudes leave too, and use their talents? (NATIONAL TRUST RECORDS) [MICKEY]

When the original DOGGY STYLE broke up and Brad X and Lou Gaez left to form DOGGY ROCK, they re-formed with an added guitarist and a new drummer and singer. And with this change, they've improved dramatically. After taking a close look at their first album, which I enjoyed very much, it seemed very limited and restricted, both musically and lyrically. Just melodious thrash. But on "Doggy Style II", they seem to ignore their whole past, and appear with a new style. They are much more mature, and it shows. They delve into slower, more melodic, but still powerful music. Each tune is very original, different from the next, which makes it an album which one is not easily bored with. I admire their willingness to be adventurous and not stick to the same limiting three chords. 18 long tracks too. What a bargain! (FLIPSIDE RECORDS) [MICKEY]

These guys haven't been playing long, but the Philly scene has taken a quick liking to them. It's easy to see why. They have a sound like the old 7 SECONDS (before "New Wind"), but they are more varied, in that they delve into reggae and more melodious sounds. Not very well-produced, but for a first try, it sounds very good. Powerful, with catchy tunes and powerful lyrics. [MICKEY]

The long awaited follow-up to their highly successful debut album shows us a very polished band. The first track, "Suicidal Maniac' is a fast burner (the best song on the album) with vocalist Mike Muir often sounding like a refined Roger miret of AGNOSTIC FRONT. The title track is a pseudo-rap that seems to be trying to start a fad. Aside froa 'War Inside My Head" and "Cyco" the rest of the tracks sound like new wave tunes with a slightly heavy edge and Mike trying to do his best Ray Davies imitation. All in all, this album isn't that bad - just don't expect the same "cycos" from the classic first LP. [TONY]

OK, so this album's a little old, but I cannot stress show good it is. Whatever ignorant jerks announce, all-knowingly, "hardcore has not talent" should be forced to listen to this band. With ex-MINOR THREAT Brian Baker and DAG NASTY being a DC band, I expected a lot, and received it. And much more. Very diversified, hard-hitting music, which great, depressing personal lyrics which, unfortunately, I can relate to all too easily. Ten great tracks come together to make "Can I Say" a must for any hardcore fan. A visually beautiful album also. (DISCHORD RECORDS) [MICKEY]
DEATHROW "Riders of Doom" LP

Good thrash from this West German outfit (formerly SAMHAIN). Nine good tracks with frenzied solo-ing and above average vocals. A bit too cliche in some places but overall, a good album. Combat Noise has another winner. [TONY]

A 2-song studio effort by Ian MacKaye and fellow MINOR THREAT Jeff Nelson. This one-shot deal shows that power doesn't always come from raging guitars, pounding drums, and screaming voices. Good, inspired lyrics and fine music (with Ian on guitar and bass not since the TEEN IDLES days?) fit hand-in-hand to place this well-produced 7" high on my list. Too bad we probably won't hear anything else from EGGHUNT. Ian told me that his desire to play music still runs strong, and his new band is taking form, and hopefully by this summer, we'll hear from them. (DISCHORD RECORDS) [MICKEY]
UNIFORM CHOICE "Screaming for Change" LP

OK, I know. This album is sort of old, but I never got a chance to hear what the big deal was. Now I can, and I am quite impressed. They are very talented and this is easily seen on this release. The music is very good both diversified and complicated (both of which I feel signify a talented band). A matured UNITY. But the lyrics are what impress me the most. U.C. isn't the typical straight-edge band. They aren't spiteful, and give support to those pressured, and justify their attitudes very eloquently. They also have some songs that could definitely be considered poetry very beautiful. Get this LP! (WISHINGWELL RECORD) [MICKEY]
YOUTH OF TODAY "Break Down the Walls" LP

YOUTH OF TODAY's EP "Can't Close My Eyes" (Positive Force Records) was a very strong release every track was great musically, and the vocals were top-notch. It seemed that a comparable follow-up would be unlikely, but they managed to match their effort on the EP, and for the most part, surpass it. YOUTH OF TODAY has the heavy, thick New York hardcore sound (dual guitars, strong bass), but unlike bands like AGNOSTIC FRONT and the CRUMBSUCKERS, the heavy metal tinge is missing, but not missed. They have a sound all their own, which is difficult to describe or cocmpare. The energy that they emit live transfers well in the studio, as seen on such great tracks as "Make a Change", "Stabbed in the Back", and "Positive Outlook", but each track is strong both musically and lyrically. The lyrics, dealing with personal topics, come across incredibly well, what with the fantastic job done by Ray of Today, who may be the best hardcore singer I have heard yet. Beautiful packaging, excellent production, and a fine performance throughout make "Break Down the Walls" the best release so far in 1987. (WISHINGWELL RECORDS) [MICKEY]
ANTHRAX "Among the Living" LP

This LP is great! Scott "NOT" Ian and the gang have done it again. It's much heavier than "Spreading the Disease" but it keeps their melodic sound. "I Am the Law", "Imitation of Life", and the title track are among the best cuts. Buy this one or be "Caught In A Mosh"!
CRUMBSUCKERS "Life of Dreams" LP
What an album!!! A must buy for thrashers and 'core fans alike. Buy it now (if you're that hermit in Guam who doesn't have a copy yet.) [TONY]
SLAYER "Reign in Blood" LP

The lords of black metal are back with a vicous speed metal attack. "Angel of Death", "Raining Blood", and 6 other tracks rip through your brain. Pick up this album and thrash, thrash, thrash! [TONY]
Copyright 2007