Friday, September 10, 2010

Don't Forget Your Roots?

In 1989, NYHC legends Warzone forgot the struggle and forgot the streets. They forgot their roots. I don’t think they managed to sell out, but it’s safe to say that this record was probably an attempt to do just that. After all, Raybeez did try to change his stage name to “Ray James” on this album. If that’s not a sellout move, I don’t know what is. I’m not one to agree with the old schoolers that the metal crossover of the mid to late ‘80s ruined hardcore punk, but it’s hard to argue that point when this album is used as one of their examples. Just listen to the butt rock rewrites of “Wound Up” and “Under 18,” or the blatant ripoff of Sabbath’s “Symptom of the Universe” that is the song “Judgement Day II (Your Time Will Come).” Today’s retro metal kids may actually be dumb enough to think that this is a great record, but I assure you that this is Warzone’s Cold Lake. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that this is their Into the Unknown, since Raybeez and company eventually saw the error of their ways and reverted back to playing standard hardcore.

If you’re a fan of records like Cold Lake, New Wind, Grave New World, Massacre Divine, Beast on My Back, or Break It Up, maybe you’re capable of listening to this one and formulating an opinion on whatever merits this record might have. Maybe you already have. If not, I’d like to see if everyone reading this can download it and listen to it for as long as you can. Then let me know via the comments section how far you managed to make it before turning it off in disgust. I dare you, motherfucker. The experiment starts here.


Israel said...

Honestly....New Wind is a pretty sweet record. No joke.

Anonymous said...

Gotta admit I bought New Wind, Break It Up, Grave New World and oddly enough Beast On My Back on vinyl LP close to the years they came out when I was much younger and liked all of them. I was no stranger to rock and roll in the early 80's, I grew up listening to The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Steppenwolf and The Who before I found punk rock or it found me. While it didn't pack the same punch I was getting older and maybe my taste was maturing as well kinda like how Government Issue started writing some really great stuff near the final days and the Big Boys would soon morph into Poison 13. I still have all those LP's still to this day but I will say I did buy this '89 self titled War Zone LP and traded it in at a record shop not too long after it came out, maybe 6 months at the most. It wasn't until after they had been reformed for several years with a different line up that I went back and started to pick up releases from the re-formative years. It was a 50/50 shot with some releases. Just like Agnostic Front had started to sound like a money making Epitaph machine, I found myself sometimes amused but disappointed at times. The rawness from that scene that made New York hardcore so great had all been washed away with slick clean studio productions. There were no more great sounds coming out like Antidote, The Psychos, Trip 6, The Abused, Heart Attack and The Mob. The die was cast, the clock was ticking and it was gone. Hopefully one day it will be reborn, but not in another cardboard clone recycled hipster prepackaged wash and wear gentle cycle only retread. Too scared to wrinkle your clothes or mess up your hair. Put down the phone at a show for a minute and live your life. They gotta make it their own with real hearts and true anger, because if you can look around your own surroundings and you aren't the least little bit pissed off that nothing has changed in the last 40 years. I don't care how old you are or how cool you think you are, stay away from my lunch table.

Robin Graves