The 90s get a pretty bad rap when folks talk about punk and hardcore and, to be fair, it was an era packed with a lot of schlock, but to discount the decade that brought us BORN AGAINST and TALK IS POISON would be fucking stupid. The emotional hardcore that is the source for a lot of the "90s sucked" talk was rooted pretty firmly in the midwest - and they are some of my favorite bands from those years. Sure, GRADE sounds pretty crap if you listen to them today without the context, but loads of bands have weathered the last 10-15 years pretty well...like 309 CHORUS. This Milwaukee band came just after BURIED, L.S.D. (the first honest DIY touring band I ever met) and DEMISE and took the personal approach to punk to another level. I never got to see them, but played many times with DAMITOL (who featured guitarist Andy and a later 309 guitarist Jeremy) and ANIMAL FARM (with Grant, the guitarist that Jeremy replaced, and future member of the aforementioned TALK IS POISON), and plus their singer Scott (who departed after this demo I believe) was my boss for both of my stints living in Milwaukee. Fiercely political mid tempo hardcore with a songwriting style that owes as much to the plodding AmRep shit that was going on in Minneapolis as to the disjointed introverted oddness of mid 90s Gravity Records shit. Chaotic and meaningful; two things that way too much music is missing these days...and a lot like life.
also, my wife took these photos years before I knew her...weird, huh?