I find it hard to reconcile this demo with onslaught of killer brutal hardcore/noise/crust that has oozed out of Portland's pores recently, but BI-MARKS break the PDX Punk mold and just play hi energy punk. The thing is: they play it better than most of the bands I've heard...just blast "Fuck My Generation" and if you aren't in love then we might not be friends. Every song is catchy as hell, tons of great hooks throughout the demo, but while I'm reminded of the good shit that came out of the early 90s I still can't call this pop punk (full disclosure here: the first band I thought of when I heard this was Mississippi's WHITE TRASH SUPERMAN, truly one of the greatest unsung bands of the 90s, and the first record I put on after I heard this demo was Don't Turn Away from FACE TO FACE which is one of the guiltiest pleasures in my collection - this tape sounds like neither, but it achieves the same melodic hook laden brilliance of both while still staying in your face and punk as shit). The recording is lo-fi as hell - part of which is a poor reproduction on my cassette - and it helps the songs sound even more punk, especially the warbling guitar on "No Comment" and "Throw Away The World." Fast as hell and playing with purpose, BI-MARKS are breakneck melodic hardcore that combine elements of loads of bands that rule while sounding like none of them - shit rules. One of the three guitarists is in NERVESKADE, but don't let that be your reference point...instead think early 80s LA meets mid 80s Midwest with a totally charismatic singer (not a vocalist - a singer) and all sped up a little too fast. Jakke tells me it's the best live show in Portland, and after several listens I can't really say that surprises me. Do yourself a favor.
oh yeah..."High Time" is a ZERO BOYS cover, and in the interest of full disclosure I didn't recognize it on first listen it. I knew the song but I couldn't identify the original, so I called John and sung him the chorus, then I called Uncle Fun in Milwaukee who knows all things rock & roll (apparently not quite) and then I wrote Mike, who most of you should visit more often - just click on his name to find out why - and even he couldn't figure out what song I was talking about. Finally I wrote Jakke and he told me it was ZERO BOYS and I felt like a total dummy and then Jakke told me about how CRAZY SPIRIT covered a RAMONES song and tried to get him to sing and he didn't recognize it and I didn't feel so bad anymore. Also, the title track to the YOUNG OPTIMISTS CLUB demo is so good that it maybe should be illegal.