16 July 2014


If you weren't around at the time, then perhaps it would be difficult to explain how killer BENÜMB were. A pack of thrash mutants and suburban outcasts dishing out hyper fast metal while their frontman Pete went from the absolute nicest man in hardcore to a possessed animal frothing on stage. Their releases were packed with thanks lists and contact info for literally every band they came in contact with, and Pete would spend minutes listing every upcoming Bay Area punk show he could before launching the band into another 60 second barrage...the fact that they were on Relapse and existed (thrived, even?) outside of our Bay Area subculture was completely beyond me. At the risk of making this seem like a post about Pete (to be fair, I never met any of the other dudes), the band fukkn ripped. Always. Every time. But if I had seen them around the time this shit was recorded, I would have lost my mind. In '94, before BENÜMB were a full on thrash metal band, it appears that they were a devastating tortured hardcore outfit. The next eight minutes are unhinged low end madness - bass is the focus (shit man, I'm wondering...is it possible that they didn't have a guitar in the beginning? I can't remember. Someone help me out here?). The churn of "Stagger Forward" and the mania of "Abstain" take center stage, but every track here is legit. Thinking about what this band might have become had they channelled this shit into HC instead of metal is terrifying. Cheers, Pete.


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