21 October 2015


I think this is when hardcore started to change. A decade or so into DIY punk, and bands had run the gamut - hardcore, thrash, pop punk, politics/anti-politics, crossover, grind, grunge, selling out, reunions, house shows...little tastes of all of the microscenes can be found in the '80s. But with the new decade, bands started to settle in and really explored possibilities of sound and behaviour. California's DOWNCAST take East Coast chug-on-E riffing, pre-pubescent hardcore breakdowns and palm muted circle pit fast parts typically associated with knuckledragging oafs but they integrate it into fiercely DIY political and emotional hardcore. I missed this band by a few years (and even if I had known, I cannot imagine how disastrous it would have been if we had crossed paths when I first toured California in 1992), and by the time I heard their recordings I was struck by how thin they sounded compared to "bigger" moshy hardcore bands (especially on this demo). But maybe that's why this one holds up today - DOWNCAST is a time capsule. The pressure of looming success, whether perceived or desired or threatened, had subsided and the DIY scene was starting to become its own thing instead of a part of something larger (and something better). Perhaps the connection between DOWNCAST and the shift currents in the underground scene (shifts that swept me up and still haven't let me go) is manufactured by my personal associations? I'm sure someone else will say I'm wrong, but then someone else might suggest that this shit should be lived and not studied. Now I suggest that you go get a copy of Ebullition #1.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I always liked the 45, they lost me on the Lp. I remember hearing stories of no slamming at their shows, ahh the 90's.