Steel yourself before this one, kids. 1990s suburbia was a motherfucker for punk and hardcore - subgenres and subcultures that had once been a thing of mystery were plastered all over popular culture. The sounds of rebellion that had fueled a generation's rage had become the very establishment, and now the floodgates were open. Enter TOWARDS AN END. From the Tri-Valley (40ish miles inland from San Francisco), they came from ashes of RELY, a pretty damn good teenage SXEHC band, and delivered some of the harmless emotional hardcore that was seemingly everywhere for a solid decade. These kids did one better by throwing in a bunch of pro-establishment, anti-abortion, anti-sex lyrics because....fukk man, I don't know, church or something? Full admission though: It makes it pretty fun to listen to. There's something entertaining about how earnest (and ridiculous) some of these cuts are, and it's ramped up a notch because you know they are serious. I mean, I still back DALTONIC's Radio On*, and I guess I put this in the same department. Plus, when Broken Heart & Shooting Stars opens with the line "Daddy I miss you, I'm sorry I pushed you away..." I am inexplicably reminded of THE GIRLS' "Jeffrey I Hear You," and that's one of the greatest songs ever so maybe it just puts me in the right mindset. Demos from 1997 and 1998 included in the link (because as much as I don't think you're going to check it out once, I'm fucking certain you aren't going to check it out twice), and I have no clue what these fellows did after TOWARDS AN END, if anything. "Family life" is a probably pretty decent guess.
* - Anyone who has closely watched Bob Kasitz (LACK OF INTEREST, etc) play drums, will know that he props up his battered hi hat stand with a stack of trashed CDs. Many years ago I was watching him set up for the stage potato position and noticed a copy of "Radio On" with a completely thrashed and cracked jewel case at the top of the stack. I mean, here I was in two thousand and whatever, watching a reformed INFEST, and this legendary dude is packing around a CD from a band I played with (twice) in Iowa in 1994. It wasn't really that big of a deal, and I'm sure there were (are) hundreds of copies of that disc languishing in distros so it shouldn't really be weird to see one repurposed and given new life as a hi hat shim, but it was still a mental moment that made me smile.