Saturday, August 8, 2009

No Man's Slave

Note: I've recently come across a few too many people who are into aggressive/brutal forms of band-provided music who were not all too familiar with the grandmasters, Infest, therefore I kind of went into article mode.
Infest. 80's West Coast Hardcore quartet who pioneered the style of play that later became known as "Powerviolence". What does that mean? They played with an insanely fast, ridiculously slow, always heavy, raw, livid, no punches pulled approach to "letting it all out" (usually in far less than 1.5 minutes). They took the unhinged blasts started by Siege and The Neos (them being especially unhinged) and just stuffed the aggression into a tighter-bodied shell casing...the result...a much stronger, more focused site of impact to the victim, causing irreparable damage.
Aside from the initial, all too obvious sonic attributes, one of my favorite elements about this band was the fact that the material, as progressive as it was to play stop-starts and tempo changes that intensely, was just that. They managed to hold onto the mega primal energy about which most hardcore purists fly off the edge in a rant. It was absolute raging...and as much of a non-academic bullying as it was, plus the fact that Joe Denunzio's physical appearance somewhat resembled a certain Big Moose Mason (of Archie fame), they were overtly anti-jock/anti-violence/anti-sexism (and "anti" toward plenty of the other ills and isms that have plagued society for centuries) and their songs reflected this in a refreshingly intelligent snap of wit.
They were intact for around 10 years (calling it a day sometime in '96, so I've heard) and constantly made killer music during that period. They left us with a handful of vinyl, a split or three, and mucho bootlegs...not to mention some live footy that is not hard to come by (thank you Internet). Their most popular release is one that makes the history books again and again...for good reason...1988's Slave.

Enjoy (lyrics contained on individual youtube pages):
"Sick O"

"Life's Halt"

"Mindless" (obviously a trend of straightedge beliefs exist in the music...but they weren't to the extreme of being called a "straightedge band"...there's a difference)
"Break The Chain"
"Sick & Tired"

"Fetch The Pliers" (yup, an instrumental)

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