Against: Welcome to the Aftermath 12"

Against: Welcome to the Aftermath 12"


Tags: · 80s · chubbschoices · D-beat · hardcore · jeffsjams · noisy · raw · recommended · reissues
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18 tracks of bleak and apocalyptic Discharge-influenced Hardcore from Venice Beach, California, featuring ex-members of Suicidal Tendencies. This LP combines their 1983 demo and unreleased 1984 EP. Includes a 12"x36" poster with lyrics, many unseen photos, flyers, and more. Artwork by Ric Clayton.

Our take: The latest release from Radio Raheem Records, the absolute gold standard for punk / hardcore archival releases, is this collection from Venice Beach d-beaters Against. Generally, d-beat is a word that I associate with the past fifteen years or so of DIY hardcore (I still vividly remember the first time I heard the word, which was around the year 2000), but the history of American d-beat actually reaches back quite far. There’s Detroit’s Heresy, the Iconoclast, Crucifix, Diatribe, Final Conflict… I’m sure there are plenty more as well, not to mention legions of bands (D.C. Youth Brigade, SS Decontrol, Siege, etc.) who were clearly very, very influenced by Discharge but don’t quite qualify as full-on Discharge worship / d-beat. However, Venice’s Against certainly do qualify as such, to the point where they almost sound more like a modern d-beat band than a group from 1983. In the photos on the fold-out poster insert (in case you aren’t aware, information-packed inserts are pretty much de rigueur for all Radio Raheem releases) you can see that the band also appropriated aspects of Discharge’s look, with spiky hair and leather jackets, but their cut-off t-shirts and faded jeans betray the fact that they haven’t totally lived down their Southern California roots. As for the music, it totally rages. The LP collects a demo recording from 1983 and an aborted EP from 1984, and while I like the ’83 recording on the a-side a little bit better they’re both killer 80s hardcore punk recordings with that warm and clear analog sound that no ProTools filter will ever truly replicate. And the music, of course, is pure Discharge worship with furious d-beating the entire time and quite a few of the riffs and leads pretty much cribbed directly from the masters themselves. In other words, if you were stoked when the Heresy and Diatribe reissues came out you should be very stoked about this, as it’s very much along the same lines and of a similar level of quality. If you just want another ripping d-beat record in your collection this will definitely hit your sweet spot, but if you fancy yourself a scholar of the genre’s history then this reissue is 100% essential.