Life's Blood: Hardcore A.D. 1988 12"

Life's Blood: Hardcore A.D. 1988 12"


Tags: · 80s · hardcore · new york · nyhc · recommended · reissues · USHC
Vendor
Prank Records
Regular price
$19.00
Sale price
$19.00

LIFE'S BLOOD were a legendary short lived band from New York City. Formed in 1987, LIFE'S BLOOD Played 20 shows and recorded 2 radio shows, a demo at Don Fury and one 7" called "Defiance" that was released on Combined Effort Records, and they also appeared on the seminal "NEW BREED" tape comp in 1988. In these short 14 months as a band they left an indelible mark on the history of hardcore punk, as their sharp, earnest, and challenging lyrics backed with remarkably sturdy, dissonant and distorted hardcore songs emerged at a time where the focus of underground hardcore had been blurred by commercialism, crossover and violence. “HARDCORE A.D. 1988” collects 27 songs from their “Defiance” 7”, demo tape, compilation tracks, their post humous split 7” with STICKS AND STONES, WFMU and WNYU recordings and live tracks with new liner notes from guittarist Adam Nathanson, extensive band notes compiled by bassist Neil Burke with extensive photos and flyers. Mastered at George Horn mastering, with packaging designed by Jack Barfield at Neolithic Print Cartel. The LP comes in a Stoughton tip on gatefold with a 11x22" insert and download card. The CD version comes with a 16 page booklet. This is the first time LIFE's BLOOD's material has been officially available in almost two decades. After LIFE'S BLOOD dissolved guitarist Adam Nathanson formed BORN AGAINST, bassist Neil Burke was in the initial line up of BORN AGAINST as well as MENACE DEMENT, SINKING BODY and MEN'S RECOVERY PROJECT, drummer Jon Kricksciun and final LIFE'S BLOOD singer Sean Murphy played in COLLAPSE, and original vocalist Jason O'Toole recently sang for MY RIFLE.

Our take: Long-awaited discography LP from this late 80s New York hardcore band, and while Prank Records hasn’t really been known for doing a ton of reissues in the past, this LP proves that they’re more than capable. The attention to detail in every aspect of this release is apparent, from the powerful sound reproduction to the vintage-looking layout to the incredibly informative sleeve notes. If you’re the kind of person who picks up everything on Radio Raheem Records just because, you will no doubt be very pleased with this as well. Anyway, Life’s Blood have sort of an interesting place in the history of hardcore, straddling two competing scenes in a way, since they appeared on the New Breed and NYHC: Where the Wild Things Are compilations (and regularly played with the other bands featured on those comps), but they also regularly antagonized that very scene (and the adjacent Revelation Records / youth crew scene) and their guitarist would go on to Born Against after the band ended. So, in my head, I think of Life’s Blood as the band that gets you all of the ignorant pleasure of listening to NYHC but with some of the hippie-ish vibe of the early 90s ABC No Rio scene. However, revisiting this material for the first time in a few years (I was lucky enough to pick up the Vermiform pressing of Defiance for a buck like 15+ years ago), I’m struck by how closely Life’s Blood stick to the early 80s NYHC formula. While bands like Breakdown, Raw Deal, Absolution, and others were moving in a more metallic direction, Life’s Blood has very little of that, pretty much taking Victim in Pain as their template (sometimes a little too closely for comfort), adding in some occasional Negative Approach-type oi influences (which are particularly apparent on the compilation tracks that appear toward the end of side one of this LP). Over the past 20 years or so the hardcore scene has divided to the point where the bands that the New Breed-type bands influenced are pretty much a completely separate scene from more early 80s-inspired hardcore, but Life’s Blood still seem like a band that people from both of those scenes can agree on, the tattooed moshers digging on the Don Fury production while the punks like the AF-style whiplash tempo changes and early 80s-style minimalism. At any rate, this is a beautifully-executed reissue that’ll do you just fine whether you’re a Life’s Blood super-fan or whether you’re just discovering the band.