Uniform Choice: Orange Peel Sessions 7"
Man, this is SO WEIRD. Yeah, the band name on the cover is Uniform Choice, but if I played this for you without telling you who it was I'm pretty sure Uniform Choice would be just about the last band you would ever guess. Of course we all know Uniform Choice as a full-fledged Minor Threat ripoff in the best way possible (even going so far as to swipe some lyrics from the then-unreleased Skewbald recordings on their Screaming for Change LP), but there is nary a trace of the 'Threat in these four songs. Indeed, these don't even feature the band's iconic frontman Pat Dubar, instead capturing a very early version of the band that I didn't even know existed before I heard about this release. Reading the liner notes reveals that these tracks were recorded for a demo that they submitted to Posh Boy Records, and that makes perfect sense because this fits right in with the kind of stuff that they were releasing around that time... stuff like Shattered Faith, Symbol Six, Pariah, and their ilk, i.e. second-generation Southern California hardcore. The recording, while not quite on the level of finished studio recordings of the period, is surprisingly clear and powerful, making me wonder more than a little bit what it would have been like if Uniform Choice had continued down this path. Needless to say this is a fascinating historical document if you're into either Uniform Choice or the generation of SoCal hardcore bands captured on compilations like Public Service and Sudden Death.