Flush it Friday: Two Words
Straight fuckin’ edge.
I’m almost a week removed from my busiest work week of the year, and instead of using this week to recover, I just kept up my usual schedule of doing way too much shit, so, needless to say, I am totally fried.
But not too fried to wax poetic–for just a little while–about one of the great gems (the “buried treasure” as my friend called it) of the early 00s hardcore scene. It must have been two weekends ago, when I was in my cups on a Friday with my best friend, as we usually are on a Friday evening, and while flipping haphazardly through the rolodex of “Dope Shit from High School to Jam in this Current Inebriation,” I, with no forethought nor rhyme nor reason, landed on The Wrong Side‘s 2004 LP Of the Grave. While it is true that I’m never more than a few steps away from thinking about Lockin Out Records from their first few years, I know that I haven’t thrown on Of the Grave in a hot minute. The band formerly known as Dumptruck has been my soundtrack all week.
The band released their Feelin’ Good 03 demo tape on Lockin Out in, you guessed it, 2003, which was the second official LOC release after Mental‘s perfect 7″ debut And You Know This. The band would then come back a year later with a full LP (it’s almost 19 minutes long!) and then… call it a day! Usually, this would be something to mourn, to rue, to lament, to regret, to look back wistfully on what could have been. With Wrong Side, however, the story is different: Of the Grave was not going to be topped, and the band didn’t need to do anything else. The production on Of the Grave is much beefier than on the demo, with the drums as crisp as any LOC release, the guitars fully fleshed out, and Creasepin Morgado‘s vocals up enough in the mix that you don’t really ever need the lyric sheet to start singing along. If I were to start a geriatric hardcore band right this second, I’d take this record to the engineer/producer and say, “Make us sound exactly like this.”
What also grabbed me this time around, nearly 20 years later, was just how fuckin’ smooth this album is. Of course, LOC bands in general were known for how smooth they dropped into low-skank two-step breakdowns, damn near reinventing the Warzone sound for a whole knew generation of creepy crawlers. (A friend of mine once joked that Lars from Kids Like Us always two-stepped like he had Mental’s “Sike” playing in his head. The truth is: we all did.) But credit the production or who comprised Wrong Side: their lone LP is one of the sleekest, smoothest, infectious, and riotous records of the entire era. Go to “War of Words” (track 3) and wait for the “breakdown” to slide its way straight into your soul and tell me life didn’t just get a whole lot funkier. I’m dancin’ in bed.
But let’s talk about who’s on this record. The aforementioned Morgado, whose name is said so particularly and with such sauce by Greg Mental on Mental’s Live on WERS set that it became part of my friend group’s lexicon; Dan Ducas aka Dookie aka Danny the Dusthead on guitar, who also played in Mental and plays in Magic Circle; Derek Scace on that chunky n funky bass, who spent time in Mental, Righteous Jams, Cold World, and others; and Drug Free Justin I mean Dance Floor Justin I mean DFJ I mean, that’s right, Justin DeTore on drums. I’d list all his accolades, but we don’t have that kind of time. This is a veritable Who’s Who of the early 00s Boston Straight Edge, while we all know that DeTore has continued apace in the Boston music scene with Magic Circle and the might Innumerable Forms. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that such a coterie of legends would produce maybe the apotheosis of this Boston sound. (Mental’s 2005’s Planet Mental would go full Supertouch and early 90s Bad Brains and leave behind the much of the Warzone influence that defined the first two years of LOC bands.) Throw your TV out your window and do the mosh.
What albums from 20 years ago are still bumpin’? What high school gems do you need to unearth to see if they’re still sparkling? What gets you wigglin’ so hard that you can’t help but creepy crawl down the road when you’re walking your dog? Should I write one album review a month in 2024 about albums from 2004 that I love? Should we all??
We gotta flush first, though, my babies!
Aaron reviewed the best hardcore album of 2023. The legends are fuckin’ back.
Our Corporate Overlords talked cheddar on this week’s podcast.
Big Baby Beavis debuted an Imperalist track. ToH + Transcending Obscurity = Always a thing of beauty.
BGK Frank Chopped down the door to 5/5 the new Suffocation. Been a good year for Old Dudes Still Playing Good DM.
Thy kingdom come, thy flush be done! Slap those GBUs in the comments and be lovely to each other. Have a weekend full of wonder. Get some rest. Get some exercise. Get some fun. Hugs and kisses, my babies.