Label: Combined Effort Records
Cat. #: CER-01
Released: 1988

1. NO OUTLET "No More Room"
2. WOLFPACK "Changed"
3. FIT FOR ABUSE "No Talk"
4. CRANIAL ABUSE "Blinded by Hate"

This comp was the first release for the Albany-based Combined Effort label, which would later go on to release (among other things) the first Life's Blood seven-inch. NO OUTLET starts things out here with a very fuzzed-out instrumental intro that makes me think of a more metallic Life's Blood, and then follows it up with a track that's somewhere in between Victim in Pain-era Agnostic Front and early youth-crew stuff. It's pretty good, except for the very talky, youth-crew style vocals. It's almost like the singer is trying to sound like Civ from Gorilla Biscuits but doesn't have the the New York accent to pull it off. WOLFPACK does the next (and best) track on here, with crazy off-beat drumming like the Mob that goes into a catchy slow chorus with a wacky pseudo-metal guitar lead at the beginning of each breakdown. It makes me think of a combination of early New York hardcore and Boston stuff like Jerry's Kids or Deathwish. Cool vocals that sound like a combination of Roger Miret and Mark Arm from Mudhoney (sounds crappy, I know, but it works). On the B side, we have FIT FOR ABUSE (not to be confused with the mid-90's Massachusetts band of the same name) playing a pretty shitty slow song with wannabe-tough guy vocals that make me think of third-rate "New York" hardcore. Last is CRANIAL ABUSE, who deliver a track of absolutely abysmal speed-metal influenced hardcore with sloppy slow drumming and vocals that scream "thug." No lyric sheet, but from what I can tell the songs revolve primarily around the classic "you stabbed me in the back theme" (but haven't we all felt that at some point?). Regardless of the comp's musical shortcomings, this is a pretty cool document of one of the lesser-known U.S. hardcore scenes in the 1980's, so I guess keep that in mind. And, hey, side A is pretty good.

BACK to Compilations page