Monday, August 23, 2010

Recently, I asked Kurt to tell me what his 5 favorite releases are for his label, Catalyst Records. Here's what he had to say:

Five of my personal favorite releases, in no particular order.

- CR14 Point of No Return : Sparks
This was a band and release that had some special meaning for me, partially because I was introduced to Point of no Return (through the "Voices" Brazilian hardcore compilation CD) at a time when the hardcore scene in the US seemed to be at the pinnacle of it's backlash against meaningful or message-oriented hardcore. Seemingly out of nowhere comes this bad ass band from South America (which I had no idea even had a thriving hardcore scene at the time) with a ton of passion and a really sweet mix of influences. Although the whole three-singer thing has become pretty cliche at this point, but PONR pulled it off in a way that really worked. In addition, they were a group of older guys (in the context of the average age of people involved in the hardcore scene), and they were just super dedicated, intelligent and sincere.
What really sealed the deal with me for this band was first having the pleasure of hanging out with a couple of the members independently (one visited me in Indiana, and I spent time with another in Europe), and then accompanying them on a European tour. It was a really awesome experience, and was an awesome learning experience for me, interacting with hardcore kids from another continent, and really experiencing what they meant when they labeled themselves as "Third World" hardcore.
I did three releases with Point of No Return, and I loved all of them, but Sparks is definitely my favorite out of the three, both musically and lyrically.

- CR26 Anchor : The Quiet Dance
There are bands and people that I meet up with and just immediately feel an awesome connection, and become friends with within minutes. Anchor, much like Point of No Return was one of those bands. Though I had met a couple of them in person very briefly before we started working on their record, I really didn't spend any face to face time with any of them until I met them to join up with their tour somewhere in Western Germany. It was another of those times when I felt an immediate connection, everyone in the band was just fun and easy to get along with.
In addition I just love Anchor's approach and message. The music is energetic, and heavily influenced by more early 90's hardcore bands that were experimenting on the traditional/ youth crew style, and the lyrics dealt with important themes, but in a less typical and still passionate way.

- Day of Suffering : The Eternal Jihad
This release will always be a favorite of mine. I saw Day of Suffering play in Indianapolis when they were still called Falling Down, it was a super small show in the middle of nowhere, but the guys hung out with us for a couple of days before heading off to their next show. Just cool down to earth people. That's not really what makes this one of my all time favorites though, it is that this record is just so fucking good from start to finish. DOS was ahead of the curve when it came to playing some awesome metal with a hardcore mentality. I wasn't sure what to expect when I received the master CD for the recording, but as soon as I put it on I was just blown away. Totally different than anything I had released up until then, as well as being the first full-length Catalyst released. It's still pretty amazing the amount of influence this band had, especially on future bands, given the relatively little touring they did.

- Gather : Beyond the Ruins
Gather is one of those bands that came along when I was really getting jaded about hardcore and the hardcore scene in general, and their energy and passion was really a big part of what snapped me out of just being bummed about the direction of the US hardcore scene at the time. It was another band that I basically made friends with immediately, and some of them remain some of my best friends to this day. There were so many things I loved about Gather, the music they put together is just authentic, and represents some of my favorite elements of hardcore musically. They were totally dedicated to their message, and always did their best as a band to live up to their message, which is a rare thing. I was also happy to help promote a band that talked about atypical issues, or at least ones that had been receiving little attention in the modern hardcore scene such as feminism. Awesome band, great release, great friends.

- Extinction : Hypocrisy Breeds Traitors
Honestly Extinction kind of came out of nowhere. Around the time Indianapolis and Chicago had just started making some connections, and I knew Jim and the other guys from playing shows in Chicago or previous bands they had been in that had played in Indianapolis. It didn't take long for Extinction to become one of my favorite bands to see live, they did such an awesome job of capturing energy and intensity in their songs, and combining what would seem to be incompatible influences like youth crew bands and Damnation AD. This choice should be a no-brainer just looking at the other bands that members went on to play in. Totally underrated.


xDustinx said...

How awesome! And thanks for the kind words, Kurt! I guess it would have been a little vain to put Birthright on the list. :) Although these may be Kurt's favorite releases, it is hard to think that Gather beats out Birthright, Maroon, or Culture. Still, however, I agree that we became such good friends so quickly, and I know how meaningful that is in the long run!

consu said...

i love that point of no return album! amazing lyrics!

Anonymous said...

extinction, horrible singing rhythm

Anonymous said...

What about xHORIZONx? Huh?

Anonymous said...

That Day of Suffering record.. Woah was some next level shit.. Any Birthright.. Indianapolis in the late 90's was the time.. Much love and respect Kurt.. Party_Pablo ... VMF.. All We Got..