Thursday, September 10, 2009

Posted by xCHIPxSEM |
I started going to shows in 1995. At this time, South Florida was a hotbed for bands, supportive kids, and venues. It seemed like every weekend there was a show and they were always good. I can't count how many weekends I spent at Cheers (THE club in Miami, kinda like our own version of CBGBs) during 95 to 97. Gaye, the woman who owned Cheers, was extremely nice to everyone and very respectful of us and we reciprocated this. Unfortunately, the venue closed during the summer of 1997 and South Florida changed from that point on. It was still good, just not the same. Even before Cheers there were venues such as Washington Square, The Foundation, The Old School House in Vero Beach, Plus 5, The Button South, Churchills (which is still putting on shows) among others. Many of these closed before I started going to shows so I never was able to experience it but Ive heard stories...anyway, I wanted to take a look back at some of the bands that made South Florida what it was during those special years of my life. Some you have probably heard of, some you may not so Im hoping that you will find something new to listen to.

Tension - Pompano Beach
From 1993 - 1997, Tension was South Florida straight edge. To understand the power of their live show around this time was something you just had to see to believe. So much energy and I always felt that Mike a great lyricist who could really work the crowd. They released the "In Our Time" 7 inch which was followed by (in my opinion) a true classic "The Sickness of Our Age". They later released their only full length "Agent of the People". Check out one of the greatest bands to ever come out of South Florida. Members were in and went on to Endure, Shai Hulud, Strongarm, and Further Seems Forever.

Shai Hulud - Pompano Beach
Shai Hulud was a band that when I heard the name I said "Are they Hare Krishnas?". I can remember my friend coming back from seeing them and saying "You got to hear this band Shai Hulud...they have a kid singing for them who's 14 and he's got this voice...". I had to hear it for myself and was blown away by the mighty mite Chad, at the young age of 14. Chad quit to pursue New Found Glory and the unit eventually moved to NY for touring purposes. One of my all time favorite bands and still a great live act. All of their material can still be purchased through Revelation Records and they are now signed to Metal Blade Records. Also, this is another band that Damien Moyal was a part of. Their demo is by far one of my all time favorite recordings of any band ever. If you like his vocals in Morning Again, then you will love this. The 6 song demo appears on the Comprehensive Retrospect record.

Strongarm - Pompano Beach
Alot of people in the hardcore scene frown upon Christian hardcore and I can understand why. Many object to the preaching during the sets and the blatant (obviously) religious message but going to shows in South Florida we always had 2 bands that did neither of these during their sets: Strongarm and Set Apart (which will be up soon). Basically, Strongarm got on stage and said "this is what we believe, if you don't believe it it's cool." In the numerous times I saw them, very little preaching ever went on. Strongarm has a very distinct sound and to this day many have tried to copy it but few have been able to duplicate it (Shai Hulud has a very heavy Strongarm influence). I was happy that I was able to see them one last time at Furnace Fest in 2000...there has also been talk of a reunion of sorts. Ill be crossing my fingers for that one...
Their demo is available for download and both of their full lengths "Atonement" and "The Advent of a Miracle" are still available through Solid State Records. Members were in previously and went on to Endure, Ichtus, Tension, Further Seems Forever and Shai Hulud.

Brethren - Hialeah

Brethren was one of the best and well respected bands from the 90s in South Florida. They had a sludgey sound with breakdowns early on but then changed a bit when they released their full length and went for more of a Madball style with a faster tempo. One of the first shows I went to was a Brethren show in 1995 and Im happy that I became pretty good friends with them.

Morning Again - Ft. Lauderdale
Morning Again is my FAVORITE band to ever come out of South Florida. So much energy and passion that I can't even describe it. There was a period between 1996 and 1997 that you could see them once a month and we made a point to never miss them. Luckily for everyone, all their material is still available.

Culture is where the legend of Damien Moyal began. He would later join other bands and the legend would continue but this is where it began. Culture started in Ft. Lauderdale and to my knowledge were the first Vegan Straight Edge band in South Florida. After 1995 or 96, they very rarely played South Florida so I only saw them a few times but they were awesome. Damien really knew how to work a crowd. While the band was never huge in the US, they were like gods in Europe. If you get a chance, check out the Culture Myspace which is run by an awesome guy named Alex. He has loads of information including band member timelines and pictures of old merch so take the time and check it out. Members were in and went on to As Friends Rust, Shai Hulud, Bird of Ill Omen, Bridgeburne R, Morning Again, Blood Has Been Shed, Terror, One Nation Under, Salem, Where Fear and Weapons Meet, Night of Broken Glass, Until the End and Trust No One.

This concludes part 1 of my look I was workign on this I was realizing how many bands I wasnt going to be able to include for fear of being monotonous. So Ill have a part 2 soon. Hope you enjoyed this as much as I have.


Unknown said...

Great post - I enjoyed most of these bands while being a teen and living on Long Island in the mid 90s. I kept telling everyone I knew about Shai Hulud when I first heard about them and it took awhile for people in area to come around to them. Long Island also had a very heavy hardcore band named Tension at the time -- there was a lot of confusion with that.

Anonymous said...

Had the pleasure of doing a show for Strongarm/Shai Hulud in Vancouver, Canada. Actually they played my jam room with Strain actually. Awesome show, great guys all around. There's a Shai hulud clip on Youtube from that show you can check out, just search for Shai Hulud + Jason Burden . Word.

bloug said...

Great post! Always excited to get see Strongarm / Shai Hulud being talked up! If anyone has the FIRST Strongarm demo tape they should upload it!

XhcnoirX said...

Would've loved to have seen a couple of shows over there back in the day. So many great bands from that area in the '90s... Apart from Shai Hulud tho, never got what's so special about them, probably never will, just not into 'em... Sorry!

Can't wait for part 2!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Chip! I was trying to look some stuff up on Cheers online and found this! I remember going to Cheers every weekend b/w the ages of 15-17 and almost everytime I went you were there, rocking your signature baseball cap and book bag. I wasnt a sXe kid, but I sure enjoyed all those bands. Man, those were really the best years of my teenage youth, without a doubt. Still got shoe boxes filled with flyers and still listen to all my 7" records. So many bands from those days.. Thought Crime,Caught Inside,Out of Focus,Crumbs,Morning Again (still see Jerry every now & then),Shai Hulud, Hudson, 480,Tension, Milk Shed, Strongarm, K.L.S... I also remember going to all those Destro and Dance Floor Justice shows too! I enjoyed many different genres so I feel blessed to have exprienced alot of Cheers. Hope you are doing well these days.

Ibn Mark said...

Anybody ever hear of After All…I think they were from FL. I saw them a couple times in the Cleveland area back around ’95 or so, and really liked their demo. They had dueling screamers, a male and a female. If anyone has the demo with 2 stripes on it please get at me….

Anonymous said...

What about LOAD?

Unknown said...

Timescale zero, The Real Legends ANGER from little Havana, Out of Spite, this was the real Miami hardcote