Saturday, August 11, 2012

REPLICA - Demo - Tape - 2011

   When I was growing up in Alabama, one of the first punk bands I got into was THE MINUTEMEN (unless you want to count the first VIOLENT FEMMES LP, which I got in 4th grade and thought was punk then). They opened up a whole new world to me and I soon started digging around and asking about any other punk bands. I soon discovered MINOR THREAT, who introduced me to the world of hardcore and split my mind open. I was coming out of middle school and the 1980's. Up until that point, the only aggressive music I had ever really heard was, really (remember...Alabama...pre-internet...). MINOR THREAT changed everything for me in a number of ways that still holds true today. I wanted to see bands in my town who played that fast and sounded that pissed off. I started going to punk shows in my hometown, but I was usually greeted by so-called "emotional" hardcore, shitty bro-metal or just the worst pop-punk. Don't get me wrong...Alabama had a wealth of decent punk bands, including the weirdness of GNP, the straight up punk of WAFFLE HOUSE RIOTERS, the teenage punk band of Will Dandy (who later went on to play guitar in ORCHID and AMPERE...I don't remember the name of his old band but they were really good) and much more. Also, I was lucky enough to see bands back then like AUS ROTTEN, OI POLLOI and BLOWNAPART BASTARDS, who helped me to realize that there was something else out there. For the most part though, a lot of the bands that I saw who called themselves "hardcore" were just a bland soundtrack for shitty dudes to beat people up. Not knowing how to find out about the good bands with substance, I drifted more and more towards the melodic side of punk (yes, there are lots of pitfalls on this side of it too, but I was lucky enough to align myself with some real winners) while still keeping an ear out for true freaks playing vicious, inspired hardcore.
   Many of the towns I've lived in over the years didn't really have a hardcore scene to speak of. It usually consisted of one or two good hardcore bands set adrift in a sea of melodic punk. You could see the pain in their faces as they watched their friends go apeshit over every new pop-punk band that came to town. Meanwhile, they struggled for an audience, as they would end up playing with Christian metal bands since no one else would book them.
   It wasn't until I moved back out to the Bay Area that I found a hardcore scene that really piqued my interest. A lot of other places have better melodic punk, better garage rock and better indie rock, but (as fas as I'm concerned) the Bay Area has the best hardcore bands I've seen in years. Take REPLICA, for instance. I kept missing their shows for months. I would either walk in to a show as soon as they hit their last note or just miss them altogether, but everyone is always talking about how good they are. I bought their tape without ever seeing them and I was blown away. REPLICA is everything I like about hardcore. They are nothing like MINOR THREAT (at all), but they took me back to that feeling I had when I first heard hardcore. It's intense, ripping and destroys everything in its path. From the first crushing guitar riff of "Sycophant" to the last desperate growl of "Sandy Bottoms", REPLICA pulls me back into the world of hardcore for only five short minutes, but makes me wish that I had never placed that scene on the back burner for all those years.
  When I was on tour in Europe, my friend Flo asked me if there were any new Bay Area bands that I really loved. I looked at the ground for a short second and then replied, "REPLICA!" When we got back in the van, I blasted their demo on the stereo and before it was even over, Flo wanted to know how to get in touch with them to put out a record.
     Along with NO STATIK, HUNTING PARTY, OPT OUT,  EFFLUXUS, and PERMANENT RUIN (and many more), REPLICA is reinvigorating the hardcore scene in a way that I haven't seen in years. You would be a fool to miss out on any of these bands.

Features members of INFECT, DUCK AND COVER, NO STATIK and fuckin' JUD JUD. Their demo was released on a flexi by Radical Punks Never Die, but I think it is already sold out.

EDIT 8/12/12: Here is also a link to a live radio show that REPLICA did in Portland last month. Right here on KBOO


smoke ass said...

you mentioned GNP in this post. weren't they somehow affiliated with the VERY SMALL RECORDS label? i seem to remember them being on 1 of david hayes drinkin' comps. if so, its pretty cool to see a band from alabama reach the bay area like that.

Harvester said...

I know that they were on a Sesame Street comp, put out by Bun Length Records, which was Schlong's label...but I don't know about the other comps...I wouldn't doubt it though. They were really good and weird in the 90's. I'm not sure about now...I think they are STILL a band, but they don't have their original singer, Spike.