Monday, August 12, 2013

RANDOM CONFLICT - "Defying the Megadread" - Tape - 1988

   If you've lived in Alabama (or the southeast) in the last 25 years, you've undoubtedly heard of RANDOM CONFLICT. Bill Reeves has been fronting these guys since they first stormed into the armories and shitty bars of northern Alabama, playing hardcore, crossover, and straight-up punk the whole time. They played their first show on August 12, 1988 (that's 25 years ago TODAY) at the Dance Not Destroy fest in Nashville, TN. They suffered through multiple line-up changes throughout the late 80's and early 90's before abandoning their crossover/metal roots and calling it quits.
   They reformed in the 90's with Brian on bass (and he's still with them to this day) and DJ on drums (anonymous reports say he is now in jail). I put them on a lot of shows that I set up throughout the late 90's with BLACK FORK, SHITBOY FROM OUTERSPACE and others. At this point, they vehemently denied that they were ever a metal/crossover band, even though you could still buy their 1991 EP for proof at the local record store. (funny/not funny side story: Sunburst, the record store in Huntsville, always had copies of their first 7" on the shelves and the owner, Jay would complain that no one was buying them. One day, the record store burned down and it sucked, obviously. Still, Jay rebuilt and re-opened. On the first day, I walked in and donated a bunch of records to the store. I said "Hey Jay, look on the bright side. At least those Random Conflict records are finally gone." It was the first time I saw him smile in a while.)
  I moved away from Alabama and RANDOM CONFLICT kept moving forward. The last time I saw them, they were playing a coffeeshop right by my house in Chattanooga in 2001 (there were no flyers. I just happened to see Bill in the parking lot.). They played an excellent set to almost no one. I told Bill I would happily set up a show for them at our all ages punk space where they could play to a room full of appreciative people. Bill said that they didn't believe in cliques or scenes. I asked if they believed in playing shows to people who wanted to see them but Bill maintained that they didn't need any help. So, I never did set up that show for them. A couple of years ago, I stumbled into a show just as Bill yelled "We're RANDOM CONFLICT! Thank you and good fuckin' night!" I turned around and walked right back out the door. They were the only reason I even showed up.
   25 years is a long fuckin time to be in a band, especially on an independent level, but RANDOM CONFLICT is still chugging along. They even put out a new LP that is, in my opinion, one of the best things they've ever put out (along with that first demo). I put the record on, expecting it to be a rehash of their earlier material, but it was all new and fresh. (You can order it from No Profit). If these guys keep moving in the direction that they're going, then I'm really looking forward to the next 25 years. Keep it up!!

No comments: