Scheme Newsletter returns with some ‘core nerd-talk of two varying degrees…
Hello jerks, germs and otherwise. Hard to believe we’re on #18 of these dispatches. I fear we’ve been off course lately with our product peddling and shilling but selling hardcore is a tough biz and someone has to do it. So in a return to form we got nothing new to sell you this week, just the same old SEARCH FOR PURPOSE 12”s (shipping in a few days for those who have already forked it over), the new SFP tape, and ALMIGHTY WATCHING 7”s (in dwindling clear and black)..all available in our webstore. With the formalities aside we've got some new written content for you this week.
First up is a piece connecting Final Fantasy 10, Straight Edge and (bad? to be determined) Japanese metalcore followed by head first dive into the short end with Matt K of SEARCH FOR PURPOSE about the 1997 Growing Stronger Comp. In the coming weeks we'll have some news about a new release and some new stuff for you to pity buy so we can keep the lights on. ALMIGHTY WATCHING also has shows this weekend in Brooklyn and Connecticut both featuring most of the same bands (BURIED ALIVE, SANCTION, AOA, AW) flyers to follow.
This last weekend found SCHEME in enemy territory, or otherwise known as The From Within Podcast Showcase. Mostly an insider event for other hardcore podcasters they let some of the general public (for a fee) to witness the seminars about growing your audience and monetizing your pod. They even had some bands play and ALMIGHTY WATCHING was luckily extended an invite. There was a lot of straight edge x podcast crossover throughout the day, SEARCH FOR PURPOSE even stormed the stage to perform a couple songs off their freshman 12” EP (Newly reissued on SCHEME) followed by ENVISION: A band akin to OZZY OSBORNE and Powerslave era IRON MAIDEN. There were plenty of other speakers and mentors abound but the night was endcapped by MAGNITUDE and the final performance of ECOSTRIKE. All in all we learned a lot and hope to be invited back next year.
A recap of the conference can be listened to hear for those interested in the world of hardcore podcasting: Da Link
Other shows happened too. The first DEAD LAST show was cool: exactly 74 people went off for a MENTAL cover but didn’t show respect to a CRO MAGS cover. That’s all I can remember notable from the show besides a girl in a BAUHAUS tee running shit in the pit.
EMBRACE - DA LP
NO FOR AN ANSWER
CAPITAL - Givers Takers
SPLIT LIP - For The Love Of..
COUNT ME OUT 7”
JETS TO BRAZIL
GRIDIRON - No Good At Goodbyes
WARZONE - The Sound Of the Revolution
Yeah But Still Podcast (the Ballad of Jacques is the hardest I've laughed at a pod in a minute)
ADRIENNE - Self Titled
DEAD LAST - 7"
BREAKDOWN - Demoz (s/o to Jeff for adding me back on LinkedIn the other day)
BILLY BRAGG - Talking With The Taxman About Poetry
XTILL I DIEX……FINAL FANTASY-CORE
Calling all hardcore lore enthusiasts and “people who are extremely knowledgeable about video games” (editors note: we were censored…use your imagination)! We need more information on something we hold near and dear to us. While doing my part of supporting the YouTube algorithm and watching video essays during my breakfast (the finest accouterments to any meal), I fell into a lore dump over 2001's Final Fantasy X and specifically the soundtrack. FFX has its traditional orchestral score, some of Nobuo Uematsu's best - however, there was always one song that stuck out to me as just bad nu metal (for reference: the track "Otherworld" in the scene where Tidus plays Bliztball in the beginning of the game) so I wanted to see who actually wrote it, bringing me to the Final Fantasy wiki:
What the fuck yo. After some light digging, I found this demo on YouTube:
Everything about this is awesome and perfect for the time, it is so shitty. The layout and linear notes are dope (vocal terrorist, dissing fashion core wanna be's, etc.) and now I have so many questions that I need to have answered: How did Squaresoft come across this at the time? Were there hardcore kid insiders at Square at the time? Who were other contenders to partake in this song for the game? Could there be an alternate reality where NUMB was in Final Fantasy X? Was xTIL I DIEx fans of the series ala STATECRAFT?
GROWING STRONGER WITH MATT:
SCHEME and Matt K (SEARCH FOR PURPOSE, MAGNITUDE) conducted a study that you've been beating down our email door for at long last. A complete and unabridged review of the 1997 GROWING STRONGER comp. As far as we are concerned this is a 7" Compilation newsletter. We may dabble in shows, zines, death metal but at the end of the day we always come back to the 7" comp. Featuring bands only from NJ and PA, and co released by Teamwork / In My Blood Records this record is a capsule of the 90s return to fast clean straight edge hardcore music that any self respecting person throws respect on. Be warned this piece is peppered with ENSIGN praise and FLOORPUNCH slander. Read at your own risk; for some ideas are poisonous.
ENSIGN - Hold
SCHEME: Possibly the best song…actually hands down the best song on this postive hardcore compilation. Dope lyrics and a hard mosh. SCHEME will pay money for photographic or video evidence of Jesse Standhard in the hold pile on.
MATT K: Gotta agree. Best song on the comp. I’m not sure if ENSIGN was ever technically a straight edge band but this song is a straight edge track in my mind. This version is far superior to the re-recording on the LP, mostly because of the drum intro. Great mosh part too. “I STILL BELIEVE!”
SCHEME: We will also pay for pictures of ENSIGN smoking cigarettes.
MATT K: ENSIGN is a weird band because they have a couple songs that go super hard but the rest of their discography is just utter crap. Maybe it’s because I’m not 45…
RAIN ON THE PARADE - Class Of '89
SCHEME: From best to absolute worst. Not even just the worst on the comp but one of the worst hardcore bands ever. I’ve been trying to give away a RAIN ON THE PARADE demotape for 3 years...no takers.
MATT K: The ROTP song is dog shit. You’re right with the take of one of the worst bands ever. No mosh part, goofy lyrics, lazy vocals (“I’ve got…some news for you…”) come on man. I saw that band SLINGSHOT DAKOTA in like 2013 on a TITLE FIGHT tour and all I could think about was how that guy went from playing in a really bad hardcore band to a really bad indie band.
MATT K: Side note: I first heard ROTP when I listened to the FULL SPEED AHEAD 7” like 10 years ago and figured I would like it based on the first 20-30 seconds. Then the “there’s no crying in hardcore” part came on and I immediately turned it off.
SCHEME: Woah someone from ROTP is in DEFIANCES OHIO.. we are known folk punk sympathizers.
MATT K: Next SFP record will have a song about jumping trains on it, mark my words.
PUSHED TOO FAR - Parting Ways
MATT K: I actually like this band but it’s textbook 3rd tier youth crew revival. This song is fine, I don’t have any strong opinion on it. The 7” is better though
SCHEME: This is where we’re treading closer and closer to controversial waters but this track goes hard. Hard man posi core, presumably from New Jersey. Good straight forward crewcut airmax 95 hardcore. Nothing to hate about this unless real hardcore isn’t your thing or they wronged you personally in 1998.
MATT K: Yeah it’s pretty straightforward. Nothing bad about it, The 7” with the funny artistic cover is my personal favorite though.
ATARI - Times Together
SCHEME: This is another one that if you don’t have your 3rd eye open to the more below the surface 97 youth crew revival you’re missing this. Or totally disregarding it because it’s named after a video game console. If there was a beatdown band called XBOX360 you’d be sweating like no tomorrow. A lyrical excerpt being “friendship FUCKING grows” really has a confusing inflection because it sounds mad but it’s just about being bros with your bros.
MATT K: I like this one a good bit more than PUSHED TOO FAR. They over use the octave chords in the best way and it starts off nice and strong. Ten years strong and there’ll be ten fucking more…
SCHEME: I’ve said it before I’m not a musical aficionado but either the drummer is really good or really bad.
MATT K: These dudes took getting veggie burgers at Dennys after the show to the extreme. I think the drummer is awesome. He does a scissor beat the whole song but it’s clean and not too much of a cheat beat. ROTP guy could learn a thing or two
SCHEME: Huge shout out to Kutztown PA, never been but it must be a Mecca of straight edge skateboarders.
MATT K: RANCOR was from Allentown which might be around there? The suffix -town bred good core. Actually even better they were from TREXLERTOWN, where I cannot imagine more than 10 kids were into hardcore....15 minutes from each other for reference.
SCHEME: Let the shit talk begin.
FLOORPUNCH - NJ
SCHEME: This may be FLOORPUNCH’s worst, whatever lyrics.. no real good mosh part. Obviously canonically the best straight edge band of the late 90s despite the slander I just spewed.
MATT K: Easily the worst FP song. On the discography I want to say this one is called “New Jersey” which I assume was a throwaway title…this song could have also been thrown away. The fact that these same dudes wrote CHANGES is slightly jarring because if the rest of their songs sounded like this they would have been lost to the sands of time. Oh wait I just realized you already pointed out the title. Is it not called Untitled on the comp?
SCHEME: You know listening on YouTube It says NJ but on the record I can’t find that anywhere.
MATT K: I’m pretty sure that name just comes from the SFU discography but what do I know…
97A - Growing Stronger
SCHEME: Listen I don’t know if I’m supposed to like this or not but this track specifically is hard as hell. Fast, dope lyrics, and they wrote the title track.
MATT K: I honestly do not like 97A but I do like this song. It’s probably their most youth crew track? Most of their other stuff is screechy powerviolence type stuff and I’ve never cared about it. I do give them respect for being the backbone of Teamwork Records. There’s a great Growing Stronger shirt with Chris 97A jumping on the back too.
SCHEME DISCLAIMER: If you watch the Youtube video 97A GROWING STRONGER IN NEW JERSEY everyone looks like Matt K.