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HEADFIRST - The Complete Recordings: 1987-1992 3LP

HEADFIRST - The Complete Recordings: 1987-1992  3LP
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Cena: 120.00zł

Kompletna dyskografia Headfirst na potrójnym LP. Kalifornia przelom 80/90 i hardcore tamtych lat.  (Indecision)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RicCT4Q6mmc

In 1987, the alternative scene was dead, punk rock was becoming passe, hardcore was charging full steam ahead, heavy metal was the norm and speed metal was just starting to make an impact. It was during this volatile musical time in Orange County, CA that Headfirst was conceived. Serving as a marker of OC's hardcore history, this collection of the band's entire studio output lays out the timeline of the band's growth and progression as they begin to come into themselves.


1.     Intervention
2.     Black
3.     Come Together
4.     Mind Of Man
5.     Falling
6.     Images
7.     Word Not Heard
8.     Unkind
9.     Driving The Salt
10.     Now Who's Alone?
11.     Crayon
12.     The Enemy
13.     Ode/Falling II
14.     Stand
15.     Self Edge
16.     Silent Scream
17.     Back In Control
       
18.     Jack Of All Fads
19.     What I See
20.     Silent Scream
21.     Self Edge
22.     Another Day
23.     Tear
24.     Jack Of All Fads
25.     Look To Me
26.     What I See
27.     Alone In A Crowd
28.     See The Hate
29.     Walk The Line
30.     Stepping Out
31.     Hypocrites
32.     Can't Look Back
33.     Vermin
34.     Hard Times

Orange County Hardcore/cross-over punk music from the late 80′s/early 90s. We recorded a few 7″ EP and a 12″ LP…yes, in vinyl and in some cases multicolored marble. We toured the west coast a couple of times and a full US tour. A full discography is in the works.
Headfirst History

Looking back, what can really be said about 1987? I was one year out of high school delivering pizzas for money. A surfer by day, skater by night. A pretty uneventful life. Unless you happened to be born, graduate, get married or die – it was a pretty insignificant year. This insignificance was only compounded by the unfortunate condition of one’s geography. For five guys from suburban Orange County California, things would soon change.

In 1987, the alternative scene was dead, punk rock was becoming passe, hardcore was charging full steam ahead, heavy metal was the norm and speed metal was just starting to make an impact. It was during this volatile musical time that Headfirst was conceived.

Actually, Headfirst would come later. At this early stage the incarnation was called G.T.D. (“Go the Distance”). This guy named Mark Causey did the yelling, Aaron Sonnenberg provided the root, Pete Arant pounded the skins and some dude named Butthair did his best to provide the chops (and me, well, I just hung out!). G.T.D. was a meager attempt at hardcore. They sounded more like a cheap imitation of the Sex Pistols, but it did provide some relief from the stifling boredom and conformity of suburban life.

With time, there were changes. Mark Causey was overshadowed and replaced by John Scott and someone suggested giving a new guitarist a try. At 14, Mike Rosas was nothing short of a prodigy. I remember standing there with John as Mike ripped through Metallica songs with ease. Flawlessly. We were astounded. With just two changes, G.T.D. had musically progressed from a weak punk/hardcore attempt, to a pretty decent metal edged hardcore band. And more change was in the wind. . .

That same school year there appeared on campus a presence: Misfits shirt, combat boots, long hair – all while driving a bright red Buick Firebird with Tennessee plates that read “VRY MTL.” This was a man we most definitely had to meet. His name was Kevin Murphy and although his outward appearance(not to mention his license plates) pigeon holed him as a metal head, it was clear that he had an affinity for punk and hardcore. To top it all off, he was a great guitar player. There was little choice – G.T.D. had recruited a new member.

At Kevin’s first practice Pete was unable to make it. John knew this guy named Mike Goodman who played drums for a local straight edge band called Back2Back. He was a monster behind the skins. Goodman was recruited as a short term replacement for Pete. Goodman was into metal and Mike Rosas could lay down some serious chops. Goodman was impressed. It all happened real quick and eventually stuck. With Pete Arant’s replacement, G.T.D.’s lineup was solid. It was time to make some serious noise.

With all the member changes that had occurred it was decided that the name G.T.D. had to go. Names were tossed around until “Head First”(notice the space) was proposed. The name had a ring to it and eventually stuck. Several months later we received an angry letter from Canada. It was from another band using the name “Head First” and they were totally pissed at us. They wanted us to drop the name. Figuring we were better than them, I proposed a simple solution: take out the space and make it one word. Our name was now “Headfirst” and an ugly war with Canada had been peacefully and diplomatically avoided. Orange County had a new force to reckon with. Headfirst had been born.

This incarnation lasted for several months. Some shows were played, a demo titled “Knock your block off!” was recorded and connections were made among local bands, promoters and local record labels. The band was rocking and people were beginning to take notice. Things were looking up for us, and then. . .a desertion! After graduation, Goodman told us he was going away to college in Santa Cruz. Once again, Headfirst was drummerless!

Finding a replacement for the powerhouse was tough going. By this time we had developed a distinctive sound with a monster of a rhythm section. Who ever replaced Goodman would have to be solid behind the skins. Several depressing weeks passed by when one day Kevin nonchalantly mentioned he could play the drums as well as he played the guitar. Of course we didn’t believe him, so we borrowed a kit and, well, the proof was in the putting! Kevin tore it up! We were excited, but there was one small problem: how could we afford to buy Kevin a drum set? In a move that I think summed up his desire to be a “guitar hero,” Mike Rosas bought Kevin a bright yellow Ludwig five piece kit (of course Kevin would have to pay him back – actually, I think he still might be paying today!). It was beautiful. More importantly, Headfirst was back in business. It was time to become known!

With the final lineup in place, we recoded the “Tear” demo. It was a little less metal than “Knock your block off!” and firmly placed us well within the bounds of the hardcore scene. More importantly, it was warmly received both locally and out of state. We were approached by friend and record label owner (?) Dan O’Mahony and asked to record a seven inch for Workshed Records. Things were really moving now. The first “real” show we played took place in San Diego with No For An Answer, Hard Stance and Amenity. We, I mean “it,” rocked!

The “Back in Control” EP was released to a small but dedicated fanbase that had been patiently waiting for more noise. Shows began to happen more frequently and we started making plans for our album. We played constantly in Southern California ultimately playing with bands like Scream, G.B.H. and Verbal Assault (to name but only a few). The year that had transpired between the release of the single and the recording of the album is generally regarded as our best time as friends and as a band. We played out of state several times including a trip to Seattle, Washington. It was all great fun. Unfortunately, all good times must come to an end. The band was beginning to show the stress fractures of years of constant companionship.

More shows. More road trips. And then, “The Enemy.” We heard a story that the guys from a Riverside straight edge band (that shall always remain nameless) had called us their “enemy.” As a band, we found the infighting, pretentiousness and competitiveness of the local scene extremely irritating (not to mention juvenile). The “enemy” story struck a chord with us. We decided it would be the perfect name for our album.

Workshed Records provided the green, For The Record Studio provided the machines, Eric Garten helped with the mixers and us, well, we just argued a lot. Nevertheless, the record was completed after several weeks. It still encompassed the metal edge that we were known for, but it also pushed the limits in other areas. For example, the album was laced with mid tempo songs – a departure from past recordings (not to mention a deviation from the standard “hardcore” mold). Also, the album’s mix was very clean and produced – it sounded really good. Lastly, there were the vocals. John had worked really hard to progress as a singer in the year between the EP and the LP. On “The Enemy,” he broke from the typical hardcore vocal style (yelling) and used a more melodic style (singing). The album was an achievement for all of us. Most important of course was the fact that we had one now.

Most of the reviews were positive. If there’s one thing that stands out about them, it would have to be the comparisons. In a scene that has built its reputation on replication and conformity I can easily understand why. The comparisons were both flattering and exaggerated at the same time. Most often we were compared to Scream and Verbal Assault. One reviewer went as far as comparing the album to Rush (unfortunately for him, the attempt at a slam was taken by most of us as a compliment). It boiled down to the fact that Headfirst had produced a piece of work that pushed the limits of an, at the time, very stagnated style of music. We saw it another way: “tradition was the enemy of progress,” and we were anything but traditional.

We played more shows while the record was well received by our friends, other bands and kids both locally and across America. It was definitely time to tour. I took it upon myself to book the whole thing. It was D.I.Y. all the way. Once complete, the tour would span about 32 days, cover almost 35 states and include 26 shows. We were excited to go. Our friends from San Diego’s Amenity put together a send-off show for us. All the proceeds would be used to build a bed in the van, pay for t-shirts/stickers and fill up the tank. There was only one small problem: right before it was time to leave, we decided to break up the band.

The tension had peaked, frustration was high, musical interests had changed, the scene was one big competitive “sausage party” and debates over proper direction for the band were common. To put it simply: Headfirst had run its course. There was no question as to the fate of the band, but the tour was a whole other issue. Not wanting to let down the people who helped book the tour and the kids who had written in support, it was decided that, although defunct, we would go on tour. A sort of posthumous swan song if you will.

There isn’t too much to say about “The Enemy Tour.” At times it was unified and fun. At times it was divided and bitter. Most of the time it was just plain hot. I guess there are the stories: the prostitutes in D.C., the skinheads in Pennsylvania, the “matador,” John’s “Good Mormon” line to the cops in Salt Lake City, Mike’s near fatal swerving along the cliffs in Arkansas, Kevin’s “penis taunt” at the pizza place, or me and Aaron almost coming to blows in Wendy’s. But regardless of the individual recollections, it just “was.” We made commitments and kept them. We met great people. Most of all, we did it our way with minimal assistance an were able to stay afloat financially. For all of these reasons, I considered it a great success.

Once home from tour, most of us needed a break. Some of us from music. Some of us from each other. All of us from a music scene that was far too focused on trite and trivial ideas and concepts. We just needed to chill. John and I surfed, Kevin focused on other projects, and Aaron and Mike went in a different musical direction. But Headfirst wasn’t exactly dead just yet. There was a “final” show and a posthumous recording session that, in my opinion, produced three of Headfirst’s most defining recordings (“Black,” “Intervention” and “Come Together”). The last two singles were released, and what else is there to say? The fat lady had sung!

Looking back on those years I consider myself both lucky and very grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to have been involved in much more than a musical scene – it was a movement. Grateful to have been associated with a band that did its best to avoid the pretentiousness and competitiveness that had so permeated the local scene at the time. Grateful for the experience I gained that enabled me to publish my own fanzine and run my own record label. But most of all I’m grateful for Aaron, John, Kevin and Mike, four of the strongest and most enduring friendships of my life. I love you guys.

Drew Traulsen, 2000
(critic, omniscient, hair, manager, publicist, artist, promoter, bouncer, pain in the ass)

Headfirst disbanded in 1992 after playing our last set at Spanky’s Cafe in Riverside, CA.
       
 

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