Ok, just to prove that I, too, have indie cred (and way too much time on my hands, apparently), I've finally contributed to ILM's fantasy Rough Guide series with The Rough Guide to Screamo, 1989 - 1994: The Golden Years (Volume 1). And since I spent like three hours on it, I'm going to reprint here:
1. Moss Icon, “Dance Ditch,” from Mahpuia Luta (Vermin Scum, 1989)
2. Born Against, “Well Fed Fuck,” from Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children (Vermiform, 1991)
3. Heroin, “Meaning Less,” from Heroin (Gravity, 1993)
4. Rorschach, “Mandible,” from Protestant (Wardance/Gern Blandsten, 1992)
5. Antioch Arrow, “Go Go,” from Antioch Arrow (Gravity, 1993?)
6. Navio Forge, “Hate Machine,” from As We Quietly Burn a Hole Into… (Shadow Catcher, 1993)
7. Antioch Arrow, “Puppy Love,” from In Love with Jetts (Gravity, 1993)
8. John Henry West, “Avoiding,” from 3/12/93 (Ebullition, 1993)
9. John Henry West, “Bullet Proof” (Gravity, 1993)
10. Born Against, “Sendero,” from Battle Hymns of the Race War (Vermiform, 1993)
11. Universal Order of Armageddon, “Symptom” (Jade Tree, 1993)
12. Han Shan, “In Autumn” (Soledad, 1993)
13. Universal Order of Armageddon, “Painfully Obvious,” from split 7” with Born Against (Gravity, 1993)
14. Unwound, “You Bite My Tongue” (Gravity, 1993)
15. Angel Hair, “Origin of Species,” from Insect Mortality (Gravity, 1994)
16. Assfactor 4, “The Weight,” from Sometimes I Suck 7" (Repercussion, 1994)
17. Mohinder, “To Satisfy” (Unleaded, 1994?)
18. Mohinder, “The Mission” (Gravity, 1994)
19. Mukilteo Fairies, “Oly Latent Boys,” from Closet Check 7" (Outpunk, 1994)
20. Swing Kids, “Disease” (Kidney Room, 199?)
So yeah, a few dates are fuzzy, it's a little heavy on Gravity (well, they did corner the screamo market in '93), the VSS and Honeywell are missing. But otherwise it seems a not bad lil' primer.
Funny, I'm surprised how well some of those tunes have held up. Not that it's a surprise with Born Against or Unwound, say. And John Henry West is still a fucking classic; hits like railroad spike in the sternum. Han Shan is a lot thinner than I remember; I remembered it being heavier, more massive. But it's thin on structure and thin on sound. And I like how you can chart the balancing act between more conventional hardcore strains (JHW, Born Against) and the all-out theatricalism (Antioch Arrow, Swing Kids) that would eventually turn into whitebelt.
One of these days if I have a rainy weekend with nothing to do, I'll put together a Rough Guide to Unwound, just for nostalgia's sake.
For an index to all the fantasy Rough Guides so far, click here.