Feb 8, 2011

Education -- LP Comp [MOUNTAIN RECORDS]

Devoid of Faith "I'll Keep You Safe From Me"
Bleed "Better Days"
Kisses and Hugs "Lessons 1-3"
Horace Pinker "You Know"
Benchmark "Knowledge is Power"
Abnormal Behavior "Monday"
Coleman "Homage"
Ox "Channel 1"
Floodgate "Ruler"
Silence Equals "How Does it Feel To Be The Last One Picked?"
Three Studies For a Crucifixion "To Some Degree"
Raze "Blackboard"
Dead Inside "Natural Selection"
Policy of Three "Twelve Years Down"

Younger folks are probably mostly familiar with Mountain Records and its impresario, Chris Jensen, as a tossed-off line in an Atom and His Package song. People who read HeartattaCk regularly, however, knew Jensen as both a labor-of-love record publisher, a high school teacher, and a brilliant essayist on the subject of education and its relationship with liberation and the 'punk rock community' in general.

A lot of Jensen's columns came off as a bit naive, the work of a suburban ex-pat guy in his early-20's discovering the power of education, and definitely veered towards "Dangerous Minds" territory at times, but he always seemed like a very earnest guy with really positive values, who worked very hard to both accomplish them, and inform the hardcore world about issues they may otherwise not have considered.

That being, "Education" is a comp that's very close to me, regardless of the hit-or-miss nature of a lot of the performances.  One of the standouts of the release was a 30-page zine-style booklet that contained essays about inner-city education from the bands featured, prominent educators, and even students themselves.  The comp was a run of 3,000, and all proceeds from the sales went to the East Harlem Tutorial Program.

So, on to the music -- this was released during the flashpoint of 'emo' involving itself with the hardcore aesthetic and, as such, there are a lot of songs by groups like Devoid of Faith and Policy of Three which really straddle the line between emo and hardcore, and some (like the 'tryptic' by emo/violence unknowns Kisses and Hugs) that gleefully destroy it.  It's a great record to listen to.

But most importantly, it's a great record to READ, so I made sure to seek out the liners (on http://shallbejudged.blogspot.com) and include them here as well in a separate zip. If you download this record to listen to, I HIGHLY suggest that you also grab the liners and read along. What a lot of people forget, or miss, about this era of hardcore is that the ideology and the feeling of free expression were often just as important as the music, if not more.

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