Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Absolution - 1988-1989 Discography



Absolution were a NYHC band during the late'80s, but they were in a league of their own. They played some of the most creative, energetic and powerful hardcore of the time, with some of the most thought provoking and intelligent lyrics the '80s NY hardcore scene had to offer. Because of their small output of recorded material, and because the second-wave of hardcore in NYC (1986-1989) was overloaded with (mostly) great bands, Absolution kind of remained an obscurity. In my opinion, they were head and shoulders above most of their contemporaries, and every bit as good as any classic NYHC band you can name. Bottom line... they should have been huge.
In 1997, Temperance Records put out a "discography" LP/CD which turned out to be one of the worst documentations of a band's recorded work i've just about ever seen. Various tracks thrown together without any rhyme or reason, not to mention the demo, which was not only incomplete, but suffered from awful sound quality. I appreciate the effort, but it just seemed hastily put together, and is simply a bad representation of this great band's work. The one good thing about the release was the live tracks, which had no info unfortunately, but sounded great. I recently found out the set was from CBGB on 4/17/88, and was thankfully complete. I'll be posting that set as well as some other live Absolution sets in a future collection. For now, you can enjoy this collection, which hopefully does the band more justice than the Temperance release. The first 6 tracks are the band's studio tracks. The track from the Murders Among Us comp 7" (Vermiform/Combined Effort) was recorded in 1989 and released in 1990 after the band had broken up. The next track is the band's incredible opening to the New Breed comp tape, released in 1989 by Freddy Alva and Chaka Malik Harris. It's a killer song that many people will tell you is the highlight of the comp. Tracks 3-6 are from the band's only 7", released in 1989 on Dave Stein's Combined Effort Records. Seems i'm in the minority, but i really like this record. Next up is the band's classic 13 song demo from 1988 (my personal favorite Absolution recordings). I was able to get a nice sounding rip, plus I boosted the sound to just about match the volume of the studio tracks, and also cleaned them up a bit. This is the band at their most raw and aggressive, and just one of the best demos of the late '80s. After that we have 2 unreleased outtakes from the 7" sessions. I spent some extra time on these tracks (removing tape hiss, amplifying the sound etc). The rips of these songs making the rounds online are barely listenable. Ending the collection is an excellent sounding set recorded live at the Anthrax Club on 5/20/88. It's a short set (i'm not sure if it's complete), but it's the best sounding live Absolution i've heard yet. Thanks to Freddy Alva and Eric Himle for the music. Thanks to everyone over at Livewire for the info and help. Enjoy

Absolution Collection

Djinji Brown - vocals
Gavin Van Vlack - guitar
Alan Peters - bass
Greg Johnston - drums

Gavin also played in NY Hoods and Side By Side.
Alan Peters played on Agnostic Front's "Liberty and Justice For..." LP (1987 Combat Core).

Shortly after the release of the Absolution 7", Alan joined Crawlpappy and was replaced by Sergio Vega (Collapse). Greg also left, and was replaced by by John Kricksiun (Collapse / Life's Blood). They played two shows with this lineup before calling it quits.

After the breakup Gavin and John formed Burn. Later Gavin played for Die 116 with members of Rorschach. Sergio eventually joined Quicksand, and Djinji went off on his solo venture, releasing albums of world music inspired hip-hop.

Absolution reunited in 2008 for some shows. I wish i could have been there.

The band's fan Myspace is here.

23 comments:

  1. My biggest complaint about the 7" is Djinji's vocals. I remember everyone I knew disliked the Absolution 7" based on the vocals honestly. The demo is great however, and the vocals on the demo are tougher as well. Thanks again for putting together a great collection.Oh and the intro on the demo sure sounds like Burn to me lol...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. His vocals on the 7" are a HUGE reason why Absolution has been my favourite hardcore band since I first heard them back in 1989. Who cares if they are "tough"? They are wholely original and distinct. Absolutely (no pun) fantastic.

      Delete
  2. The demo is my favorite for sure, but i really like the 7". Mainly because it was my exposure to the band. I heard the song In the Meantime on Pat Duncan's show on WFMU back in '89 and loved it, even though my first reaction was "why is Pat playing metal?". Ha

    Gimme some feedback guys. 115 downloads in ten hours and no comments. Let me know how you think it came out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry, Stormy, no time to really listen to it, but what I've heard so far sounds great as usual.
    Looking forward to the live stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dead And Gone is one of the finest moments in NYHC. In my ears better than the 7".

    ReplyDelete
  5. God, Absolution were our Bad Brains. Listening to them again confirms that. Transcendent! Soooo much better than practically every other band gigging in NY at that time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your rips sound MUCH better than the Temperance CD I've been listening to for the last ten years! Thanks again!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice! I have the discography and always thought the band HAD to have more to offer than the slop included on that disc.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for uploading this, it came out great!

    ReplyDelete
  9. hey, this blog is awesome. congrats and thanks for doing this.

    btw, ABSOLUTION is so fucking great band... my faves the demo and the 7"

    ReplyDelete
  10. I bought the Cd a couple years ago and listened to about half of it and sold it back to the store. It was awful. The comments here make me want to hear the demo. I love your idea for the comp blog - might I suggest you include the image in the tag or place it in the zip.

    ReplyDelete
  11. So glad this was compiled, Absolution meant everything to me, as far as HC is concerned, then and now. In all fairness to Chuck Miller from Temperance Records, he definitely meant well by doing the discography, I don't know the details as to why it came out the way it did. At least we have this collection that serves to set the record straight.
    Kudos to Stormy/Vin, I'll be sending you that Life's Blood tape soon, I promise!

    ReplyDelete
  12. greatmazinga, all cover jpegs are in the zipped folders (starting about a dozen posts back).

    Freddy, like i said in the post, i appreciate Chuck's effort, it just seemed hastily put together and lacked the right sources. A band like this deserves better. I'm looking forward to that Life's Blood tape like you can't imagine.

    Glad everyone liked the way this came out. I spent some extra time on this one to try and do the band justice.

    I'll be posting some live Absolution stuff very soon.

    ReplyDelete
  13. thanks for posting this--it's gonna be awsome to hear

    ReplyDelete
  14. i too have that discog cd and was pretty bummed out by it. your cleaned up rip of that demo is wonderful! looking forward to the live sets...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Glad you like it. The live collection should be up within a week or so.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I had the Temperance LP on purple vinyl gatefold sleeve.still didn't make it sound any better though! . Criminally underated band though.I can't favour any release over the others though never ending game was always on my mix tapes back in the ninehizzays though.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm soooo stoked to have "In the mean time" still. Especially getting it out in Hawaii. Ordered it from "Trash American Style", in Conneticut, back in the day. Thanks for bringing back memories! "Burn" anyone?
    John Barrucus

    ReplyDelete
  18. I remember seeing Absolution play some great live shows well back in the day. They got a lot of respect from me and my friends in upstate NY. Thank you for making this available!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yeah man, sounds great so far. Absolution are bad azz. Caught them at the Safari club in dc ages ago. I was never too big into that youth crew/skin stuff so when these guys started to play I was like "oh shit". I think it was the bass player that had a freeking huge speaker set-up. Way to big for the club. The singer did this jump from one side of the stage to the other landing on his knees while still singing. Still got my Absolution tshirt from that show. Never had the heart to through it out. I got to agree with previous poster. They were our Bad Brains. Many, many thanks for this.

    ReplyDelete
  20. i've slept on this band for waaay too long. just got a chance to hear a potentially updated version of "armed with anger"? it was via facebook. definitely heavy/ groovy and it does remind me quite a bit of burn. vocally first, then musically i think. awesome either way. looking forward to listening to this after it downloads. thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow!! WAY better quality!! Awesome! Buying the discography dbl vinyl really soured me on this band! And personally, I love Burn way more anyway but I always liked the 7"? (And "Dead and Gone") Never knew that people didn't like it?!? Because of the vocals?!? It's that attitude towards "originality" in HC that has lead us to today where there is almost NONE! And it's because of that attitude that there will NEVER be another Burn, Gorilla Biscuits or probably even, another Maximum Penalty! Because as soon as a band starts singing "lighter" or whatever people just say that they are "selling out", "trying to get over" or whatever... Really sucks... I may have been at this Anthrax show- if I was, it was only my 2nd show! Oh and according to the Anthrax book "Everybody's Scene" this is the wrong date! They have these bands listed that day: Affinity, Scram, 6 Feet Under. Absolution played there on May 6th, 1988 with Life's Blood and Krakdown. But some of the dates in the book are wrong too? Just letting you know...

    ReplyDelete
  22. I don't typically follow or read blogs, but I was looking up Absolution as my collection, as you put it,just doesn't cut it. I try listening to it, but it hurts sometimes. I heard of them as a sprout in NYC, but never saw them play. Fortunately, I saw them at the 2008 reunion and it was amazing. They just played 2 days ago at the El n Gee in New London, CT, and they have a the most unresponsive crowd. I felt bad. I think it was partially the mix as well as there is no listenable collection of their music (for the youngsters who were going nuts for Into Another. Coincidentally, Into Another was a band I never really liked, but they sounded amazing). Hopefully, until now. Let's see. But thanks for sharing nonetheless.

    ReplyDelete