Friday, November 6, 2009

Up Front - 1987-1989 Rarities



Up Front were (and still are), a great straight edge hardcore band founded in NY. This is a collection of rare material recorded between 1987 and 1989. Raw and fast hardcore punk in the vein of bands of the time like Pressure Release, Unit Pride, Wide Awake, Our Gang etc. Thanks to David Michaels (once again) for helping with the music, and Jeff Terranova and Jon Field for helping with info, and for letting me post this collection. Enjoy.

Up Front: 1987-1989 Rarities

Demo (1987)

Steve Keeley - vocals
Jon Field - guitar
Jeff Terranova - bass
Dan Pettit - drums

The band's first demo was recorded in April of 1987 (only about 2 months after the band had been together), and was recorded in Jeff's parents basement by Mitch Mitchell on an 8-track recorder. This demo is a personal favorite of mine. It's the band at their most raw and abrasive. Certainly not the tightest of recordings, but for me that only adds to it's charm. Many of these songs were later re-recorded for the band's first LP, "Spirit", released in 1988 on Chris Daily's Smorgasbord Records (now run by Jeff Terranova), and the track "One Step Ahead" was recorded for the 1987 comp ep "X Marks the Spot", also released on Smorgasbord (and also featured tracks by Wide Awake and Pressure Release). The three Up Front tracks on this comp, "Something To Strive For", "One Step Ahead" and "Live and Let Live" were the band's first officially released material.

As to not cause any confusion in thinking some of the demo tracks were labeled wrong (as i did the first time i heard it), the track "Up Front" was later renamed "Our Best", and the track "Growing Stronger" was later renamed "Up Front".

Time Gone By (live 1987)

This unreleased song was taken from an early show at The Anthrax in 1987. It's a much more straight forward punk song (and pretty catchy too) than any other Up Front song that i've heard from that time period. I like this track a lot.

Jeff Terranova on "Time Gone By":

Time Gone By was an Up Front song that we used to play live... When we recorded the OG demo tape, we actually recorded like 11 songs and multiple versions of a few songs, which have never been heard by anyone. There was a time that I was contemplating releasing a "Demos" CD because the band recorded other demos over the years... one in 1991 and 1996.

Hopefully an Up Front "Demos" CD gets released one day, as i'd love to hear the studio version of this song.

Live on WNYU (1988)

Steve Keeley - vocals
Jon Field - guitar
Jeff Terranova - bass
Jim Eaton - drums

In December of 1987, Dan Pettit was replaced on drums by Jim Eaton. The band played on WNYU's Crucial Chaos show 3 times. July of 1988 with Steve on vocals (posted here), June of 1989 with Roger on vocals, and one more set years later with Jeff on vocals. Five of the eleven tracks from the '88 WNYU set were released as the "Doin' It Live on WNYU" ep, released on New Direction Records in 1996.

Rehearsals (1989)

Roger Lambert - vocals
Jon Field - guitar
Jeff Terranova - bass
Jim Eaton - drums

In December of '88 (a few months after the recording of the "Spirit" LP), Steve left the band. He was replaced on vocals by Roger Lambert in January of '89. These 14 rehearsal tracks were pulled from a session that was closer to 20 tracks, but since some of the tracks were different takes of the same song, and other tracks suffered from awful sound, i chose these 14. It's a great session consisting mostly of "Spirit" material. Roger does a perfect job putting his vocals to these classics. Soon after these rehearsals, Jim Eaton left the band and was replaced by former Enuf drummer Ari Katz.

I made it a point not to clean the tracks in this collection as much as the last few collections i've posted. I was able to get rid of the tape hiss and surface noise, but made sure to keep the raw, rough sound of the recordings. I think that's how these songs should be heard.


Up Front released a bunch of great records after "Spirit", went through some more lineup changes, break-ups and reformations, and are currently back together and playing shows.

If you're new to Up Front, i'd recommend checking out "Spirit" first, then "Daybreak" and "Movement" (my personal faves). From there you can make your way though the 7"s, which are all conveniently collected on the "Five By Seven" CD available from Smorgasbord Records.

For an extensive history of this band, plus discography, pics, current info etc, check out the band's official site here, and the band's Myspace here.

You can check out Jon Field's amazing collection of live hardcore footage (that he's digitized from his own personal collection) here. Lots of stuff by Up Front, Unit Pride, Pressure Release, Supertouch, Judge... you get the picture.

And lastly, don't forget to check out Jeff's "Anti-Emo Empire" radio show, which i'll plug even though i like emo. Ha.

15 comments:

  1. Comment #1 again..Ha Ha!
    Been searching for a good rip of the Demo for some time now, so thanks! For me Up front is the "Spirit" Lp, great stuff!
    You´ve done it again!!
    Jimmy.

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  2. Thought they were a CT band, not NY?

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  3. I'm not sure if they had members in both NY and CT, but i'm pretty sure the band was founded in NY. According to their website:

    It all began in a cramped NY bedroom in the Fall of 1986. Heavily influenced by the straight edge bands of the early to mid-eighties, Steven Keeley (vocals), Jeff Terranova (bass) and Jon Field (guitar) played covers of Agnostic Front, Uniform Choice, 7 Seconds & Crippled Youth that were the beginnings of what would become Up Front in early 1987.

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  4. We actually played on WNYU's Crucial Chaos 3 times... once with me singing! :)

    Hometown is Mahopac NY, but CT was always our home away from home!

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  5. And, Roger was from CT, and Ari (drummer, 1989) was from NJ, so that always added to the confusion.

    Also, Roger didn't sing for Enuf, that was Ari. But Ari joined on drums a month or two after this '89 practice tape, so you were close. :-) Also, I'm pretty sure the '89 practice is from a VHS tape. I'd have to check my copy to be sure. Roger had only been in the band a month or two.

    Oh, and the demo wasn't recorded with an 8 track, it was recorded with 2 mics and a boombox! Hence the ridiculously bad sound, although me playing guitar through a 1960s bass amp contributed as well.

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  6. Thanx a lot, Spirit (and other recordings too) was huge thing here in Serbia in mid 90ies within straight edge crew.

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  7. Jeff, thanks for the info, i'll have to fix the post later tonight.

    Jon, thanks as well. About the demo being recorded on an 8-track, i got that info from Jeff. Not sure who's right or wrong, i know this stuff was over 20 years ago so it's easy to forget.

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  8. this is great! thank you for all of these postings!

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  9. Not to be a wise ass but Ari didnt sing for Enuf. Enufs singers name was A.J.

    DF

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  10. DF, i got that info from one of the band members (can't remember if it was Jeff or Jon). So nobody from Enuf ever played in Up Front?

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  11. DF, i fixed that info. Ari Katz was the drummer for Enuf, not the vocalist.

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  12. NICE ONE!
    been looking for that rehearsal for quite some time now so THXXXXXXXXX!
    Dan

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  13. Excited to hear this stuff. Up Front is so criminally underrated (at least here in CA), but Spirit is a near perfect record. Thanks for this and everything else you do.

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  14. ANTONIO : YOU PUBLISH THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR CD OF UP FRONT "Changes - 7 inch, 1992, What Does Fire - 7 inch, 1994 AND Split w / Building - 7 inch, 1999. THANK YOU NOTICE ME THE PUBLIC THIS IS MY MAIL emperor28 @ Hotmail.com CONGRATULATIONS FOR YOUR BLOG

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  15. emperor28@hotmail.com

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