Saturday, January 23, 2010

INFEST 1987-2002 - Discography (remastered)

Disk One revised on Oct. 5, 2012 for better sound quality on the Mankid ep and comp tracks.

Sorry for the delay. So here's what i've been working on for pretty much the past month. 110 tracks of Infest, and by "remastered" i just mean nicely cleaned up. All surface noise and pops removed, and all levels adjusted so every track is the same volume. I think this is going on year 10 that Deep Six Records has had the Infest discography on it's "coming soon" list, so i'm going to take a wild guess and say it's never going to happen. With that in mind, i tried my best to make this collection as close to CD quality as possible. I think it came out great. This is pretty much everything the band has ever recorded, aside from one demo track (Machismo), which i couldn't get a decent version of to work with, and a few samples before certain tracks. I've wanted to put this together for a long time, and it was a labor of love to be sure. I'm glad the fucking thing's finally done. If any band needs to be properly documented, this is it.

I'd say Infest was the band that had the single greatest impact on me as far as hardcore/punk music goes. My first time hearing them was on Pat Duncan's radio show in 1988, during the time the Slave LP was released. The songs were Mindless and Where's the Unity?, and the second i heard those tracks it changed my perception of how powerful music could be. Everything about it just clicked with me immediately. Up to that point i had heard a decent amount of the faster and heavier bands like DRI, Siege, and even Napalm Death. But Infest was a different kind of fast, and a different kind of heavy. It was just monstrous hardcore, like Youth of Today on steroids and speed. This was the band i'd been waiting to hear. I taped Pat's show every Thursday night and would catch an Infest song every now and then, which to me was like hitting the lottery. It was almost a full year later that i finally got a dub of the entire Slave album from a friend in art school. Thanks Marty! I never thought a band would ever have that much of an impact on me again, until the day i heard Neanderthal... but that's a whole other long-winded story.

OK, enough ranting. Here it is. 110 tracks taken from a dozen recordings. Thanks to Dan Hashthrash for the Slave and KXLU rips, Andy (Mortville Records) for the Apocalyptic Convulsions rip, and Gen (Ruido) for the 1987 demo rip. Enjoy!

INFEST Volume One
INFEST Volume Two

Volume One

Slave LP (tracks 1-19)

Originally released on Off the Disk Records (out of Switzerland)/
Draw Blank Records (Infest's own label) in 1988. The Slave LP contained the 10 tracks from the band's previous self-released, self-titled 7" (known as the Machismo 7"), plus 8 new tracks. There were 1,000 made of the original press, which came with a lyric sheet, poster, 2 stickers and 1 flyer. It was recorded at Spot Recording by David Kory in June, 1988. Produced by Infest. Mixed by Matt, John O.D. and Joe. Back-ups by Dave, Matt, Joe, John O.D. and Jeff Banks. Awesome cover art by Seelenlos and graphics by Erich. The LP was re-issued in 1991 by Draw Blank/Deep Six Records, and the artwork changed to the more well known black and white image of a slave being led through the grass on a leash. Slave was bootlegged on LP in 1993 on Sand Im Getriebe Records (out of Germany of course) and also included the band's 2nd 7" (1991), 11 unreleased rehearsal tracks, and the sleeve was a 20 page booklet full of political propaganda. The LP was finally officially re-issued again in 2002 by Deep Six/Draw Blank. The tracks in this collection were taken from the 2002 re-release. Sound quality is fantastic, but unfortunately it's missing the sample at the opening of Sick-O.

1988 lineup
vocals - Joe Denunzio
guitar - Matt Domino
bass - Dave Ring
drums - Chris Clift

Matt Domino on the releasing of the Slave LP:

How did you get everything together so fast, like the 7" and 12"? How did you hook up with a Swiss label?
It actually went slow. We were planning to do a 14 song 7", but I ended up trading our demo to Erich and Thomas of Mega-Wimp fanzine in Switzerland. They really liked us and offered to do a 7" for us. So we recorded 18 songs, 10 for our 7" and eight for them to press up. Later on, they offered to do a 12", so we put 10 of the songs on our 7" as a US pressing and all 18 on their 12" as a European press.

What are the pressings of both the 7" and 12"?

The 7" is: 1000 black and 100 clear. Our 12" on Off the Disk is: 100 amber, 100 pink, 800 black. The colored vinyl came with posters. There might be a second press of the 12" of 500 on multi-colored vinyl, but we are not sure yet. The 12" and 7" are both sold out.

You can read the entire interview here.

The Slave LP still stands as my favorite Infest release. As amazing as the 2nd 7" and the No Man's Slave LP are, there's just something missing that made Slave so great to me. Everything from Matt's guitar sounds, to Joe's rabid vocals, to that thick bass sound that just cuts through everything. Add to that the raw production and perfect arrangement of songs from the start of Break the Chains to the end of Fetch the Pliers. It was a formula that comes along once in a lifetime, and then of course imitated endlessly, but never topped, for over 20 years now.

Infest 7" (tracks 20-29)
Commonly known as the Mankind 7". Originally released on Deep Six/Draw Blank in 1991. Recorded January 1991 at the Annex by Dickie Moe, and mixed by Dave, Joe and Matt. It was bootlegged in 1991 on limited edition blue vinyl (no label), and again in 1994 as a 3-sided 2x7" (no label). "Mankind" on one 7", and the live Gilman tracks from the PHC split 8" (1990 Slap A Ham) on the one-sided 7". The flip-side was screen-printed with a red Infest logo. It was legitimately re-released on 10" vinyl in 2006 (Deep Six/Draw Blank) and included the songs from the Apocalyptic Convulsions 10" (1992 Ax/ction Records) and the Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh! - The Record 7" (1991 Slap A Ham) as bonus tracks. It sounds like the "Mankind" 10" is a different mix than the original 1991 7". The tracks in this collection were taken from the 10". Excellent sound.

Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh! - The Record 7" (track 30)
Released on Slap A Ham Records in 1991. 64 tracks! Matt Domino plays guitar in 2 other bands on the comp. Neanderthal and Mouthfart (who only have 1 known recorded track). I assume it's Neanderthal under a different moniker... but it could just as well be Infest actually. Give the track a listen. In 2003, Goatsucker Records out of Mexico put out a CD containing all 3
Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh! 7"s. Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh! - The Record (1991), Son of Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh! (1992), and Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh!: A Music War" (1998). All originally on Slap A Ham, and all with a shitload of songs.

Apocalyptic Convulsions 10" (tracks 31-32)
Released on Ax/ction Records in 1992. Limited to 1500 copies. 10" vinyl with poster insert containing liner notes contributed by each band. First 500 copies came with a bonus 7". Great cover art by Morbid Mark (who also did art for MITB). I'd say this comp was half great. It had some killer songs by some of my favorite bands of the time, like Assuck, Charred Remains AKA Man is the Bastard, A.C., Rovsvett and The Scam, but unfortunately had a bunch of 'not so good' bands on there as well, to put it nicely. The 2 Infest tracks on this comp were labeled as "untitled", but had titles later when they appeared as bonus tracks on the Mankind 10".

No Man's Slave LP (tracks 33-51)
Released on Deep Six/Draw Blank in 2002. The music was recorded in 1995 and the vocals were recorded in 2000. For this amazing comeback album, R.D. Davies from Visual Discrimination replaces Chris Clift on drums, and Matt Domino lays down both the guitar and bass tracks. Easily one of the most anticipated hardcore albums of all time, and it's safe to say if knocked everyone on their ass.

Fear of Smell LP (track 52)
Released on Vermiform Records in 1993. Two pressings, 2,441 made. The first 1,000 LPs has custom, hand-made covers. Most were badly drawn cartoons with a marker over a white background (by Sam McPheeters, band members and friends i'm guessing), and some were actually pretty artistic and creative. There's a website that is trying to catalog all 1,000 variations of the LP. Check it out here. And if you have a copy, send in a picture. Fear of Smell was released on CD in 1998 (Vermiform) as 1 pressing of 1,900. One of my favorite compilations of the '90s, and of all time. The Infest track here was ripped from the CD version.

Reality 2 LP (track 53)
Released on Deep Six Records in 1997 on both LP and CD. Issued with a one-sided 8.5"x11" insert. The Infest track on this comp, Cold Inside, was also the opening track to the No Man's Slave LP. Ripped from CD version.

Reality 3 LP (track 54)
Released on Deep Six in 1999. First 300 LPs of first press were on orange vinyl. Released on CD the same year. This is a kick ass song, but i have no idea when it was recorded. I'm guessing it's an outtake from the No Man's Slave sessions? Also ripped from CD version.

Volume 2

1987 demo (tracks 1-19)
This is missing the song Machismo because the track i had was damaged, but i think there are at least 3 other versions of this song in the collection. Tracks from this 20 song demo were bootlegged a bunch of times. First i know of was a one-sided 7" put out in January, 1993 on Shiny Happy Records. Tracks were Where's the Unity?, If I Were You, and Which Side? Six more tracks were bootlegged in 1994 on the Not Over Yet 7" (no label). Not sure how many of these were pressed, but i remember these being everywhere in the late '90s, on various colors. It was re-issued on black vinyl in 1996. Tracks were Sick of Talk, Life's Halt, The End, Dirty Dope Dealer, Son of the Sun, and Going. Finally (at some point in the past 10 years), the entire 20 track demo was put onto 12" vinyl. It was a Fanclub release, and contained 25 tracks. Kind of an odd release, it contained the demo, plus 3 rehearsal tracks (with samples at the beginnings), and a track titled "Outro", which was actually The Melvins (Echo from the album Gluey Porch Treatments). I'm not sure why that was thrown on there, but if you've never heard that Melvins track, i'd say it would be pretty easy to be tricked into thinking it was Infest. The 1987 Demo LP also came with a lyric sheet and a fold out poster sleeve full of classic flyers.

There was a second guitarist on the demo named Rob Arvizu, who left the band shortly after it was recorded. After the Slave LP, the demo has some of my favorite Infest recordings. Lots of great exclusive songs on here like If I Were You, Snooze-U-Loose, Son of the Sun, Going, The End, and Dirty Dope Dealer (one of my favorite Infest tracks). These songs would have made a hell of a 7". The demo has a great raw sound, and Joe's vocals are more psychotic and manic sounding than on the LP, with a weird echoey effect at times that fits the frantic madness of this demo perfectly. I'm really happy with the sound quality of this one. I was able to bring down the high-end a bit so it doesn't sound so blown out.

Infest/PHC split 8" flexi (tracks 20-27)
Released as an 8" flexi-disk on Slap A Ham Records in 1990 as the label's first release. The original version had 5 Infest tracks recorded live at Gilman on 2/10/89.
The Infest track Head First is labeled as "Pissed!". Slap A Ham re-released the record as a 7" in 2000 with 3 extra Infest tracks (from the same show), and 2 extra PHC tracks. The split was bootlegged at some point as the Live and Pissed 7" (no label), with a pretty cool Robert Crumb "Fritz the Cat" cover. These are great live recordings, with a very full and powerful sound.

Live KXLU LP (tracks 28-45)
Recorded live on KXLU on July 1, 1991. This radio set was first put out as a bootleg in 1996 on 10" vinyl entitled How They Poison the Young (Ear Wax Records). Deep Six released it on a 12" in 2001. The majority of the set is from the Mankind 7", with a few comp tracks and a few Slave tracks thrown in. The song entitled Seen It All Before was renamed You're A Star, and Blinded was renamed Freeze Dried, both for the No Man's Slave LP. These are my least favorite Infest recordings, mainly because of Matt Domino's guitar sound which is usually so vicious sounding. To me it's like Infest "unplugged". The energy is still there, but the power is missing. Most people i've talked to have disagreed with me on this, and that's fine. To each his own, i just find it lacking. And with that said it still takes a huge shit on most anything hardcore related in the past 10 years.

Rehearsals (tracks 46-56)
Completely fucking rabid rehearsal session of all Slave tracks. Joe sounds like a complete madman on this, ready to jump out of the speakers and tear your head off. These rehearsal tracks are the one good thing that came out of that completely awful Still Fighting bootleg CD out of Germany. Christ was that thing a mess. They put both the band's first self-released 7" on there as well as the Slave LP, even though they're the exact same recordings. The songs from all of the records (besides Slave) were all lumped into 1 or 2 tracks (28 tracks total for an Infest discography?). And then there's the sound quality. Oof. Anyway, i snagged the rehearsals off that CD and split them up, so like i said, it was good for something. It makes a cool Infest coaster too. Actually i'm being too harsh here. At least they made an effort to get the music out there at a time when the vinyl was hard to find. Cheers!

"INFEST" The dictionary definition: "To overwhelm, swarm, and mar, in a menacing way".
- from Joe Denunzio's Myspace page here.

Unofficial INFEST Myspace pages here and here.

Infest pioneered an entire genre of aggressive hardcore later coined "powerviolence" by Eric Wood of Neanderthal/Man is the Bastard.