Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Close Call - The 1989 Demos

CLOSE CALL - The 1989 Demos
Text by
by Michael Scondotto:

Marc Nolan - vocals
Mike Scondotto - bass
Tom Trippi - guitars
John LaMacchia - guitars
Wayne Schneiderman - drums

CLOSE CALL - "On The Line" demo recorded on March
3, 1989 @ Don Fury's NYC
CLOSE CALL "Self titled" demo recorded in June 1989 @ Don Fury's NYC

About the recordings:
Both demos were done @ the legendary Don Fury studio in NYC and were done 100% live with no overdubs. Some of the songs sound a bit out of tune, and they probably were... but hey, we were 15 to 17 and had never done this before.

Although the drummer on the 2nd demo is listed as "James", the drums were indeed done by our first drummer Wayne. For the record, "James" is James Loud, drummer for the short lived NEW BREED COMP band from Brooklyn - DIRECT APPROACH. James did replace Wayne, but never actually recorded with the band.

Close Call shows list:
1. WNYU's Crucial Chaos 5/18/89
2. Backyard party in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn NY 6/10/89
3. L'amour - Brooklyn, NY with MR. PICKLE, AMERICAN EAGLE and 7 more bands 8/27/89
4. L'amour - Brooklyn, NY with KILLING TIME & FIT OF ANGER 9/17/89

Close Call History: by Michael Scondotto

Close Call was a Hardcore band from Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn NY and my very first band. We started in fall of 1988 and broke up in January of 1990.

The band was initially formed by myself on bass and my friend since grade school, Tom Trippi on guitar. I do not remember who came up with the name Close Call, but it was either me or Tom. We were both 15 years old and were really into bands like Breakdown, Raw Deal, Token Entry, YDL and Leeway...hell, we liked every HC band we had heard at that point and were influenced by all of them. Our collective best friend John LaMacchia ( whom I knew since kindergarten and we are still friends to this day) was a bit reluctant to make the switch from being a Metalhead to a HC kid, but John was the best musician of the three of us and he eventually came around. John wanted to play metal and if you listen, there is quite a bit of metal in the band for sure. Vocalist Marc and drummer Wayne were 2 years older than the rest of us and went to high school together. Marc was one of the guys that got us all into Hardcore and took us to CBGB's (Marc can be seen as the skinhead kid in the YDL ringer shirt on the cover of the "Where the Wild Things Are" comp by the way) and Wayne was a Rush fanatic and awesome drummer who s
omehow Marc got to play with a bunch of Hardcore kids. Wayne was also the only Close Call band member who did not skateboard. Without skateboarding, Close Call would never have happened since that was what really brought us all together. The five of us lived within a five block radius of each other in Sheepshead Bay.Close Call was one of the few Hardcore bands from Brooklyn at the time (88-89), along with bands like Mr. Pickle & Social Disorder. Then you had bigger bands like Y.D.L. and Biohazard and of course Carnivore. We were all about the NYC bands who played CBGB's and we desperately wanted to be just like those bands and hopefully play shows with them. But we never really got to, mainly due to the fact that back then we knew no one outside of our circle of Brooklyn friends and we were young and really naive. We didn't network at all, just hung out and had fun.

The first demo was called "On The Line", named after the instrumental on the demo. The second demo was self titled. I'm going to say that we made about 30 copies of the first demo and about 60 of the second, but I bet it is less for both.

Some copies of the demos were mailed out to zines though, that I remember for sure. The artwork for the demos was done by John, very influenced by both graffiti and comic artist Vaughn Bode. We all actually wrote graffiti, some better than others for sure. The cassettes were all copied on the home stereos of myself and the rest of the band.

The one band I think we sounded a lot like was Token Entry, especially in the vocals department and we also had a lot of guitar leads just like Token Entry did. The Breakdown and Raw Deal demos, the Sick of It All, Side By Side and Gorilla Biscuits 7"'s and Leeway's "Born to Expire" were in heavy rotation for sure.

Close Call had a lot of band practices, sometimes twice a week. Our last studio of choice was called Counterpoi
nt Studios in Marine Park Brooklyn. It was owned by Sal Asbrucato, who went on to be Type O Negative and Life of Agony. Sal was hilarious back then & always gave us a great sound.

Close Call did a total of 4 shows which are as follows: a WNYU Crucial Chaos set, a backyard party, and 2 gigs at L'amour. One of the L'amour shows was with Fit Of Anger and Killing Time. I'll never forget after the show with KT, Anthony Communale coming up to us afterwards and handing us money out of his pocket because he heard we didn't get paid. I relayed the story to him once or twice over the years and he got a kick out of it, but we never forgot how cool that was.

Towards the end of 1989 things kind of fell apart and the band officially broke up in January of 1990 via a series of phone calls. John, Tom and Wayne went on to form a new Hardcore band called Patterns with our friend Les on vocals, and I went on to the band Confusion by the fall of 1990. We all remained friends and hung out with each other though and Patterns and Confusion did plenty of shows together, so there was never any animosity at all.

What are the members of Close Call doing now in 2010? Since 1995, I have been the lead singer for the NYHC band Inhuman. John and Wayne are again playing together in a great band called
A Family Plot. Tom is living in Florida and still plays guitar and Marc is living in Brooklyn. Is there a chance of a Close Call show in the near future? I never like to say never, but who knows...

I want to say thank you to Vinnie of Blogged & Quartered.
I want to say thank you and hello to John, Wayne,Tom and Marc.
And I w
ant to thank YOU for reading this.
I hope you enjoy this small piece of NYHC h

I was pretty excited when Mike sent me these demos. Late '80s NYHC that i'd never heard before, always a beautiful thing. Needless to say these demos kick serious ass. I wish i c
ould have done a better job with the sound quality, but i did the best i could transferring the tapes to mp3s and digging the songs out from under the tape hiss. Regardless, these are songs that need to be heard. Hopefully everyone enjoys it as much as i do.

The s/t demo (tracks 1-9) are in the exact order that they appeared on the demo tape. The "On the Line" demo was changed up a bit, the tracks with the worst sound quality being at the end.

A huge thank you to Mike Scondotto for the music.