December 5th, 2014 by Justin Briggs
Finally, one of the truly mythical, long-lost giants of American…nay, world… hardcore is unearthed from the sweeping sands of time. In December of 1983 this Boston hardcore powerhouse recorded seven songs with Jimmy Dufour at Radiobeat Studios in Kenmore Square, with the intention of mixing three songs — “Tailgate,” “Break the Chains” and “Condemned for Life” — for airplay on local college radio. They did just that. In 1989 those three songs ended up on vinyl via a semi(?)-legit 7” on the Armory Arms imprint, and again in 1992 on a much-less-legit repress on Lost and Found, along with the four unreleased tracks, assumed to be lost for good in a dumpster following the shuttering of Radiobeat. Noooope, this one jerkoff seems to have had ’em the whole time, knowing full well that the band was looking for them. They did eventually get ’em back, thank fuck. Anyway, DEATHWISH played within that classically Boston realm of nasty, first wave straightedge hardcore, fitting seamlessly alongside the bulldozing power of SS DECONTROL, IMPACT UNIT, DYS and LAST RIGHTS. With the huge guitars that Radiobeat was known for, the remix job here by Don Zientara (MINOR THREAT, et al.) sounds incredible. I highly suggest that if you think this record is just another attempt to milk American Hardcore’s glory days for whatever it is they are milking it for, you rethink that and cop this record ASAP. In my humble opinion, this material seeing a vinyl reissue is about as important as any other record that will come out in 2014, and I find reissues counterproductive and boring. RIP, Jordan Wood. Now we can all hold our collective breath until progress on the DXA record kicks back up.