Jasta 14 "s/t" 7"Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2005 @ 8:48am » permalink
This Connecticut band (apparently named for some reason after a German WWI air unit) is of course most known for being Jamey Shanahan's pre-Hatebreed outfit, though I honestly never really understood why he reverted to calling himself "Jamey Jasta" since he didn't sing on this 7" – the band's only official release. Go figure. I've only seen old live videos from Jamey's days in the band that suffer from abominable sound quality, so it's hard to gauge where they were coming from at that point in time, but this 7" is fucking excellent regardless.
The second release for Centrifuge Recordings in 1995, I only found about these guys when my college roommate brought this record back from a show of theirs that he had caught in Baltimore, which was probably sometime in 1996. He talked up a storm about the band but didn't have a record player, so we dubbed it down from a friend and I was pretty impressed myself. This is actually a fairly unique sounding 7" for its day, aside from loose similarities to Burn in some of the riffing, so I really wish the band had done more afterwards. Expect a good mix of abrasive screaming over dissonant post-hardcore melodies and lots of dynamic shifts, with some fluid clean passages and fucked up rhythmic twists for good measure.
The tracklist on the back cover is actually wrong, listing the songs on side A in reverse order, while what's tagged as "Life Expectancy" on side B is actually "Frankenstein", as indicated on the lyric insert (this track also appeared on the "Psycho Civilized" compilation CD). All four songs kick ass, and even the unfortunately titled spontaneous instrumental "Pud" is a winner.
This is of course out of print, but it never seemed to be in high demand or anything. For whatever reason it seems like few ever really caught onto these guys, or at least maybe few outside of Connecticut, so you can probably still dig up a copy in old distro leftovers or score one from a trade list or something.
From the 7" lineup, drummer Todd Zullo is now in some reggae/hip-hop (or whatever) act called the Alchemystics, and guitarist Mick Barr is now in Orthrelm (I can't believe I never knew of this connection before) after a stint with Crom-Tech in the late-90's. Bassist Greg Burns went on to Still I Rise and Last World's Fair, guitarist Rich Neagle was in the punk band Broken for a couple of years, and vocalist Kyle Mullins went on to Esperanto and Boiling Man. I've only heard Orthrelm and Broken, so I can't really speak to much of what any of these cats have been up to in the years since Jasta 14 folded.
I also seem to remember reading way back in the day that several of the band members started another group with a female vocalist soon after Jasta 14's demise and released a couple of live tracks on some compilation that I never got around to picking up. Anyone? If you've got any news there or can hook me up with Jasta 14's demo material, get in touch, because I'm really curious to hear all of that stuff. Thanks.