Even though their vocalist went on to front Mayday, who did alright in terms of making a name for themselves, As it Stands has remained all too unknown for well over a decade now. The band formed not far from my area of Virginia in the late-80's, and I can definitely say that I wish I was old enough to have been around for this stuff when the band was active, but they called it quits a couple of years before I started transitioning more heavily into hardcore from metal. Their brand of hardcore contains a little more than the average dose of a metallic edge than you'd expect given the time period, and definitely flirts with a couple of crossover styled influences on occasion (granted most of the material is a little more midpaced than the crossover boom), so it's right up my fucking alley! All they released was a track on the "Living on the Edge" compilation 7" (1989), a 1989 demo, a 1990 demo, and the "World That Was" 7" (1991, repressed in 1995). Here's a quick rundown of the band's history from former bassist Chris Wade, the tunes are later down in the post…
As it Stands was the first "real band" of all of its members. Lance McLeod (later of Mayday, now owner of Devotion Tattoo in Florida), Craig Moore, Craig Henry (later of Façade Burned Black and Time Flies), Tony Frasca, and myself (Chris Wade, later of Hose.Got.Cable, Orlock, and presently in The Wades) began playing and recording in 1989 in Yorktown, VA. We were inspired mostly by contemporaries like Killing Time, Sick of it All, Outburst, and Born Against – with a twist of Slayer and the Misfits.
We played our first show on October 22, 1989 with Four Walls Falling, which led to the offer from Four Walls Falling vocalist Taylor Steele to record five songs for a 7". We recorded at Winter Sound in Hayes, VA with Bob Gurske (who did Avail's "Live at the King's Head Inn") but ended up releasing the songs as a demo when Taylor couldn't find funding for his label.
Most of us were in high school but we managed to play in Richmond, VA and DC a few times and record "Resist" for a compilation (1989's "Living on the Edge" 7" with Device, Dunamis, and our friends Step Aside). When the record was reviewed in Maximumrocknroll the reviewer mixed up the names and called us Resist and labeled the song "As it Stands", which led to a minute of controversy when the singer from Resist wrote in and bitched and agreed. I guess with Maximumrocknroll we sucked.
Then we played the legendary Safari Club with Killing Time and Judge. That was a big deal for us, you know, as 18-year-olds back then.
A year later a second 7" offer came from a guy in Ohio, along with a check for the recording costs. We recorded at Ear Works in Virginia Beach with a guy named Robert Smith (not from The Cure, of course). Craig Henry, the only guitarist at the time (the other Craig was out of the picture by then), paid to go back and redo some guitar parts. He sent this guy in Ohio the new mix and kept the old one. We never heard from the guy again.
As it Stands broke up shortly afterwards.
A year later I was at VCU in Richmond and heard from a friend that there was an As it Stands 7" at Plan 9 Records, so of course I went and bought one! It had been put out by Endgame Records and was their first release. I'm still not sure exactly how it came about, but he got the original mix from Craig and put that out. No one even owns a cassette copy of the remix with the "better" guitar parts, to my knowledge.
The very next record that dude put out was the Integrity/Mayday split, and that release did so well that the label stuck around, became Game Two Records, and put out more releases. So at some point they re-released the As it Stands 7" as sort of a commemorative thing, with totally new artwork but the exact same recording. It even had the same labels on the vinyl (a picture of Porcell accompanied by the message, "Nice tan, John.").
So that's that. We all stay in touch, especially me and Tony, as we were the first to play together and the rest followed… plus we were the two "longhairs" in the band, ha, ha.
Here's the "World That Was" 7" from 1991. Enjoy…
2. "Blood Ties"
4. "Union With the Absolute"
And here's their track from the "Living on the Edge" compilation 7" in 1989, which, by the way, has some "impeccably" blunt lyrics. I love it! "Resist! I'm pissed! Resist! Suck my fucking dick!" Ahhh, the 80's, man…
As it Stands "Resist"
Of course all this stuff is long out of print and seems pretty hard to come by regardless of pressing, so many thanks to Chris Wade for the information, not to mention hooking me up with a copy of the 7" repress as well as the compilation track!