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Both Worlds "Memory Rendered Visible" CD

Posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2006 @ 9:21am » permalink

Both Worlds - Memory Rendered VisibleThis one's for a dude in South Africa that I email back and forth with who's never had the chance to hear Both Worlds, the band formed in the mid-90's by former Cro-Mags frontman John Joseph, as well as AJ Novello and Pokey from Leeway. Opinions seem to be mixed on this band, and I guess I can understand fans of the Cro-Mags and Leeway being somewhat let down if they were expecting something "heavier" or more traditional, but… if you ask me Both Worlds was totally fuckin' solid, and I wish they'd continued on a bit longer. Their debut 1996 EP, "Beyond Zero Gravity", is somewhat of an unnecessary release when all is said and done, since they re-recorded two of the best songs for their sole Roadrunner full-length in 1998, but "Memory Rendered Visible" is quite a strong slab of heavy, rocked out post-hardcore. And come on, pretty much anything Joseph or Novello are involved with is gonna be worth a shot.

I won't lie, there are definitely a couple of tracks on this record that tend to wander a little too far out into pseudo grunge territory to really leave a mark, but I wouldn't really tag anything as being "bad" per se, and when the band's sort of Quicksand-ish, at times Helmet-esque brand of chunky rhythms and dissonant melody hits the mark, it results in some awesome tracks that are generally pretty damn catchy and energetic. Plus, loose comparisons aside, these guys did have their own niche happening. Musical similarities to some of what was going on around them at the time are somewhat unavoidable, but Joseph's vocals are of course inimitable, and Novello's always been one for writing sick riffs of all varieties. The recording's pretty damn slick as well, and that always helps. I don't know. I had the EP from the start and was totally sold on "Over the Edge" (by far the band's strongest song – that shit is pissed, I don't care what anyone says), but for whatever reason I didn't actually buy this album until a year or two after it hit the streets, which was certainly a mistake.

As usual with bands who weren't quite what a lot of narrowminded purists wanted them to be, you can basically buy everything these cats put out for less a buck – sometimes brand new. Go figure. So take advantage of the bargains if you like what you hear:

@ Amazon.com
@ Half.com


  1. Anonymous says:

    this is the dude from South Africa, and I am just listening to "Over the edge", and hell yeah, it's agreat track. JJ and AJ together always give sparks!

  2. malik a. says:

    is it only me who thinks that ORANGE 9MM did better job with this style? don't get me wrong, i still love some songs on "MRV" but i just prefer Chaka/Gavin team on this one. in many ways its similar…

    and apart from music, there is some great message on this album.

    good call.


    I totally love Orange 9mm and agree that they were superior, but I wasn't trying to make any claims like that or anything with this post, heh…

  4. i think that we were separated at birth sometimes andrew, some of our music tastes are so similar. all of the stuff that i would repeatedly play over the years that made everyone else groan. didn't chaka form 09mm and keith caputo from Life of agony both do guest vocals on this too?

  5. malik a. says:

    EMS, you're right. they did.
    and Andrew, it was just a thought. simply cos every time i listen to BOTH WORLDS i'm thinking, fuck, that could be way better. its still good as i said but i just can't get rid of that feeling.

    so, just saying…

  6. Bladrock says:

    just as an FYI…Gavin was not in Orange 9mm…thank you.

  7. Howard says:

    Andrew- once again another great suggestion. I gotta give you props for educating people on a lot of this older material that seems to have gone unnoticed by a lot of people, especially younger listeners. I didn't get into the punk/hc scene until the late 90's and much of what I heard was either the classic stuff from the 70's-80's or newer material, so I've been trying to catch up on the things that came out in the early 90's. I'm not really up to speed on how well received stuff like this and other bands were in that period, but it strikes me that a lot of people these days know very little about the kind of music bands were making around this time, which is a real shame.

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