Initial Reaction (almost) discography…Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2009 @ 6:15am » permalink
The mighty Coregasm first posted about the absolutely awesome northern Virginia hardcore band Initial Reaction three years ago, regarding their sole 7" release, and after I posted a comment on the write-up I was lucky enough to have someone from the band get in touch with me and send me a copy of that 7" as well as their rare 1992 demo cassette. Sadly my old computer is long since dead, so I don't have access to any of those emails to know specifically who to thank for this kind act, but I hope they stumble across this post and see my appreciation!
According to this MySpace page, Initial Reaction formed in the summer of 1988 and quickly put out a four-track demo (the only output not covered in this post) before undergoing a few lineup changes and releasing the "Brace Yourself" demo in 1989. This demo contained six songs recorded on an eight-track and totally laid the groundwork for the surprisingly hard-hitting and in your face tone of the 7" (which is obviously their most prominent recording): Straight metallic hardcore with traditionally-based chord progressions amped up by chunky grooves, burly vocals, and a toughguy sort of lyrical angle. The aforementioned self-titled 7" was then released by Cornerstone Productions in 1990, taking things in a more blatantly aggressive direction across the board (and incredibly successfully so, I might add), making for an underrated classic precursor to the metallic hardcore sound that would become increasingly popular throughout the 90's – and on through to today.
For some reason the bio on MySpace makes no mention whatsoever of the 1992 demo, and gives off the impression that the band broke up in 1991, which is odd. I'm hoping someone in the know will spot this write-up and drop some more knowledge in the comments section. Maybe there were some additional lineup changes, or maybe some of the band members just aren't as fond of the final demo due to the slight shift in approach? I'm really not sure, since all I have is the pro-printed cassette itself, no artwork or anything of that nature. All I can say for certain is that the song titles on this demo suggest a more socio-political and thought provoking approach to the lyrical content ("Satyam", "Ecocide", etc.), with hints of singing starting to blend into the vocals. Of course this means the music also branches out a bit, with more of a metal direction and some little rocked out riffs with melodic undercurrents here and there, but for my money the main core of the band's chugging, tactful grooves is still right there, so… I'm all over it! Here's one track from each of these releases to give you a taste:
Don't talk shit you can't back up. Get too close, get an uppercut. Why don't you ever shut up? If it went down, you would be fucked. You've got to know, you'll never win. You're just fighting a war with no end…
All of this stuff is probably pretty damn hard to find in its original form these days, and I don't even see any listings on eBay at the moment, so… good luck getting your hands on any of the original vinyl or cassettes unless any of the band members happen to have some more leftovers to sell after all these years! Here's a .zip file that contains the 7" and both demos outlined above, and it's all total fucking gold, so I hope you enjoy the material: