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Endpoint "The Last Record" CD

Posted on Friday, May 29th, 2009 @ 8:13am » permalink

Endpoint - The Last RecordI've been reading the absolutely recommended "Burning Fight" this week, and it's been driving me to revisit a bunch of 90's hardcore that I haven't listened to in awhile (or ever, in some cases). While I didn't get into the band until shortly after their time had passed, and (regretfully) haven't listened to them very often lately, I've been a huge Endpoint fan ever since discovering them around 1996/1997. Widely regarded to be one of the most important bands ever to come from the highly influential Louisville, KY scene, I honestly don't like Endpoint's early material very much at all. It seems that their third album, "Catharsis", is generally considered their best, but I wholly disagree (in my opinion it was simply their first truly solid release). The increasingly diverse and more melodic leanings of their final full-length, "After Taste", and aptly titled last EP, "The Last Record" (released by Doghouse Records in 1993 and 1995, respectively), are where the band's powerful and emotional fusion of influences really shines.

In the segment of "Burning Fight" about Endpoint there's a part where one of the band members basically mentions that he can understand how a lot of the their fans weren't into "The Last Record" at the time, since it was even more of a musical departure than what they had started to hit on a few years earlier with "After Taste", but both releases clicked with me right away, and have always stood far above and beyond all of their prior work as far as my listening preferences are concerned. In a sense this EP just takes the wide-ranging songwriting style of "After Taste" and kicks it up a notch with a totally killer recording that's full of warm, natural tones that have just the right amount of loose ruggedness balanced with a brighter, clearer, and more balanced mix than any of their other releases. Shit, the bass presence alone makes such a huge difference in this material.

It is really diverse, though, now that I'm thinking about it. You've got the heavy opener, "Chalk", which fuses chugging rhythms and harmonics with discordant basslines and winding post-hardcore riffs, followed by the outfuckingstanding "Pencil Break" (probably my favorite Endpoint song ever) and its more somberly melodic approach. Then there's the much slower "Strings", blowing up into an energetic burst of those badass little arpeggiated riffs that were so popular back in the 90's before gradually easing into straight string-scraping guitar noise; while "Mather's Point" sort of takes everything the EP's offered so far and pushes it somewhere a little darker. And what about the more hopeful delivery of closer "Brown County", which is accented by acoustic and slide guitars for an almost – yes – "country" kind of vibe!? I'll let the debate over whether or not Endpoint was "emo" or still "hardcore" at this point in time rage on, 'cause I just don't care. At their best they were fucking brilliant, and in just 21-and-a-half minutes this EP most perfectly exemplifies why.

Endpoint "Pencil Break"

And, thankfully, it's still easy to come by. So if you like what you hear, buy it. I absolutely recommend "The Last Record" and "After Taste" without a second thought. Work backwards with these guys…

Purchase:

@ Amazon.com (CD/mp3)
@ Interpunk (CD)
@ eMusic (mp3)
@ iTunes (mp3)

8 Comments...

  1. Edwin says:

    The Last Record is probably my least favorite Endpoint record, heh, I'm one of those fans mentioned I guess :)… But gotta give em credit for evolving, and doing their own thing and not stagnating. Great band, nice to see em mentioned here.

  2. AVERSIONLINE says:

    Really!? What's your favorite? "Catharsis"? There's NO WAY "If the Spirits are Willing" or "In a Time of Hate" are your favorites, is there? I just never could, even today, get into their earlier stuff. I don't even have "Catharsis" on my iPod, though I probably should, but… those last two releases are just so much stronger for me.

  3. Chris says:

    I've been doing the same thing after I finished reading 'Burning Fight' in one night. Revisiting all of it. Today I pulled out Split Lip and some Threadbare. Everyone should pick up the book. Amazing read.

    'Last Record' is my favorite Endpoint record as well. Seeing them live during this time period was awesome to say the least. They always put on a great show, but the later ones just clicked with me. So, so good.

  4. Adam G says:

    I got this EP after listening to the outstanding 'Pencil Break' on the early Doghouse compilation (which incidentally is a great label sampler). This post reminded me I also have Catharsis on my IPOD, which I had forgotten about, maybe for reasons I'll confirm later today…!

  5. luciferyellow says:

    I am generally not an "I only like the demo" kind of guy, but in the case of Endpoint I really like their earlier stuff much better than what they did late in their musical career. True, they gained diversity and melody later on, but they lost a lot of the "drive" and power that makes for good HC. They were really only an average post-HC band, but they were an amazing HC band with "Catharsis" and "In a time of hate". And for a HC band in the late 80s/early 90s those 2 releases had a unique style and way more melody than their contemporaries; plus Catharsis is really tight and well produced (for the time, you know…). Ah, well, but I guess it really depends on what you first get into.

  6. johnnyex says:

    i got into endpoint right when catharsis came out, so that record is hands down my favorite. i can remember anticipating after taste's release and listening to it thinking, 'ehh…' but then listening to it again & again and being blown away by it's intensity. endpoint on any record they did is still endpoint. so yeah, the last record… i was listening to this the other day and while it is drastically different from the earlier stuff it still has the same power. i think brown county may be the best song they ever wrote. band always stuck out as something special to me no matter what they did, probably my favorite from the 90's

  7. db says:

    Last Record is really the only Endpoint I like. I always thought they were a bit overrated and I couldn't get into "catharsis" which everyone seemed to think was a classic during the mid to late 90s. Give me Falling Forward or Guilt any day if we're talking about bands from Louisville. Falling Forward were the best hc band to come out of Louisville, IMO.

    Oh, and that Doghouse sampler was cool. I remember listening to the Splitlip and Chamberlain songs over and over until I got there records on tape from a friend, cds a few years later.

  8. Josephriver says:

    I grew up going to Endpoint shows in Louisville from about 1990 to 1994/5. It's hard to explain the influence that this band had on the entire music scene, but it was enormous. This band and a band called Kinghorse (hardcore meets heavy metal) really set the stage for the Louisville hardcore music scene in the mid 1990s. A loved all of their albums and I am one of the few who really loved where the band ended up. My musical tastes began to change at the same time as Endpoint's music changed, and I think the band really progressed with the Last Record.

    The earlier music was somewhat juvenile, but really fun though. This was the type of music that made gworing up in Louisville enjoyable.