Endpoint "The Last Record" CDPosted on Friday, May 29th, 2009 @ 8:13am » permalink
I'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.
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…