I've been on a big NYHC kick lately, so back to New York we go, and oh man, if ever there was a band that needed to stick around longer and do a little more damage, it was fuckin' Dmize. It seems like a lot of people have never actually heard Dmize, but along with Madball (whose bassist Hoya was actually in Dmize prior to joining Madball) Dmize was one of the first bands to really push the whole DMS angle (it's the title and the first thing they all shout during the intro on their first demo, for example)—and damn were they great at what they did. Please note that I've edited the hell out of this post as one of the band's former vocalists, Chiqui Rodriguez, has posted a comment and gotten in touch with me via email with some corrections and additional information about the band.
Anyway, first off, the Lost & Found Records CD release called "Backlash" is a bootleg, and it contains a lot of false information. The band recorded three demos, not two, and all of the songs are included on the bootleg, but several of the track titles are wrong and the demos do not appear in chronological order. The first two demos were recorded in 1990 with Don Fury, but the final demo was tracked in 1992 at Wildefire Studios in New Jersey. The band's first lineup was Ray (vocals), Hoya (bass), Beto (guitar), and Richie (drums). It's actually Richie whose head appears under the "Backlash" CD tray with "Dmize" shaved into the back. Their final lineup was Chiqui (vocals), Hoya (bass), Beto (guitar), Steve Petit (guitar), and Jon Rosado (drums). Dmize played their final set opening for Agnostic Front's initial farewell show. Hoya of course later joined Madball, while Beto (a.k.a. Rob Rosario) went on to a stint with 25 ta Life and later did some time with Madball as well. The entire recorded output of Dmize is as follows:
Demo 1: "DMS", "Backlash", "Feeling Inside", "Nation", "Us Against the World", "No Way Out"
Demo 2: "From Reality", "Trapped", "Short End"
Demo 3 (the final recording session): "Soul Search", "The Dawn", "Mizery"
As one might expect for the time period, the band's style was hard as nails hardcore with just a hint of a crossover edge to the first demo—somewhat comparable to a few of Agnostic Front's earlier metallic flirtations on a musical level. But then the later demos brought with them longer songs and a heavier, more thrash influenced approach (without abandoning the band's true sound)—perfectly exemplified in "Soul Search", which is an outright fucking classic. Trust me, if Dmize had become a little more known, this song probably would've been covered a million times by now, alongside "Backlash" from the first demo, which is another surefire keeper. I can only imagine how awesome a full-length from these guys would've been had they continued on. In fact, I believe "Soul Search" was the only Dmize song that was officially released, probably posthumously, as it appeared on the original "East Coast Assault" compilation. Here are a handful of songs from the three demos:
Read the comments for a few other Dmize tidbits. The "Backlash" CD always seemed insanely hard to come by, but I lucked out and scored a copy in a used bin for $5 maybe four years ago or something like that, but I've never seen another one since... not even on eBay (where "Dmize" is a popular search tag). But keep trying, maybe one will turn up someday.
Also, Chiqui would like to see some video footage of any of Dmize's later shows if anyone out there has recordings that they could share or get their hands on. Hit him up at [email protected] if you can lend a hand on that, it would be greatly appreciated, I'm sure.