Starkweather “Into the Wire” CD

Starkweather - Into the WireA little over a month ago when I asked for recommendations, a few people suggested I start posting about some of my all time favorites, so... here's one of 'em—and mid-week, because, well, it's been that kind of week. I've posted about Starkweather in the past, and I'm sure I'll do so again in the future, but "Into the Wire" is absolutely among my top five favorites ever in the history of life (probably more like top three, really). I don't think I first picked this one up until '96 or so (it was released in '95), and I remember at first I didn't quite "get it", nor do I remember exactly when it did finally hit me. But somewhere along the line, I did fucking get it, and now every single minute of this release from start to finish is just like some kind of insane cathartic release of pent up depression, rage, and general insanity. Seriously, there are multiple moments throughout this album that just make you see red and send chills through your spine as you kind of blank out in a hypnotic trance or something, it's just that fucking powerful. I'm fairly certain I've furiously damaged or destroyed my own property at least a couple of times in my life while any number of these tracks were playing. I'm not saying I'm proud of that fact, but... to me, that speaks incredibly fucking highly of this material.

Plus, the last few months have been one of the most stressful and anxiety-ridden times I've ever endured for some twisted fucking reason, and when those times sink in, this album always seems to get some airtime. I don't know what it is, but when you feel like you've got a vice around your head/neck and glass in your stomach, and everything around you just seems kinda fucked, something about this album just fits. It's fucking perfect. I'm not poetic enough with words to even begin to do justice to the level of absolutely unparalleled brilliance these songs achieve, but everything falls into place so damn amazingly here that it just blows my mind time and time again. It's such a heavy task for me that it's almost like I'd have to sit here and spend five hours citing specific riffs and passages song by song, there's just too much mastery too go around. I mean, shit, even the opening minute of feedback that kicks off "Shroud" is fuckin' sick... the way the drums kick in (this record marks possibly my favorite drum performance ever, by the way), the way it transitions into the first chord... all gold... all gold. And don't even get me started on the generally raging badassedness of the riffs (just the weird coldness of the guitar tone, the feeling, etc.) or the absolutely unstoppable vocal performance (probably the most unique, primal, and genuinely emotional vocals ever recorded, in my personal opinion).

Like I said, I can't do this shit justice. Not even close. I can barely even decide what songs to post (they're all utterly amazing), much less keep myself from getting distracted while I sit here trying to type as I listen to 'em. These have definitely been some of the most moving songs out there for me over the course of my life...

Starkweather "Shroud"
Starkweather "Into the Wire"

Oh, and you simply can't talk Starkweather without talkin' lyrics. Here are a few quick gems from this disc:

Spent years deadening my nerves, turn violence inward...

Sifting through remnants of what you left behind. Reopening scars to see what I find. Dignity torn, ripped to shreds, innocence lost, nothing remains. Sifting through remnants of what you left behind. Dignity torn, ripped to shreds, open wounds never mend...

Spare me the pain of love. Each day I reach a new low. I took the low road to zero. I know you're just like me, you bear the mark, the stain. I know you're just like me, together we'll share our misery...

I believe Candlelight's gonna reissue this one at some point, but it's still out of print at the moment. You can pick it up used at Amazon for a few bucks for the time being if for some unfortunate reason you're still without it, though. I know Starkweather's one of those love/hate bands, but... man, get on board, people. For the love of all things sacred, this band deserves your respect and admiration on every possible level...

Get It


  1. I would love to see this re-released. I didn’t “get it” at first either, but after I grew out of the “I only want to hear screaming vocals” thing, I enjoyed the crap out of Starkweather.

    2.27.2008 | By Carlzilla

  2. Thank you for another nice article about Starkweather, I know you love them to death and I must thank you for making me listen to them. Definitly one of my favourite band even I highly prefer Croatoan. The sound on this record is far from perfect in my opinion and I enjoy more the beefier sound of Croatoan. The songs are also more cathartic and more complex on their latest and you can’t fuck with the reworked version of Slither.

    2.27.2008 | By Hororo

  3. =’]

    A guy screaming like a T-Rex and singing as “badly” as he can over super-technical riffs and rythm section. Making me go all emotional and cathartic (just the right word for these songs, indeed).

    Just can’t be anything less but excellent.

    I really need to buy the crossbearer/ intro the wire combo soon, damn my lack of funds =\

    2.27.2008 | By inhalexhale

  4. i agree! one of the best records ever. simply amazig! there is no weak track on this album! still my personal favorite would be Murder in technicolor.

    And I’m glad you finally posted this ;)

    2.27.2008 | By Anonymous

  5. when - as a 17 -year-old in 1993 - i was suffering from a heart condition and could hardly sleep through only one night, “crossbearer” helped me cope with a world that kept on caving in.
    i never thought i’d get the chance to see them live, but in 2006 (after the release of “croatoan”) i went to see them here in germany. decent guys and brilliant performance. “wilding” is probably the best song ever recorded by any band. no words can do that song justice.
    andrew, you could really do me (and probably a lot of others) a favour in posting the mp3’s of starkweather’s ep (“the divine art” and “desolate”).

    2.27.2008 | By Andy

  6. andy, you mean the songs from that philly dust krew comp? mainline is also an amazing song.

    2.27.2008 | By Anonymous

  7. I was just going to mention that.  He’s talking about the 7” they did on Inner Rage, but I always just listened to the tracks on the comp, even though I have the 7” as well, just ‘cause the CD’s easier.  I can’t ever remember if they’re different recording sessions or not.  I can rip those songs from the comp for you no sweat, Andy.  I just checked and was shocked that I don’t have them on my iPod yet.  I have to rectify that problem tonight…

    And Andy, your story was insane, too, man!  Crazy shit, I’m glad you’re okay now!

    2.27.2008 | By Andrew Aversionline

  8. Mandatory band. Croatoan or croation or cro-cop or whatever it’s called doesn’t quite do it for me like crossbearer and into wire did, and still do. such an intense band, listening to em takes me right back.

    2.27.2008 | By POI

  9. I got into these guys way back in the day when the “definitley not the majors” comp came out. got me into Catharsis, Starkweather, Gehenna and Ascension. Among others. Their vocals (Remi Resmini ?) are some of the most intense, rabid sounds ever to be recorded. I can picture myself many times sitting with my head in my hands, pulling my hair out, listening to this. In a good way though. Ha!
    Really though, there was never a band like these guys, and never will be. I miss the days of metallic hardcore like this stuff and the others i mentioned.

    2.27.2008 | By Cam

  10. ‘Shroud’ is one of the greatest songs ever. Tops this disc for me. When the first scream pours in you after the light singing it hits you like like a truck. Amazing.

    For some reason I always link this record with another favorite of that time: Acme, Reducing The Choir To Just One Soloist. Another fucking classic from a time when this style wasn’t as popular with the trendy masses. 

    Thanks for the post…these always get me digging through my old discs.

    2.27.2008 | By Chris

  11. Chris you likely link those because they were both on Edison, and both totally rule to this day.

    2.27.2008 | By Johnny

  12. Hands down one of the best bands I have ever witnessed.

    I got the privilege of seeing them live recently and they are a powerhouse. Everything was perfect and they look like they’re actually having fun doing this again. They played all new material which was mind blowing in every way.

    Such a great, great band.

    2.27.2008 | By Eddie

  13. yup Edison was great label.  can’t wait to hear anything new.

    2.27.2008 | By Anonymous

  14. yes!!! friggin frak- you post a shit load of good music- but man, starkweather is really one of those bands that do it and really hit home.

    2.27.2008 | By wesley

  15. I wholeheartedly agree with you on yr. song choices. Them and Above the Rafters are my favourite Starkweather songs. Fuck yes.

    2.27.2008 | By Fergus

  16. After seeing all the gushing reviews on here, I just ordered all 3 albums on Amazon. This blog rarely steers me wrong, so I look forward to it. Any recommendations on which to listen to first?

    2.28.2008 | By Chris

  17. Somehow I never heard this band before. As soon as i get paid I’m gonna have to buy all this shit too. The vocals are everything you say. Brilliant, original, emotional. It may be just me but the vocals remind me of the great Mike Dean at times. Only much more surgical and nuanced. Thanks for straining the bank account again dood.

    2.28.2008 | By Joe

  18. Funny you guys mention Edison as well as not “getting” these guys at first. I personally didnt appreciate this band in their time as much as I do now. And for some reason I really flipped over Overcast (released on Edison) as being much better than Starkweather. Now i realize how equally awesome this band was. There is some depraved stuff on this record. Its definitely a personal property damager.

    Overcast was amazing too. You should drop some of that on people.
    I’ve been meaning to post a review for their Fight Ambition to Kill LP for quite some time. I still rock that on a monthly basis.

    2.28.2008 | By blend77

  19. i got into starkweather pretty late in the day (in 00’s and thanks to the old site), but by the time “croatoan” came around, everything came together in my life in just the right way for it to have the most profound impact imaginable. primal is the word i’d use too. in the sense that it’s devoid of any “trappings” and goes straight to the heart and soul. 100% proof shit. from the soul, for the soul. i remember convulsing at one time around the apartment, salivating, sneering, making inarticulate sounds and gestures (and i’m shaved, 6 ft 2, 240 lb) while spouting some of the lyrics. seemed like the right thing to do.

    unadulterated disgust and world-induced insanity. that’s starkweather. could’ve killed somebody.

    now i’m okay, i can even listen to them while driving. :p

    2.28.2008 | By chris

  20. Oh, man. I just got this album last month, and it is amazing. Everything Starkweather does is brilliant.

    2.28.2008 | By kevin

  21. This record blew my fucking mind, way back whenever it came out. pure fucking disgust, the split with Season To Risk and the Divine Art 7” still get spun pretty frequently around my place. something about that dudes voice is so fucking tormented and sinister. Definitely a tonic to the amount of shitty hardcore that was and apparently still is doing the rounds.

    2.28.2008 | By Son Of Man

  22. Fergus, same here, man, “Above the Rafters” is my other key favorite (along with “Wilding”).  Fucking great track.  Good taste!

    And glad to see these guys finally getting some rampant appreciation here, heh…

    Oh, and Chris, I’d say go with listening in chronological order, screw it.  That way you can see how they developed over the years and choose your own favorite(s).

    2.28.2008 | By Andrew Aversionline

  23. Incredible and totally original band. I actually really prefer the Crossbearer album to this one, and prefer the earlier versions of the songs they rerecorded here, especially Murder in Technicolour. Their guitarist has a really cool, distinct style. It was great to hear where they took the Slither riff from this album on Croatoan… brutal!

    2.28.2008 | By Adam G

  24. First time around (which might have been from here), I wasn’t all that impressed, but for some reason, I decided to give Starkweather another listen.  While they probably won’t replace the usual suspects among my listening habits, Starkweather could easily get in there from time to time.

    Another one to add to the list of possible purchases when I get a chance.

    3.1.2008 | By Dichatomy

  25. I remember inadvertently adding this album to a Very order years ago and when it showed up I had no idea about Starkweather but the artwork suggested it would be worth my time to listen to it.  All I remember was within the first few seconds I could sense the emothional weight of this beast and it didn’t leave my cd player for weeks which is saying a lot. It still gets played all the time to this day. I was stoked to see it here today. Does anyone know an accurate release date for the Crossbearer/Into the Wire Candlelight reissue? I heard Jan, 23 but that can’t be right.

    3.2.2008 | By JasonfromSLC

  26. “Into the Wire” and most Edison releases are still available at Very. I am looking at boxes and boxes of “Into the Wire” CDs, LPs and cassettes, yes, cassettes, as I type. Stickers too. Not sure if Edison’s CEO is aware of a Candlelight reissue.

    3.5.2008 | By c

  27. I checked Very before I posted and both the CD and vinyl were (and still are, I just checked again) listed as out of stock?

    3.5.2008 | By Andrew Aversionline

  28. finally got around to picking up some Starkweather weeks after reading this post and its just incredible stuff. if this band was a political party i would volunteer at the local office.

    8.9.2008 | By Marcus Garvey

  29. I’ve been long-time friends with the band - Rennie, Todd, Harry, and (former member) Michelle.  They are some of my most dedicated and sincere people I know…  They’re also a bunch of basket-cases - as manic and bi-polar as their music/lyrics…

    1.29.2009 | By Anonymous