EXIT CONDITION: Bite Down Hard /Impact Time: LP

Seemingly unknown but deservedly reissued is an early years retrospective collection by Exit Condition from the U.K.. Side one is their demo cassette with side two compiling an EP (originally released by Pusmort/Pushead) and various compilation appearances with all tracks spanning from the years of 1987 through 1992. One cannot help but be reminded of fellow country men Heresy—who are also friends of theirs as it so happens—with both bands sharing an affinity for U.S. hardcore, though Exit Condition aren’t quite as concerned with breaking any speed barriers. And while Heresy was looking towards the East Coast sound (Straight Ahead, Adrenalin OD), it is quite clear that Exit Condition were steering to the west (7 Seconds, Insted). File under: sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The opening demo songs are presented here first with their subsequent recordings following on the flip side. In the liner notes it is mentioned by a member of the band that they were not as happy with their debut 7” as they were with their demo tape and I couldn’t agree more. The demo recordings are far more captivating and intense than their proper 7” release. It could have something to do with a hardcore band transitioning from a simple 8-track recording to a larger studio and the overwhelming conditions it can create. Also mentioned is how the EP received much more favorable reviews than their demo, which made the band feel as if “we had sold ourselves short.” Having given this record two back-to-back listens, there is no doubt in my mind that the songs still hold up some twenty years later in both execution and quality: all ragers and not a dud in the lot. Included on the insert is a letter from Pushead to the band expressing his interest in releasing their material as well as a lengthy diatribe about which way he felt the recording industry was headed towards and how the market was “dwindling” in 7” sales. I could go on and on about how someone releasing a hardcore band’s record with the intent of moving units is fucking ridiculous, but, to be fair, the DIY community has changed drastically since then and I’m sure Pushead could care less now, what with the residuals from his skull designs for Metallica shirts keeping him quite happy. It is now your job, nay, duty in putting a smile on Exit Condition’s faces by picking this up, stat!

 –Juan Espinosa (Boss Tuneage, Drunken Sailor, bosstuneage.com, drunkensailorrecords.bigcartel.com)