May 08, 2013

Get High is one of my favorite hardcore bands ever. Hands down. The self-titled LP on Big Wheel Recreation/Espo is one of the most original, inventive releases of the ‘90s/’00s hardcore scene, and, on a personal note, quite possibly the most influential record on my own playing/writing, be it for Crusades, Last Communion, whatever. It is a unique, somewhat challenging record that is something of a sore thumb amongst its Massachusetts peers of the era (Converge, Cave In, Barrit, etc). Now, many folks insist that Get High’s 1996 demo (recorded two years before the debut LP) is their strongest material. I’m personally inclined to disagree, but no doubt that the demo (which comprises the A-side of this record) was fantastic as well. These songs are somewhere between vocalist Kevin Rheault’s previous band Dive (also incredible) and Get High’s full lengths, so a bit more “hardcore” and a bit less dynamic, but goddamn it’s terrific. The B-side is a handful of tracks from Get High’s two LP sessions, and while I think they were rightfully cut from the full lengths, it’s still strong material from a band that wasn’t afraid to expand on the hardcore formula. Essential listening.

 –Dave William (Painkiller)