Tor Johnson Records has been a consistently great label, not only because of the great bands and releases they’ve put out over the years, but because of founder Paul Dechichio’s unflagging dedication to his local scene and community. It is rare that labels and those who run them get the credit they deserve. This 7” and accompanying download is a celebration of dedication to keeping the Providence, RI scene vibrant, and supporting the great bands that have been on the label over the years. Side A of the 7” features a previously unreleased track by Saint Jude, “The Great Finality,” and a cover of the Misfits “We Bite,” by Now Denial. Now Denial has the distinction of being the longest-running band on Tor Johnson, and the track was taken from a live radio recording. I reviewed their most recent Tor Johnson Release Fuck Now Denial in a previous issue. Saint Jude was not only one of my favorite bands on the label, but also one of my favorite bands from Providence in the ‘00s. A group of good friends playing great heavy hardcore punk, their Tor Johnson release Always Hard is absolutely worth picking up for anyone who likes heavy hardcore punk. Side B includes a track from an early Tor Johnson band, Pretty Faces, and an unreleased track from A Fine Boat, “That Coffin.” If that weren’t enough, a download card with each record features additional great jams including unreleased tracks from Weak Teeth, Jesuscentric, Closer Than Kin, and The Defeat. The Closer Than Kin and The Defeat tracks are from each band’s unreleased Tor Johnson albums, and it’s great to see tracks from those lost records finally making it to listeners’ ears. This record is worth picking up not only because it marks a milestone in the history of an independent DIY label, but because it’s also crammed full of great music. Do yourself a favor, check out this record, and discover some great new bands.
–Paul J. Comeau (Tor Johnson, [email protected])