Since my first trip there around 2004, I’ve always counted on the Legion of Doom to somehow keep me connected to Hardcore Punk. It’s a genre that’s as exciting as it is heart breaking. In it I can feel the boiling temperatures of my youth. I am entranced by the break neck pace and stirred by the urgency in its form. But it’s a struggle to keep your faith in it. Some Hardcore can harbor machismo tones and a startlingly capitalist view applied to merchandise and shows. It seems to have thrown one arm around the mainstream and the other into my nose while moshing. From the art to the fashion to the sound of it- some parts seem no more than pose, limited by dogmatic rules. There’s a list of precursors honored at the expense of originality. It seems to have lost the punk parts. *
The Legion offered hope. I walked up the steps on the new porch (hilarious in comparison to the state of the rest of the house…like putting gold rims on a huffy) and down the hazardous planks to the basement. I got wrecked by SKVLT. They were heavy, fast and very pissed; the vocals delivered in lunging blasts through a Holy Grail reverb pedal. The sound was described by one viewer as “a cave in hell.” The Amherst, MA based 4 piece blended heavy things (d-beat,rawpunk,metal,crust-core) for probably 13 minutes. They were real. They got sweaty. They kept me interested. Afterward they sold tour demo tapes for $2-3 as their only merch. They couldn’t order ‘cut to length’ tapes in time so they got the only thing available; 90min tapes from Radio Shack. I now have a 90min tape with only 15 minutes full (at the most).
I love the cassette. I love the photo copied cover. I love that it sounds like one mic set up in a room recording the band live on a boom box. This is accessible. YOU/ME/WE are capable of doing this. This is duplicated easily and shared at a very low cost (or sliding scale or trade). This is punk. No studio/No label/No standard required. It is its own standard to exist. This tape is noisy and violent on the ears and perfect for letting a healthy rage escape. Thanks SKVLT for your fresh offering of brutal sounds.