Youth Brigade - Complete First Demo (Cover Artwork)

Youth Brigade

Complete First Demo (2015)

Dischord records

Thanks to the great archive keeping at Dischord records, hardcore aficionados are treated to the release of the first demo from Youth Brigade (not to be confused with the long running L.A. band with the same name). Previous to this release, the only recorded output available for the group was their debut, the Possible E.P. and their three track contribution to the classic D.C, comp, Flex Your Head. These previous releases have cemented the group into hardcore history as one of the progenitors of D.C. “harDCore.” On this release, the listener is transported back to 1981 and to the infancy of American hardcore. Serving as a time capsule of sorts for the scene, the music here remains as fresh and relevant as when it was initially recorded.

Kicking off with “I Object,” the entire tone of the album comes through. This is classic hardcore with all of the elements that would become staples of the early D.C. scene and hardcore in general. The track kicks off with a snare roll that immediately kicks into the call and response interplay of Nathan Strejcek (formerly of The Teen Idles) and shouted gang vocals. Simple power chord power throughout the track and it is over in the span of less than thirty seconds. The rest of the demo plays on slight variations of this formula. Considering this is a demo, the sound quality and musicianship are surprisingly tight and convincing, thanks in part to the engineering job of the legendary Don Zientara at Inner Ear Studio. Each track is relentless and high-octane with no moments of respite or slowing down. There are a few familiar tracks here such as “Last Word,” “Moral Majority,” and “Waste of Time” which originally appeared on Flex Your Head but hearing these other tracks adds a nice element to the release, providing listeners with something new yet still from the heyday of the scene.

The layout and remastering job are excellent, as is a staple of Dischord’s reissues. Much care and effort was taken to present this release. Coupled with the S.O.A.’s demo re-released in 2014, Dischord is treating fans with these gems that they have had sitting in their archives. Hopefully, these releases are a sign that there will be many more of these historical documents released in the future.