Junior Achievement - Fade To Black [re-issue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Junior Achievement

Fade To Black [re-issue] (2004)

Malt Soda

With so many huge and influential punk and hardcore bands making a name for themselves in mid-80's, it's easy to see how someone could get left out. Such is the case of Junior Achievement. Despite their close friendship with JFA, this band never quite saw the success of their peers. There are a couple of possible reasons for this: line up shifts, the fact that they only released one proper album after which they basically disbanded, and other things that plague newer bands to this day. Whatever the reason, it's a shame this album didn't garner more attention at the time, because plainly stated, this album kicks ass.

Junior Achievement played skate centric, gritty punk rock that still maintained a sense of melody. In that sense, it's easy to compare them to the likes of the Adolescents. Although the band mainly focuses on straight forward, driving chords, they also show that they can bust out some pretty impressive solos when they want to. In the lyrical department, the band focuses on dark, pessimistic, and at times anti-social themes. Some songs deal with death, like "Rest In Peace" in which the band asks "where am I going, what do I have left?" The following track, "Acid Attack" features some of the best riffing on the album, it showcases the band displaying a slightly more metallic sound, but not overdoing it.

This album has been out of print for quite some time, as far as I can tell, and it was re-released with very little fanfare. I would've never even heard about this, had it not landed in my mailbox a little while back, and I'm really glad it did. After losing half the band, the remaining members grouped together with members of the Dwarves and JFA and soldiered on under two different monikers. They were shortly called Fade to Black, only to subsequently rename themselves The Harvest. Although the band stuck around for a while, playing shows, they never released anything else. They did record 11 songs with the new members, but the material never saw the light of day. Still, this release remains as a testament to how good this band was.

My Favorite Track: Acid Attack