The Faith / Void - Faith/Void/Faith (Cover Artwork)

The Faith / Void

Faith/Void/Faith (1993)


Dischord put two of their most underrated harDCore records onto one plastic disc in the early 90's... Recently (2002, I believe), they were re-mastered and re-released sounding cleaner than ever.

The first 30-some minutes of the disc are the brilliant "Faith/Void" split from 1982.

The Faith were Alec MacKaye's band after the Untouchables (who were also great in their own right and are featured on the Flex Your Head compilation). Their sound is fast and brutal, pretty standard hardcore, sounding like a more calculated, negative Minor Threat. Alec's nasally vocals and lyrics, with their mean spirited finger pointing, have more in common with Boston bands like SSD and Negative FX than their Washington contemporaries. Their twelve songs are good, but unremarkable.

On the other hand, Void throw the unsuspecting listener through a loop. Their 12 songs (also the only stuff of theirs ever legitimately released) are probably the most influential on the punk-thrash scene of the 90's in that their songs are barely held together structure-wise. Bubba Dupree's guitar work combines the distortion of Black Flag and the chugging, speedy riffs of Motorhead, developing a sound that's probably the most chaotic of all early hardcore. John Weifenbach's vocals are those of a demon screeching from the pits of hell, a Catholic school boy possessed to murder all his classmates. Subject matter ranges from a pre-Slayer Holocaust story ("Condensed Flesh"), to laughing at all of the tools of the world ("Ignorant People", "Ask Them Why", "My Rules"), to social commentary ("Self-Defense", "War Hero"), and school-sponsored sports ("Organized Sports").

In short, Void's 12 songs are worth it, alone.

Finishing off the CD version of this release is Faith's "Subject to Change" EP, which is polished off, melodic Hardcore from 1983. It ends up sounding like a not-as-good "Out of Step"-era Minor Threat, with lyrics that are pretty corny. For all his preaching on the "Faith/Void" split, it seems brother Alec is now "Subject to change in ever way". If you can get past the awful lyrics, you'll be able to enjoy some of the last hardcore to be released by Dischord, an important document in being one of the first hardcore bands to slow down and go melodic.

Anyone into more popular hardcore bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains should probably pick this up, and if you get hooked on Void, you can find their Hit & Run demo on Soulseek pretty easily.