As far as stories of lost and found recorded material go, few tales can be told where all the pieces of the puzzle come together in fortunate ways, resulting in a brand new recording that surprised even the band themselves.
Having formed in 1982, infamous Santa Cruz hardcore legends BL’AST! released their first album, The Power of Expression in 1985. This debut blew everyone away and went on to become one of the highly sought after, “must- have” hardcore albums of the ‘80s. BL’AST! was beyond intense, continually pushing the boundaries of hardcore with their advanced musicianship, unstoppable energetic delivery and explosive live performances. This overwhelming power caught the attention of SST records, who released the band’s second album, It’s In My Blood in 1987. Their third LP, Take The Manic Ride, was then released by the label in 1989. BL’AST!‘s wide-eyed, ambitious approach and intense perseverance became an influence for many bands to come. Shortly after the release of Take The Manic Ride, the band broke up and their story was buried by time and dust….UNTIL NOW!
Earlier this year BL’AST! guitarist Mike Neider contacted Southern Lord with news that he had found some mysterious old BL’AST! master tapes in a abandoned storage locker. Greg Anderson, a BL’AST! fanatic, wasted no time in sending the tapes to a studio to be baked. Needless to say, after 25 years gathering dust, the quality had deteriorated. Still, nobody could have anticipated what would follow. With the audio digitized, Southern Lord contacted fellow longtime BL’AST! fiend, Dave Grohl about mixing this recording, his response was an enthusiastic “FUCK YEAH!, LETS DO THIS”!
Whilst inside Grohl’s famous 606 Studios (and with the Neve console as featured in the recent Grohl produced documentary Sound City) an astonishing discovery was made; a completely unheard, unreleased BL’AST! recording session from the mid-‘80s.
The lineup of the band at the time of the recording included second guitarist William Duvall (from Neon Christ, and now the current vocalist for Alice In Chains) who had moved from his hometown of Atlanta out to Santa Cruz on a tip from mutual friends, Corrosion of Conformity, to join the band. Unfortunately, his tenure with BL’AST! was short-lived and no recordings from that lineup were ever released.
From the thunderous bass intro of “Only Time Will Tell” to the apocalyptic warnings of “It’s In My Blood,” the album completely rips and rages from start to finish. All parties involved were completely amazed at how vibrant, unique and fresh this newly-discovered material sounded. All things considered, it is miraculous the record survived this long and that everyone who was involved in bringing this recording to life, could be. Everything fell into place, when it could have easily crumbled along the way. This record is a time capsule that is meant to be heard!
There is no doubt in our minds that Blood will be a crucial purchase for any current hardcore fiend as well as punk/hardcore fans who loved the band back in the day. START THE MACHINE!
Blood will see release via Southern Lord in North America on September 3, 2013. Stay tuned for further details to be unearthed. For now, check out a brand new visual trailer, the cover art for Blood and more RIGHT HERE: