Been a while since you may have heard from me. Truth is, I hadn't really been picking up much merch lately since my wife and I bought our house....just can't really afford it right now. Last weekend though, my now-defunct band played our final-final-final show (don't ask) at Bringing It Back For The Kids Fest in Pompano Beach, FL. My dudes in Shai Hulud were one of the headliners and they were selling this amazing design. I know a lot of people frown upon religion saying that it has "no place in hardcore" but Strongarm never came across as much of a religious band down here. They were never preachy (other than lyrically) on stage and if you've ever listened to them, you know they had a huge influence on Shai Hulud musically. This design was a mock of the Strongarm logo as well as their shirt that had the lyrics "I Surrender All, All I Have I Give" from the song "Supplication". The front of the shirt is Shai Hulud written in the Strongarm font with the line "We Surrender All" underneath. The back features a live photo of singer, Mike, on top of the crowd with the line "All We Have We Give" underneath. This is definitely one of those "if you know, you know" designs and I could see the younger generation not getting it but for those of us who were there, it's a great design. I've included the original design that the Shai Hulud shirt borrows from so you can at least get an idea of where they were going with this.
Nothing In Vain Records is a young label based out of Memphis, Tennessee, run by two of my good friends, Al and Garrett. I met these guys in January, when my band played with Mindset, Praise, and Sacred Love. Some of the hardest working guys who really care about helping their local scene and progressing with their label. NIV Records is putting out my band's 7", which I'm extremely excited about, and you can order that and a shirt at the label's webstore. Be sure to pick up that Axis 7" also! Great stuff.
As for the merch, these two pieces were gifts from the NIVR dudes when they came down to Atlanta for the Cro-Mags show in late February. The shirt is a roomy XL that is a Killing Time ripoff (for those that didn't know) and it says "Keepers of Memphis Hardcore" underneath. The windbreaker is an XL with "NIVR - Memphis, TN" on the front, while the back is an obvious ode to Unbroken's Life.Love.Regret. album. Both the shirt and the windbreaker are great looks and some of my favorites in my collection.
Keep an eye out for this label, seriously. Great guys.
Sometimes simple is better...this is one of those times.
108 is one of my favorite hardcore bands (I did name my band after them, after all...). This is a black XL shirt from the days of the Holyname LP. Huge logo in red with the LP's name underneath. Very simple, yet it works and stands for itself. Due to the lack of the Equal Vision Records logo, I'm left to assume that this was a band-screened design that was either used for a tour or just to commemorate the record. If anyone has specific info on this shirt, let me know!
Now for shameless self-promotion: Deathbed finished writing our new 7" yesterday which will be coming out this summer on Upside Down Records (who recently put out Mindset "Liveset"), and we're very excited about it. Recording will be taking place in mid-April. Here's a video from our set last Tuesday with Fingers Crossed, Overlooked, and BAD.
Trial - Foundation EP
Zao - All Else Failed
Nightwolf/BAD - Split
Underoath - Cries of the Past
This is the first straight edge shirt I ever purchased (and yes I still have it). Victory Records made these in the mid-90s and sold loads of them. I have this in a tshirt as well as a hoodie, both in navy blue...my wife also has the same shirt in navy blue. As far as I know, this was also printed on both black shirts and maroon shirts but navy seemed to be the predominant colorway. Victory was never a straight edge label like New Age or Life Sentence but they embraced what the kids were into (at the time, Tony was vegan straight edge) and mass produced it. I'm not complaining because I still love this shirt even though it doesn't get worn much...just not interested in getting into an argument over something like the back of my tshirt. I want to say I remember them also printing this design without the back print later on but don't quote me on that. I bought the shirt direct from Victory back in 1995 or 96 but ended up getting the hoodie about 3 years ago on Ebay for about $1. I can't imagine that Victory still sells these but Im sure they have some left in their warehouse...my kingdom to be let loose in the warehouse with a shopping cart for an hour. The label used to run a HUGE distro and I know they still have loads of stuff in there...when my friend's band went there after signing with Victory, they brought me back a brand new, never worn Culture shirt that was just sitting in a corner...another shirt for another time.
Unbroken. Arguably the best hardcore band of the 1990s.
This is my most recent pick-up, and it's one that I've been trying to get my hands on for a while. Also my first OG Unbroken shirt...yes! It's an XL light grey shirt with some weird artwork on the front around the band name and a huge picture of Dave Claibourn on the back above the line: "It's time to walk that line again."
I picked this up as a result of a trade with my boy Hank. I first saw this thing last year when he was wearing it and I hadn't seen it anywhere since then until recently. One came up on Ebay a few weeks ago (a longsleeve version, if I remember correctly) and it ended up not selling because the reserve was not met. After asking Hank many times (literally since I first saw it), we ended up making a deal. I bought a Buried Alive shirt that he wanted, so I traded him that for this. We both win.
Chip hit me up with some info about this shirt, and said it's from the days of the Ritual EP, which came out in 1993.
Below is a video from the Eric Allen benefit show. It has been posted once before on this blog, but it's so emotional and hard-hitting that I wanted to post it again for this post. Chills...every single time.
A great design from one of the best.
Here's the second OG Chokehold shirt in my collection. I went from searching high and low for their shirts for months and eventually pretty much stopped, and then two ended up finding their way to me unexpectedly.
This is an XL (printed in Canada) shirt with a very simple name on the front and with a tv/live shot on the back next to their "C" stamp and lyrics from the song Sidetracked. "Shut it off. Stop being so numb to the truth."
There's a pretty cool story that comes with this shirt. A few months ago, I saw this design pop up on Ebay. I was set on getting it, but got outbid in the last few minutes of the auction and was bummed. Fast forward to this past weekend: The Cro-Mags played in Atlanta and my friends from Memphis/Nothing In Vain Records came down to hang out and stay. I had a random box of shirts for sale in my car that had been there for too long and my buddy Al went through it. After picking out old Strife and Converge shirts that I had, he immediately mentioned a trade for his Chokehold shirt. He pulled this out and I was so surprised to find out that Al was the guy who outbid me on Ebay! Weird how things turn out.
From Nothing In Vain Records:
"Deathbed - Oppression 7” pre-orders are up!
If you haven’t listened to Deathbed yet, you’re doing it wrong. Deathbed is based out of Atlanta, GA. They play music highly influenced by 90s hardcore/metalcore. You can check out their demo here, http://deathbed.bandcamp.com. Do not sleep on this! Expect to see a lot from Deathbed this year! We are more than excited to be putting out this 7” for them, and whatever else may come in the future.
Pre-orders will be limited to 100 green vinyl. We also are going to put up the regular black 7”s (limited to 150) in the store also. It will feature an alternate cover. Hopefully we can get a record release show put together, when we can get closer to finding out when the vinyl will be in. We will also have a record release version that will be limited to the show. All records will be one sided with a silk screen on the B-side.
Everyone make sure to pre-order the 7” and tell your friends about it! This is the first Nothing In Vain Records release, and we’re very excited about it. Help support so we can continue to put records out in the future.