With Lifetime and Gorilla Biscuits reuniting and touring, there seems to be certain nostalgia for older hardcore acts. So it seems only fitting that Equal Vision has released Creation. Sustenance. Destruction. , which contains the entire discography of 108 (pronounced “one oh eight”), a band that, after taking a ten-year break, recently finished a European tour. As we all recover from the seemingly endless period of ’80s-era regurgitation that’s taken place over the past few years, interest has shifted from the synth-laden, slick, danceable sound of twenty years ago toward the simpler guitar-and-drums approach of ’90s hardcore. Slightly subtler than the differences in the sound between those two styles is the lyrical content: Regan-era pop lyrics about indulging, excess, material wealth and sexuality undoubtedly provided hardcore bands of the next decade with plenty of issues to scream about, and these bands retaliated with lyrics about straight edge, vegetarianism, minimalism, emotion and abstinence.
108, a hardcore band composed of Hare Krishna devotees, was formed in 1992 from the ashes of Inside Out, which featured a pre-Rage Against the Machine Zach De La Rocha, and Resurrection, another Krishna-core band of the ’90s. The band underwent constant lineup changes and spiritual journeys over the next four years, causing 108 to break up in 1996. This two-disc set contains every song the band ever recorded, taken from three full-lengths — Holyname (1994), Songs of Separation (1995), Threefold Misery (1996) — and its final EP, Curse of Instinct (1996). It also includes a previously unreleased song, “Panic,” which was recorded in ’95 independent of any release. All of the songs are remastered, making the sound consistent and coherent.
The band, led guitarist Vic DiCara (Inside Out, Burn) and vocalist Rob Fish (Resurrection), embraced the stereotypical ideals of a mid-’90s hardcore band and magnified them to extreme levels by combining these ideals with their beliefs as Hare Krishnas. The sound takes the speed and intensity of punk from the decade before and fuses it with the crunch of contemporary metal. Although 108’s sound was fairly revolutionary and influential on American hardcore, the members influences can still be heard. The most obvious is Bad Brains, which also fused spirituality and punk rock.
The liner notes are full of photos from the bands shows, as well as commentary by band members about most of the songs, which offers a clearer view of some of the deeply personal lyrics rooted in an unfamiliar spirituality and occasionally hidden in metaphors. The booklet also tells the full story of the band, from formation to demise and what happened along the way. It’s just another great way to reminisce about being straight edge and getting your mosh on.
Label: http://www.equalvision.com/Audio: http://www.myspace.com/108music