When Gems of Masochism was first released in 1995, Antioch Arrow faced a loss of interest from their chaos-craving fans. Only those truly devoted to the quartet’s lack of love for structure and rhythm were able to appreciate the drastic departure from their previous harder, louder, more Gravity-esque releases. These people were able to see through the new instrumentation and witness the same old Antioch Arrow creating probably the most important music of their career: darker, more melodic and sounding like the soundtrack to a horror movie. Seven years later, Three-One-G has reissued Gems of Masochism for all those who in the past years have “rediscovered” their love of art-core, emo, spock-rock and hardcore, those who weren’t able to obtain the release before it went out of print.
Unfortunately though, it comes just as it came seven years ago. There is no re-mastering, no added footage. The die hard fans are bummed, especially those who already own this, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Gems of Masochism, seven years after the fact, can still stand by itself, probably now more than ever.
Antioch Arrow took hardcore to another level. If you know already know that, then this album probably isn’t too exciting for you. It honestly seems kind of unnecessary. If you’re a music nut, and need to own every release ever in its original (or closest to original) form, then pick this up, thank Three-One-G for the release, thank Southern California for San Diego, and thank slicked-back hair and make-up for producing Antioch Arrow and all their fucked up-ness. If you haven’t experienced this yet, you need to. Even if you’re not into it, just for the sake of history.
– Reissued 11 18 03; Originally released 09 27 95