For the first proper post of the year, I thought I would get back to the real roots of the blog. Not just the Hoover-emo of the last set of posts, but the real, fiery hardcore emo of the likes of the Swing Kids, Honeywell, or Guyver-1. In addition, this means a start on clearing the backlog of 'Coming Soon' posts.
Mohinder hailed from Cupertino, California, between 1993 and 1994. If you'll allow, I'll call them an extra-San Diego-core band. Extremely fast, melodic hardcore emo or "a deeply melodic hardcore band with basslines that twisted all around your skull, these songs were gems boiled down to one or two minute epics" fourfa.com). For this style, nothing beats Swing Kids, at least in my opinion, but Mohinder come close. They have the same gnarly bass which becomes audible - or rather, distinguishable - in those moments where the songs stop, resting in a moment of ominous and fleeting silence before pinwheeling back into frantic noise. Mohinder had the early screamo sound down pat, too: barely recognizable singing passing by at a blistering pace, erupting now and then into plaintive wailing.
You bastards, you cowards...
...no, you don't know how I feel
Perhaps Mohinder's songs don't have the same consistency of quality as Swing Kids - there are more of them, but too many moments of noise, tinny recordings or spoken word pieces (though the last is pretty good, at the start of 'Itch'... sounds like a Clinton soundbite? Ah, the mid-90s...) And the sound may not have the novelty of Honeywell, the real shredding vocals - but what it does have is some of the best melody and tunefulness (in an abrasive, twisted way) to be found in the specific genre. Listening to Mohinder is exhilarating not just due to the pummelling speed and heaviness, but because of the way the guitars twist up the tune and deliver it so intensely and momentarily.
Which is also why this kind of music should be listened to in relatively small bursts - otherwise it really does become just pummelling noise. That's no problem if you happen to have the original 7"s, but the way I got into this band was through the full Gold Standard Labs discography,* released in 2000. In total its length of about 40 minutes = a normal album, but listening to it like that ruined the experience for me. Hence I later split it in half, as I did with the Honeywell discography as well.
I also rearranged the tracklisting of the discography a little, in order to divide it up better and also because the GSL disc seemed to have one 7" in a completely muddled order:
(Info from http://www.t-dt-b.org/ **)
(To Satisfy 7”, 1994 Unleaded Records – UN-002)
1. To Satisfy
4. Inhuman Nature
(Nitwits/Mohinder Split 7”, 1994 Unleaded/Stinky Feet)
6. Number One
(The Mission 7”, 1994 Gravity Records)
1. The Mission
5. The Static Cult
7. One Warrior
9. Of Sound Mind
I've left off the two live tracks plus the long song from the We've Lost Beauty comp. If you want to try this link from Zen and the Art of Face Punching, it might have them, plus the tracks in the original discography order! I love being complicated...
(* GSL-034. As of last year, Gold Standard Labs is defunct as a record label. I got the discography as an eMusic download, by the way - no longer available - so there should also be CD and LP versions floating around. You can check out their website, which has some very cool flash animation at the start. Or see the wikipedia article - which reads very much like a press release - about the label's history and such events as the 2001 "2-story show/eviction party that included performances by The Blood Brothers, The Locust, Moving Units, Gogogo Airheart, and De Facto" in the San Diego apartment they briefly shared with Three One G)
(** according to which, there is a third 7" called Transient Sequences, which has the song #101', along with Nitwits split tracks, ‘Give’ and ‘Numb’ from To Satisfy, plus two further songs ‘Ellipse’ and ‘Channelled’ not featured on the discography. ???)