Friday, January 4, 2008

Mohinder - Everything

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" 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..., 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 **)

Everything - Vol. I

(To Satisfy 7”, 1994 Unleaded Records – UN-002)

1. To Satisfy

2. Run

3. Give

4. Inhuman Nature

5. Numb

(Nitwits/Mohinder Split 7”, 1994 Unleaded/Stinky Feet)

6. Number One

7. Imbalance

8. Itch

Everything - Vol. II

(The Mission 7”, 1994 Gravity Records)

1. The Mission

2. Alien

3. Acceptance

4. Division

5. The Static Cult

6. Beautiful

7. One Warrior

8. Expiration

9. Of Sound Mind

10. 101

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. ???)


Anonymous said...

great post, man.

hey, you wouldn't have some:

Second Story Window

would you?

another gravity band...had a kickass full length.

gabbagabbahey said...

No, sorry, don't have any

stick around though, someone else might

I'm always up for hearing more Gravity Recs bands, anyway...


josephlovesit said...

You made a great point about how listening to band's discographies can get tedious. I always blame myself after getting tired trying to blast through those collections with a lot of tracks (recently Negative Approach and Man is the Bastard). I've never realized that taking breaks and dividing the tracks is probably a lot more like how you're 'supposed' to listen to this stuff. You may have singlehandedly saved my appreciation for hardcore discography releases!

rgratzer said...

Yeah it's weird how the discography changed the track order of the mission 7". Plus "expiration" is different. The whole intro part is not on the record.

Full disclosure (and feel free to think I'm stupid): I ordered this from gravity, along with a bunch of other stuff, and then for about a year I listened to it on 33rpm, rather than 45rpm - it doesn't indicate speed, and I just thought it seemed too unbelievably fast at 45rpm. I though the singer had a low voice, and I guess I was never paying enough attention. I mean, it's still fast at 33rpm. Then I turned on my brain...

I have the Second Story Window 12", and so will try to post that to my blog at some point soon. I don't have the 7", though. It's really really good. Better than the 12", I think. I had a friend tape it for me, but never got my hands on it.

gabbagabbahey said...

joseph - splitting them up is something I try to do as often as possible with these kind of discographies. The only exception is the Swing Kids (and, well, I suppose Indian Summer too) 9-song 20-minute discography which works as perfect album. But back when I started getting into this kind of music, and downloading the posthumous discographies from eMusic, I definitely got frustrated - bands like Mohinder and Maximillian Colby. It's difficult to listen to that kind of stuff for an hour and absorb it.

On a kind of related note, does anyone have the Nitwits tracks from the split? It'd be kind of nice to hear the full split record.

ryan - I don't think you're stupid, but it did intrigue me to hear what a slowed-down Mohinder would sound like. So I played my mp3 of 'Numb' at 0.7 speed (I guess that's about right) on Windows Media Player... it sounded like something you could actually dance to (as opposed to thrashing wildly about, that is)

blend77 said...

the Max Colby disco was a hard one, with all those unreleased Jams and other stuff. the only songs that are really worth it besides New Jello are the Shotmaker split and the 7" tracks, Sparcly and Sifelaver.

Swing Kids disco is perfect.

i think you guys are on to something by splitting them up. i always like to hear the content the way the band originally intended... like if its a 7" then i want to hear those three or four songs in order. not compressed between an current EP and an old demo recording.

D Keshiki said...

I think the Transient Sequences 7" was a live recording.

Adi said...

Find Internet Marketing resource hare Online Marketing Strategy | Internet Marketing Tools | Online Marketing Campaign | Online Marketing Business | Online Marketing System | Online Business | Online Home Business | Online Business Tips | Internet Marketing Online

Anonymous said...

thank you for posting! :)

mike said...

Years later now, but just came across the Second Story Window 12" online btw...

mike said...

Years later now, but I just came across the Second Story Window 12" online...