108 - Creation. Sustenance. Destruction.

[Equal Vision]

I saw 108 in my junior year of high school. The show was sparsely attended and before that, I had never heard 108. In all honesty, the only song that caught my ear was 'Deathbed'. The next day of school, I asked this older kid Paul, who was already an elitist hardcore prick before the internet, if I could get a dub copy of his 108 CD so I could have that song. He told me to buy my own copy, because, as I said, he was kind of a prick. Well fuck you Paul, because now I have the entire discography and it only took me a little over 10 years to get it. Patience is a virtue you motherfucker.

This is 108's complete discography, including a song that was recorded in between 'Songs of Separation' and 'Threefold Misery', called 'Panic'. I'm not sure if this song was ever released previously to this, but it was new to me. You get everything on two discs in a beautiful package including full liner notes, song explanations and an overly complete history of the band.

For those of you newer to this here hardcore shit, I'll go over each release, because they sound different enough from each other where it may be necessary to do so.

'Holyname' is honestly, pretty non-essential. The band was still trying to 'find themselves' and it wasn't the best recording to begin with. It's best to think of it as a demo that got a bit wider of a release than most demos.

'Songs of Separation' is a 90's hardcore classic. It was slightly before the 90's mosh metal explosion, and while the music is heavy, slow and plodding, it's not exactly 'moshy'. Everything is deliberate and intense enough on here to hold up even 13 years later. There aren't a lot of discs you'll hear from the 90's that sound as passionate as this one.

'Threefold Misery' and 'Curse of Instinct' are a lot more experminetal than 'Songs..'. It might not seem that way listening to it now, but they were released smack in the middle of the whole chugga chugga Drop D phenomenon. They added a lot of elements to their perfected style on 'Songs of Separation' and pushed things even further with the intensity. It comes off a lot more chaotic and desparate than 'Songs', which had a more miserable vibe going on. This album doesn't get as much credit because it was released pretty much posthumously (This was well before file sharing so people usually got a hold of records months after their initial release) and it sounded so different compared to their peers at the time. Although I wouldn't say it's quite as essential as 'Songs of Separation', mostly because a lot of other bands came around afterward and did the same type of thing and got a lot more praise for it, but it's still music worth listening to.

The liner notes say that the song 'Panic' was from some recording sessions that got scrapped. This song sounds decent enough that I wouldn't mind hearing other songs from that recording, but I'm assuming they literally got scrapped or else they would have probably been included here.

If you're completely in the dark, the lyrics are more or less all about Krishna Consciousness, which would be a hard thing to explain within the borders of a record review. The early to mid 90's were, I guess, more accepting of such things. It's not like the lyrics are so unrelateable where they're going to fly over your head, but I imagine most young fuckers these days wouldn't be able to really understand this stuff unless Nike made a pair of Krishna Dunks. I'm not saying I'm all high and mighty. I had McDonalds for lunch today.

Either way, if you're old or new, this is highly recommended. Either as a way to have all this music in one place (and sounding great) or as a kind of history lesson for anyone who wanted to know what the 90's was like without having to ask an elitist hardcore prick like Paul. I can only hope Equal Vision will follow this up with a Shelter EVR years Discography.