When I was 15 I used to attend shows at this club in Reading PA called The Unisound. You'll probably hear me mention this place numerous times because this is where it all started for me as far as finally getting to see good hardcore shows. Anywho, most of the shows would have a decent headliner being from one of the NY, NJ, & PA scenes. Opening those shows would be a handful of up and coming bands that for the most part we're pretty damn decent. This post is about one of those bands.
I remember just casually standing up front waiting for the next band to go on. This big dude (husky if you must) with a goatee and pony tail gets up and in a very distinct NYC accent growls "Yo we're Enrage from Staten Island". They immediately kicked into some seriously heavy shit. Here's this huge NY dude just pounding the stage and stomping around looking like one of his legs at any second is going to go right through the floor. The band also consisted of singer Jeff's brother Marco on the drums. He too seemed like a fucking giant to me. Mind you this is 1993 and I was only 15 or 16 so these guys seemed like grown ass scary men to me. He looked like a monster behind those drums and if you just listen to these tracks and how heavy it sounds you can totally just picture this guy wailing away on his kit. Enrage had a lot of really big open beats and mid tempo stomp parts that this guy would lay into. It's exactly the type of shit I crave. The guitarist Mike Pellegrino and bassist Joe Mariconda would do their thing as Jeff shook the stage as he leaned over the crowd. This band was heavy and blew me away from the start.
After they played I picked up their "Sins of Release" 7" on Tragic Life Records. On that 7" were 2 songs that would be repeated over and over again by yours truly. It's amazing to listen to a recording from well over 10 years ago now and actually prefer the sounds to recordings of today. This 7" was produced by none other than Noah Evans that any NYHC buff should know a bit about. It had a nice mix of Biohazard, Sheer Terror, Neglect, and a little bit of "River Runs Red" era Life of Agony.
At the time I was running a small distribution that specialized in only carrying demo tapes for bands. Just another way I was trying to support the underdogs of the scene. After the "Sins of Release" 7" Enrage released a professional looking tape called "Empty". The band was super cool enough to work with me and sell them to me for wholesale to try to help spread their sounds. Things like this always stood out to me. A band that honestly just seemed to care more about someone listening to them and getting into them rather than the almighty dollar sign.
The band later went on to release "Empty" on CD with a few more tracks on a European label called RPP. I strongly recommend trying to get a hold of this. RPP also released a discography of a bunch of demo and comp tracks that the band had out called "The Definitive Shaolin Landfill Kings" which features 21 tracks spanning their career. This CD is still available at Very Distro. After I moved away from the central PA area in 1995 I unfortunately didn't really hear much about the band & what happened to them. I found this website ENRAGE NYC that will enlightened anyone as to what happened and why the band ended. Either way they left a huge impression on this little kid back then. There aren't a ton of bands that when I hear their CD I can sing along to every song. Enrage are one of the few. Listen to the middle of "Sins of Release" where the lyrics are "Arching back, muscles tight. The power in my hands. Arching back, muscles tight. I feel the sins of release". Oh man, sooo good.
These are the two songs from the 7" but I actually took them off of "The Definitive" CD as the sound quality was better. Enjoy.
1. "My Hands"
2. "Sins of Release"
ps Can anyone name the movie that they sampled in the beginning of "My Hands?" It took me several years before I even knew. I was just sitting there watching it and as soon as he started going into that part I freaked out because it made me think of Enrage.