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XBand's Pleasures of Life EP Is a Hardcore Mystery

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Pleasures of Life EP

(Yomamas Records)

Here's a piece of Northwestern Florida punk rock that I happened upon while trolling the internet. It is a happy crossover of thrash and hardcore with some hard rock touches.

It sounds really good on paper. And what really makes it endearing and kind of hip is the lo-fi recording of it all.

Side A opens with the easy standout track "NCT" and it's a rolling number with good guitars and driving drums. The vocals are gruffer than most of the other tracks, which seem to have taken cues from mid-'80s hard rock numbers.

The personnel on this seven-inch consists of Tommy Hamilton on guitar, his brother Bruce Hamilton on drums, Chris Gleasman on bass, and Jeff Merritt on vocals. Were these guys FSU students? The sons of Congress people? Maybe the latter since they do seem pissed off about something and it was Reagan's '80s. I wonder if they ever jaunted over into Georgia territory.

The side closes with "Behind the Wall" which follows suit with solidly ripping guitars. But there's something echo-y about the vocals that time-stamps the effort. The flip goes through the motions with "Moondog" and "Stop This Now," which could easily be seen as one song split in half. And then there's a fifty-odd second untitled (and uncredited) track that closes the side that's pretty good hardcore in its own right.

I have no info on the actual physical seven-inch. But the Yomamas Records imprint has got to be a homegrown effort by the band. Otherwise, we know this thing was produced by the band and released in 1986.

Anyway, a message for those in the know: Zap me an email with some secret details.

Download: XBAND - Pleasures of Life EP

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