Monday, December 14, 2009


With the genre of hardcore recently celebrating it’s 30-year birthday, the genre’s back catalog is nearly hemorrhaging with classic output. There is certainly still a wealth of timeless material that has not been officially reissued that should be available. Considering that hardcore punk has truly become a genre fixated on it’s own history and that the reissue market is prosperous, it’s time that I get in on that action. Many other contemporary labels have done a fantastic job of reissuing classic records and these labels have served as an influence.

Thus, More Than a Witness Product (clearly a tribute to one of my all-time favorite labels, Fast Product) is born. I suppose it’s only natural that a blog that serves to archive unreleased material would eventually start reissuing classic, out of print hardcore punk records. The aims of the label are to release quality products and ensure that the bands are properly compensated for their material.

The first release will consist of an expanded version of the classic “God Guns Guts” 7” EP by CIA. Not only is this one of my all-time favorite hardcore single, but also I think it’s simply one of the best hardcore punk releases to come out of the early 1980s. These guys are personal friends of mine and I’ve been working closely with them on reissuing this classic EP as an LP with a ton of fantastic unreleased material from the original 7” session along with choice demo and live material. Considering that the original pressing of the 7” is topping out at nearly $300 and consistently selling for at least $250, this reissue should do well.

To answer the emails I've already received, there will be a limited edition mailorder only version you can get from me.

CIA, after releasing one single (and an LP with a radically different lineup) went on to morph into the great 76% Uncertain. They released several great records that you should acquire if you don’t have them already.

I am currently in contact with a few other bands about potential reissues. More news as things become finalized.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


To say that this recording is entertaining is putting it quite lightly. Simply put, what begins as as a meeting of the minds quickly turns into a discourse of vitriolic proportions. And it's also the most notoriously known half hour in the history of WNYU radio. On one side, Steve Martin (founder of In Effect Records and formerly of Agnostic Front), Lou and Pete Koller of Sick Of It All, and Sam of Evacuate Records represent the alleged commercially motivated hardcore contingent of the late 1980s New York hardcore scene. The other side, representing the populist, do-it-yourself faction involved in New York hardcore is Sam McPheeters and Adam Nathanson of Born Against/Vermiform Records and Charles Maggio of Rorschach/Gern Blandsten Records.

What begins as an on air radio debate about the principles of censorship, the hardcore economy, and the role of artist in the underground turns into an in-studio brawl. There's certainly some interesting points along the way. McPheeters, Nathanson, and Maggio are populist purists rooted in the tradition of do-it-yourself hardcore and are blatantly calling bullshit on In Effect Records and Sick Of It All because they feel they are selling out.

I find this document to be really captivating. In the archetypal days of hardcore, there were no online message boards for a legion of people to speak with digital courage. Disputes were settled by the primal act of street justice. Considering the zeitgeist of New York hardcore in the late 80s, this debate truly shows the convergence of two separate hardcore scenes with vastly different ideals concerning scene politics. The regional experience of New York hardcore has always been entrenched in working class, tough, and unsophisticated ideals. In my opinion, it's always served as a reaction to the cosmopolitan culture of Manhattan. The second wave of New York hardcore (of which In Effect Records and Sick Of It All were key players) was defined by right-wing philosophies and violence. Born Against, Rorschach, and the other bands that comprised the ABC No Rio scene in the late 1980s served an alternative to this culture. This recording captures this cultural wrangle in real time.

The quality of this tape is satisfactory considering it was recorded in the WNYU studios. This version suffers from the slightest bit of tape hiss that I have yet not tried to correct digitally.

If anyone has the date this was recorded, I would really appreciate it if you could pass this information along to me.