"This is the end of Hardcore. We started it and we're ending it here today". Springa of SS Decontrol at a Jerry's Kids show in 1984. It might be a bold statement, but to a large extend he was right - at least in the case of Boston Hardcore. Little remained of the original scene as bands such as SS Decontrol, DYS, Gang Green and The FU's had either disbanded, or gone metal [a sound that didn't appeal to many within the Hardcore scene]. People were simply growing up, and with adulthood came other priorities. Either that or they discovered that they could play music other than the 60 second, three chord assault that Hardcore Punk was. Either way, by 1985 there were just a few bands kicking around, and the scene had gone from Hardcore to metal to dead. Steve Risteen [ex Terminally Ill] kept bumping into Jack Kelly [ex Negative FX and Last Rights] in a 24-hour Food mart week after week. Jack Kelly, who wasn't in a band at the time, wanted to play again. So in October of 1985 Steve Risteen, Mark McKay [Terminally Ill's manager] and Jack Kelly formed Slapshot [they were originally supposed to be called Straight Satan, after the motorcycle gang which protected Charles Manson]. The threesome started writing songs and soon after Jonathan Anastas [ex Decadence and DYS] joined the band. He had been good friends with Jack Kelly through the Boston Crew, had roomed with him for a time and respected his vision for a new version of an old school Hardcore band. There was big hype about Slapshot before they ever played a live show due to Jack Kelly's and Jonathan Anastas's reputations in Hardcore circles. And also since a friend of the band, Mike Gitter, who was writing for a lot of magazines at the time [one of which was his own zine "xXx"], had written that Slapshot was a great live act. Note - in the Punk tradition of Malcolm McLauren and The Sex Pistols - these stories were written before the band had even played in front of an audience. Mike Gitter later went on to work as an A&R executive for Atlantic and Roadrunner where he signed CIV and Orange 9MM to their major label debuts. In October of 1986 Slapshot released their debut album. To save money [as the band wanted to record the album on a full 24 tracks instead of the usual low-quality 8 or 16 tracks Punk records were recorded on at the time], the group had to record from midnight to 8 AM to get the lower overnight rate. The album was completed in only four sessions. There were no real overdubs, a few takes per song - it was very live. Titled "Back on the Map" [a challenge to the world that Boston Hardcore was back], the album was released by Taang! Records. Slapshot was about to get reinforcement in the shape Jordan Wood [ex STP, The Loved Ones and Deathwish]. He joined the band as a second guitar player right after "Back on the Map" was released. However, soon after, Jonathan Anastas left the band. Jonathan Anastas left, as the sort of extensive touring the band needed to do began to conflict with his college studies. Back to a four piece, Jordan Wood temporarily replaced Jonathan Anastas on bass until Jamie Sciarappa [ex SS Decontrol] joined the band in early 1988 and Jordan Wood returned to guitar. Jamie Sciarappa's first show with the band was on June 5 1988 at CBGB's in New York.
In July of 1988, three songs ["Same Mistake", "Might Makes Right" and "Gilligan" - an acapella version of the Gilligan's Island theme] were released as a 7" ["Same Mistake/Might Makes Right"] and in October of 1988 the single was followed by the band's next release, a full-length album, called "Step on It". Somewhere around this time, Jack Kelly, Mark McKay and Jordan Wood formed the somewhat misunderstood Oi band Stars and Stripes. When the band was writing new material for their next album Jamie Sciarappa said that he'd be moving to Los Angeles and Slapshot therefore once again needed a new bass player. So in March of 1990 Mark McKay asked his friend Chris Lauria if he could fill the position. Mark McKay, Steve Risteen and Chris Lauria all knew each other from the days with Terminally Ill. Steve Risteen wanted to try out some others first but eventually Chris Lauria was their choice. In two week Chris Lauria learned to play 25 songs and the first show with the new bass player was in Allentown, PA. Three tracks, "Firewalker", "Chip on My Shoulder" and "Moment of Truth", were then released as "Firewalker". However, contrary to popular beliefs, the second and third track weren't recorded live at all. They were actually recorded in the studio and the "live elements" were added later on [it's actually the band members themselves doing the shouting]. The band toured the US in support of "Sudden Death Overtime" in September and October of 1990 and in Europe February of 1991. However, when the band got back it was obvious that Jordan Wood wasn't getting along with neither Steve Risteen nor Jack Kelly. So Jordan Wood convinced Chris Lauria to quit the band with him and start another. Chris Lauria soon returned to the band but they were now in need of a second guitar player and they found Darryl Sheppard. He and Chris Lauria had played together in a band a long time ago called Deslok. Mark McKay and Jack Kelly decided to kick out Steve Risteen in the summer of 1992. This may sound a bit harsh perhaps but it was actually true. Despite Steve Risteen's passion and drive for the band, the other two founding members found his actual playing weak and they felt musically limited with Steve Risteen in the band. There are rumors [unproven] that Steve Risteen was not a recording member at the time of his dismissal, that Jordan Wood had actually recorded the entire guitar tracks [or most of them] on the releases they shared together, that Steve Risteen's role was reduced to live player only. Steve Risteen being fired led to a lot of turbulence in the band. One of their roadies, Hank, considered by the band to be the bands fifth [or sixth] member left as a result of Steve Risteen being fired. The band was about to tour the US in the fall and - while it was being booked - Mark McKay told the band that he couldn't join the rest of the band, so Darryl Sheppard got Barry Hite, the drummer from his other band, Slaughter Shack [which included ex-DYS guitar player Andy Strachan], to fill in for the tour. When the band came back Jack Kelly didn't want Mark McKay back. Jack Kelly thought Barry Hite was a much better drummer and Mark McKay didn't seem like he wanted to come back. However, there was never an official split. Meanwhile, due to the lineup changes, the band had to change the names on the contracts that they had signed with We Bite Records the year before. The relations with We Bite Records were however sour even before the band released any of the albums that they had signed to do.