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Hot damn! In a day and age where pop punk and emo music take center stage in the “punk genre”, District of Columbias have gone back to their roots – 80’s hardcore. Some current and former members of the legendary Lagwagon make up part of this band, namely Dave Raun (vocals, drums), Jesse Buglione (bass), and Chris Rest (guitar), with the band being rounded out by Steve Shepard (guitar). But if you are a Lagwagon fan don’t think that you’ll fall in love with these guys. For those who aren’t aware, this side-project was recorded in Dave’s basement in only one day. Not bad, I must say, especially since the band calls these songs “demos”. Their raw sounding songs were however well recorded and caught the attention of the mighty InYaFace Records Japan who released the EP in 2009. All in all, to be honest I’m not the biggest fan of 80’s hardcore but I do appreciate bands who know how to play it right, hence this band. The music may be simpler but the heart is always there. It’s always a good change and like the Parasites, it is good driving music I must say!
In terms of length, this EP clocks in around 18 minutes. Not surprising though since the music is influenced from the 80’s hardcore scene. Think of District of Columbias as taking the best elements from Black Flag, Bad Brains, T.S.O.L., and I even see glimpses of Andrew Champion (ex-Screw 32) in terms of vocal delivery. So first off, Dave from Lagwagon is lead on vocals in this band and his voice is actually great for this style of music. For a home recording, you can even hear some neat mixes on the vocals. A song like “Sour” is definitely worth hearing with its strong intro and chorus line. In “Blister”, the guys keep the track a little more upbeat with the drums and I’m really digging the guitar at 2:18 and although short, it’s an inclusion that I did not expect. And don’t forget to catch the hilarious sound bites at the very end of the EP; some of you may recall it. More bands should definitely bring this style back even though it’s done as a side-project.