Monday 8 December 2014

Final Warning "Eyes of a child" Ep, 1994

Has it been two weeks already? Fuck me. Time really does fly and I wish it didn't. Especially since it's that time of the year again, when people are starting to get all excited about buying lame christmas gifts for people they don't really like. Pretty sickening really. Dante couldn't have seen it coming, but if there is a hell, it must be working at a toy store in december. On my way to work, there is a massive toy store that has all the colourful plastic crap a first-world kid can dream of, and the other day, although it was over thirty minutes before the opening hour, there were at least twenty people waiting before the door, looking both pissed and eager to spend money, while the employees were rushing inside, cleaning up the floor at full speed so that a herd of consumers could trample on it ruthlessly. Life: what a wonderful choice.

Anyway. If you have a kid who is into punk or if you wish to turn your young niece away from Justin Bieber, I suggest you get this wonderful Ep from Final Warning. It is a 90's record so you will be able to get if for cheap and it is a solid slice of charged hardcore-punk. In fact, I hadn't played this one for a while and I had forgotten how good it was. Not to be confused with the early hardcore band from Portland, this Final Warning were from New York and were active in the mid-90's. As I understand it, Final Warning was the follow-up of Warning although I think that Neil, the singer, was the only common member between both bands. Warning itself started after the demise of the cruelly underrated Jesus Chrust (see my post about them for more glorification) which had Neil on vocals along with Ralphy Boy, who also sang in Disassociate. And even before Jesus Chrust, Neil used to sing for Nausea, you know, that small band that everyone has patches of, before they turned crust. And of course, Neil was the brain behind Tribal War Records, a label that released music that had a tremendous influence on me and without which I probably wouldn't be half as awesome as I am today.

If Warning was a tad generic music-wise, Final Warning was a much more focused effort that deserves to be re-discovered. Metal-tinged hardcore punk in the British tradition (after all, the singer is originally from England), this Ep could have been recorded in Nottingham and released on Inflammable Materials. It doesn't really incorporate the musical element that prevailed among the mid-90's US anarcho/crusty which they were a part of. Locally, Distraught would be the closest thing sounding like Final Warning (I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they shared members actually) although the latter has more crunch and had less of a Final Conflict influence. As I said, FW sounded more at home with the mighty Hellkrusher (they even covered "Dying for who" on their live Lp) or 90's era Varukers, but with an added metal influence that came directly from the early UK crust scene or, perhaps ironically, from late Nausea. The first song, "Faith", an anti-religious haiku, is a perfect dischargey, antisecty, nauseous number with a powerful sound and perfect bass lines; "Rise" is a crusty anthem with terrific yet simple crunchy metal riffs that could have been lifted off "Guttural breath"; finally, "Eyes of a child" is a cross between both, with thrashy metal riffs, a d-beat rhythm section, vintage reverb on vocals (not unlike Cracked Cop Skulls really, even in the vocal tone) and a spoken part that screams "you're in anarchopunk territory". What makes the three tracks really stand out could be the bass work: it has a clear sound, the lines are really catchy, memorable at times even.

Only three tracks on this Ep that leave me craving for more. As mentioned, there is a Final Warning live Lp that was recorded in 1996 and that included quite few Nausea covers along with the Hellkrusher one. In 2000, a few years after the end of the band, a split Ep with Mankind? was also released on Tribal War, but that's it. A proper studio Lp would have been nice. Oh well.

As you will see, the lyrics that were initially printed inside the sleeve are almost unreadable since they are written in white with black and white pictures in the background. This mistake (don't be mean, shit happens when you do DIY punk records, I have seen much worse) accounts for the addition of a small sheet of paper with the lyrics printed on it. Finally, I found a really interesting, inspiring even, interview of Neil Robinson that you can read here in which you will find plenty of information about the 80's New York squat scene, ABC No Rio, Nausea, but also locally-sourced food.      


  1. hey man,
    its Sean from NO BEAST SO FIERCE. not sure if ya ever emailed me. My yahoo account went all nutso a few months back, havent gotten ANY emails in months. My new email is
    hit me up!

    1. Hallo there,
      Yes I did write but I guess my mails got lost or something. I have just sent you another one then.