Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mes lèvres innocentes: 90s french emotional hardcore punk special post. Part 1

Note: À bas la monarchie.

Coucou, les! We're back with our more recent special post. Since long time ago, I've wanted to make it happen but other special and regular posts had priority and wasn't possible until now. You must already know something about the content of this special post because we've featured some compilations containing them. These collections we'll also be re-featured and translated to english because the original entries were in spanish.

Now, I chose to make this since these bands have almost been forgotten. Indeed, when I lived in France, I ask about them and not many people knew or didn't appreciate them at all. Even I had close friends that knew Christophe Mora (founder of Stonehenge Records, one of the most influential french record labels in the 90s and also member of Jasemine and Finger Print, and many other bands) but his work was completely unknown for them.

Despite their political agenda and musical influence to different hardcore punk subgenres (mostly screamo and emoviolence), these musical groups have remained as an almost lost chapter in french hardcore punk's history. Only true diehard fans of underground hardcore punk know this marvelous short-lived 90's outfits. And, don't worry. All these bands were from a time when emocore was a true hardcore punk subgenre filled with anger, passion and political content (anarchism, sexual freedom, veganism, straight edge, abortion and pro-choice, feminism, among many others) and not frivolous pop punk as mainstream and mass media have sold it. I'm really convinced that the raw, intense and dissonant sound of these musical outfits will really please you.

Lastly, I'll feature some records of these bands (or at least the most representative ones). I could miss some of them but I'll try to give you the most essential albums. I'm deeply sorry for my absence, but I've been quite busy with some things in the real world. I'll redeem myself with this special post. I certainly hope so. With all that said, let's begin with the first part featuring Ivich, Fingerprint, Jasemine and Ananda.

Ivich - Complete works!v5RWTTAL!Ddq2lCq0FDdlBv6Z4IJUHzoumOfUWSkWvUcUO7u3F-w

If I'm not mistaken, this was the first french emo/screamo band. Their members were from differents locations of la banlieue parisienne (Paris' suburbia). During their lifespan, they released Sculpteur De Cris demo (self-released, 1992), Chacun Sa Vérité (Pikaïa, 1993), La Mort Heureuse (La Libre Expression, 1994), La Vie Devant Soi (Ebullition Records, 1995), splits with E-150 (Spain) and Jasemine (Stonehenge Records, 1997) and participated in different hardcore punk compilations. There's also Champs Violents cassette but I don't know the year nor even which record label released it. 

Regarding the sound, Ivich played "screamy", fast-paced and precise hardcore punk, drawing influences from late-80s and early-90s american hardcore bands, with personal and politically charged lyrics (some of them sung in their native language, some others in english). The band later developped some metallic sensibilites, just like many hardcore outfits of their time, but without leaving aside their "emotional touch". And, there are some songs that featured a trumpeteer named Thierry, something really uncommon for a hardcore band at the time. 

Now, this band had a good international reception thanks to La Vie Devant Soi release. In fact, Kent McClard (Ebullition Records' owner) was quite fascinated with the european hardcore scene when Downcast (a huge musical influence for different local outfits) made their tour in Europe and decided to release some material of these bands in the U.S. You can see that some of these european hardcore "jewels" are reunited in the Illiterate compilation (Ebullition Records, 1995), which was already featured here in the blog. And, of course, emo was becoming a thing within the international hardcore/punk community (with some love and hate/hate and love reception, obviously) since different european bands (mostly from France, UK, Germany and Italy) were gaining a privileged position as a reference for the subgenre.

Lastly, click on the image for getting most of their complete works. Some of them were impossible to get but I think the most relevant ones are here. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Finger Print - Discography!qkIAGQbI!-E1L-rNL6SHgQsm1-GkUTYD7ppWa111OanM_kdipuqQ

Another Paris' suburbia-based hardcore punk band that existed between 1991 and 1994. Along with Ivich, Finger Print (also known as Fingerprint) was the most important reference to french "emotional" hardcore punk in the 90s. During their lifespan, they only released two 7"s: Surrender and We May Be Brothers (1993 and 1994 respectively, both released through Stonehenge Records) and contributed tracks to different local and international hardcore punk compilations. 

Regarding the sound, Finger Print managed a superb and chaotic hardcore punk with almost unintelligible screamed vocals. Unlike the first wave of american emo, tha band (as many different european outfits of the time) managed to play faster but there are still some slow-paced interludes, though. Even I dare to say that these european bands were as frantic as american "chaotic hardcore emo" bands such as Heroin, Angel Hair and Antioch Arrow. The lyrics were in english and, just like their contemporaries, personal and politically-charged. 

Lastly, Stonehenge Records released in 1996 released this discography disc containing their two 7"s, some tracks that appeared in Illiterate, All The President's Men (both already featured here in the blog) and Food Not Bombs benefit compilations and two live performances. However, this record is incomplete because there are different tracks that are missing, for example, Docility track from Le Garage comp (already featured here in the blog). Nonetheless, get it. Click on the image for downloading it. Have you ever imagined that something labeled as tupa tupa emo could exist? Well, Finger Print can give you the answer. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 
Jasemine - Demo + splits with Ivich and Elements of Need!i4YlTSwQ!2QgzBjQW2Ef-_8IuzY8saQ7anFs8Nc5ddzPmdMbQFJc

Jasemine was also a short-lived hardcore punk band from Paris' suburbia that featured members of different local musical groups such as Undone, Finger Print and Ananda. They only released Use Condoms demo (Stonehenge Records, 1994) and two splits with Ivich (Stonehenge Records, 1995) and Elements Of Need from USA (Kidney Room Records, 1995). However, the split tracks were taken from the demo, re-recorded and remastered with a much better sound quality (although I rather the original recordings).  

Regarding the sound, Jasemine played short, fast-paced and straightforward hardcore punk with "screamy" vocals and some slower and introspective interludes. There are also some songs with a slight 90s "metallic hardcore" feel. The lyrics were in french and treated different sociopolitical issues such as homosexuality, pro-choice and different social and personal conventions. And, I kindly heart this demo because it was the first entry in our ancient blog and also opened my eyes to real screamo spectre, as well as developping more sensibilites to social and political issues. 

Lastly, click on the image for getting everything that Jasemine ever recorded in their short yet proficient lifespan. Highly recommended for fans of true diehard screamo and chaotic hardcore. Enjoy! 

Ananda - Masqué 10"!W9wQBIDS!Dnzyw3MxDIt41PocOyzcPCistl7I6kz01-5QXauo0eA

We finish this first part with this intriguing 10". Ananda (which is also the name of Siddharta Gautama's (Shakyamuni Buddha, the first historical Buda) cousin and his best apprentice and interpreter) featured former members of Finger Print, Jasemine and Undone and were active from 1994 to 2001. They released Masqué (La Libre Expression, 1995), Habeas Corpus LP (Unfortunate For The Fortunate Records, 1998), 5 12" (1999), Profane LP/CD (Snuff Records/Molaire Industries, 2000) and splits with Symptom Of Isaac (Not On Label, 1994), Submerge (Shogun Records, 1999), and Botch and Knut (Mosh Bart Industries, 2000).

Regarding the sound, Masqué is Ananda's only record featuring emotional hardcore influences. With the release of their second full-length album, they dramatically changed their style to metalcore in the same vein as american bands such as Coalesce, Disembodied and Botch. So, with this 10" you'll expect the same vocal and musical style of the previous three bands in this entry. However, unlike these bands, Ananda had both female and male vocals and there are both french and english songs. 

Also, most of these songs were already featured in their split with Symptom Of Isaac but were live sessions, and not studio versions. However, there are two missing songs: Fragile Réalité and Ma Vérité, which never were re-recorded nor re-released. And, the artwork features some images from Max Ernst's surrealistic book Une Semaine De Bonté

Lastly, click on the image for downloading this record. Sadly, it's the only Ananda release that I have but its inclusion is perfect for this entry. Highly recommended. I hope you liked this entry. We'll come back soon with more surprises. Enjoy and until next time. Kisses and hugs!

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