Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bl'ast! - Schools Out



breaking away from the Soul & Funk here for a little Hardcore Punk via the West Coast.

Damn i bought this thing over 20 yers ago!!!

This is one west coast band that i am bummed i never got to see and i got to see a bunch of good ones here on the east coast, including Dr. Know, Battalion of Saints but never did get to see Bl'ast...

These guys were a wicked crew with a wicked brew of punk, hardcore and metal ala black sabbath riffs thick with resin....

here's the lowdown:

BL'AST! formed in 1983 The original line up consisted of Clifford Dinsmore on vocals Mike Neider Steve Stevenson on guitars, Dave Cooper on bass, and Bill Torgerson on drums. To make their logo visually "more dynamic," they added an apostrophe to fill in the gap between the letters L and A and tacked an exclamation point on to the end. This doesn't affect the actual pronunciation of the word. Their sound, a unique mix of bands like Black Flag, SSD and Black Sabbath, is quite hard to categorize, lying somewhere in the void between hardcore and hard rock. – "BL'AST! was never a typical sounding punk band and even back in the day we were really technical and metal influenced." – Although released by seminal punk label SST Records, BL'AST is also referenced in Brian Walsby's book on metal, Manchild 2.

Stevenson left the group at some point between the release of The Power of Expression and the recording of It's In My Blood. He was briefly replaced by Kip DuVall, former guitarist of Atlanta, Georgia's Neon Christ. DuVall contributed a small bit of song writing to the second album (credited as "Dr. Twang") but left the band before the recording sessions took place. Blast continued with Neider as the sole guitarist from that point on. Stevenson remained friends with his former bandmates and even went on the road with them, serving as a roadie.

Cooper left in 1989 and was replaced by a string of newcomers. Over the course of the next few years, Blast recorded a series of demos which showcased a new sound for the band as they began to dabble in funk.

Dinsmore left the group sometime in the early 90's and co-founded the band Spaceboy. The rest continued on without him, with Neider taking over vocal duties. They eventually changed their name to Blackout (releasing two 7" EPs under that name) and then again to Lab (who also put out a 7" EP, as well as a hard-to-find 4-song CD you could only get along with a Santa Cruz Skateboards order), continuing into the late 90's.

Bl'ast! briefly reunited in 2001, playing a handful shows on the West Coast. They were also planning to record again, but unfortunately the band fell apart before that materialized. Dinsmore is now the lead vocalist of the band Gargantula. Neider has a new band in the works featuring former KYUSS/QOTSA/Che'/Sort of Quartet/Across the River member Alfredo Hernandez and former Che'/UNIDA bassist Dave Dinsmore who also had played in bla'st! for many years. Rumored to be laying down vocals on some tracks is John Garcia of KYUSS/UNIDA/Hermano infamy.

California stoner band Fu Manchu pay homage to Bl'ast! via the titles of a song "Laserbl'ast!" from The Action is Go and records Something Beyond EP and Start the Machine which are both named after Bl'ast! songs.

for the record, along with the AC cover the slave is a germs cover...


Bl'ast! – Schools Out

Bl'ast! – Your Eyes

Bl'ast! – The Slave

1 comment:

Todd said...

killer band, killer single, umm wait a minute...everything they did was killer. just killer!