Released in 1980, the Jealous Again EP by iconic hardcore rockers Black Flag is a five-track, six-and-a-half minute screed about such topics as racism, police harassment and even former Flag vocalist Keith Morris.
Formed in a basement in 2008, Springfield-based metal and hardcore act Revenge is a band that has much more in common with Jealous Again than simply the title of one of its songs.
For instance, much like the aggressive sounds heard on the aforementioned record, Revenge offers an upraised fist against the hypocrisy inherent in modern-day society. Armed with guitars and drums instead of bullhorns and picket signs, the group seeks not only to shed light on individual topics, but also to rock the faces off any audience lucky enough to catch an anarchic live performance.
Featuring Dan McIntyre (vocals), George Barroso (guitar), Jordan Singleton (guitar), Justin Kirkland (bass) and Will Hirst (drums), the band came from humble origins straight from the hardcore revolution handbook.
“Revenge started with George, Justin, and Will jamming in a basement in September of 2008,” says Barroso. “We added Dan on vocals about two months later. By December we had a demo and we were playing shows. We added Jordan on second guitar in early 2009, and we’ve maintained this lineup ever since. All of us had been friends before the band started, from being in various Western Mass. hardcore bands and playing shows together.”
While citing the influence of classic hardcore and punk groups like Black Flag and Negative Approach, Revenge has lately started to incorporate more of a metallic edge into its work thanks to its love for thrash-heavy acts such as Slayer, Napalm Death and the Cro-Mags.
Barroso says, “We originally wanted to write extremely fast songs with absolutely no structure or formula and preferably under a minute in length. Now that we are slightly older and learning how to play our instruments, we’re starting to focus on writing more mature, structured material. Also, originally, we were more of a hardcore punk band, and now we have added a lot more metal to our sound. With that said, we still hope to maintain our hardcore and punk ethics.”
Despite the fact that keeping one’s “street cred” as independent artists can be a tough task within most any music scene, it is also a task that will see its first test given that Revenge recently signed a record deal with Florida-based label Eulogy Recordings. Still, Barroso maintains that any risk to Revenge’s reputation will be worth it as long as the band can get its message out to a larger crowd outside the Valley.
“We’re excited, and we hope Eulogy can help us get our music in the hands of a lot more people,” says Barroso. “We already started writing an LP, but that probably won’t be done until next year.”
Revenge performs at the New England Metal and Hardcore Fest, April 21, The Palladium, 261 Main St., Worcester, (508) 797-9696, http://www.thepalladium.net. For more information, please visit http://www.facebook.com/revengehc or metalandhardcorefestival.com/main.