Usually I introduce these posts by saying something about how it sucks that this band is awesome and they don’t get nearly enough love, but I’m happy to see that Kids These Days actually seem to be into DESPISE YOU. That’s probably because they’re more active now than they were in the 90s, but I figured like it would be worth a trip down memory lane and talk about why I consider them one of the absolute best hardcore bands of the past 20 years.
DY’s first appearance was on the legendary 1994 comp “Cry Now, Cry Later,” (see also this Metal Sucks post I did about it) which had well-known bands like Spazz, Meat Shits, Capitalist Casualties, and Eyehategod as well as the debut of the mysterious DESPISE YOU with their song ‘Aqui Solitio, Como Siempre.’ I say “mysterious” because nobody they just sort of appeared out of nowhere and nobody knew who they were, which was unusual given how tiny the ‘power violence’ scene was at the time. There were no pictures, just an Inglewood address and some Mexican names.
Note the 90s cholo graffiti-style logo; very advanced. Hardcore bands these days are still appropriating 80s cholo imagery, so it will probably be another 10 years before anybody catches up to what DxY did in 93.
Most of you posers only know the CD re-release of “Cry Now, Cry Later” 1 & 2, but the original double 7″ had some of my favorite packaging of all time which isn’t included in the CD. I still giggle at ‘FAT A-HOLE’ and ‘FAT BITCH.’
20 years later and I also vividly remember every detail of this insert from “CN, CL.” Are you more like Winner, or Loser?? Be honest!
I didn’t know it at the time, but all the Mexican names were made up, and DY was comprised of some guys from 16/CROM, Rob from what was IMO the single best LA thrash band EVILDEAD and death metal band RISE on drums, and the one and only Chris Elder on vocals (aka Alamoe Joe who also ran their label, PESSIMISER). I think “Leticia” was Phil from 16′s sister, and I believe the other guitarist was Jerry from EXCRUCIATING TERROR (might be wrong on that). I’m really not sure what the fake names were for, but I’m trying to get Chris on the podcast and maybe he will explain– my guess is some combination of them being paranoid, weird, and trolling. The fact that they never played a show and rarely did interviews compounded it. I wouldn’t say they were ‘trying to be mysterious’ or anything, they just kind of let their records speak for themselves, which I thought was a lot cooler than the then-popular phenomenon of bands who literally talked more than they played music.
Their 1994 7″ opens with one of the best, most pissed-off BLEH!s of all time, and is one of the few records I never stopped listening to since the day it came out.
I remember getting this flyer in high school: that awkward moment when you get super stoked on amazing lineup, then realize it’s a backyard show for ‘Yolanda’s birthday’ in a fairly terrifying part of South Central LA and get sketched out. Also, ‘no hippies.’
Some IMN’s super-embarrassing review of the DY/AnB split (or as he says it, ‘DISP EYE ZHOO’): “Their sound is SO WEST COAST! Like, hard core punk.”
As a hardcorefag, I feel like the difference between really good and truly great bands is the lyrics, and DxY’s lyrics are some of the best. I think their overall perspective could be summed as something like ‘being disgusted with people who dug themselves into a hole, and are too weak and dumb to get themselves out of it,’ which is actually a pretty positive message… in a negative, hateful sort of way. It was definitely a nice change of pace from most bands in the genre, who were more into the usual punk rock bullshit (being mad at authority figures, delivering the breaking news that racism is bad, etc).
Split with STAPLED SHUT- the transition at 4:18 from the sludgey part to the blasty part is one of DxY’s finest moments.
DxY’s side of their split with SUPPRESSION. The first song is a beautiful example one of my favorite things about DxY: gratuitous use of the china-cymbal-blast!
While time reveals that most bands I loved in the 90s were in fact not very good, DESPISE YOU’s material more than stands the test of time. I consider them not just one of the very best 90s hardcore bands (in the same company as bands like SPAZZ, EARTH CRISIS, and NO COMMENT), but among my favorite hardcore bands of all time (up there with TERROR and HATEBREED). I’m glad to see that the current generation of hardcore kids recognizes their awesomeness, that the band is still active, and will be stoked if the next big trend is DESPISE YOU clones! (srs)