Thursday, 23 January 2014
Well I decided to do this post on INFEST when i did the post on DROPDEAD (See that HERE ) I was really digging DROPDEAD's lightning speed attack and thought "fuck I haven't listened to INFEST in ages!"
I was quite lucky to be around and into hardcore back in 1987 when INFEST brought out their first 7" (all the tracks from which would appear later on the "Slave" 12" with extra tracks from the same session) I wrote to them and managed to snag a copy and as soon as the needle hit the record I was utterly hooked grindcore was in it's infancy and there were bands like Heresy doing the fast hardcore thing but there was nothing like this, these guys were spitting out lightning fast hardcore verses with huge mosh breakdowns all tight as hell and all within about 30 seconds and those vocals were so hateful and tough sounding this was a band that really meant business and were bringing something entirely new to the table! (This very short songs, super fast meets mosh breakdowns style would evolve into "Powerviolence" a style made popular in hardcore by bands such as Man Is The Bastard, Crossed Out, Ulcer etc.) INFEST were around from about 87 till 91 there have been a few reunions etc but nothing solid until last year (2013) when they reunited for their first shows in 22 years playing mainly festivals etc.
There's not a lot more I can tell you about INFEST I can give you details of the line up or whatever but really there is not much more to be said as they were such a short lived band they existed for what 4 years and their entire studio discography including the 1st demo and the "No Mans Slave" 12" (which was recorded in 1995 but didn't have vocals added till 2000 and didn't see a release till 2002) all amounts to a mere 2 7" EP's 2 12" EP's and 70 minutes of music, however what's more important is their legacy which is basically that the entire fast hardcore/powerviolence/thrashcore scenes would not exist without INFEST!
So onto your files... Firstly INFEST have only ever released vinyl however there are several bootleg "Discography" cassettes and CD's I actually bought one online to discover it was a photocopied cover and a regular handwritten Maxell CD-R so there's never been any official mastering of INFEST material for CD all that's available is records and vinyl rips why the fuck such an influential band haven't been given a full discography treatment who the fuck knows! So all the links below except the demo are taken from vinyl rips, the demo is possibly from cassette i don't know if it has been bootlegged to vinyl but the quality is decent for a 28 year old demo! It has 18 tracks of which 7 appear nowhere else, the remaining 11 were re-recorded for the bands first EP / "Slave" 12" just to clear this up if you didn't know INFEST debuted with a self released 10 track 7" EP however this had 8 further tracks from the same session added to it and was released in Europe on Off the Disk records as the "Slave" 12" and has seen numerous re-presses and bootleggings since so to save messing I have just given you the full "Slave" 12". Next up is the "Mankind" EP from 1991 this a much heavier beast than the "Slave" 12" whilst "Slave" 12" had a clean tight fast sound "Mankind" whilst still being undeniably INFEST and just as fast and tight has a seriously dirty sound to it and it works brilliantly reminding me a little of DROPDEAD in places. Then Datewise we have the Live set they did for KXLU radio in 1991(officially released in 2001) I think these KXLU sessions are a live in the studio thing not an actual live performance as i don't hear any clapping or cheering between songs and it seems to lack that chaos and excitement of a live performance and is more akin to a John Peel Session type of thing. Anyway this is a good document of INFEST my only complaint would be it lacks a little bottom end to the sound to the point where the guitar sounds like it's actually being played "clean" through the amp with no distortion at all but otherwise it's a fucking raging set! This is a net download of a vinyl rip but is damn good quality. Then we have the slight oddity that is the "No Mans Slave" 12" recorded in 1995 which as far as i knew was long after the band had broken up but as i stated before the vocals were not added till 2000 I don't know why or what the purpose was in revisiting this old recording and laying vocals down on it some 5 years after the fact I'm guessing that it was probably pestering from the rabid legions of fans with record labels for more INFEST material? Whatever the reason, why this recording was never completed in the first place back in 1995 I do not know but it is a fucking SUPER intense piece of their history there is no let up with this 12" there's raw guitar that's playing so fast the guys fret wrist must be made of fucking rubber this is one of the most raging hardcore records you will ever hear even the more moshy breakdowns are missing here as well it's just song after song of lightning speed brutality and easily the fastest thing in their already impressive arsenal of fast records,that is until you get to the 5 and a half minute closing track "My World My Way" which is a painful exercise in sludge that would make a band like Man Is The Bastard proud! that this record languished in the vaults for 7 years before seeing release is an utter tragedy!So to close the story to coincide with their reunion shows INFEST released "Days Turn Black" A 1-sided 7" with a further 3 tracks from the "No Mans Slave" session plus a Negative Approach cover also recorded at the session and again it rips it up as much as any of the material that was on the original 12" and as the 12" is fairly short i dunno why they ommited them....... So lastly to make this a real doozie of a post someone very kindly recorded the Live set INFEST did at Oakland Metro in 2013 so can INFEST still cut it some 26 years since they started probably in their early middle age? is this a pathetic show of some aging hardcore dudes reunion for cash? NO FUCKING WAY if i gave you this and told you it was a live set from the 90's there is no way you would know this a totally ripping, shredding run through some of the best of their back catalogue plus a coupla new songs 28 songs in 23 mins fuckin WHOOSH! really decent I suspect soundboard or some type of recording as whilst it's undeniably a "Live Tape" it's damnably good quality! and it's at 320kbps as well!
There are a couple of omissions from this "Discography" post there's their side of the split 8" flexi they did with Pissed Happy Children i omitted this as it has only 6 live tracks not even a full set plus theres 3 tracks in 1 from the Ax/ction records 10" comp which i simply don't have to give. There are various bootlegs that contain live and demo bits but I can assure you everything other than what I have mentioned above EVERYTHING they have done in the studio and released is here for you beleive me I have always loved INFEST so i have researched whats available intensively! I'm sure some of the slavishly devoted INFEST fans may come across this post and berate me for not giving an intense breakdown of INFEST's history but hey I love the music and I just wanted to share it with you. Go get your face ripped off and your ass kicked by downloading any one of these files if you have never heard INFEST well I don't know if it's life-changing these days but it certainly was for me back in 1987! Enjoy.....
1ST DEMO 1987 - Mediafire
SLAVE 12" - Mediafire
MANKIND EP - Mediafire
LIVE KXLU 12" - Mediafire
NO MAN'S SLAVE 12" - Mediafire
DAYS TURN BLACK (1-SIDED 7") - Mediafire
LIVE OAKLAND 2013 - Mediafire