So this was a little bit of a surprise for me I recently met a thoroughly decent chap at work called Ged Ward (Pictured above 2nd from left) after working with him first time we discovered we had both grown up through the same musical scenes and we both shared a vast knowledge of old school Hardcore/Death Metal & Grind etc and knew a lot of the same people from the late 80's/early 90's scene so we eventually got talking about bands we'd been in and Ged told me he had played bass in a band called Ballpein with another recent friend of mine Piggy (Dr Aids, Bonded By Bundy Pictured above far left) but he only had some blown out sounding live vids on youtube to play me but what they were doing sounded really good, he said there had been a demo done by the band and wanting to hear it i tried to help him source it through facebook then lo and behold their ex Guitarist just one day decided to upload all 4 tracks from the demo as youtube videos!
So Being the trainspotter geek i am I took these vids and ripped the music from them tagged them up etc and here I present for you the lost Hardcore gem that is the Ballpein demo! Now first off bear in mind these 4 tracks were taken from an old tape ripped to mp3 uploaded to youtube then ripped back to audio by me sorted out and uploaded! So considering the journey these files have done they have come out prettty good quality! Onto the music considering these tracks are from 1999 they sound surprisingly contemporary whilst still retaining a feel of the scene at the time what surprises me is that these guys were not given way more attention then because this is really tight and well played stuff all the way and they have managed to combine a range of influences from different underground styles and blend them together into a cohesive sound without the sound getting messy or overly complicated! This demo would definitely fall into the Hardcore category but I hear a lot of classic Death metal in some of the riffs particularly the intro riff to "Kurten" and the middle 8 of "Unstable" which are straight out of the Autopsy school of riffage!
Overall the sound mainly feels like a blend of Death/Thrash riffage with the heaviest and best of NYHC and being honest I would never have pegged this band as British if I hadn't known beforehand! There's some great little flourishes on the demo too that are right off the wall but fit in with the sound perfectly for example the funky bass runs at the end of "Unstable" and the nice bass and guitar intro to "Low Life Cleansin" which kinda spin you upward towards the fast part! They have a good handle on their pace as well it's not all fast fast fast and the drummer uses a variety of beats not just sticking to the 1-2-1-2 hardcore beat giving plenty of room for the chunky fat breakdowns there's also good variety to the vocals there's growling, screaming, shouting (provided by both Ged & Piggy) and even a bit of that nasally sorta vocal you'd hear from proper old school hardcore bands like Sick Of It All or Straight Ahead!
All in all this short demo really is a lost gem I was really surprised by how good it actually is! Generally you would feel obligated to tell a friend that their band/project was good even if it wasn't!! This is definitely not the case with me here! If someone had got these guys into a decent studio with someone who knows how to record this kind of music I have no doubt the end results would have utterly destroyed as it is this demo is all that remains of this band, Go check it out it's well worth 10 minutes of your time!
BALLPEIN DEMO - Mediafire
And you can find some live videos of the band in action HERE