So I'm Kinda going back on my word here after saying SST was a done topic! However even tho they were on SST i don't always think of BLAS'T! as an SST band due to the fact that they were way more "hardcore" than the majority of SST fare and because i got into them through the European Roadrunner pressing of their Wishingwell Records debut album before their association with SST so i always saw them as a unique Hardcore band first and an SST band 2nd!
I deleted my original BLA'ST! post when 4shared killed my SST links however with certain recent events i decided it was time to treat them to a post of their own! All shall become clear read on friends....
So where to begin as this is kinda a re-post/update I fear repeating myself to my regulars on here but I'll try to not bore everyone...... Evolving from a band called M.A.D. who contributed 1 track to the seminal Alternative Tentacles/Maximum Rock 'N' Roll compilation "Not So Quiet On the Western Front" from 1982 along side many other hardcore heavyweights of the day changing the name to BL'AST! they debuted with 2 tracks on the Boner records comp "Them Boners Be Poppin'" in 1985 I personally came to BLA'ST! after hearing their debut album "The Power Of Expression" around 1985/6, I bought it on the strength of the "popping neck veins" live action photos of the band on the album which looked like these guys were fucking fast and intense and one of them was wearing a Corrosion Of Conformity T-shirt (This is back when that was a GOOD sign of speed and intensity!) I got home with the LP and the sides were mis-labelled so I hit side 2 first the opening chord and riff of "Break It Down" just utterly floored me! It wasn't the high speed hardcore i'd been expecting but this was something really fucking powerful
without resorting to pure speed to make it's point from then I was a confirmed fan! Anyone who reads this blog regularly should know that Black Flag are my all time favourite band (but if you're a newbie then now you know) and there are obviously some
comparisons to be drawn between Black Flag and BLA'ST! however although it'd be dumb to deny it I still think that BLA'ST! had something of their own to offer and how many bands could take the sound of something as utterly devastating and unique as "Damaged" as a template and make it their own? And in my opinion any slinging of "clones" at them should have ceased when they released their 2nd album!
I'm not gonna overdo the in depth write up here it's BL'AST! and it's second time on here so I'll leave you to do your own investigation but here is some info on your links...
First up is their debut 2 tracks from the "Them Boners Be Poppin'" comp from 1985 you get an early version of "Time To Think" and an unreleased track called "S.S.D." both killer.
Then you have 1st album "Power Of Expression" the SST CD version, it is ripped at 320kbps but the tracklist for this is wrong both on the CD and when you put the CD in a PC the online provided track list is also incorrect i have re tagged the album so you have the correct track list and running order. However the SST version has the track "Surf + Destroy" tacked onto the end of first track "Time To Think" and doesn't even mention it on the cover as it's only a very short song blink and you will miss it!!! The other thing about this SST version is that the mastering is terrible leaving the album a bit dull and flat sounding, however if you have any respect for this album at all the best idea would be to take a minute to adjust your graphic equalizer a bit, or bass and treble if you don't have a graphic equalizer and turn it up LOUD! but an even better suggestion would be to read ALL of this post to the bottom!
Next up is "It's in My Blood" 2nd album and SST debut for BL'AST! continues where "Power Of Expression" left off this is still a heavy and powerful listen but the production and playing is much slicker and cleaner here however i feel this very slightly detracts from the raw power of the debut don't get me wrong this is still a blistering and awesome album and there are re-recorded versions of "Something Beyond" & "Look Into Myself" from the "Power..." album given a bit of a tighter workout here, this is ripped from my own CD at 320kbps the sound of the CD is a little quiet but the quality is there just turn up the volume, I have seperated and retagged the "Schools Out" 7" from the CD and given it a separate upload and it's proper cover there's the version of the Alice Cooper standard plus a Germs cover and one original "Your Eyes"
Lastly for the SST stuff there is "Take The Manic Ride" I posted this upon request last time as I only had a 128kbps vinyl rip but since I last posted on BL'AST! i have bought it on CD however this album has really weak production and is again a quiet mastering job on CD so using an equalizing program on my computer i have ripped it from CD and given it a bit of a EQ brightening and boosted the overall volume I personally think it sounds MUCH better however if you disagree please leave a message and i will get the original un EQ'd version uploaded for you instead, the songs are there the band are tight just the production on this album is non - existent still BL'AST! and still really good but definitely not the best of the three albums.
SO finally we move onto the item that has inspired me to do this re-post I have given you readers what i think is the only available free download of the 2013 Southern Lord CD "Blood!" (I know cos i got so frustrated looking for a d/l over the course of 3 weeks till i finally i caved in and bought it!) When all the hype surrounding this albums release started it was said this was an "Unearthed tape" and "From the vaults" etc however after it had been out a while there was an interview online that made it clearer that "Blood" is actually "It's In My Blood" taken from the original master tapes given to Dave Grohl (Apparently a huge BLA'ST! fan) to remaster and clean up however it was discovered there was a second guitar track from one William Duvall (At the time an ex - member of high speed hardcore band Neon Christ but more famous now for being a member of Alice In Chains!!!) that was not used at the time because of Duvall's short time in the band so this album whilst having been cleaned up beefed up and sounding utterly immense is actually a remastered version of "It's In My Blood",not some lost recordings etc which i found a little frustrating because this was never made 100% clear before it's release why I don't know? maybe I'm just a little naive but i believed this to be something like a pre-production/demo of the album not a remastered version of "It's In My Blood". however even tho i seem a bit narked anyone who is a fan of this band will know that their back catlaog is just crying out for the remaster treatment and one listen to this and the difference in production, sound and power is immediately apparent if you read what i said before about "It's In My Blood" about the production etc leaving this album a bit less powerful than their debut then this version definitely restores that utterly flooring BLAS'T! power! I just think Southern Lord need to approach Greg Ginn about purchasing/Licensing the rest of the BL'AST! back catalog from SST and give them the re-mastering/cleaning up treatment because these essential and important albums need restoring badly! If you're a little confused by my blurb here and the difference between "Blood" and "It's in My Blood" you can read about it here.....
So... Here is why this post has been moved up to the top of the blog even tho this is now 3rd time round for this post! Well much to my surprise tho prob not completely unexpected Southern Lord announced in March that they would be re-issuing BL'AST! debut album "The Power Of Expression" as "The Expression Of Power" now what I also didn't know that before the final version that was released in 1986 BL'AST! had made 2 earlier attempts to record the album and this new Southern Lord CD issue contains the 2nd attempt session on the CD and both the 1st Attempt and 2nd attempt sessions on the triple vinyl issue all of which has been awesomely remastered by Brad Boatright of Audiosiege I as you know do not have a record player however at the bottom of the page I have given you a link to this new Remastered version and it's so worth it this remaster has given this album a new lease of life it's sharp clean and powerful and all the tracks are there in the correct order plus as a bonus as i mentioned there is the 2nd of 3 studio attempts to record the album so you get the album in 2 versions all in one handy file and the early version whilst a bit ropey quality wise are an interesting look into what is one of the best albums in hardcore history! and have also been remastered by Brad Boatright of Audiosiege.
So there you go that is the complete collection of released BL'AST! studio recordings and probably the best free versions out here in blog land! I hope this post satisfies the old fans and finds them some new ones as i'm hoping some of the young Southern Lord records fans will be out there looking for more BL'AST! since the release of "Blood!" and here's hoping they will find themselves here as these guys are probably one of the most underrated and overlooked bands of the hardcore era and worthy of more respect than the shit they get as being mere Black Flag clones! One listen to any of this will set you right on that score! ENJOY!
Them Boners Comp Tracks
The Power Of Expression (SST)
It's In My Blood!
School's Out 7"
Take The Manic Ride
The Expression Of Power