Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pushed Aside, Against the Wall, Drift Again, Ignite: Randy Johnson

What we have here is a nice, big Saturday post of 4 different 7" EP's. They're all easily able to stand alone as their own posts, however, a few weeks ago I obtained my own copy of the Drift Again 7inch (I had ripped and scanned a copy belonging to a friend about a year ago) & as I was enjoying looking the record over and absorbing it a little (yeah, I'm a geek like that- as if this blog doesn't indicate that), when I was reminded that Randy Johnson had played guitar in this band.

No, not the baseball player, the OC Hardcore Randy Johnson.

Starting with Pushed Aside in 1989, whom he sang for; then Against the Wall where he played bass; followed by Drift Again where he featured on guitar; rounded out by Ignite where he was their second singer. It should be noted, Mike Hartsfield makes two appearances as well, playing guitar & bass respectively in Against the Wall & Drift Again (and guitar in yesterday's post of the Amendment 18 7 inch).

Pushed Aside is pretty straight forward, pissed off hardcore from Southern California. The vocals are kind of snarled at times, while the music is almost like a buzz-saw of guitars set to steady & precise drums. This is their demo from '89 that was later released by Indecision Records in the mid-2000's.

Against the Wall play a style of late 80's/early 90's hardcore that was starting to reflect more of the emotional outbursts bands were putting forward in their lyrics while playing a slightly heavier style of traditional hardcore. Songs that plow right into you only to pause briefly before building back up into a full sonic assault. The vocals, to me, almost have an east coast feel to them (like an accent)- either way, they are a big part of what appeals to me about this record; heavier hardcore with clear/screamed vocals.

Drift Again was a band I had heard about for a LONG time, the band that preceded Outspoken for Hartsfield, and had apparently played this mesmerizing hardcore. Indeed, I can see how that could be said. Drift Again brings forward a lot of what had always been 90's hardcore to me; songs that had a heavier sound to them, but not tuned down so far that it just chugged along, clear and almost singing vocals at times, a very noticeable bass guitar in the mix along with songs that start and stop on a dime within themselves. Factor in the emotionally driven and sometimes almost distraught sounding lyrics and then add in the little guitar squeals and it screams Southern California 90's hardcore to me.

Ignite, just about everyone has had some exposure to Ignite by this time. To most, Ignite is forever tied to third singer (and longest running), Zoli. But before Zoli & after first singer Joe Nelson, was Randy Johnson. If memory serves, this comes after the 5-song demo (and some other assorted songs) with Joe & just before Zoli joined. What's very interesting to me is that the songs sound very little like Ignite before or after this recording. Automatic & Where They Talk have a much more drawn out sound that compliment Randy's higher pitched sound (I know, sounds weird to say "high pitched" when Zoli is part of the discussion), & the song Turn is much more Ignite's sound as it is a song from the original demo and also later appeared on the "Call on My Brothers" full length. It's a good little 3 song offering, recorded right here in this blog's hometown of Riverside, Ca with Bob Moon (who it seemed, recorded a bunch of bands in the early-mid 90's).

To the best of my knowledge, the only things missing are the Pushed Aside & Against the Wall tracks from "A Generation of Hope" comp (which I do not own), the Solitude demo (pre-Against the Wall), Drift Again's track from the "Words to Live By" comp (which will be posted in the future), & the Ignite "Scarred For Life" CD which features two more Randy Johnson tracks on it (which may be posted in the future).

Enjoy this & enjoy your Saturday. Record Store Day is a week away!

DOWNLOAD: Pushed Aside - "self-titled (demo)"
                         Against the Wall - "Identify Me"
                         Drift Again - "Self-Titled"
                         Ignite - "Where They Talk"


  1. I think he also did the back ups on "through these eyes" on the second CHAIN 7in.

  2. He was also in Mindwar (but good luck finding that recording) and Ashes Dust with other Against The Wall members.

  3. Solitude is drift again before they changed their name