DESPISE YOU  West Side Horizons  CASSETTE   (Grind Today)   11.99

A recent cassette edition of this classic collection of crazed ultra-violence, released on the Indonesian tape label Grind Today.

First released by Pessimiser back in 1999, West Side Horizons is a collection of everything recorded between 1994 and 1996 by the notorious Inglewood, California blastcore outfit Despise You, a band that featured members of 16, Crom, Excruciating Terror, Stapled Shut and Gasp, who never performed live during their original run and who surrounded their band in the imagery of LA Latino street gangs. There was a truly threatening vibe around Despise You's music, amplified a thousand times over by the band's simple but lethal combination of bizarro time signatures, an utterly blown out bass guitar sound, crushing downtuned death metal chug, hyperspeed hateful hardcore punk, and, in a move that appears to have been inspired by legendary LA punks X, dual male and female vocalists, with frontman Chris Elder trading off his ferocious, feral screams with Leticia Perez's bratty punk rock shout. At the time, that mix of vocal styles was unusual, especially with this sort of ultra-violent heaviness, and added a frantic energy to their music that just made everything sound like it was on the verge of collapsing in panic. With songs that would typically average around thirty seconds in length, Despise You's music offered a unique take on the extreme hardcore of the early 90s West Coast underground, veering from discordant, sludgy thrash to chaotic blastbeat violence splattered with weird, nauseating dissonant bass riffs, the blasting tempos suddenly degenerating into crushing angular sludge and massive doom-laden breakdowns, and blasts of stomping, hateful punk. These guys employed the same sort of brutal slow/fast dynamic as bands like Infest and Crossed Out, but Despise You had a feel of utter abject desperation to their music that was unique among their peers. And when they really let loose with the blast-tornado, this band was capable of unleashing a veritable wall of noise, a cyclone of inchoate downtuned speed violence that on some tracks can totally degenerate into almost pure noisecore insanity. Good luck finding anything more intense than this; one listen top Despise You's stuff and you can see where contemporary bands like Weekend Nachos and Magrudergrind are getting their inspiration from...

The first fifteen songs on West Side Horizons were all previously unreleased, and from what I can tell appear to have originally been recorded for a planned split LP with Man Is The Bastard that was later aborted. All of 'em are ultra-brutal blastcore eruptions that include a furious, breathless cover of Possessed's "Burning In Hell", which Despise You turn into a brutal hardcore assault. Listening to these unreleased tracks, you can really make out the weird bass parts and the band's penchant for angularity, something that definitely put these guys closer to the sort of barbaric off-kilter power violence that Man Is The Bastard were doing than the more straightforward hardcore-centric sound of other bands of the era. Despise You could bust out some seriously catchy hardcore blasts too, though, and pulled off jet-speed covers of crossover classics like DRI's "Couch Slouch" with aplomb. Aside from those raging unreleased tracks that open the disc, this collection also includes Despise You's PCP Scapegoat EP, the tracks off of their split 7"s with Stapled Shut, Suppression, and Crom, their nine tracks from the Left Back/Let Down double 7" compilation, and their track off of the Reality Part I compilation, and cap it all off with one last unreleased song from 1991 that sees the band slipping out of whiplash inducing blasting into crushing sludgery. Absolutely essential for anyone into the West Coast "power-violence" scene and bands like Man Is The Bastard, Crossed Out, Spazz and Capitalist Casualties.