Monday, December 26, 2011
Inside Out - No Spiritual Surrender
Release - 1990
Story by Sunny Singh, videographer for Hate 5 Six.
Editor's note: Since this is an album on a major label, there is no download link available.
When I was in middle school in the late '90s, early 2000s, I listened to a lot of Rage Against the Machine. No, really, that's all I listened to. Those records shaped the bedrock which has become my current set of core beliefs. I was obsessed with this band and soon found myself in a small community of people who collected and traded rare RATM show bootlegs. This was all before I became a hardcore kid. I had known Zack was in Inside Out, and I think I managed to find a few tracks from No Spiritual Surrender on the web via Napster, but that was the extent of my knowledge. I didn't know anything else about hardcore. I wanted a tangible copy of that album, CD or vinyl so I could actually listen to it, read the lyrics and all that jazz. Though I admittedly didn't search very hard, I was never able to actually track a copy down.
In the summer of my sophomore year of high school in the early 2000s, I found myself in the bowels of New England. My parents sent me off to some summer camp and at some point, we were carted around to visit college campuses. Somewhere between Harvard and MIT, we stopped for lunch or some shit and a bunch of us wandered into Newbury Comics. The place seemed pretty cool and it appealed to my sensibilities at the time, but in retrospect, it was just as tacky as Hot Topic... just in a disguise. I perused the CD section for a while and just as my group was getting ready to leave, there it was: No Spiritual Surrender, $7. I frantically reached for my wallet and froze as I realized I didn't have enough. I was a couple bucks short. I pleaded with a few people in my group to spot me. I forget who it was, but eventually one of them caved in, probably to shut me up. I remember the bus ride home clutching the CD and counting down the mile markers before I could listen to it.
The opening guitar feedback of "Burning Fight" sets the tone for the entire record: uncertainty slowly boiling over into chaos. Zack's vocals are so raw (which definitely withered during his time in Rage, especially by the end of the Battle Of Los Angeles tour). And then there's that guttural scream at the beginning of "No Spiritual Surrender." Every now and then, a friend's band will cover this and I plead with them to let me do vocals. I try to come out of the gate just like Zack, but it never amounts to even a fraction of what he does on record. Even when you watch a live Inside Out video and you see Vic and Zack throwing themselves around haphazardly, you can see what this music meant to them. They weren't standing up there banging on fucking instruments. This was direct expression of emotion to sound. When you read the lyrics to NSS from start to finish and hear the musical landscape accompanying it, you can see the purity. None of it was postured, which stands in stark contrast with so many other records.
And before you know it, the record is finished and you're left wanting more. The potential to do more is so fucking apparent as you listen to this.
What's especially interesting to me is considering the paths Zack and Vic took post-Inside Out and retracing those steps back to Inside Out. Inside Out encompassed self-awareness, facing emotional distress and abandonment, and even undertones (pun intended) of social/political commentary--all of which the members explored to greater extents in their later bands.
This record shaped my life. This is THE record that opened my eyes to hardcore.
Posted by donnymutt at 4:00 PM