Friday, March 20, 2015

VerbalAssault-Trial LP (1987)

V.A. have a deep Albany NY connection, as they played to us like what seemed like monthly back in the day.  The back cover photo of this album is taken at an old Albany club called 288 Lark Street.  The band started off as a pretty basic sounding straight edge band, but then by this release completely reinvented its sound doing a 180.  When this came out, I'd never heard anything that sounded so produced and well played technical hardcore.  Listening to this makes me wish I still had my Verbal Assault long sleeve.

The last time I saw these guys was in Albany with No Outlet, Go, SFA, and Born Against.  The band showed up a day early and my friend Damon Douglas let them stay at his parents house in the suburbs in upstate NY.  The band decided they wanted to practice because they had written new material to record for an upcoming 12" called "On".  They ended up setting up their gear and playing to about five of us in Damon's basement while his parents patiently did what ever it is parents did back then.  This is a really fond memory.

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  1. I remember this show and hanging out with VA at Damon's house, he was also the only one who had a copy of TRIAL on vinyl that hadn't been destroyed from overplaying it.I just remember getting alot of crap from the guys because I was pretty star struck with people from the D.C. scene at the time, little did I know looking back on it now all the awesome stuff we did at Eagles and the like. When I was at Amazon I ran into Beth Lahickey, it was pretty funny she was in H.R. and I was just like you used to hang out at club 288 right? I see so few of the good people from back in the day, good to see somebody from those days posting.

    I have this flyer framed above my workstation.
    Cheers, Chris Randolph

  2. Awesome to hear you are doing well and still around chris. Those shows were great, and you had a lot to do with putting them on and making them happen. All those guys are on facebook...Damon, Adam, Steve, Luke, Nick, etc. Most have families now, and have moved on... But we remember those times and chat about them on fb.


  3. Great to hear this after all the years. I remember talking with the Gorman brothers about Verbal Assault when they were playing with Belly - they seemed bemused.

  4. wow, your so right on with this one!! I love this record for all the same reasons. id never heard a hardcore record with such refined and original guitar playing before i heard this (this was one of the earlier hardcore records i got heavily into for that very reason). The Swiz (self titled) LP is another one from around the same time that had a really cool guitar style. i think its safe to say this was a very influential record for many folks who heard it.

  5. I just remembered that it wasn't TRIAL that Damon had but the E.P. with the silent film cover. Can't remember the name of it I think it was some foreign movie with Max Von Sydow. Anyway he was the only one that had it so we used to make him play it. Same for that awful Bad Religion pop synth album.

    Chris Randolph

  6. Another local connection is that a guy named Jay King used to roadie for VA. He was a local Saratoga guy who did a HC radio show at Skidmore College in the 80's, which got him quite a few band connections.

  7. I'd bought the Trial record here in Chile in (I think) 1987 looking for something like Minor Threat. The Gormans now play in the band Belly.