In perhaps our closest poll results yet, Side By Side squeaked by Alone In A Crowd, taking just over half the vote.
Each band fronted by a young Jules Masse had detractors and critics as well as ample fans. Side By Side blazed through 1987 with a little over a dozen live shows on great bills at The Anthrax and CB's as well as other tri-state area venues. The 7" is a total ripper...just a fast, raw, spontaneous sounding recording the feels live and totally first-take. Jules is pissed as hell but with a classic nasally voice that has an early hardcore punk feel complete with some variety of a NY accent. Eric and Alex trade chords, complete with whammy bar divebombs, and a 14 year old kid by the name of Sammy Siegler goes crazy on the skins while locking up with Billy Bitter on bass. I'm sure many would consider this a classic style late 80's hardcore record, and I couldn't disagree on any level. Simply great.
1988 rolled around, and Side By Side had broken up, leaving a Revelation Records release in the history books. I've never been clear on exactly what Jules got up to during this down time, but by the fall of 1988 he had put together Alone In A Crowd and stormed the stage at The Anthrax pissed as hell, backed up by Lars (last SBS line-up) on guitar, Howie (BOLD roadie) on guitar, Carl Raw Deal on bass and Rob Uppercut on drums. Talk about a NYHC line-up. That single AIAC show and the four song EP was all that ever existed of the band, and I think that has added to their allure over the years in the sense that it was just a one and done thing. Aside from the reissue a few years back, the Flux Records release had become long out of print and somewhat rare, taking a little digging and at least a crisp twenty dollar bill to obtain.
Anyways - my vote went to Alone In A Crowd, and I know Tim's did as well (and I think for similar reasons).
I love Side By Side, but that Alone In A Crowd live set is just so awesome. What Jules has to say on stage just makes you want to stage dive before the song even starts. On top of that, the band is pretty damn tight. I never understood people saying they were "cheesy" or the bell in When Tigers Fight was "cheesy." There's this recent revisionist history of sorts where I'm noticing old punk and hardcore being considered "so funny LOL!" Like, "mosh part ahaha, straight edge lol, old school hahahah! LOL!" ??? This is confusing to me...and it's not due to any lacking sense of humor on my part.
I don't know...when I first was becoming exposed and the message conveyed by punk and hardcore bands was serious, I kinda took it as that. And Alone In A Crowd - serious stuff.
Either one is a winner in my book...but when that bass line to When Tigers Fight starts, I'm not sitting still. -Gordo DCXX
Side By Side - 204
Alone In A Crowd - 182
Monday, December 21, 2009
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 9:43 PM