Monday, December 21, 2009

Favorite Jules Masse band poll wrap up

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


eric said...

does anyone know what ever happen to Jules Masse after AITC?

Ben Edge said...

All else equal, but only one of these two bands is "complete with whammy bar divebombs," and that was the tie-breaker for me.

"When Tigers Fight" is cheesy as hell! I didn't like the song when I actually did take it seriously, but now I embrace it for all it's cheesiness.

If each band got 50% of the vote, that would have been fine.

Smitty said...

Jules joined the merchant marines after his NYHC days though I don't think he's still in them. There's a bit of a cheese factor in SBS and AIAC but the vehemence of Jules vocals overcomes it all. "ALEX!" is still the best breakdown call out in NYHC history. Also the cover illustration of 'You're Only Young Once..' is a classic however ridiculous. I mean, they were kids, what do you expect. I remember back in the mid-90s Carl had a big box of those AIAC 7"s in his apartment collecting dust.

Anonymous said...

regarding AIAC not being cheesy: AGREED! in 1988, were you going to walk up to jules and tell him he and his band were cheesy????? didnt think so.

2 great bands, can't lose either way.

bl'ast poll on the other hand...little more clear cut.......power is just brutal and raw...WINNER.

Anonymous said...

"ALEX!" is still the best breakdown call out in NYHC history. -AGREED!

(optional) said...

side by side are the real winner, the real deal. alone in a crowd was a 4 song band, that's difficult to take it seriously.

Anonymous said...

This is almost as stupid as the Revelation shoes.

sacha said...

both rule!

Anonymous said...

None of your friends should say that AIAC was cheesy.

Both bands are just great!

Anonymous said...

I wanna seeeeeeeeeeeeee........

Anonymous said...

I last saw Jules on Prince St. in SoHo in maybe 1989/90. He said he was taking college courses, doing great; later he did join the Merchant Marine. Since then, he's completely vanished-- I asked Alex Brown ("ALEX!") if he had any word of Jules during the first GB reunion tour, and he said the guy has just fallen off the face of the earth. Jules, if you're out there, send up a flare!