Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Judge poll wrap up

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Judge at the Pipe Dragon, Buffalo NY, Spring 1988, Photo: Geoffrey Nicholson

T
he unpopular vote seems to be the one that I always go with, but that's fine with me. I'll go to my grave swearing up and down that the "New York Crew" 7" is better than "Bringin' It Down" for two reasons: "Fed Up" and "In My Way." Two of the angriest, hardest, in your face and urgent straight edge songs ever written.

To me, there is so much beauty in the fact that the "New York Crew" 7" was written as a reaction/response to all that was going on within the scene at the time. People accused Youth Of Today as being elitists and judgemental and slagged them for bringing straight edge to the masses, so Mike and Porcell delivered their rebuttal in the form of a project on 7" vinyl. "I'm stepping back and I'm gonna judge you, I hope that fucked up head can tell you what to do"... it's lyrics like those that still psych me up every time I put the Sharpie to the backside of my hand. Of course it's a tad over the top and a tad extreme, but I think that's part of the attraction.

No disrespect to "Bringin' It Down" in the least because that LP is nothing less than greatness, but in my mind, you just can't beat the urgency and rawness of "New York Crew". -Tim DCXX

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To represent the majority opinion here, I'll offer a couple words about why I went with Bringin' It Down. Before that, allow me to acknowledge that the seven inch is tough to beat, no question. It's raw, urgent, and completely over the top...one of the first records I think of when the 1988 NYC SE scene comes to mind. It's two guys cranking out unpolished hardcore songs that hit you in the face like a hammer. It's heavy and fast and over before you know it, but you are almost knocked the fuck out in the process.

The LP, however, is like a long brutal storm (no pun intended) you have to buckle down and endure...and by the end of it you are worn down and destroyed from every angle. Gigantic Normandy Sound (which can actually get on my nerves every now and then)? Check. Excessive metal production? Check. Ripping fast parts? Check. Crushing mosh sections? Check. Finely tuned and machine-like playing from a full all-star cast? Check. Lyrics varying from straight edge disgust to lost love? Check. Sick layout and overall overall Revelation package? Check. It's just a winner on all counts to me.

I know many EP purists slag the metallic tone of the new direction JUDGE took here, the clean intro of "Like You," and some of the varied playing...but to me it creates just the perfect amount of dynamic that keeps the record from ever feeling long or stale. It's JUDGE in a mature, metallic form that pushed the band far beyond the original blueprint of the seven inch.

From the opening feedback of "Take Me Away" to the final notes of "Where It Went," there isn't a single weakness on this record as far as I'm concerned, and that's why I always place it higher than the epic debut EP.
"Stay Off The Tracks..." -Gordo DCXX

Judge - Bringin' it Down - 286
Judge - New York Crew - 180

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14 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Chips!!! XXX

Horizons said...

Since I mostly read your Blog in a Feed-reader I often just see the poll results and not the question...with this,I have a problem: there are four Judge-records,right?why the limitation?

John Cowell said...

"Bringin' it Down" was my vote purely 'cause it has more songs. I might like the production on the 7" better but there's just more there on the Lp. The 7" just isn't enough better to compensate for the relative lack of material. One of the toughest to call yet.

steve said...

the real judge is the lp. i like the ep but the anti drug lyrics are militant and asinine for the most part. the lyrics on the lp are more introspective and represent a more intelligent mike judge. bringin it down transcends the sxe scene and all of it cliches. im sure some edge fanboys are going to disagree, but i dont care, ill stick with my vote.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Steve. The lyrics on the 7 inch are pretty militant and stupid with the exception of I've Lost. Bringing It Down is such a great album on every level. It's musical without losing the old school sound. The lyrics are good and introspective. There is a nice balance between slow and fast songs. It was the perfect hardcore album to end the 80's. A classic.

Anonymous said...

Stands along side 'We're Not In This Alone' as being the high watermark of the sXe scene way back when,both musically & lyrically.I went for the ep,but i gotta short attention span.

DOUBLE CROSS said...

Horizons - Yes, technically there are 4 Judge records (New York Crew 7", Chung King, Bringin' It Down, The Storm 7"), but we only wanted to focus on the New York Crew 7" and BID because those are the two records we ourselves seem to constantly debate over. This poll had a specific focus, we'll leave those other Judge releases for another poll. -Tim DCXX

mcs said...

"Which version of 'The Storm' is best?" would be an interesting Judge poll in my opinion...

Marty said...

I voted for 'Bringin' It Down' because it's stellar thru and thru and it's got all 4(maybe 5 by then, it says Mike, Porcell, Matt & Sammy on the record itself, I'm not quite sure when Luke joined)members. The 7" wasn't a complete band yet, that's why I voted for B.I.D., I probably would've went with 'There Will Be Quiet...' since, in my opinion, Forget This Time is the hardest, most driving JUDGE song, hands down.

MJ said...

I agree with Marty

Marty said...

Thanks MJ, great minds think alike.

Burai Core Distro said...

"Forget This Time is the hardest, most driving JUDGE song, hands down."

Absolutely. My personal favorite. I'll take this single song over any of their full records.

Horizons said...

DCXX, Tim,
I do understand that notion since those are themost prominent two releases. As for me, I'd g with the "The Storm" MCD, and especially this format, because of the third song - and because "forget this time" is a helluvamonstersong

ERIC SXE said...

Bringin' It Down is awesome! Way better than the 7" in my opinion. It just hits so hard and even to this day it gets me pumped!! Stoked on the production too!