It’s weird to think about, but by 2002 I was already feeling like part of the old guard in Syracuse. I was only around 25. But that’s how hardcore goes- the generational gaps are short and fleeting. I speak to this because there was already a younger crop of kids coming out of the middle of nowhere, making their own noise, and starting their own scene. When you begin to feel that you’re a little out-of-the-know that’s when it’s clear that the next generation is on it’s way. That younger group seemed to be led by a handful of maniacs from what we in the central NY area called ‘the north country’. These were all the rural suburbs north of Syracuse, extending up to Oswego and out east to Oneida Lake. No one had any interest in going up there. There was literally nothing up there. And if we thought Syracuse was cold and got a lot of snow, some of those northern areas got double that. 25 miles makes a big difference in those parts. These kids had a band called Beyond Fall- a run-of-the-mill kind of name for a younger band in that era. But when you heard them it was kind of wild what they were doing. They all had to be around 16 or 17 and were playing really technical metalcore that, whether you were a fan or not, had to respect due to the level of musicianship they all displayed. I mean, when you live in the middle of nowhere what else is there to do, right?
So Beyond Fall gigged around for a couple years, eventually making their way on to Syracuse bills with more established bands before they decided to call it quits. In the wake of that, three of the members- Jesse Daino, Graham Reynolds, and Aaron Jenkins decided to keep going under a new name- Ed Gein. And they ditched most of the metalcore parts in favor of playing as fast and as insanely technical as humanly possible. It was crazy. They cut a two song demo tape and quickly heads around town turned to witness what these three wild dudes, who all shared vocals by the way, were doing. How many riffs could they possibly cram into a single song? Into 10 seconds? It was nuts.
I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t super into it. It just seemed like too much mushed into one song with no cohesion, even though I did totally admire their ability as musicians. They reached out to me and asked if I would put out their next effort- a CDEP they had pretty much ready to go. In fact, I think they all came over to my apartment to meet with me and the guys sort of wafted in the background awkwardly and made Aaron do all the talking. It was definitely strange. I wasn’t really in a position to make a commitment based on not really having a lot of money at the time. They offered to cover a chunk of the costs and the reproduction was going to be pretty minimal because they planned on just doing a simple sleeve with a sticker on it and an insert. So I relented and gave it a shot and put in to help out with the release. I kind of thought people wouldn’t be too into it, but what did I know?
An Ed Gein show down in Pennsylvania with some like-minded bands
That summer the EP came out and the band played the annual Hellfest in Syracuse and a lot of people were curious. When they did their set the whole place went completely bananas. It was wild. I distinctly remember near the end of their set everyone was going crazy and so was the band and Graham’s guitar went out. Instead of trying to fix it (why bother? They were into the last 20 seconds of their last song), Graham just air guitared the part and dove into the crowd. And everyone loved it. It was hilarious. I think I sold somewhere around 300 of those little EPs just in one day. I’ve never had such a crazy interest in a band that I released something for. And here I was, a little bit of a naysayer, but I was thoroughly convinced after that. And pretty soon these three guys would have bigger things on the horizon for their band. This is where things also began to really take off for this label in a bigger way. Finally, Ed Gein was the reason I became close friends with all three of the guys and they would end up being a big part of my life for years and years after that.
I don’t have too much to say about this particular release because while it definitely put the band on the map and totally surprised me insofar as the response it received it was almost a half-release for the label as the band did the majority of the work in regards to bringing it to fruition. And, as I’ll look more closely into within the next few weeks, plenty more happened for these guys that I’ll get way more in-depth with.
Various old logos the band used when they first started out
This is a short one so now it gives you plenty of time to purchase the digital tracks for this release, which, for the next week, will only be $2. Not bad right? That works out to about $.005 per part in each song. Go over to the bandcamp to get 'em because physical copies of this one have been gone for a long time now.