It all began with Endpoint.
Funny that a band whose name signifies the final outcome of an effort or a goal, is where it all started for me. With Endpoint it was my introduction to a great world and scene of hardcore and punk. Not to mention my obsession as a completist vinyl collector asshole.
I had move to Louisville, KY in 1988 when I first heard of Endpoint. Or was it ’89?…Either way, I was in 9th grade and I became friends with this guy named Matt S. At the time I was listening to whatever may have been on the radio and what some friends had turned me on to. I was into a few bands whose videos were played on Headbangers Ball and 120 Minutes. One day, Matt S. asked me if I was into any of the bands in the local scene. I had no idea what he was talking about. Instead of ridiculing me for not being “in touch”, he lent me a tape to listen to. It was Endpoint’s If The Spirits Are Willing on local label Slamdek. From the moment I heard the opening riff of “Thought You Were” and well into the rest of the tape…both sides…I was hooked. I didn’t know what to make of it…a completely different sound from anything I had ever heard before in my limited music knowledge. And I loved each and every song on that damn tape.
It all really came together for me when Matt S. asked if I wanted to go with him to see Endpoint play at a laser-tag place that doubled as a show venue of some weekend nights. If I recall correctly, it was called The Maze (and later became CD Graffitis). It was at that show, seeing Endpoint live, that it all made sense and I found a place and people I could relate to. From then on, I went to as many shows as possible and immersed myself in the local scene and all the music and bands. And that became a gateway for getting into other hardcore and punk bands like Black Flag, Minor Threat, and countless others. Not to mention other local bands like Kinghorse, Sunspring, Undermine, and Spot.
In the years that traversed until I moved from the great Bluegrass State in ’92, Endpoint released many more records and 7”s on Conversion Records, Slamdek (again), and Doghouse Records. Back then, Doghouse was small label dedicated to releasing albums by a few Midwest hardcore and not-so-hardcore (Split Lip / Chamberlain) bands at the time.
Endpoint’s first proper full-length is considered to their release with Conversion, In A Time Of Hate. Released in 1990(?), the record not only exposed the band to a larger audience within the hardcore/punk scenes but also afforded them to head out on tour and spread their unique brand of hardcore. Endpoint’s style was deeply-rooted in hardcore and some metal even, but it always had a sincerity and emotion that was unlike anything at the time. At least to me it wasn’t. And this was largely due to Rob Pennington’s lyrics and vocal delivery.
Fast forward to now…after a few more releases, the band’s break-up in 1994, and a few reunion shows in 2011…In A Time Of Hate has been reissued by Simba Records. There a few things that make this reissue stand out from any typical reissue. The artwork has been completely redone. The cover was re-designed and on silk-screened covers and the album itself has been remastered. So now it sounds a bit crisper and less bottom-heavy than the original release. Although I have to admit that the gritty and muddled sound of the Conversion release gave the album some character. It sounded more raw and mean. But this reissue sounds like listening to this album for the first time again. It’s fresh and so fuckin’ good.
Simba Records definitely did a great job with this reissue. Red vinyl. It definitely feels heavyweight…180gram perhaps? I’m not too picky about those things, but I always appreciate getting a record in the mail that is thick enough to not be warped in the FloriDUH! heat.
The labels are a bit simple. And that is OK. I’d rather have simplicity in packaging and presentation and let the music speak for itself. Which this reissue does overall. This reissue is limited to 500 numbered copies.
I really don’t know how much further to go with this…gushing and otherwise. Released in time for Record Store Day, In A Time Of Hate is the one release that got me at full attention and excited. Due to its limited distribution by Revelation Records, there was no guarantee that my local store would get it. So thankfully, Simba offered up a few copies online for us schlubs who wanted it bad enough. And it all worked out.
Just for shits and giggles, I’ll post below pics of the original Conversion pressings. Doghouse were supposed to reissue it at some point while EP were active, but it never happened. But when it comes the Conversion release:
First pressing: “Red” cover – Blue Marble vinyl out of 500. Black, who knows.
Second pressing: “Blue” cover – Black vinyl…who knows.
I don’t think Conversion was very forthcoming with pressing numbers back then. But then again, I wasn’t 100% hardcore…pun intended…into their catalog so don’t have the proper full-on research and knowledge.
When I get asked what some of my favorite bands are, I always, without fail, will include ENDPOINT. Hardcore may be an abrassive style and genre of music to some and maybe most, but those of us who grew deep-seeded in the 90’s HxC scene, we know there is much more than that. In that scene and those bands, there may have been a level of anger and aggression and desperation…and frustration at how we perceived the world at the time…but deep down, there were heart and emotion. And that is what I was able to find and relate to in Endpoint‘s music. Rob Pennington and Duncan Barlow…the core of EP…and honestly two of my most admired musicians and artists even to this day (thank Cthulhu they’re still involved in music)…those two guys gave me music that I could relate to, and allowed me to find a release to all my anger and frustrations and sense of a lost kid out there.
I know it may cheesy to come out and say things like “OMG! This band and their music changed my life!”…yeah, I feel it is a bit cheesy and somewhat over-dramatic…but if you’re passionate enough of a band’s music, it can feel like that. As if ther music was a complete life-changer. I’m a cynic through and through…but when it comes to music, I turn very serious. There are a few bands that helped shape who I have become and allowed me to be open to things…all kinds of things…points of views, emotions, whatever…and ENDPOINT was one of those bands. To this day I hold them close to my heart. Their music means the world to me. And if that means being cheesy, then call me Velveeta.
“Being cheesy…and not ashamed…since 1995”