108 – 15 years later


So the 108 show is only one week away. I’m pretty excited about it (because I’m gonna harass Vic and Alan for BEYOND stories). I’ve never been a huge 108 fan personally, but there are a lot of them out there – young and old. One of them is our buddy Robbie Blythe. Being the gentleman/scholar that he is, he waxed nostalgic about 108 and explained why he’s one of those individuals who is excited to get stuffed in a small room to see, arguably, one of the best hardcore bands of the 90s.

I don’t remember exactly when the first time I heard 108 was. I would have been around 15 or 16, in grade 10 or 11 and I definitely had Holyname, their first lp, on a tape that had some other early/mid 90s hardcore on the flip side. I’m not sure that I liked that album as much as I liked the stories I had heard about the band. One in particular I remember was something about a fight breaking out in Buffalo and the singer, Rob Fish (who I was already familiar with via the Resurrection song on the Only the Strong comp.), playing the entire set lying in the middle of the floor. Sounds lame now, but it was the stuff legends were made of to my 16 year old self.

Like I said, Holyname wasn’t that amazing, but Songs of Separation- right from the opening scream of Opposition- was a pretty killer album. The first couple years of getting into hardcore, however, go pretty quickly and you go through a lot of bands and different periods. 108 was cool, but their records definitely fell to the bottom of my listening pile for a period… Until I heard their song Arctic on the Anti-Matter compilation. That was truly the moment I fell in love with 108. I guess, the fact that Krishna-core died with the early 90s and now the mid-90s were quickly coming to an end, finding their new record, Threefold Misery, was hard to do in Toronto. Rotate This finally got a copy in and I don’t think there has been a period longer than a month in the last 12 years that I haven’t listened to it. Perhaps it was the whole Krishna thing, but 108 is one of the most under-rated bands from the 1990s.

It’s been a few years since they reformed and they’ve put out an amazing ep (which I don’t have because my Ipod shit the bed) and a first-rate lp. I never got to see 108 the first time around and am so stoked that Stuck in the City are bringing them to Toronto. My core appreciation isn’t what it once was and I don’t make it out to too many shows; this is one show I definitely won’t miss though. Oh, and the fact that Alan Cage (Quicksand), who is hands down the best drummer in hardcore, is now playing with them blows my mind.



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