In short, Essentials is an ongoing series that provides artists the opportunity to discuss a specific topic while giving their fan base a chance to connect with their various interests and inspirations. But in this case, we are totally okay with things getting weird and forthright. With a full U.S. tour on deck with Slow Mass and La Dispute (see dates), we asked Florida’s GOUGE AWAY to sound off on their favourite punk and hardcore records and the tasteful chaos that makes them tick.
Buzzcocks’ Singles Going Steady (1979)
Mick Ford: I found out about this record when I was searching around for punk bands in middle school. I think I had a few of their songs on my MP3 player from a file sharing site. I saw the CD for Singles Going Steady in a record store one day and bought it, and I’ve loved it ever since. Most of the songs are short and to the point; full of hooks and just aggressive enough that I could let it slide for being “pop music”. It’s influenced the way I write music to this day and it’s one of the first that helped me form an idea on song structure and writing hooks.
Kiss It Goodbye’s She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not (1997)
Dylan Downey: I found out about Kiss It Goodbye at some point in the mid-2000s when I first discovered Deadguy. What grabbed me about She Loves Me is how incredibly aggressive it is. I’m in love with many of the band’s contemporaries, but I don’t find that any of them balance that unhinged chaotic sound in such a tasteful, nuanced way. I just care deeply about what many of their lyrics deal with and the way they write them has had a huge impact on me creatively. My taste in music has changed a great deal over the past decade, but this band has been one of the strongest constants, and I’ve found new aspects of their music to appreciate along the way.
Fugazi’s The Argument (2001)
Tommy Cantwell: I first found out about Fugazi when I was around 15 and I went on a music downloading spree. I already liked Minor Threat, but this was more evolved and experimental. I love all of their stuff, but I listen to The Argument the most. Their lyrics and songs were very impactful on me as a teenager and they definitely influenced the way that I viewed music and my outlook on life.
Royal Headache’s High (2015)
Tyler Forsythe: This is an album that I feel everyone in the band fell in love with around the same time. It’s such an easy listen, but it has so much character. It makes me think of us being on tour and having a hard time deciding on what to listen to in the van. Whenever that happens, we put on Royal Headache.
Paint It Black’s CVA (2003)
Christina Michelle: Paint It Black came into my life at a time when I was pretty over trying to find my place in hardcore. I went to their show because someone had an extra ticket, and I had no idea I was about to discover one of my new favourite bands. They were so aggressive and they had this captivating energy. I appreciated their tendency to drift away from your traditional hardcore by adding surf-y and sing-y bits. I also loved Dan Yemin’s voice and in between songs, they addressed so many relevant issues and really wore their virtues on their sleeves. They made me feel like there was a band for me, and that maybe there was a chance for me to belong after all.