When people think of New York Hardcore the first bands that come to mind are usually Agnostic Front, Warzone, Murphy’s Law, and other bands from that scene. But in the 90’s some bands would take those influences and add some of the noise coming out of New York City, early emo, as well as metal. This article, and a few to come, will introduce you to these different bands’ histories, discographies, and where to listen to them. The first installment in this series looks at Compassion Revolution, or C.R. for short, hailing from Staten Island with a sound like Infest covering Napalm Death but with a NYHC influences.
Artist: C.R. (Compassion Revolution)
Years Active: 1995 – 1998
Record Label: Reservoir Records (Original Releases), Trip Machine Laboratories (Discography, $6 via Bandcamp)
Written by Joshua Greenbaum
When people think of New York Hardcore the first bands that come to mind are usually Agnostic Front, Warzone, Murphy’s Law, and other bands from that scene.
But in the 90’s some bands would take those influences but add some of the noise coming out of New York City, early emo, as well as metal. A lot of these bands came from Brooklyn and Long Island. These band’s were all closely knit, often sharing band members.
A few of these bands, who would become very influential to many band’s to come, are coming together December 1rst to play a show at the Brooklyn Monarch venue.
Even though it is very hard for most people to attend ( I actually have plane tickets from Southern California) all these bands have their catalogs available online to listen to across many streaming platforms, as well as to buy physical or digital copies on Bandcamp.
This article, and a few to come, will introduce you to the different bands’ histories, discographies, and where to listen to them.
But first the one band who is not from Brooklyn or Long Island.
Compassion Revolution, or C.R. for short hail from Staten Island, the borough located right below Manhattan.
I would describe C.R.’ sound as the very influential band Infest covering Napalm Death or is it Napalm Death covering Infest, with a NYHC influences.
Listen to their entire catalog on one album here:
Their first 7″ EP, containing 10 songs, was released on Reservoir Records. Although it does have slightly melodic moments like in “Mullet ”, the instrumental song that kicks off the EP. Overall it is a very rough sounding highlight by Elway on drums, especially on C.R, (Track 3) and Grover’s unique vocals. The songs are short and fast with the longest being “ThreeSixtyFour” (Track 5), which clocks in at 1 minute, twenty four seconds.
The final song “Jim Henson” has a Grover the Muppet sample at the beginning and end, which would become a theme over the band’s short career. The singer after all is named Grover.
Next the band would release a flexi disc with two songs, “Neurobox ” and a cover of Infest’s “Where the Unity”. I’m not sure where exactly it was released, I have never seen a physical copy, but the two songs are available on their discography compilation or YouTube.
Then came their monster album.
The John Lisa LP released in 1998, again on Reservoir Records, contained a whopping 25 songs. Some highlights would be “Bleepone”, with its 20 seconds of feedback to a scream at the end and actual sung vocals on “88 Hardcore Song”
The songs are highlighted by samples from The Exorcist on “Cling On ” ( Track 22) and of course more Muppets on Grover’s Song”.
The original Reservoir Records copies also contained a lot of printed info on various political matters inside. During my years of owning a record store (1995 – 2000) it was almost impossible to keep the album in stock. Someone would grab it almost as it was removed from the UPS shipping box.
C.R.’s final release, a split single with another band playing the upcoming Broolyn (we will get more into them later). C.R.’s side of the single contained one original song named “Eternal Excuse” and a great cover of the very different sounding band Team Dresch “Hate the Christian Right”.
C.R. would break up in 1998 with members going on to Murdock, Celebrity Murders (with two members from the band on the split), and a few other New York City bands.
Although their releases in the original forms are pretty hard to find, their “46 Songs’ ‘ discography compilation has been released on a few different labels over the years, most recently in 2020 on Trip Machine Records, and available across all streaming platforms.