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 third installment of this series looks at Brooklyn based hardcore act Indecision who still play charity shows to this day despite splitting up in 2000.
Years Active: 1993 – 2000
Record Labels: Exit Records (Wreck-Age Records subsidiary) , M.I.A. Records, and More
Written by Joshua Greenbaum
On December 2nd five very vital 90’s New York City/Long Island bands are reuniting and getting together for a show at Brooklyn Monarch. In in part 1 we talked about C.R.’s and in part 2 we talked about Milhouse, who shares members with another band playing the Brooklyn Monarch show:
Part 3: Indecision
Indecision were formed in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with Tom Sheehan on vocals, Justin Brannan (who also played in Milhouse) on guitar, Steve Bago on bass, and Pat Flynn on drums. Rachel Rosen (who also played in Milhouse) would later join on guitar,
The band’s sound was along the lines of 108 (who’s singer Rob Fish would guest on an Indecision song) or Unbroken, but with a bit more metal and Tom Sheehan’s unique vocals.
Their first release was a 7” on R.P.P. records, followed by about 3 or 4 more 7”s on various lebels before signing to the Wreck-Age Records the label responsible for releasing Milhous’s Obscenity the Milk album) subsidiary Exit Record in 1996.
Exit Records would release the albums Unorthodox (1996) and Most Precious Blood (1998)..Both album consisting of Indecision’s unique sound,
One of the factors which make the band so unique is their way of beginning songs with a seriously intense build ups before collapsing into an awesome chorus and breakdown, This is well displayed on both “False Prophets Preaching” on Unorthodox “I Believe”” and MPB’s “False Prophets Preaching”. The former also shows their perfect use of “gang vocals’ ‘, while the latter displays their well fitting sample. In this song one form of the X-Files television show is used.
The first album Unorthodox does have a more old school hardcore/youth crew influence, while MPB possesses more metal riffs. If either one of those styles are more up your alley I suggest checking that one out first. MPB even has one that is almost melodic on “Crucifix Escapist”
On MPB Indecision also covers Siouxsie and the Banshees song “Every Last Beat of My Heart . Well, kind of, Basically the song is a fast run through the chorus and second bridge of the original but Siouxsie herself does make an appearance at the end in the form of a snippet from the original song.
Some other covers Indecision would do are The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” (on the split with UK band Knuckledust”, SS Decontrol’s “Glue” (on the split EP with Shai Hulud), and Dan O’Mahoney’s band 411’s “Those Homophobic”. These covers can be found on youtube or the RPP singles compilation
After this singer Tom Sheehan left the band, soon replaced by another figure of this series: Artie Philie of Milhouse. This line up quickly released a 1998 demo of versions of older songs with Artie on vocals. I was lucky to be able to pick up a copy at the Alive and Well Fest in Asbury Park. NJ. (The Misfits, Orange 9mm, 7 Seconds, Better Than A Thousand and more are also on the bill). The demo was later released on CD as the to Live and Die in New York album on Jawk Records.
Then came Indecision’ 1999 album. Release the Cure on M.I.A.. Records. The album, produced by Agnostic Front’s Roger Meritt (who also guest on “Crawling” (Track 7) is Indecision’s loudest album, with Artie’s Phillies deeper and heavier growly vocals and major difference from Tom Sheehan’s more shrieking vocals. On Release the Cure the band does record some heavier versions of songs off their older albums and EPs, like “Blindfold” and “This Time Tomorrow (off of MPB), but would also include some awesome new ones like “May Be Monitored to Assure Quality Control (Track 2), “Through the Wasteland Go Searching We”,
There are also a few slower ones like “Save Me” (Track 8) which signals the directions a few of the members’ next band Most Precious Blood would go.
Then in 2000 Indecision broke up,
Like stated in the Milhouse later singer Artie went on to play in the bands The Shemps, Celebrity Murders, and now plays in Ready for Death out of Chicago.
First singer Tom Sheehan, guitarists Justin Brannan and Rachel Rosen went on to the slower and more metal Most Precious Blood. Indecision drummer Pat Flynn plays drums on their first album Nothing In Vain but I am not sure he was a full-time member. Tom only sings on their first album Nothing In Vain, before (ex-One King Down singer) Rob Fusco took over vocals.
Justin Brannan would also find his way into politics and become the New York City Councilman for 43rd District, which he was just re-elected.
Although I am not sure Indecision is still considered a full-time band, they are playing shows here and there, including having played one with Integrity at the end of 2022.
For fun try to find an original copy of their Most Precious Blood album, where after the CD ends there are a bunch of sound clips of the band singing very non-Indecision songs and a few prank phone calls. If I can I will try to upload mine to YouTube.