There always were bands I'd have loved to work with, but for some reason or other, I never got my act together- until now. When THE SCARLET LETTER asked us to do a record for them, we decided that it was finally time to put ASSAULT Records on the map.
For me, hardcore was (and still is) more than music, not just another trend. After actively being involved with this scene for over fifteen years now, I can safely say that punk and hardcore have become part of my life. The politics and the rage, the passion and emotion are what "my" hardcore is all about. Over the years, I've been provoked, challenged and educated through bands, zines and individuals who call themselves punk or hardcore. ASSAULT Records is my way to support bands that still rock my world, to say "thank you" for years of inspiration. It's an effort to give back to a scene that gave me so much. Eventhough I do have musical preferences, I'm not going to limit the label to a certain sound. But you can be sure that there will only be records by bands that I can stand behind and support fully.
The inaugural release was a 7" EP by THE SCARLET LETTER from NJ. Ever since their debut release on Hater Of God, I've been deeply impressed with their work. To have their new 7" as my first release was an honor.
Hailing from NYC, THE DISASTER released their full length CD "Black And White And Red All Over" on Endwell records. I liked it so much that we asked them to release the vinyl version of that record. Enter ASSAULT Records number two, probably my favourite Assault release to this day. Our third release was the European pressing of the R.A.M.B.O. - Wall of Death the System LP/CD that came out on 625Productions. Drug free anarchist bikers going wild. We were taken not only by their music, but their lyrics as well. Thanks to two European tours, the band really took off and sold a bunch of records. More and more domestic bands came to our attention, so we decided on two german bands to release next. First up was the "Never Stop Cutting Off Heads 7" from trash kings M.O.T.U., who unfortunately broke up soon after. We also decided to take a chance with a new band from Hamburg. Shortly after, the JUST WENT BLACK- "Balancing Reasons In An Unbalanced World" was released- the first cooperation between Assault Records and Just Went Black and the start of a lasting friendship.
We've always been staunch vinyl supporters, but like a sore, the idea of a compilation CD containing the M.O.T.U. 7" and the JUST WENT BLACK 7" festered. It all fell into place when we had the chance to add not only the SURF NAZIS MUST DIE 7", but their entire demo as well. After twisting some arms, JUST WENT BLACK finally authorized the inclusion of their demo too. The "Raging Assault" compilation CD has all that- 33 songs of hardcore, including the entire SURF NAZIS MUST DIE discography. The ANOTHER BREATH debut release was up next. "Not Now, Not Ever" came out in 2004. It contains not only the songs from the Rivalry CD, but four tracks from their demo as well, exclusive to the vinyl release. I'm still stoked to have been involved with these guys from the start and to me this is still their best work so far. A few months later we released a new BREATHE IN 7". A direct follow-up to their debut on Bridge Nine Records, their new material was quite a departure, much more raw and punk rock sounding. Everything was going fine, but towards the end of 2004, label co-founder Markus told me of his plans to quit Assault Records immediately for personal reasons. Of course, this came as a shock to me, because I've always seen the two of us running Assault Records together for a good long time. I've been flying solo since 2005, taking care of Assault Records and XsentientX Distribution on my own. The first release on my own was "Tides", the debut LP from JUST WENT BLACK, which (after numerous delays) came out in the summer of 2005. I distinctly remember listening to the recordings for the first time. Expecting a straight up hardcore record, I was disappointed. But to my surprise the melodies and their songs steadily grew on me until I've loved every minute. To this day, "Tides" remains benchmark not only for Assault, but for hardcore from Germany. The CD version was released by New Age Records from the US. How cool is it to have bands like OUTSPOKEN, TRIAL and UNBROKEN as your label mates? THE LEGACY asked for help in repressing their "We Gave It Everything" MCD (which came out on Dead & Gone Records originally) in time for their euro tour. I've loved the CD, so I did a CD-only release for the first (and probably last) time. To this day I regret not repressing the 10" (which was limited to 250 copies) as well. If you get a chance to check out their other records (CD-only releases as well), by all means, do so. This is a criminally underrated band! Parallel to the Legacy CD, I was hard at work releasing the SHORT FUSE – s/t LP /CD. I've been friends with Seb for years, so I jumped at the chance to work with him and Short Fuse. It took until the summer of 2006 before their record finally came out, which marks a new record when it comes to delays. A split release with Underestimated Records from the US made sure that their debut would get exposure overseas as well and paved the way for the Short Fuse US tour. Delays were the name of the game for the DAY OF THE DEAD LP "A New Healing Process" as well. The CD version came out in the US on State Of Mind Records, but problems with the artwork kept delaying the vinyl version, which finally saw the light of day late 2006. It took so long for the DOTD LP to come out that the new SHORT FUSE 7" ("Fruitless Efforts") made it back from the plant way sooner. Underestimated Records did a US press again. 2007 was a big year for Assault Records. January saw the vinyl release of the EMPTY VISION – The Rise LP. Young and full of promise, EMPTY VISION not only won me over, but Fields of Hope Records (CD version) and Cobra Records (split label for the vinyl release) as well. June saw the release of "Embracing Emptiness" by JUST WENT BLACK. Our first 10" release, this actually met expectations and delivered six new tracks of passionate and melodic modern hardcore. A CD version is available from Blacktop Records. Just two weeks later, "Blight", the latest offering from SHORT FUSE returned from the plant. After a line-up change, you get six new songs of hardcore punk for the working class. Up next came the COUNTING THE DAYS – Finding A Balance LP. Twelve tracks and 31 minutes of passionate, aggressive and inspiring modern hardcore straight from the heart. 'Finding A Balance' is nothing less than a treasure trove of hardcore anthems filled with tons of sing-along's, passion, and breakdowns. Hailing from Glen Burnie in the US, they founded their own label Blackjaw Records to co-release the LP. A CD version is available from Strike First Records. The fall of 2007 saw the release of the BROTHERS – Black Friday full-length LP. Eleven tracks of modern hardcore and nothing less than the perfect mix of brutality, energy, and melody! Awesome chorus parts, great production and great songwriting had me quickly convinced that I had to have these guys on Assault. A CD version was released ny Saw Her Ghost Records in the states. Assault is alive and kicking. With releases as varied as the Assault catalogue, you might wonder about what it is exactly that holds all this together. I've decided early on that even though I do have musical preferences, I would not limit (and Assault Records) myself to a certain sound. To me, hardcore was (and still is) more than music, not just another trend. The politics and the rage, the passion and emotion are what (for me) hardcore is all about. Over the years, I've been provoked, challenged and educated through bands, zines and individuals who call themselves punk or hardcore. ASSAULT Records is my way to support bands that still rock my world, to say "thank you" for years of inspiration.
To be continued...