If you paid closer attention to these pages, you probably stumble upon some news about the recently reissued NYHC classics. Pine Hill Records released cassette reissues of Thou Shalt Not Kill EP by Antidote and self-titled EP by Urban Waste. There’s no way you listened to hardcore, punk rock, Oi!, been part of the underground scene, and missed these classics. The chances for something like that are equal to zero. There’s been a lot of official and unofficial reissues on vinyl, various bootlegs, and whatnot, but these NYHC classics never went under cassette tape treatment. At least, I never heard of anything like it. Thankfully, the cassette is an analog music carrier just as vinyl, so the sound is not equally good as a vinyl record but better than any digital format you can stumble on the market. Plus, there’s something special about the tapes that makes them back on the map all over again.
So, I wrote a review about the Antidote’s Thou Shalt Not Kill EP cassette version a couple of days ago, and now it’s time to do it all over again for a self-titled EP by Urban Waste. Why are these two releases important? Because both Urban Waste and Antidote started their careers at the time when the hardcore was a relatively new thing on the music scene. You had punk rock all over the place, but the crowd needed something more relentless and energetic than simplistic four-chord progressions and washed-out rock’n’roll riffs. Then the bands like Cro-Mags, Cause For Alarm, Agnostic Front, Urban Waste, Antidote, Kraut, Murphy’s Law, and many others popped on the scene in the early eighties, and boom, they paved the way for the generations to come. It’s a phenomenon that continuously evolves, expands, and it lasts for nearly 40 years. Judging by the vitality of the NYHC scene, it is one of those phenomena that left a permanent mark on the underground scene, and it’s here to stay for good.
Like I did with Thou Shalt Not Kill EP by Antidote, I will not talk about the music of Urban Waste because the chances you never listened to this piece of hardcore artistry are equal with the chance you lived under the rock since the day you were born. I will talk about the look of the cassette reissue and compare it to the vinyl. First of all, Pine Hill Records is one of those labels that think about everything when it comes to publishing music. From design over the sound to packaging and handling, Pine Hill is unbeatable. It’s a label that forces you to check out their back catalog whenever you feel the urge to grab some new stuff. Not to mention their impressive roster that consists of top-notch bands in the game. The same goes for this self-titled EP by Urban Waste. Pine Hill Records nailed everything.
The visual look is similar to the original vinyl pressing, except for a couple of rearrangements considering lyric sheets, photos, and other elements. The graphic designer cropped the lyrics from an original lyric sheet and implemented it to fit the cassette cover panels. The same goes for the lineup and other information. The label included all the photos from the original 7″ pressing. As far as I can remember the visual appearance of the first pressing, this cassette tape reissue includes everything. Pine Hill Records made sure you miss nothing. Even the tiniest details are there, assembled to fit the cassette tape format. Comparing to Antidote’s Thou Shalt Not Kill, maybe I like the Urban Waste version a little bit better because of more copy/paste/xerox punk rock aesthetics. Soundwise, the analog sound of the cassette perfectly matches these mixes, so you’ll solely enjoy this tape reissue.
This self-titled EP comes in two variants, both strictly limited to 50 copies. The white shell cassette variant is hand-numbered from 01 to 50, while the black variant is hand-numbered from 51 to 100. Both reissues sold out almost instantaneously, so you better keep your eyes peeled on Discogs because you surely don’t want to miss this one out.