Contact: Virginia Group Mines '90s Hardcore Influence on Debut EP

Photos: Miranda Jean 

A few months ago, I wrote about Contact, a band from the fertile Richmond, Virginia hardcore scene. At the time, the quartet had just inked a deal with Patient Zero Records (Near Dark, Burning Strong).

Today, Contact dropped the first release from their label partnership via Before and Through and Beyond All Time, a mouthful of a title if there ever was one. Stylistically, the band mentions Strife, 108, and Count Me Out as prime influences on their sound. Listening to the EP, you can certainly hear some of that seeping into their approach, but they manage to find their own corner in the mayhem.

"It’s fairly obvious that, musically, this record comes out of our love of hardcore across the spectrum," Contact vocalist Matt told me via email. "We all come at the genre from slightly different perspectives, but at the end of the day I think it comes across that we aren’t interested in a particular sub-genre (beat down, metalcore, Youth Crew, etc).

"As the two primary song writers, Drew and I come from similar but different styles. I grew up in Florida during the late '90s so my stuff has a more metal tinge while Drew is a little younger and came up during the Verse/Have Heart era but with a real interest in stuff like Lifetime and The Movielife.

"Our bassist Camden is like an underground music encyclopedia so he almost always gets what we’re referencing and Jordan, our drummer, brings a fresh take because he likes hardcore but hasn’t been quite as in the weeds as the rest of us."

Matt also talked a bit about the lyrical influences throughout Before and Through and Beyond All Time.

"Lyrically and thematically before and through and beyond all time really stems from my study of Catholic mysticism and a mix of Quaker, Catholic, and Buddhist contemplative activism. This stuff has ancient history but sort of resurfaced in the wake of both the nuclear arms race and the civil rights movement with the work of teachers like Thomas Merton, Thich Nhat Hahn, Shinryu Suzuki, and Thomas Keating."

"As a band I think we’re also functioning from a lot of the writing of Jacques Elul who was a French anarchist and wrote a lot about technology and religion. The art for the record comes from a medieval wood block print depicting the prophet Ezekiel encountering the presence of GOD through what I can only describe as borderline David Lynch-esque wildness. This is where you get the images of angels as just, like, a bunch of wheels with eyes or wings with different animal heads. We hope this record gives people something to be curious about while also not being so heady or ideological that it undermines the visceral experience that brings someone to a punk rock show."

Before and Through and Beyond All Time is out now on vinyl via Patient Zero Records. The cassette version of the EP is also available in Europe from Final War Records.

Hit the Contact Linktree for more info on the band.


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