BAND: LC93 (Singapore)
RELEASE: Wiser. Stronger. Together (2016)
REVIEWER: Unite Asia
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Final Rating: 100/10
“We acknowledge the vast sprouts of hardcore in the Lion City, 23 years on. It is definitely a great feeling to see and hear the LCHC of today – much alive and kicking. Straight Forward, Exhibitors, State of Pain, Losing End are the few of the many amazing local lads we have now.
We aim to spark a journey of history, the roots of LCHC.“
This introduction to what we have here in our hands, a strong testament of one of Asia’s longest running hardcore scenes, is a profoundly beautiful statement. It fully encompasses what this important release by a collective band of pioneers of the proud and prolific Singapore hardcore is all about. The band we’re talking about today is called LC93. With their debut release, the band is paying homage to the forefathers of the scene, while also looking to support the present, and thus the future of Lion City hardcore. How can any hardcore kid worldwide not back this 100%?
Here’s a quick background for those of you around the world:
“LC93 is a hardcore band from Singapore playing local 90’s old school covers. We believe that many local GENUINE & forgotten 90’s bands are truly under rated & deserve as much respect & homage as international bands. LC93 consists of original members from Lion City Hardcore Compilation released in 1993.“
In a nutshell, the band is all about covering songs created by fellow Singapore hardcore bands who were active during the early 90’s. This LP therefore consists of re-recordings of THOSE songs all collected under the title Wiser. Stronger. Together. (The title altogether appropriate for a band of committed hardcore “kids” some of whom have been with the hardcore community of Singapore since its inception in the 80’s).
So let’s get to actually reviewing what you have here…
Visually – this piece of wax is stunning. From the lion cover graphic created by hugely popular Singaporean artist KILAS, to the beautiful variations of vinyl, to the layout of the cover having that old Revelation Records vibe, this is a visually well thought out record that is clearly paying tribute to classic hardcore records adored by millions all over the world. Though the music may be an homage to Singapore, visually this record is a tribute to hardcore full stop.
Back cover of the LC93 record done in classic hardcore record style layout.
The record begins with a pit-inducing intro to a song originally written by Singapore hardcore band Voiceout and yo – what a KILLER way to begin this ode to LCHC. The track is 4 minutes in length but doesn’t veer off in energy and passion throughout the song especially in the sheer intensity of the vocals. LC93 vocalist Izar absolutely fucking DESTROYS it on this entire record. The next two tracks written by Intense Decibel and Rectify respectively all carry on that Turning Point vibe where the music sounds intense but carries an undertone of emotion and melody – that vulnerability that made Turning Point such an easy band for the world to connect to, even out here in Asia in the 90’s. The following track Stop This Fight by Bawlout is the first track that pulls the breaks on this vibe with a straight up in your face punk rock number. The musical break from 1.59 onwards is fucking awesome, and by the time the song wraps up you’ve already finished pitting in your living room several times.
That’s just 4 tracks in my friends…the rest of the record continues on this historical journey of the dynamism of the Singapore hardcore scene during the time these songs were all originally written. The beauty in hearing the tracks now is that the members of LC93 were deliberate in their choice of production. It’s 2016 – right now most heavy records that come out are over polished and over edited by engineers slumped over their computers, resulting in records that have lost all sense of that human touch. What LC93 decided to do was to make this as raw and rough as possible – overdubs are few and far between and you can clearly hear blemishes here and there. But all of that brings a huge amount of realness to this release and project. Without that key factor, is any hardcore record really a hardcore record? Of course, there are arguments for both sides in terms of production – sometimes clarity has its advantages for sure, but sometimes – especially today – rawness brings an added level of passion and emotion that just can’t be felt when the music is devoid of imperfections. This could be a hugely divisive point argued for millennia in terms of this particular LC93 record – but to us, this is how a hardcore record should sound.
If you’re a fan of worldwide hardcore and have a understanding that hardcore exists in almost every pocket of the world yet are overwhelmed with where to begin – this is a great place to start. Southeast Asian hardcore has been alive since the 80’s so getting your hands on this record is pretty crucial.
It is with huge honor that we were given an early taste of the record and stand behind this record and ANY Asian hardcore band trying to bring some much needed exposure to our OWN Asian bands. It would be a great sign of development if bands out here who may throw in Warzone, Turning Point, Gorilla Biscuit covers into their sets, also begin throwing in covers by our own Asian greats like Straight Answer (Indonesia), FC Five (Japan), Stompin Ground (Singapore), 13 Steps (Korea), Born From Pain (Thailand), on and on…LC93 is certainly doing their part by planting that seed.
Grab the record by emailing the band directly: [email protected]