Saturday, March 8, 2008


the following text was stolen here. I know that I had posted LIFE´S BLOOD before but the links were down and the demo was not included! the radio liveshow will be posted soon(er or later)! The late 80s were a strange time for the New York Hardcore scene. While there were a ton of great bands that came from this era (far too many to name), the scene itself was becoming a little too big for its britches. The shows and music were infested with large promoters, major labels, and plenty of violence. Straight Edge had become an enormous fad that was giving way to Krishna Consciousness, and the rest of the bands seemed to be "going Metal". In the middle of all of this, one band stepped up and loudly challenged the whole shit, and that was Life's Blood. With a sound that was an updated, slightly slowed down version of 1982 style NYHC, their ferocious brand of iconoclasm would lay the groundwork for what was to become the monster known as Born Against. This band never seemed that obscure to me, but damn near every person I know that likes Hardcore from that era has either never heard of them or has heard of them but never heard them. I think that's a damn shame, so that's the reason for this post - but also to hopefully get some things cleared up for myself. The details of this band are sketchy at best for me, so if anyone out there has any further details, please share.
Life's Blood got together in 1987, recording a demo in February of 1988 and playing a ton of shows in and around the city that year. At least two of the guys were also involved with a hilarious zine called Tubesteak Gazette that took to calling out scene "celebrities", record labels and so on (you can actually read an issue over at c-rap). Later in 1988 they recorded and released the "Defiance" 7" on Combined Effort Records, which promptly sold out. The band also appeared on the Blackout! Records compilation "NYHC: Where The Wild Things Are" released in 1989, though I was never clear as to whether or not those songs were from the same recording session as the EP (my guess is yes). And then I believe that they were gone by the Summer of 1989, as guitarist Adam Nathanson (who is listed as Adam Woodrow on this record for some reason, more confusion) was playing in Born Against by that time (he also went on to found The Young Pioneers). So posthumously, Vermiform Records released the song "Human Power" on the compilation 7" "Murders Among Us" in 1990, and that song was obviously from the same sessions as the EP. Radcore Records released a split 7" between Life's Blood and Sticks & Stones, both of which were songs recorded live on WFMU Radio out of New Jersey (LB's was 3/17/88). Vermiform then reissued "Defiance" in 1991 (selling out of 4 pressings), and also a discography CD in 1993 (long gone as well).
So what's sketchy for me? First of all, I'd like to know if Jason O'Toole, the singer on "Defiance", is the original vocalist or not. I used to think that they had a different singer at first since the vocals on the demo and the live tracks from that era sound incredibly different than the vocals on "Defiance" and the other songs from those sessions, but now I'm not sure. I've seen pictures with O'Toole singing that are labeled 1987, so these days I'm under the impression that he was indeed the original singer - some clarity would help. Second, I'd like to know whether or not O'Toole ever left and was replaced. Over the years I've heard people mention recordings of the band "without" or "after" Jason O'Toole, so my curiosity is working there too. A definitive time on their breakup would be nice as well. And of course, the whole Woodrow/Nathanson thing could use clarification. click the covers!


  1. Life's Blood is one of my favorite bands!!!
    Amazing post...

  2. Thanks for this. Cheers!

  3. hehe von middle aged youth hatte ich auch die infos zu meinem life's blood post.

  4. hehehe, lieber gut geklaut als schlecht selber geschrieben!

  5. These guys are old friends of mine.
    Jason was the singer from day one, later replaced very briefly by sean murphy, then Adam took over on vocals.
    "Woodrow" is Adam Nathanson's middle name.
    The band was basically kaput by early 1989.
    Those were strange but fascinating days.

  6. if you got any stories you wanna share with us you're welcome anytime!

  7. Me again. Forgot to mention that Tommy Rat Poison (Warzone, Psychos, Trip SIx) also sang with Life's Blood for at least one show. He was great in all his belly-scratching glory.
    I did a drawing for the Insert of the Life's Blood 7" which was also used as the t-shirt image (John K, the drummer, printed them in his basement on Govenor's Island). I drew some fliers as well. The actual disc in the cd re-issue package that Sam put out has a skinhead kicking a jock in the face, that was my drawing as well.
    The Tubesteak Gazette was me and Adam, we handed it out at a CB's matinee one Sunday afternoon. Some people got it and patted us on the back, some folks ("youth crew" types feigned outrage), most folks just didn't give a fuck because they were too busy posing or getting drunk. Harley Flanagan liked it.

  8. nice one, josh!

    in case you still got a copy of the Tubesteak Gazette - take a look on PUNKS IS HIPPIES and think about posting it there! I'd love to see one of those as till today I never came across a complete issue!

  9. Haven't had a copy of the T.G. since '89 myself, actually kind of forgot about it until I stumbled across your blog. I actually met Adam via his first zine "Constructive Rebellion" which he and Neil Burke did circa 85-87. It was probably the best NYHC zine of it's time. Adam can be reached through his myspace page "teargas rock", maybe he still has some issues laying around. Knowing him, he probably does. Still talk to those guys once in a while, tho it has been many many years since I've seen Jason (Jason and Sam McPheeters were college roomates). John K lives right around the corner from me, so I see his ugly face far too often.
    Jason once stayed over at my house when my sister had a sleep-over party with all her hot teenage friends. This one chick, Denise, had HUGE tits. She passed out drunk on the couch. We pulled her shirt over her head and I put saltines on her nipples. I challenged Jason to pick the saltines up with his tongue without waking Denise. Sure enough, he did it. Smooth motherfucker.

  10. hey thanks for this great noise
    can you reup the demo and comp tracks please
    ray ss

  11. I'll re-up those when I'm back home from work if you're lucky... if not within the next days!