Demo Selecter: Bitter Quarrel 1991

Jun 24 2016

Demos were almost as important as 7″‘s and I liked to collect as many as possible. I admit to writing a bunch of people in the classifieds of MRR and trading demos. This is one of the tapes I’d always copy.

There’s not that many demos on youtube.

There’s an incomplete portrait of hardcore on there because of it. You can see live shows, hear long out of print records, see people hanging out, watch old people talk about stuff that happened, but there aren’t that many demos. Granted a lot of them were not recorded well or played well, but there’s some moments in there and there’s a lot of heart.

Being in a band with a known demo was a pretty big deal. It took some effort to find someone with a 4 track mixer (or not), record a tape, draw the cover, make a cool lyric sheet with some art, a thank you list, your address and probably your mom’s landline. Then you had to make an ad to send out to zines you liked and walk around lines and crowds at hardcore shows and sell it to a bunch of zitty smart asses with five dollars in their pockets.

Bitter Quarrel was a north jersey skinhead band, more hardcore than Oi! . They were friends with this other NJ band called No Laughing Matter. I can’t find that demo, but it was cool too.

My friend Karyn was friends with the guitar player Alap. He was a skinhead with a flight jacket and boots. The whole deal. I hung out with them a couple of times around 1991. Later in a random conversation in the 2000’s I found out he went on to start a backpack rap group called Dalek and recorded/produced many records. The wikipedia says his name is Oktopus.

Here’s the wikipedia: LINK

And there’s the demo: