Guest writers

Time’s Expired (by Andrew Aversionline / No Echo)

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Choosing what to write about for this piece proved to be far more difficult than I had anticipated. I wanted to select a topic that I haven’t discussed previously, but I’ve already written about so many of my favorite hardcore bands/albums over the years—Systems Overload (Integrity), Into the Wire (Starkweather), Desperate Measures (Leeway), Mediums & Messages (Parallax); bands like Lash Out, Elements DEC, Cold as Life, Dead City, and so on.

In the end, rather than (re)write about a band or album that had a particularly significant impact on me, since I always prefer to bring attention to lesser-known “underdogs,” I decided to promote an excellent and underrated ’90s hardcore band that I don’t see mentioned very often: Time’s Expired, from Rhode Island.

Primarily active from 1992 – 1998, Time’s Expired’s brand of hip-hop-influenced metallic hardcore should certainly appeal to fans of early E.Town Concrete and the like. My first exposure to the group came from the song “Total Awareness,” featured on Over the Edge Compilation Vol. 1 (literally half of the four-minute track is an instrumental intro of midpaced mosh breaks—always a good sign). But I was certainly not listening to this gem of a compilation in 1993, when it was released. No, unfortunately, it was many years later when I was exposed to this collection and decided that I absolutely had to do some research and find more material from Time’s Expired.

This was before the massive crackdown on file-sharing sites like Megaupload, so I was able to download their self-titled 1994 cassette from a random blog with relative ease. And then, finally, at some point I located a strange online retailer selling mp3s of Time’s Expired’s lone 12-song full-length from 1996: Taciturnity. I can’t recall the name of the site, but let’s just say it was only slightly less sketchy than all of those Russian websites that illegally sell all sorts of obscure recordings from any number of artists. I had no other choice, so I rolled the dice and made the purchase. (Maybe there’s a small chance in hell that a portion of the money actually went to the band!? These days, the entire album is up for free on SoundCloud, as is a self-released EP from 2002 that I didn’t even know existed until I was preparing this write-up!)

Taciturnity was as great as I had hoped, opening strong with what has become one of my favorite Time’s Expired songs, “Remember My Name”:

It highlights all of their strengths: chunky rhythmic grooves (panned left/right to accentuate the interplay between the differing guitar parts), a few Fury of Five-esque harmonics, a quick divebomb or two, bouncy percussion, some really catchy arrangements, and a slick vocal flow that really hits the spot for me. The first time the chorus dropped, I was hooked…

“You may have won but believe me, it isn’t over ’til the next time you see me. I have contained the pain, and after this I promise you will remember my name…”

The vocal arrangements are to some degree more “advanced” (for lack of a better term) in their hip-hop influence than a lot of hardcore-oriented bands of this nature; while the lyrics vary from an at times tough guy angle, to personal hardships (which still come across as completely badass, check out “Cold“), or even “socially conscious” types of messages, as heard in “Chalklines“:

“‘Cause it’s reality, and it happens every day. Another child lost from a bullet went astray, and now the family has to live in endless grief. All because you had to fuckin’ carry a piece. And when I look at the endless list of innocent people that have died due to hollow tips it makes me sick. When I read the headlines, lead winds up in a body whom its death finds. And it will spread like an infection…”

They seem to have lacked the graphic design chops to present their material on a level it deserved, which may or may not have contributed to their underappreciated status over the years, but don’t judge a book by its cover, ’cause the tunes fuckin’ deliver.

Time’s Expired’s Discogs.com entry is incomplete, so for those interested, here’s a list of their recorded output:

  • Demo CS (self-released, 1992)
  • Over the Edge Compilation Vol. 1 compilation CD (Endless Fight Records, 1993)
  • Time’s Expired CS (Trinity Records, 1994)
  • Time’s Expired 7″ (Overdose Records, 1995)
  • Respect Due compilation 7″ (Brick Records, 1995)
  • Taciturnity CD (Serafim Records, 1996)
  • The Elements CD EP (self-released, 2002)

I’m crossing my fingers that there will be at least a small handful of Killing the Legacy readers who are as excited to discover Time’s Expired as I was. I really see no reason why these guys shouldn’t be at least as known as comparable acts from this time period such as Second to None, etc. I mean, shit, Time’s Expired started in 1992, so they must have been one of the first hardcore bands that was so blatantly working with a rapping vocal style, right!? Maybe they were just a few years too far ahead of the game…

-Andrew Aversionline

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What Makes Us Tick #2: Edwin Heijmen of One x Path -blog

 

Here we got another entry to “What Makes Us Tick” -series and we continue with Edwin of OnexPath -blog, about one of his favourite records ever. Be sure to check his site, it’s filled with crazy good old and obscure hardcore gems! 

Friday the 13th, January 1995. I wish that was a joke, but it’s not. Sick Of It All were set to play at the Noorderligt in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Noorderligt, formerly a (sex-)cinema, had been converted into a great venue for shows sometime in the mid 80s, including metal & hardcore shows. I saw all kinds of bands there in the early 90s like Biohazard, The Spudmonsters, Danzig, White Zombie, Pantera, Sepultura, etc… Anyways, on that cold evening Sick Of It All had brought along a US support act, Strife. I had heard Strife before but in many ways they were YAHCB (Yet Another Hardcore Band ™). Still, their set surprised me tho, it was filled with a ton of energy and Rick Rodney was all over the stage. They sounded so much better and intense than what I had heard of their stuff. I bought their ‘One Truth’ CD afterwards and a Sick Of It All t-shirt. 

 ‘It burns – in my heart’ 

Over the course of a month or so I went from listening to a song or two here and there before moving on to another record to playing the CD several times a day, sometimes back-to-back. Things clicked. It was a gradual click, sure, but it hasn’t unclicked since. It’s fair to say I’ve listened to ‘One Truth’ more than any other record in my collection. 

 ‘Am I the only one?’ 

It’s impossible to pinpoint what exactly it is about this record that makes it stand out for me. All I know is that it’s about as perfect a hardcore record as anything before or since. 90s hardcore through and through, what more could you ask for (see what I did there)? ‘One Truth’ was hardcore, but also with a definite metallic edge. If you want a template for 90s new school hardcore, look no further. Divebombs? Check. Moshparts & breakdowns? Check. More personal lyrics? Check. Huge singalongs? Check. The Edge? Check. At least until Rick decided he never sang about The Edge after all. A ballad? Check… Wait, what? 

‘I fell again, and where were you? My crutch, my need, my everything’ 

Yes, a ballad. People have talked shit about ‘Slipping’ since the album was released. And you know what? I don’t give a fuck, it’s an amazing track. Strife went out on a limb and did something they wanted to do, and fuck it, it works. It still grabs me and gives me goosebumps. Sure, it’s not exactly youth crew hardcore. It’s layered, emotional and the lyrics could’ve been used for any ‘normal’ hardcore song and all the haters would’ve been up-front, screaming their lungs out. Lyrically it fits the rest of the album to a tee. Musically, it wraps up the album, the last track on the LP version, and in a way it’s what always leaves me wanting to listen to the entire album again. Fuck the haters, ‘Slipping’ rules. 

‘Lift my mind my body my soul’ 

 The other stand-out track is my fave Strife song, period, ‘Lift’. When the break happens at 1.40 and the song goes into full chugga chugga mode, I still want to bash a hole in the wall to this day. Shit still gets me pumped so hard. The entire album makes me want to get back on stage again and scream my lungs out (except for ‘Slipping’ perhaps), but nothing like what ‘Lift’ does to me. Fuck it, got to play it again right now.

 ‘What will remain of those days?’

Another thing people have talked shit about from day one is the production. Too over-produced? No, it’s almost perfect. Not heavy enough? No, it’s almost perfect. We’re talking 1994, and a young band with only 2 7″s under their belt. Cut ’em some slack. Maybe it’s my ears, gawd knows they’re fucked up from not wearing earplugs at shows and rehearsals for years, but this album just sounds so good to me, loud but clear, and with a ton of power. Fuck it, even the additional re-recorded older tracks on the CD version sound better than their original recordings. I don’t know… ‘One Truth’ is hardcore perfection to me. That is all. 

 ‘There’s only one truth!’ 

 And yes, I also still have that SOIA t-shirt I bought that night… somewhere.

Edwin Heijmen – ‘The author is a vegan straight edge oldhead who still wears his tulasi beads as if the 90s never ended.’