Blast was a hardcore punk band from Santa Cruz, CA led by frontman Clifford Dinsmore and guitarist Mike Neider. Their sound was carachterized by Clifford's loud, roaring vocals, complex rhythms, screaming guitars with blistering leads, with a large influence from Black Flag's Damaged-era sound. All of this combined to create a really good, powerful, political, hardcore sound that put to shame some of the lame, generic thrash that many of their skate-punk peers were playing at the time.
Blast originally formed in 1982 under the name M.A.D., and have a song on the comp Not So Quiet on the Western Front. They changed their name to Blast by the time they released their debut album, The Power of Expression, on Wishingwell Records in 1986. Wishingwell's distributor, Greenworld, went bankrupt shortly after the release of the album, so many of the remaining copies were punched out and given to shops and distributors as promos.
In 1987, the band hooked up with SST Records and released their second LP, It's In My Blood, which was filled with more of the hectic hardcore blasts that made the first LP the classic that it is, this time with a little more of a lo-fi production. Later that year, they released the School's Out EP with a Germs and Alice Cooper cover plus a great slow Bl'ast! tune, and re-issued The Power of Expression on SST. The CD version of It's In My Blood includes the School's Out EP.
1989 came around, and the band had released their last LP, Take the Manic Ride. By this time, their sound had evolved from that of the first two LP's, and was much farther away from the Black Flag sound. A weak production effort on this one makes it less of a necessity than the others.
Blast split up in the early 90's and fractioned off into two new Santa Cruz-based bands. One is Spaceboy, slower heavy stuff featuring Blast lead singer, Clifford Dinsmore. Spaceboy has two 7 inches out, one on Galaxia Records and another on Playpen Records, and an LP. The second is Lab, with Mike and Bill from Blast, and Dave Dinsmore, ex-Several Fish. Lab have a 7 inch out on It's Alive Records, and have just released a mini CD that only comes with a skateboard (...A Santa Cruz rider).
UPDATE 5/26/01: BL'AST! are playing shows again in the Santa Cruz area...
Clifford Dinsmore - vocals
Mike Nieder - guitar
Dave Cooper - bass
Bill Torgerson - drums
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Thanks to Horst Firmanty and Fred Hammer for help and contributions.
Some of the info on this site taken from:
Flex U.S. Hardcore and Punk Discographies and Trouser Press.
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