ALBUM OF THE DAY: CRY NOW, CRY LATER VOL 1
In my 20+ years of listening to metal/hardcore/etc, there are few records that have made a bigger impact on me than the “Cry Now, Cry Later” compilations. For those who aren’t familiar, this series of four double-7″ compilations collected some of the mid ’90s most brutal and important grindcore/power violence bands, and I still listen to it on the regular (although nowadays that’s usually on my iPod while I’m at the gym).
Before I dig into the tracks themselves, a little background: You may know Pessimiser as the label who put out some great records from bands like 16, Despise You, Excruciating Terror, Grief and Phobia, but it was originally a zine. The brains behind the zine, label and Despise You is Chris Elder, who is not only hilarious, but among the world’s most cynical human beings (as you might be able to tell from the name of his band and label). Chris is born and raised in the sketchy town of Inglewood, which has its fair share of cholos (Mexican gangsters), and the name of the record is a parody of the famous cholo saying “Smile Now, Cry Later.”
At the time, the only label of any consequence releasing any of this stuff was Slap-A-Ham (unless you want to count Ax/Ction lolol), which did an amazing job of documenting bands like Crossed Out, Man Is The Bastard, Capitalist Casualties, and No Comment. Slap-A-Ham focused mostly on bands in the Gilman scene, which was very DIY/punk rock. Pessimiser came along around 1994, and put out mostly Southern California bands that tended to be grimier and more death-metal influenced that their Nor Cal peers. There was certainly crossover between the two labels and scenes, but looking back, you can definitely see the differences as well.
Some of my favorite tracks:
As I recall, this is the 1st track Spazz released after their self-titled 7″, and it completely blew me away– one of their best songs for sure
Sludge masters Iabhorher, featuring Metal Sucks favorite Dave Witte (Municipal Waste, Human Remains, Discordance Axis, etc) on drums. Their best song IMO– sick snare sound too
This Despise You song isn’t from this record, but I can’t find their track so this will have to do. Fun fact: the drummer for DY was also in a solid death metal band called Rise— listen to the drums and you can totally hear it.
The best song by LA grindcore pioneers Excruciating Terror– the production is so much more filthy and brutal than the album version
The exceedingly strange and awesome entity known as Crom doing a very brutal cover of Hirax’s “Hate Fear & Power”
There were four of the compilations released as two 7″s, which were then collected on two separate CDs. Not sure if you can still get them– Century Media lists them as “Temporarily out of stock,” whatever that means. It’s definitely worth tracking them down on eBay if you are a connoisseur of fine grindcore/power violence!
(For more info on the 90s power violence scene in general, see my old Metal Inquisition post “90s Power Violence: A handful of diamonds in a sea of shit“)