Written by: Anthony Pappalardo
Recorded in April 1990 at Don Fury’s Demo Demo Studios in New York City and released the same year, Quicksand’s debut 7” immediately made an impression to fans of Gorilla Biscuits, Revelation Records, and beyond. Speaking of beyond, the line up on the EP featured Alan Cage on drums, Tom "TC3" Capone on guitar, Sergio Vega (Absolution and the underrated Collapse) on bass, and Walter Schreifels (The entire NYHC scene) on guitar and vox.
Slow and low was the tempo, rather than the raging straight edge hardcore of Youth of Today or Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand leader Walter Schreifels was known for but even before you reached the grooves containing “Hypno Jam With Dan,” most listeners were in a yet to be named post-hardcore trance. Oh, and also, isexcrementable a word?
Described to me by an elder as “7 SecondsNew Wind crossed with Jane’s Addiction” I immediately set out to find the vinyl, knowing that the anxiety of mailorder was too much for my teenage impatient energy. The following weekend I procured the single along with a quiver of hardcore 7”s after said elder offered me a ride into Boston, Massachusetts to record shop in Harvard Square--well actually Cambridge but whatever. Boom. Done.
In a two year span, I saw Quicksand what seemed like 400 times but probably closer to 7, one opening for sub-prime 7 Seconds and absolutely owning the 1,700 legal capacity Channel club in Boston. Some didn’t dig Walter and Co.’s new direction but the cherry on top was that Gorilla Biscuits were still active and working on a second LP titled—perhaps named in jest—Licensed to Kill. If you didn’t dig the groove there were still bands that moved but Quicksand landed with an urgent point of view that was as vivid as it was vague and isn’t making up the story part of the ride?
As their hair grew so did the crowds. What other bands could go from opening for headliners out of state to headlining an almost 2K sized club in a calendar year? Without the aid of a major label, few could (Hi Nirvana) but Quicksand did, returning to the Channel in November of 1991 looking like a band on Creation Records and still only having four known tracks. Perhaps it was serendipity but the groupthink in hardcore led many to slow down and drop the E to D, resulting in a lot of Quickclones just not getting it right. Some did, some took the blueprint and added their own wallpaper but we’re talking about a 7” here and while Slipknot may have owned the first outlier in Revelation Record’s discography, Quicksand won “most influential new band.”
Another elder unrelated to the aforementioned told me outside the club that Quicksand was going to sign to a major label. I felt nothing other than psyched knowing that an LP was imminent. Maybe said LP would have a bunch of the new songs they just played, including the one about George Bush Sr. or eating by yourself. Let’s fucking go.
FUN FACT:I later learned in life that the melted candle looking dude cover wasn’t the original artwork at all and that Tim Singer (No Escape, Deadguy, Kiss it Goodbye, andBoiling Point Fanzine) was tapped to push pixels or rather, manipulate paper back then for their debut. Mr. Singer was kind enough to explain that the No Escape “Lumberjack” was actually going to be the centerpiece of the sleeve with a cleverly cropped logo below, sinking off the page. He sent me the type but not the mock-up, so here’s what could have been as per me with a two-minute time limit on creation.