Before the likes of Spotify opened up a huge swathe of recorded music it seemed to be getting harder the older I got to find new, loud guitar music.
Discovering Epitaph’s Punk-O-Rama series was a key moment that opened up many bands that I’d heard of, but not heard (Bad Religon, NoFX and Rancid being the obvious ones), but also the entirely new (Beatsteaks, Undeclinable Ambuscade and I Against I).
To all intents and purposes my iTunes ‘punk rock’ genre (one of three punk genres I use, because at heart I’m a librarian) is anything that is, was, or sounds like it could be, on Epitaph.
And the song that epitomises that kind of music is not something from Offspring, say, but Vision’s Close Minded from the aforementioned Punk-O-Rama 5.
Dogmatic, but not (quite) to the point of self-parody; thuggish in a way that punk I’d heard up until then wasn’t (of course, then I heard Agnostic Front); and a spoken word interlude that you can listen to with a straight face.
One of my favourite lyrics from the song, not least because it’s a perfect response to criticism of my own musical tastes, is:
Everyone else’s opinion is worth nothing
But I knew nothing about the band, and Vision’s not the most Google-able name.
Easiest to find is the band’s Epitaph biography, compiled in aid of their one and only album with the label. Of that it says: “Watching the World Burn is the barometer by which great hardcore punk music will be measured for years to come.”
And it turns out they’re on Facebook and made Dying Scene’s list of 10 of the most interesting Epitaph releases you may not be aware of.
To summarise – given they don’t have a Wikipedia page for me to point you to, Vision are a New Jersey hardcore band formed in 1987 who released records on Chunksaah, Grilled Cheese, Knife or Death and Epitaph. Their discography looks (I believe) like this:
Just Short of Living (1992)
In the Blink of an Eye (1994)
One and the Same (1996)
The Kids Still Have Alot to Say (1998)
Watching the World Burn (2000)
They played high-energy hardcore punk and were even voted one of the 10 Best Live Bands by Thrasher magazine, according to their Epitaph biography, which described them as having a sound drawn “primarily from late 70’s/early 80’s hardcore and punk”.
I say ‘played’, as sadly they played their last show in Philadelphia in November 2016. In January their singer Dave Franklin passed away unexpectedly. Although he’s gone, Close Minded remains as an inspiration.