52 IN 52

The 52 Albums that define my love for music

Week 36/Album 36

Who: Snapcase - "Lookinglasself"

When: Mid 1995

Why:  Gotta backtrack on this one really quick due to me finally receiving it. In early 1995, my friend Mike hooked me up with 4 of his friends and we started a Ska-Punk band called Martha Dumptruck. We weren't the best band, but we were fun. (Alot of the music on this list stemmed from those days, with those guys) In May 1995, we had our 1st or 2nd show at a music store in Cleveland called DiFiore's. It was a great place for young bands to play and a small scene started to develop from it. At this point, I was a sophomore at St.Eds, and playing music with other kids from St.Eds and St. Ignatius.  So, when we came to the show at DiFiore's it was a pleasant surprise to see friends from North Olmsted in their bands, playing with us! One of those bands was LIGHT, which had my friends Kyle and Brian in the band.  Well, after catching up with Brian, he had explained to me how they had found this "hardcore" scene and had jumped right in. Telling me about bands like Earth Crisis, Lifetime and Sick of it all.  He then mentioned a band called Snapcase and how by looking at them you'd never know how intense their music was and how heavy their songs were and said I needed to see them to believe it. Not too long after that, I saw them.....and it was exactly like this:

Where:  The first time I saw Snapcase was at a VFW. The second time I saw Snapcase was in a gym. The 3rd time I saw Snapcase was a show I will never forget, and will re-hash in about 4 albums from now. The last time I saw Snapcase was 2010 at Riot Fest.

By the time I caught up to Snapcase, they had just released "Steps" and you could hear the guitar influence in a couple of my friends bands at the time. 5 guys that looked like they just popped out of a casual Adidas catalog.  I ended up with a"Lookinglaself" CD after the first show. It was great but I didn't think it captured the band's energy properly. They were definitely a live band. This record reminds me of the early days of getting into the hardcore scene before falling way down the rabbit hole. I loved this band. I ate up everything that Victory Records spit out from '95-98, as you will see in the coming weeks. But Snapcase was the band that started it all for me. Well, actually, LIGHT is the band that started it all for me because they were my friends and they were a great band.  So to give credit where it is due, thank you Brian Ruane and Kyle Smith for introducing me to Hardcore.

Hardcore shows were fun....but intense. The punk kids and the hardcore kids mixed well, but the shows were 2 very different worlds. The punk shows were very fun, sloppy and care free. The hardcore kids were much more passionate and almost had to stand for something to enjoy it. Hardcore straight edge/ hardcore vegans. There were beefs between bands. Cleveland was an epicenter for Hardcore in the mid 90's. I never got involved with all the politics, but I loved the music that was coming out of it. The hardcore scene was one I always hovered around but never fully immersed myself into.

Snapcase got bigger as time went on, and after every record they put out, the more and more I disconnected. Although those later albums were very successful, they just didnt capture the same feeling that "Lookinglasself" or "Steps" (and even "Progression through unlearning") had.