The Nickel City Comp. (circa 1993)

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nickel city comp

This old Buffalo hardcore compilation has been a mainstay in my collection since it made its way into my high school-aged hands, but upon my latest attempt to listen to it – my first in roughly ten years – I noticed that while I still had the cover, the tape was missing. In its place, a dubbed version of Mind Over Four's Destiny. (Please hold all jokes til the end.) It then became my mission to track down the music.

Despite the initial release being limited to 100 by the local fanzine “Living”, finding someone in Buffalo who still had the music was not as hard as it might seem. First off, it was released in 1993 when everyone owned tape players, so dubbed versions were common. Secondly, it's a classic. You can throw as many old hardcore clichés my way as you want, but growing up going to shows with bands like these — and the work ethic they personified — is very much the reason I'm into doing what I do. Thanks to my friend Scott, I was able to get the entire cassette along with a slew of other old Buffalo hardcore releases.

Along with its historical value, the Nickel City Comp showcases some important figures of the national hardcore landscape, including, of course, Snapcase. But it's a very different Snapcase; a teenage one that was without drummer Tim Redmond, who, in my opinion, would go on to solidify the band's sound with his signature staccato piccolo snare beats. He's missing because he was busy being in Slugfest — probably the best Buffalo hardcore band of my generation. While Slugfest would eventually “fadeaway” (another band on the comp), singer Scott Vogel is now in one of the world's preeminant hardcore bands Terror, and of course Tim went on to great success with Snapcase. Slugfest's song “Sinking”, which opens the comp, still stands the test of time as one of the best hardcore songs ever written.

While normally I would be against the posting of an entire old record, given this comp's extremely limited nature and the fact that, Snapcase aside, all of the bands are defunct, it would be fun to look back at these classics. Below are the Slugfest and Snapcase tracks from the comp, as well as two from Robots Kill. They were pretty much a joke punk band, so I'm throwing them in there to bring a smile to your face. You can download the entire comp over at our Soundcloud page.