It’s easy for most people to quickly dismiss music that they don’t give a chance as “noise” or to say that “it all sounds the same”. Nothing could be further from the truth as it relates to one of my favorite if not my most favorite hardcore band of all time, Long Island New York’s very own VISION OF DISORDER. Now I’ll have to admit, my taste in music has definitely changed over the years. The first time I heard VOD, I also quickly dismissed it as “noise”. In fact, I’m embarrassed to say that I remember as a young college freshman (pre 89.5FM WSOU affiliation), my brother, who was a member of Seton Hall’s award winning college radio station (89.5FM), bringing home their debut CD in October of 1996 and promptly placing it into our home stereo system and cranking up the volume.
On a side note, RoadRunner Records was totally smart about their DJ promotions. When I eventually became a DJ, I loved getting the newest CD’s straight from RoadRunner in my WSOU mailbox. They smartly sent every on-air DJ a brand new copy of all of their newest releases and it no doubt made a positive impression on the jocks. At the time, I wasn’t a DJ and I did not get my own personal copy like my bro did but my first impression of VOD back then was not a good one. Now, mind you this was a kid of 18 years old who was still getting past my Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam grunge phase. I was starting to explore different sub-genres within the hardcore scene (NYHC, NJHC, old-school, punk, west coast, east coast, melodic, emo, rap infused hardcore, metal infused hardcore and various combinations of all the above).
At the time I was also totally riding the RoadRunner Records catalog including bands like Sepultura, Life of Agony, Type O Negative, Madball, Dog Eat Dog, Shelter, and the list goes on. I’ll explore some of these other bands in future posts.
Also at the time, I was totally riding the local NJHC band scene following bands like Strength 691, Hundred Fold, For the love of... One 4 One, NJ Bloodline and Ensign, whom I’ll also explore further in future posts, but VOD’s debut RoadRunner album has aged very very well. This is a band that was WAY before their time in terms of lyrics, style, groove, and the list goes on. The green album has stood the test of time and is without a doubt a classic NYHC record. If it was released for the first time tomorrow, this is an album that could pass for a totally relevant up and coming NYHC band.
Prior to the debut RoadRunner release, VOD put out some demos and was featured on several compilation CD’s with other bands. Their ’95 demo is also a raw and raging preview into what was to come, with each song on the demo making its way onto a future CD release.
After their strong major label debut and months of touring, VOD went on to put out another killer album, Imprint in 1998 (also on RoadRunner). Imprint is without a doubt a musical masterpiece from beginning to end.
Unfortunately, it was their last release on RoadRunner and the band moved on to put out For the Bleeders on Go Kart records. This album contained most songs that were previously recorded on other demos or early comps but put them all together on one CD. The production on this particular CD is also pretty raw and even though Imprint is a raw production, For The Bleeders just doesn’t have the same production quality or feel. It is still a kick-ass record but the drop in production quality is noticeable.
After For The Bleeders, VOD found themselves signing to TVT Records with a much more if you will, mainstream sound.
There are a handful of people out there that liked to compare Tim Williams’ vocals to one of two people. On one hand you could hear the comparisons to Layne Staley of Alice In Chains. On the other hand, you can also hear the comparisons to Phil Anselmo of Pantera, who performed guest vocals on Imprint. Some time after the release of From Bliss to Devastation the band went on an indefinite hiatus. Tim (vocals) and Kennedy (guitars) went on to form the metal band Bloodsimple and Brendan (drums) and Mike (bass) formed Karnov.
The DVD (as seen in the YouTube clip above) gives a good representation of the intensity and raw sound of a VOD show. My most recent experience seeing VOD was in 2014 at Stanhope House in Stanhope, NJ. The band played a limited number of shows in support of their most recently released album at the time (The Cursed Remain Cursed). Just a short clip I took of the song “Choke”. I was lucky enough to chat with Tim (vocals), Mike (bass) and Brendon (drums) after the show and got a couple of pics with the guys (seen above).
I remember telling him I was on WSOU at the same time they played the WSOU Boat show. He remembered that that was the same show that they played with Incubus around the time before Incubus “blew up” as a band. I go through phases in my music selections and in hyping myself up for this show, I was spinning Imprint a lot. I’m glad I got to tell Tim that in my opinion, Imprint is THE most badass album of all time.
When VOD did decide to put out a new album, they did not disappoint when they released The Cursed Remain Cursed (below). The band also put together a video for the song “Set to Fail” (below).
Let’s hope that VOD continues to provide the world with badass tunes for a long long time. Their latest effort Razed to the Ground was released in 2015.
Check out the podcast interview found on SoundCloud (below). Tim talks about the beginnings of the band and the band’s evolution through the years. Enjoy!