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Paying tribute to 90s underground hardcore punk
PROVING you are never too old to rock, a bunch of veteran musicians who first appeared on a hardcore-punk compilation CD more than two decades ago have come together to form super band LC93, short for Lion City 93.
Comprising singer Izar Ahmad, guitarists Faisal Sahrol and Suhaimi Subandie, bassist Mohd Haermee Othman, and drummer Ady Nur Iskander Shawal, the five-piece plays cover versions of songs by legendary local underground groups like Stompin' Ground, Voiceout, 4-Sides and Upright which they previously hail from.
The band's moniker is also a tribute to the Lion City Hardcore: Together At Last CD released in 1993, which is now out of print.
Newer generations of music fans who never had a chance to hear it can listen to newly-recorded versions of those tunes on LC93's debut album, Wiser Stronger Together, which has been released exclusively on vinyl. They will launch it this weekend with a "live" gig at Aliwal Arts Centre.
Izar shares the idea to form the band came about two years ago at the very same venue and one of the aims was for younger fans to discover the roots of the hardcore punk scene in Singapore.
But he stresses LC93 is not trying to be an "authoritative voice" and dictate what the music should sound like.
"The bands struck it out on their own by defining their own sounds," explains Izar.
Wiser Stronger Together was also recorded with the same DIY spirit and entirely self-funded. It took almost a year to complete with the members juggling their day jobs and family commitments in between sessions in the studio.
LC93 members also remember how the music they play used to be frowned upon by certain segments of the public because it was loud and aggressive and hence perceived as a bad influence. But listen closely and you'll realise the lyrics are often positive and promotes a clean lifestyle that denounces alcohol and drugs.
The scene survived because the bands had each other's backs, according to Izar.
Suhaimi notes that the hardcore punk scene "has progressed a lot" in terms of the quality of the music and support by fans, as well as promoters who are booking overseas shows for local acts.
All that has made him optimistic about the longevity of the genre: "The underground scene will find ways to exist - it was even harder last time but look, we're still here and progressing."
Izar adds: "We are not seeking glorification or proclaiming we are the pioneers - let's all just be proud of our own heritage and history."
- LC93 will launch Wiser Stronger Together at Aliwal Arts Centre on Aug 28 from 4.30pm till late with other guest bands. Doors open at 4pm. Tickets at S$15 (before 7pm) and S$20 (after 7pm) available only at the door. For more information, check https://www.facebook.com/LCninethree