Some things just won’t go away. You can spend days, weeks, months or even years not thinking about them, but they will haunt you. Somewhere in the back of your head, they are stuck, left a brand or just vanish and reappear like a tiny ghost that haunts the abandoned building at the edge of your town. At some point it might even become a tale of the past, a fading memory of once cherished times. But in the end, it will never leave you.
I remember moving to Liverpool in 2007. It was the first time I left home to live all by myself. All I took with me was a suitcase, a backpack, my electric guitar, a sleeping bag, and a brick of cigarettes and a bottle of Jameson I picked up at the airport before heading over to the UK. The first few hours in what was going to be home for the next year, felt awkward. It was a flat consisting of 8 bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room. I didn’t see anybody for two days. The first thing I checked after dropping my belongings into my tiny room (it was not bigger than 8 square meters, but the bathroom was about the same size, I even had to close the d00r to be able to open the wardrobe) was the fridge in the kitchen. I thought to myself that I might be the first person that had moved in. Inside was a packet of ready salted butter and a can of Fosters. So I wasn’t all by myself then.
My internet connection did not work until two or three days later. I did not have a clue what to do. I did not know anybody. I did not know the English – and believe me, Scousers are one particular bunch of people – or what they spend their days doing. So I turned to one thing, I was familiar with: My MP3 Player. It was the USB-type that you could directly plug into your computer. I bought it off one of my schoolmates a few months before. The storage was 2 GB, which wasn’t an aweful lot, and I had only five or six albums on it. I think one album was from Alkaline Trio, one was probably Fuel For The Hate game by Hot Water Music. I don’t remember exactly what else was on the little thing, but I do vividly remember one album. It was more of an EP, really. It was Embracing Emptiness by Just Went Black. I honestly cannot remember how I got hold of this EP, I guess some of the drinking that took place in the years that followed these first few days in the UK might have played a certain part in that, but this EP was like heaven.
we start to question our actions, question ourselves
I guess I could argue that hardcore music helped me a lot in taking a different approach to life. Maybe it is this analogy I could draw with my three years in Liverpool. I learned a lot about myself, I learned a lot about the adult life, about who I wanted to become and who I was at that time. I realised that I had made a lot of mistakes, that I behaved like a dickhead. One of the things that hurt most when growing up, is realizing what kind of a prick you were. I always thought of myself as being quite mature. Especially when it came to girls and relationships with them, I always thought, I acted humble and mature. I was very wrong. Truth is, that I was no better than any other guy at school. Maybe I was even worse. My inflationary use of the word “love” after a few weeks I had a crush on someone did not help anybody. To cut a long story short, I didn’t make myself a very popular figure with girls by the time I left school. I thought leaving the country wasn’t only a brilliant opportunity to study abroad and pep up my own CV, learn a language properly etc. I also felt it was an opportunity to start completely from scratch. No preconceptions, no horror stories about how I behaved like a dick, how desperately I was screaming for attention and so on and so forth.
Finally it did not change anything. Even though I might have changed over the course of the three years I spent abroad, I could not change who I was. Also I wished for it to happen, it didn’t. It did not come to me in a flash, nor did I only realise this just now. It was a slow process taking place deep within myself. I don’t think one can change the person one is. Not completely anyway.
it`s no compromise to trust regardless the burden of the past
After all i think I turned out quite a decent person. It took some time to get used to growing up. Now it takes time to get used to living an adult life filled with responsibilities and so on and so forth. It also took some time getting used to who I was.
What this has got to do with this records you might ask yourself (if you haven’t given up on reading by now). As I mentioned earlier, this EP was the soundtrack to the first days and nights. I spent them listening to these 6 songs waking up, slam-dancing in my tiny room during the day and before I fell asleep. The sheer power of the songs, the anger in the vocals brought me to life whenever I needed reminding that I’m not by myself. Besides the true hardcore moments this record cherishes precious melodic moments. The end of “Twice as Sure” is almost as powerful as the whole song even though it doesn’t consist of much more than a guitar reverb. It is the fitting end to a tour de force of anger, hope, compassion, friendship and solitude. Maybe you’ll think it’s depressing or sad, but it gave me so much hope and reliance.
I never got to see Just Went Black live, which I regret when watching the videos in this article. They broke up a little while ago. Head over to their bandcamp page to listen to their whole discography. If you’re hooked on that sound, visit their facebook page for info on their new bands. They’re well worth checking out!