Stampin’ Ground – The First Two Demos (Ripcord Records)

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One of the rare benefits of being old is that I was going to shows, geeking out over records and playing in long-forgotten bands when a lot of scene history was made. Stampin’ Ground helped to lay the foundations for the mid to late nineties UK Hardcore scene. Trust me, I know these things, I was there and I bore witness to their live fury more times than I care to remember. I was old then and I’m even older now, but these tunes and this band? They’ll never get old, and they’ll always be what they always were, a blast of rampaging, unrelenting metallic Hardcore fury.

The First Two Demos are a snapshot from a time when everything was in transition and the musical blueprint of the Hardcore scene was undergoing a rapid, and constant musical evolution, and while it isn’t the most polished line-up of SG, this embryonic version of the band (which includes the vocal prowess of the mighty Paul Catten) is still a powerhouse of barely supressed anger and energy. While the annals of time haven’t been kind to some of the forebears of the harder-than-tho Hardcore scene, Stampin’ Ground are one of the exceptions to the rule and this tape proves that devastating Hardcore will always be timeless. The demons are still running amok…  Tim Cundle

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