It’s About Time: Playing Enemy’s I Was Your City Issued on Vinyl

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: exclusive, featured, gnarly one-offs, listen On: Thursday, April 17th, 2014

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This bit of news may be a week or two old, but considering the connection to the Decibel family and that this album is one of the unsung, unheralded, un-everything albums of the 2000′s that you probably don’t own but should, we felt it merited some more mention. Here are a few informational snippets from the official Earsplit PR press release:

“Newly-launched, Detroit-based Corpse Flower Records is extremely pleased to release the vinyl edition of I Was Your City from now-defunct gloom-trodden hardcore assassins, Playing Enemy…Initially released on Hawthorne Street Records nearly a decade ago, the Corpse Flower edition of I Was Your City was mastered for vinyl by James Plotkin (OLD, Scorn, Khanate, Khlyst etc.) with design/layout by Demian Johnston and is limited to 300 hand-numbered copies: 250 on white vinyl and 50 on purple sunburst.”

“Playing Enemy was forged following the dissolution of Seattle hard-core merchants Kiss It Goodbye in 1998. Featuring drummer Andrew Gormley (Rorschach, Die 116), singer/guitarist Demian Johnston (Undertow, nineironspitfire) and bassist Thom Rusnak (Rorschach, Ambush), Playing Enemy released their debut, Caesarean, on Escape Artist Records in 2001. Soon after, Rusnak fled the band and was replaced by Shane Mehling, solidifying the trio. What followed were a slew of shows, including the opening slot on Converge’s Jane Doe tour and Botch’s farewell, before the release of the Ephemera EP. The band toured for the next few years, sharing the stage with bands such as Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Isis and Coalesce while they composed material for what would end up being their second and final full-length, I Was Your City, released by Hawthorne Records in 2005. Accessory, a 70-minute companion piece, soon followed. After further touring, the band began to demo for a new full-length, but in 2006 decided to part ways. Their last EP, My Life As The Villain, was released posthumously by Hex Records in 2008. Johnston and Mehling continue to play together in Great Falls, and Gormley has formed the band Spacebag.”

Good lord! Reading through those couple of paragraphs is like a re-immersion into the coolest parts of my record collection and one of the most exciting eras of extreme music history. And makes me feel a lot older than I felt about 20 seconds ago. In looking around the interhole for any amount of follow-up info on this long-awaited vinyl release, one significant item that has been omitted pertains to how I Was Your City was not only a cantankerously grating work, but that it loosely (OK, not-so-loosely) chronicled the waning days of Johnston’s then-crumbling romantic relationship. Personally, I’ve always held …City up as the ultimate break-up record; it’s full of bare honesty and bald emotion. Various death metallers can fuck their exes with knives or what have you, but it always seemed much more real to listen to Johnston wrangling bizarre chords and twisted melodies while singing about empty houses, his calls going unanswered, sleepless transatlantic flights and his day-to-day suffering in solitude. Anyway, ordering info at the bottom after a stream and some purdy pictures.

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I Was Your City is available via Corpse Flower Records:
www.Corpseflowerrecords.com
www.facebook.com/Corpseflowerrecords
www.Corpseflowerrecords.bandcamp.com