Regional Justice Center‘s new album, Crime and Punishment, is a complete rager of a record, the band grinding and powerviolencing straight to the finish line here, and doing it in a Decibel-approved run time just north of 14 minutes.
To celebrate the release of Crime and Punishment (which dropped on March 5 via Closed Casket Activities), we caught up with drummer/vocalist (!) Ian Shelton to find out what five heavy albums changed his life.
Charles Bronson – Youth Attack (1997)
How confrontational Charles Bronson was felt right to me at beginning of my journey into extreme music as a kid who didn’t have many friends at my high school. Everything and everyone is capable of being made fun of and criticized (similar to the ethos of Born Against, who are also a big influence). If I tried to play this for a normal person they would hate it, and that was a big mark of what I realized I wanted out of music, so it created new boxes for me and also checked them off.
Entombed – Clandestine (1991)
This one is hard to put because Entombed is one of THE intro bands at this point, but that’s also because they fundamentally change people’s musical makeup (none of my bands use HM-2s, so I also think this is less obvious coming from me). The big thing Clandestine gave me was the heavy punk beat. The first time I heard 3:56-4:14 of “Sinners Bleed” I wanted to drive off a cliff. In RJC specifically, I find any moment to make a punk beat heavy like that; I’ve been obsessed with it since I heard that part. Also low-key a drummer/singer record so it was influential in me saying “Fuck it” and drumming and singing for RJC.
Man Is the Bastard – Mancruel (2000)
MITB in general was one of the most perspective-shifting bands from whenever I first downloaded on slsk. I started with DIYCD and didn’t understand noise so I thought my files were corrupted, then landed on Mancruel. If ever I feel like I’ve hit a wall creatively I usually turn on “Gourmet Pez,” “Blinds,” “Foot Binding,” “Idget Child” or “Kai Lai” and it kicks my brain into gear.
Black Flag – Loose Nut (1985)
This is a record that didn’t change my life while I was young, but, instead, last year. While working on the Regional Justice Center record with Justice Tripp we were talking about favorite Black Flag records and he told me Loose Nutwas his. I had never really thought much about the record, only the song “Loose Nut” came to mind, but then I fell in love with it after revisiting. Every song is better than the last, building into the giant conclusion of “Now She’s Black.” So many iconic riffs, A+ record all around.
Iron Lung – Sexless//No Sex (2007)
My high-school powerviolence band got to play with Iron Lung on their tour with Agents of Abhorrence; my mom called and made me go home before I ever got to see Iron Lung play, but I’m pretty sure I got Sexless//No Sex at this show. They were a local band that didn’t play very many local shows and felt mythic to me. Definitely the band that opened me up to drumming and singing (my band at that show I also drummed and sang for). Jensen Ward makes catchy drum parts that feel like riffs and it was one of those things that made me realize that power violence isn’t just random parts strung together for a short period of time but instead is something to be crafted and made just as catchy as it is brutal.