Friday, October 8, 2010

Sons of Abraham

A straight-edge, all-jewish hardcore band.  Only in New York, my friends.

This post is not about some lame-ass Australian band that jacked the original Sons of Abraham's name.  This is about the LI band obviously.  This band has garnered a bit of a posthumous following and the band's CD can probably can be found with some ease online.  But I really like this disc, and this blog is about being complete so I'm putting it up.  Sons of Abraham featured Justin Beck of Glassjaw and Todd Weinstock also a member of Glassjaw at the time and later of Men, Women and Children and Cubic Zirconia.  While it's pretty well-known now that Beck wrote a good deal of Glassjaw's riffs while he was still the drummer and later bassist, this was his first band where he was featured as guitarist.  There's a lot of sites out there that provide misinformation that Sons broke up so that Todd and Justin could join Glassjaw, but both bands were going on concurrently and Glassjaw did precede the Sons foundation.

In addition to Beck and Todd, the band also featured Neil Rubenstein (of Irony of Lightfoot and later This Year's Model) on vocals, Stephan Linde on drums and Mitch Skalska.  I think Ariel Telford of Glassjaw may have played bass as well at some point.  I'm sure that Linde went on to play in Sound of Speed and Classic Case.

I saw the band play a few times.  I remember thinking they were just brutally heavy the first time I saw them at a Dr. Shay's Matinee.  I was standing in the back with someone else while Neil was making jokes from the stage about our, and consequently his, long hair.  He was remarking that he was looking to be a stand-up comedian since "Jews make the best comedians."  It was such a dichotomy to the music.  Totally bizarre.

Hearing the disc now, it's still heavy but not quite as face-ripping as I originally thought back in 1997. It might be because there's plenty of bands that have aped this style, but the lyrical content is still a pretty weighty call-to-arms manifesto if you are believer, or a lapsed-jew.  The one-two knockout punch of "Termites in His Smile" (originally Song #2 on a split they did with Indecision) and "Dos Equis" provide a strong message of where the band was coming from.  "Dos Equis", playing on both the brand of beer and the 3 symbolic straight edge xXx's, picked apart those who didn't hold fast to the beliefs.  "Termites in His Smile, a clever pull from Dr. Seuss's "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" showcased Rubenstein howling "Who took the Christ out of Christmas" to substantiate the hallmark-ification of the holiday.

As an athiest and drinker, I never could give a shit.  But I respect what they were doing and the music is awesome.  This is definitely for fans of Steps-era Snapcase and Indecision.

They released a demo, the aforementioned split with Indecision and finally the full length "Termites in His Smile" on Exit records in 1997.  I do not have the demo, but I did have one track from a comp that they were on called "Definitely Not The Majors - A Bush League Records Compilation" which I am including below.

Here's the myspace page as well, which has no info and is probably a fan posting:

SONS OF ABRAHAM - "Termites in His Smile" + "What Brings May Flowers" Demo

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