- Endpoint (band)
Infobox musical artist
Name = Endpoint
Background = group_or_band
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Genre = Hardcore
Years_active = 1988-1994
Label = Slamdek, Conversion,
By the Grace of God, Black Cross, D. Biddle, Guilt, The Aasee Lake, Ousia, Wino, Armbar, Sunspring, Redhanded, Amaroq, Erchint, 7 More Seconds
Past_members = Kyle Crabtree, Rob Pennington, Rusty Sohm, Jason Graff, Lee Fetzer, Chad Castetter, Pat McClimans:"For other uses of the word, see
Endpoint"Endpoint was a hardcore band from Louisville, Kentucky.
Endpoint was one of the most popular underground bands to come out of
Louisville, Kentucky. Their initial sound developed from speed-orientated punk/hardcore, with songs inducing audience sing-alongs. Eventually, the band's sound transformed into the heavier sound that defined modern hardcore in the 1990s.
Endpoint was part of a hardcore movement that had been building since the mid-1970s, including west coast bands like Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys, and east coasters Minor Threat and Bad Brains. They were especially influenced by the New York style of hardcore that sprouted in the mid-1980s with bands such as Agnostic Front, Youth of Today and Gorilla Biscuits. These groups most influenced Endpoint through their metal riffs and positive lyrics, and they are considered founders of the modern sound of hardcore. Yet unlike many midwestern bands during this era, Endpoint did not just ape their influences. Instead, they forged a unique sound, thanks in large part to the high-pitched warble of singer Rob Pennington. A considerable number of their songs dealt with social and political issues, about which the band felt strongly. Like many bands in the punk and hardcore genre, they focused upon issues of social justice, and like emo and straightedge bands they stressed self improvement and personal transformation. In their lyrics and in the liner notes of their albums, they discussed issues dealing with government policies and women’s rights and abuse.
For example, an Endpoint t-shirt from 1993 read: "Warning: Every 26 seconds a woman is beaten in the United States. This statistic is based solely on the incidents of abuse that are reported. In truth, this number may represent only one tenth of the crimes committed against women. And this number will only increase unless people speak out against these atrocities. Please take a stand and help us smash this disgusting cycle." On the back was an outline of a woman lying face down and the band's logo.
Prior to becoming known as Endpoint, the band's original name was Deathwatch. They released only one record, posthumously in 1991, which was a split 7” with another local band named Crain. In 1988, the band changed their name and with most of the original line-up, they released a 17-song album on cassette through the
SlamdekRecord Company label. The album, called "If The Spirits Are Willing," was available in Louisville area stores in May 1989. However, following this release, the band only performed twice for the remainder of the year, and then practically disappeared.
Released on local label
Slamdek, "If The Spirits Are Willing" unleashes the speed and the fury of Endpoint's early hardcore/punk/heavy metal blend. Later Louisville bands, such as Falling Forward and Enkindel (later The Enkindels) greatly based their own sound upon Endpoint. In fact, in the late 1980s and early 1990s the hardcore "Louisville sound" was Endpoint's sound.
Within a year of its release, "If The Spirits Are Willing" replaced other bands as the cornerstone of Slamdek’s mail order business, eventually selling more than any other hardcore cassette on the label. Like any other Slamdek release, it was a truly independent affair. The cassette constantly went in and out of print, sometimes being unavailable for months at a time; it would then return with completely different packaging. Unlike other bands on the Slamdek label, "If The Spirits Are Willing" was never carried by any national distributors. As a result, the album was essentially available only in Louisville stores, by mail order, at Endpoint shows and in out of town stores that bought directly from Slamdek. Its definitive and most common version is its 1994 reissue on compact disc. The compilation disc contains twenty five songs, documenting Endpoint's first seventeen song cassette, their tracks from the first Endpoint/Sunspring 7", their contribution to the Slamdek Christmas 1990 tape and five of the seven songs they recorded in 1988 under the name Deathwatch.
Although Slamdek was a local and regional favorite, neither the label nor most of its bands ever gained the national and international popularity of other independent punk labels, such as Dischord, Alternative Tentacles and Victory Records. Yet Endpoint did move on to the national spotlight, if in a limited way.
For the Endpoint and Sunspring 7", Endpoint recorded two songs in November 1990. One of them, "Promise," was for a 7" compilation, A Change For The Better, on Vicious Circle Records. The other, "Priorities", was a spare song that was recorded just because the band was in the studio. The split 7" created a bond between the two bands that lasted up until the two played their final shows several years later. In December 1993, a second split record was released with Sunspring. "Written In Rock" paid tribute to
Rick Springfield, an early - if ironic - inspiration for both bands.
After a bit of a line-up change and finally being able to secure a new drummer, the band released "In A Time Of Hate" through on Conversion Records, based in
Huntington Beach, California. The album did not receive as much acclaim as the previous releases or the future albums, perhaps due to the lesser quality of the recording, but the songs were well constructed, and the record continued their punk/hardcore influence.
Later, the band signed to
Doghouse Records, which was at the time a small independent label in Toledo, Ohio. After being signed, Endpoint released their "Catharsis" album in 1992. Endpoint soon became one of the more popular bands on the Doghouse label and contributed the rise of the company. Later that same year, the band released a vinyl EP that was in many ways very similar to the popular thrash metal band Metallica’s "Garage Days." Endpoint’s EP paid tribute to early punk bands that influenced them and was comprised of covers of one song each by The Misfits, Rites of Spring, Ian Mackaye’s ( Minor Threat) Embrace, and Louisville's Malignant Growth.
Around this same time, the band went through a major line-up change, going through two bassists and yet another drummer. This line-up stayed strong through 1993 with the band's ninth release "Aftertaste." This particular album was not considered by many to be one of their best, but at the same time it kja showcased the band's talents by being a considerably different style than previous releases. This record featured songs with much slower tempos, less streamlined song writing, less furious lyrics and even an acoustic song. This steady dissolve from frantic paces to more intricate material became prevalent in their genre. Even though the band had changed their sound, their lyrics and opinions remained strongly political, with continuing messages concerning women’s rights in their printed material.
While Endpoint continued, band members became involved in many side projects. Guitarist and co-founder of Endpoint, Duncan Barlow, and bassist Kyle Noltemeyer became involved with a band called Step Down, that eventually became Guilt. Guilt was probably the most popular of the side projects with which any Endpoint members became involved. Guilt was later signed to the major label Victory, known for popular hardcore bands like Snapcase and Earth Crisis, and recently Hawthorne Heights and Spitalfield. Bassist Pat McClimans was front man of the band Scab prior to joining Endpoint, later a guitarist for Falling Forward, and ultimately played for another major Louisville local band,
Metroschifter. By the end of Endpoint's existence Metroschifter was still a major player in the Louisville scene and continued for several years, eventually also signing with Doghouse Records.
In 1994, the band finally decided to call it quits after a seven-year career. On December 31, the band played their last and largest show for over two thousand people in, of course, Louisville. In 1995, the band released their last record, appropriately entitled "The Last Record." This EP, although nowhere near as influential as Catharsis, is arguably the most accomplished work from the band.
Duncan Barlow’s Guilt project eventually broke up and reunited with Endpoint front man Rob Pennington to form another major band called By The Grace of God until the year 2000. Pat McClimans formed a southern-inspired rock band called MT Rhoades and His Lonesome Woods Band in 200, and continues to perform today, as The Pat McClimans Group, or The PMG. Rob Pennington formed a band called Black Widows in 2001, which eventually changed their name to Black Cross due to a dispute with another band of the same name. Black Cross was the unification of two fallen bands, By The Grace Of God and another Louisville local The National Acrobat. The appreciation of early 90’s hardcore (or DC hardcore) and association of Black Flag’s aggressive period created as what people know today as Black Cross.
* Rob Pennington - vocals
* Duncan Barlow -
Lee Fetzer- drums
* Rusty Sohm - drums
* Chad Castetter -
* Pat McClimans - Bass
* Kyle Crabtree - drums
* Kyle Noltemeyer - bass
* Jason Graff - bass
* Jason Hayden - bass
* Curtis Mead - bass
* Ben Clark - bass
* Crain And Deathwatch Split 7" - Slamdek
* If The Spirits Are Willing - Slamdek
* Endpoint and Sunspring Split 7"- Slamdek
* Endpoint And Sunspring Split 7"-Written In Rock: Songs Of Rick Sprinfield - Slamdek
* EP2 7" - Break Even Point
* Idiots 7"/CD - Doghouse
* Every 26 Seconds 7" - Doghouse
* Slamdek Discography 1988-1991 - Slamdek
* In a Time of Hate
* Catharsis - Doghouse
* After Taste - Doghouse
* The Last Record
* Super J Records 7" - Super J Records
* Change For The Better 7"
* Voice Of The Voiceless
* Live At The New Space
* Only The Strong 1993
* Christmas 1989 Cassette - Slamdek
* Merry Christmas 1990 Cassette - Slamdek
* Merry Christmas Is For Rockers Cassette - Slamdek
* Slamdek Singles 2x Cassette - Slamdek
* Doghouse 50 - Doghouse
By the Grace of God, Guilt, Scab, Falling Foward, Elliott, Black Cross, Metroschifter, Enkindel] , Tramlaw, 7 Train, Empathy, The National Acrobat, The Pat McClimans Group.
1. Slamdek A to Z: The Illustrated History of Louisville's Slamdek Record Company 1986-1995 by K. Scott Ritcher
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