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Endpoint

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Biography

Endpoint was the definitive Midwestern hardcore band throughout most of the '90s, leading the charge for progressive, positive, empowering politics with uplifting, cathartic anthem after anthem championing the oppressed and the free-thinking rights of the individual. Their sound evolved from moshable, singalong-inducing hardcore heavily influenced by the coastal straight-edge scenes and skate rock into moving, more mid-tempo heavy indie core of a more intellectual variety. The band was formed in the late '80s by Louisville natives Rob Pennington, whose soulful crooning and high pitched wails defined the band's sound, and guitarist Duncan Barlow after the dissolution of their Deathwatch project. In 1989, they released a mini-album on cassette only (later reissued on CD by Doghouse) through the Slamdek label, called If the Spirits Are Willing, that also featured the talents of Rusty Sohm (drums) and Jason Graff (bass). Endpoint's next move after securing a new drummer named Lee Fetzer and second guitarist Chad Castetter, was to release an album called In a Time of Hate through California's Conversion label. The band then signed a deal with a then-fledgling Doghouse Records that would eventually help Endpoint become a centerpiece of the international hardcore scene, and the label grow into the sizeable independent entity it is today. The first album to see the light as a result of this partnership was 1992's monumental Catharsis, arguably the best record of the band's impressive career. The album featured new bassist Kyle Noltemeyer and a collection of the band's most harrowing and heartbreaking yet alternately inspiring songs. That same year, Endpoint released an EP of covers similar to Metallica's Garage Days, paying tribute to Embrace, Rites of Spring, Malignant Growth, and the Misfits -- complete with a cover spoofing Samhain's blood-soaked Initium cover shot. At one point during touring, Split Lip's Curtis Mead filled in on bass. Noltemeyer left the band and was replaced by Indiana native Pat McClimans, with Fetzer's spot being filled by Kyle Crabtree. In 1993, this lineup conceived After Taste, a bit of a departure for the band that featured streamlined song writing, slower tempos, less furious posturing and more introspective, poetic lyrics, and even an acoustically driven ballad. The band remained intensely political, however, including a message about women's rights inside the liner notes. The members of Endpoint also became involved in various other projects, with Barlow and Noltemeyer's Step Down project becoming Guilt and eventually signing to Victory Records, McClimans fronting Scab before sitting in with Falling Forward, in addition to a band called Metroschifter (together with Castetter) and Tramlaw. In 1994, Endpoint decided to call it a day, playing a huge farewell show on December 31 and releasing The Last Record in 1995, a mini-LP that, while not as important as Catharsis, is perhaps their most focused and accomplished work. Barlow and Noltemeyer continued playing with Guilt until that band's dissolution, with Barlow moving on to other projects before reuniting with Pennington in a band called By the Grace of God, who released records and toured until the year 2000. Both McClimans and Castetter eventually left Metroschifter. McClimans formed a roots rock band called MT Rhoades and His Lonesome Woods Band. Pennington formed a band called Black Widows in 2001. ~ Ryan J. Downey

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