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About BL'AST!

Originally formed under the moniker M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction, that is), Bl'ast! hailed from Santa Cruz, California, and would become labelmates with the very band they were compared to the most: Black Flag. M.A.D., formed in 1982 by Clifford Dinsmore on vocals, Steve Stevenson on guitar, Dave Cooper on bass, and Bill Torgerson on drums, would evolve into Bl'ast! with the addition of second guitarist Mike Neider in 1984. Their sound, an amalgam of metal and hardcore not unlike what Greg Ginn's Black Flag was tackling around the same time, gained the band a following and, in an ironic turn of events, got picked up by Ginn's label, SST. Their first release for SST, The Power of Expression, came out in 1986 (it had previously been released on smaller label Wishing Well) and, sometime afterward, Stevenson left the band to be replaced by Kip DuVall, who would leave as well, returning Bl'ast! to its original four-man format. 1987 saw the release of the band's follow-up, It's in My Blood, which was followed in 1989 by Take the Manic Ride and the departure of bassist Dave Cooper. Dinsmore followed suit, and the band, then led by Neider (on both guitar and vocals), pressed on, eventually changing their name to Blackout. By the late '90s, the band had yet again changed their name -- to Lab -- and released a smattering of EP-length work. In 2001, Bl'ast! reunited, but only to play a few shows on the West Coast before splitting again. In 2012, Neider contacted experimental metal label Southern Lord when he found some deteriorated Bl'ast master tapes in an abandoned storage locker. The tapes revealed a lost recording session from the mid-'80s featuring work from the short-lived tenure of guitarist William DuVall, who would go on to play guitar for Neon Christ and later sing for 2010's incarnation of Alice in Chains. Bl'ast superfan Dave Grohl was called in to mix the forgotten tapes, and the lost session was released in 2013 as Blood, the first album from the band in decades. Following the positive response to Blood, Clifford Dinsmore and Mike Neider assembled a new edition of Bl'ast, with Nick Oliveri (ex-Queens of the Stone Age) on bass and Hoss Wright (of the Exies and Mondo Generator) on drums, playing a pair of shows with Neurosis in 2013 and scheduling a tour for 2014. A second reworked Bl'ast reissue also emerged in 2014: The Expression of Power featured material from The Power of Expression along with plenty of unreleased alternate takes. ~ Christopher M. True

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