Believe it or not, I was actually able to get someone’s thoughts on a topic other than my own. A novel idea if I do say so myself. After some mild harassment, Atom sent me this great article about Fracture’s formation and the recording of the very first Fracture demo. While it never was officially released, the two songs here were made available on the Fracture CD discography that No Idea released. Sadly, there seems to be no trace of the original four song demo so I fear that two of the songs might be lost to time. Anyways, here’s Atom!
Fracture started originally I think with two singers, Jeff (traded from Up in Arms/Pleasant Greene for three first round draft picks and a player to be named later), who departed soon after for Public Descent and Chris, who would remain singing for the duration of the band. For its initial few months, Jeremy Rockett played guitar, Jeb Bell played bass and his younger brother Rob Bell played drums. I joined on a few months later, and though Jeremy had a way cooler name for playing music, for some reason, I stayed on as guitar barre chord player while he moved on to Public Descent. I’m pretty sure this separation happened the morning that we were to play a show at J.C. Dobbs in downtown Philadelphia. I don’t remember the details. Jeb, Chris and I played together for about six years as Fracture with some significant changes that I think Brian described in another post.
After we played for a few months, we had decided that it was time to record a 4 song demo that we were hoping to put out on Elbohead Records as a 7”. At the time, we were in 10th & 11th grades and though we were of similar ages as The Random Children (also better looking, wealthier and better athletes), from my perspective, they felt kind of like older brothers with respect to a playing music. The Random Children had been a cohesive band for a lot longer than us, had played shows, had a member who actually lived in Philadelphia proper and was made up entirely of members who wanted to be in the band. It seemed that Jeb conscripted his younger brother Rob to play drums for us, and while Rob seemed happy(-ish, anyways) to oblige, it seemed like he’d way rather be fixing up cars than playing with us. Regardless, whatever Jeb was threatening Rob with to keep him in the band was working and we were ready to record a few songs after a summer of practicing.
At this period in Fracture, we all (perhaps Rob excluded, because he liked artists the rest of us snobbily thought were ridiculous like Led Zeppelin, Black Album era Metallica & Yanni) adored Operation Ivy. This led Chris to frequently ask that our songs become exactly like they had been arranged, only ‘more ska’. We looked to our older/wiser bandfriends the Random Children since we had no idea about who recorded bands, how they recorded them and clearly how much was fair for someone to charge recording a band. We ended up recording at Jim Femino’s studios in the summer of 1991 because the Random Children had recorded their 7” there. The recording cost us $800 or so, which at the time, considering the average gallon of gas was $1.12, was probably too much money for a band to pay that had, at nearly a majority share, sported solid state Peavey amps.
If my memory serves me correctly, my dad drove me back from the week down the shore with the family a day early so I could record my guitar parts after Jeb and Rob recorded the bass and drums. It was partially a memorable time, because during that early week in August, 1991, the steeple from the Oreland Presbyterian Church, which was located across the street from where many of us went to elementary school, was separated from the church during a very rare tornado. I remember driving by it with my dad on the way to the recording studio, with my solid state Fender Princeton Chorus (that’s right! Jeb’s got the Peavey!) amplifier, which I KNEW would be the last amp that I’d ever have to buy because:
- It had chorus BUILT IN to the amp! Holy shit!
- It sounded great at a volume that wouldn’t disturb a lightly sleeping brother in the next room.
Anyway, here are two songs that ended up on the Fracture discography – not sure where the DAT went with the additional two songs (I believe they were called Me & Lime).
We ended up NOT putting these on a 7” and ended up waiting until the fall of 1991/spring of 1992 to record the ‘Lime’ 7” at ‘Rubber Groove’ studios in East Falls. That’s another story though.