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Sunday Old School: Gorilla Biscuits

As young metal and hardcore fans, we are constantly told to support our local scene. Often, we do so merely out of local pride, as the groups themselves aren't always particularly noteworthy. However, every once in a while, a local scene features many great bands and can become a worldwide phenomenon and leave its mark on music. It happened in Seattle with the grunge bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, in the Bay Area with thrash bands like Metallica, Megadeth and Exodus and hardcore probably wouldn't be what it is without the New York Hardcore scene, which featured some of the genre's best known bands such as Agnostic Front, Sick of it All and today's featured band, Gorilla Biscuits.

Gorilla Biscuits began life in 1987 in Long Island, founded by schoolmates Arthur Smilios and Anthony "Civ" Civarelli. They took their name from a slang term for quaaludes and initially only meant to use it temporarily, needing a name when they played their first show, which was organised for them by the band Token Entry. The moniker stuck and soon the band began recording demos, which were sold at a local dollar store and began printing their own shirts.

The growing popularity of the band garnered the attention of Revelation Records, who put the group's song, "Better Than You" on a compilation, as well as a self-titled seven inch in 1988, which became an underground hit. Before long, Gorilla Biscuits were embarking on tours not just across North America but Europe as well and eventually entered the studio to record their debut full length, "Start Today," which was released in 1989 and became the biggest selling album in the history of Revelation Records.

Despite the success of the album, a sophomore release never happened. The group began writing new material, with a song entitled, "Distance" being premiered in 1991, though a year later, the band decided to go their seperate ways, with Civarelli forming a new, eponymous band, Civ shortly afterwards, in which he was joined by Arthur Smilios, while guitarist Walter Schreifels formed the popular post-hardcore band, Quicksand.

Five years later, Gorilla Biscuits returned to the stage for a benefit show in 1997, with profits going to the family of Warzone frontman Raybeez, who had passed away from pneumonia that year and returned eight years later for another benefit show, this time to cover the legal costs of CBGBs. Since then, the group has continued to perform sporadically at festivals and local shows, giving hardcore fans the chance to see one New York's most renowned bands for themselves.

Gorilla Biscuits - "Better Than You"

Gorilla Biscuits - "High Hopes"

Gorilla Biscuits - "Start Today"

Gorilla Biscuits - "New Direction"

Gorilla Biscuits - "Stand Still"

Gorilla Biscuits - "Cats and Dogs"

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Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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1 Comment on "Sunday Old School: Gorilla Biscuits"

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1. I'm not Jesus Christ writes:

Awesome NYHC band!

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