JBV001 / JB014 — Hostage Life: Centre of the Universe
Centre of the Universe was intended to mark the debut of Juicebox Vinyl. Unfortunately, Hostage Life called it day right before this baby was about to be sent to the plant. The presses were halted, classic cinema-style, but we still have this mighty online beast to love. Plus, we heard there are still a few copies kicking around over at our Big Cartel store.
It’s been over three years since Hostage Life released their debut full-length, Walking Papers. It was a record I loved, made by people I respected, and to be a part of the mass proliferation of their skull-bustingly rad follow-up sophomore full-length release is something everyone at Juicebox is proud of, stoked about, and drinking to.
The unexpected and unintended mainstream success of Walking Papers (Underground Operations, 2006) put Hostage Life in some strange situations for a punk rock band from Southern Ontario. “This Song Was Written By A Committee” spent 30 weeks on Toronto rock-radio CFNY’s weekly countdown; three songs from the record went into high rotation on national music video channel MuchMusic; they were nominated for two CASBYs and a Canadian Independent Music Award. To cap it off, the Toronto Argonauts asked the band to play halftime at a CFL game. They agreed, and the league quickly rescinded the offer after, you know, actually listening to their record.
Centre of the Universe is a record made by five dudes who couldn’t fathom doing anything else, and it’s why it’s available here, online and for free, instead of through some chain in a strip mall for $22.99. There’s a lot to say about this record, but it’s best said by the band; visit their MySpace and blog to dig in to this weighty bastard of a record.
Recorded with Donny Cooper (Cursed III), this is the sound of a band capturing the essence of their passion and influences; turning down the distortion and relying on a little overdrive and a lot of creativity, songs like “Paper Citizen” and “Purple Hands” combine the succinct vitriol of the Clash with the inventive melodic structure of One Man Army. After three years, Centre of the Universe is the exact sonic and lyrical statement that Hostage Life had to make.
02. White Jesus
03. Shake, Baby, Shake
06. Ghosts of the Upper Paleolithic
08. The Con Man’s Guide to Quantum Mechanics
09. Purple Hands
10. Paper Citizens
11. New Drugs
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