24 Jun 2021
Neon Christ, the Atlanta hardcore luminaries founded by Alice in Chains singer William DuVall have announced the official release of 1984 for September 17th. This collaboration between Southern Lord Recordings/DVL Recordings was originally released on Record Store Day, now to be made available more widely. Pre orders for limited black and clear vinyl are available now via Southern Lord, the Southern Lord Europe store and Bandcamp.
To mark the occasion, the band have shared an in-conversation video tracing their beginnings right through to their collaboration with Southern Lord conducted with Atlanta journalist Chad Radford. The band comments, “We gathered at the famed Wuxtry record store in Atlanta to discuss the formation of Neon Christ, the all-analog remastering process for the ‘1984’ album, and much more. It’s a revealing look at the band and an illuminating glimpse into the earliest days of the Atlanta hardcore scene.”
Neon Christ formed in the fall of 1983 with William DuVall on guitar, Jimmy Demer on drums, Danny Lankford on bass, and Randy DuTeau on vocals. They made their debut in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 1984. That March, they recorded their eponymous debut 10-song EP. Released in June ’84, the EP’s songs exemplify the band’s signature musical diversity, from DRI-style thrashers like “Parental Suppression” to the atmospheric improv of “After.” A short east coast tour followed. On Labor Day 1984, the band recorded four tracks in the home studio of Nick Jameson, of Foghat fame. A few months later, “Ashes to Ashes” was included on the International Peace/War compilation released by MDC’s R Radical Records, bringing the band worldwide exposure.
Neon Christ shared the stage with the luminaries of 80s hardcore including the Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks, and Corrosion of Conformity. In 1985, the band added Shawn Devine on second guitar, as their sound and songs became slower, heavier, and more melodic. DuVall wrote an album’s worth of songs in 1985, but only “Savior (Drawn In)” was ever recorded in what would be the band’s final studio session on December 26, 1985 (the master tapes were lost). Returning to the four-piece original lineup, the band played a handful of Atlanta shows and then took a break in March of 1986. A few months later, William moved to Santa Cruz, CA, to join BL’AST!, and Jimmy, Danny, and Randy formed Gardens of…William later founded jazz/punk/world improvisers No Walls. In 1999, he would form Comes With The Fall and move the band to Los Angeles, where he struck up a friendship and musical collaboration with Jerry Cantrell. William joined Alice in Chains as vocalist and guitarist in 2006. On February 2, 2008, Neon Christ reunited to headline the Ratlanta Punkfest 2.
To this day, the band members maintain a close friendship, as well as a desire to honor the legacy of the group. So when longtime fan Greg Anderson of Southern Lord contacted them about reissuing a deluxe edition of Neon Christ’s 1984 sessions, “1984” quickly came to life. To remaster the original tapes using an all-analog process, William DuVall made multiple trips to Nashville to one of the few remaining studios maintaining the vintage technology to play and process the audio. Side one of “1984” features the original Neon Christ 7″ EP, and side two contains the four songs of the Labor Day session, all on heavyweight vinyl at 45 RPM for maximum fidelity.
The package includes a full-color gatefold sleeve and a 12-page oral history booklet featuring dozens of never-before-seen photographs.
NEON CHRIST 1984 TRACK LISTING:
- Parental Suppression
- The Draft Song
- Bad Influence
- Neon Christ
- We Mean Business
- It’s Mine
- The Knife That Cuts So Deep
- Ashes To Ashes
- Blind Patriot
- The Death They’ll Give You